DWARFS STEALING CORN
'Tis not very long since there were Dwarfs at Jüne near Göttingen, who used to go into the fields and steal the sheaves of corn. This they were able to do the more easily by means of a cap they wore, which made them invisible. They did much injury to one man in particular who had a great deal of corn. At length he hit on a plan to catch them. At noon one day he put a rope round the field, and when the Dwarfs went to creep under it, it knocked off their caps. Being now visible, they were caught. They gave him many fair words, promising if he would take away the rope to give him a peck (mette) of money if he came to that same place before sunrise. He agreed, but a friend whom he consulted told him to go not at sunrise but a little before twelve at night, as it was at that hour that the day really began. He did as directed, and there he found the Dwarfs, who did not expect him, with the peck of money. The name of the family that got it is Mettens.
A farmer in another part of the country being annoyed in a similar manner, was told to get willow-rods and beat the air with them, and he thus would knock of some of their caps and discover them. He and his people did so, and they captured one of the Dwarfs, who told the farmer that if he would let him go, he would give him a waggon-load of money, but he must come for it before sunrise. At the same time he informed him where his abode was. The farmer having enquired when the sun really rose, and being told at twelve o'clock, yoked his waggon and drove off, but when he came to the Dwarfs' hole, he heard them shouting and singing within:
It is good that the bumpkin doth not know
That up at twelve the sun doth go.
When he asked for something, they showed him a dead horse, and bade him take it with him, as they could give him nothing else. He was very angry at this, but as he wanted food for his dogs, he cut off a large piece and laid it on his waggon. But when he came home, lo! it was all pure gold. Others then went to the place, but both hole and horse had vanished. [a]
[a] Grimm, Deut. Mythol., p. 434. Both legends are in the Low-Saxon dialect.