INGE OF RANTUM
THE Friesland. girls are, however, rather shy of these matches, and if they have unwarily been drawn into an engagement they try to get out of it if they possibly can.
A girl named Inge of Rantum had some way or other got into an engagement with one of the Underground people. The wedding-day was actually fixed, and she could only be released from her bond on one condition--that of being able, before it came, to tell the real name of her lover. All her efforts to that effect were in vain, the dreaded day was fast approaching and she fell into deep melancholy. On the morning of her wedding-day she went out and strolled in sorrowful mood through the fields, saying to herself as she plucked some flowers, "Far happier are these flowers than I." As she was stooping to gather them, she thought she heard a noise under the ground. She listened and recognised it as the voice of her lover, who, in the excess of his joy at the arrival of his wedding-day, was frolicking and singing, "To-day I must bake and boil and roast and broil and wash and brew; for this is my wedding-day. My bride is the fair Inge of Rantum, and my name is Ekke Nekkepem. Hurrah! Nobody knows that but myself!" "Aye, but I know it too!" said Inge softly to herself and she placed her nosegay in her bosom and went home. Toward evening came the Dwarf to claim his bride. "Many thanks, dear Ekke Nekkepem," said she, "but if you please I would rather stay where I am." The smiling face of the bridegroom grew dark as thunder, but he recollected how he had divulged his secret, and saw that the affair was past remedy.
The Nis of Sutland is called Puk [a] in Friesland. Like him he wears a pointed red cap, with a long grey or green jacket, and slippers on his feet. His usual abode is under the roof, and he goes in and out either through a broken window, which is never mended, or through some other aperture left on purpose for him. A bowl of groute must be left on the floor for him every evening, and he is very angry if there should be no butter in it. When well treated he makes himself very useful by cleaning up the house, and tending the cattle. He sometimes amuses himself by playing tricks on the servants, tickling, for example, their noses when they are asleep, or pulling off the bedclothes. Stories are told of the Puk, similar to some above related of the Juttish Nis.
[a] The Puk is also called Niss-Puk, Huis-Puk, Niske, Niske-Puk, Nise-Bok, Niss-Kuk---all compounds or corruptions of Nisse and Puk. He is also named from his racketing and noise Pulter-Clsss, i. e. Nick Knocker, (the German Poltergeist,) Class being the abbreviation of Nicolaus, Niclas.