ANOTHER Kobold or House-spirit took up his abode in the palace of the bishop of Hildesheim. He was named Hödeken or Hütchen, that is Hatekin or Little Hat, from his always wearing a little felt hat very much down upon his face. He was of a kind and obliging disposition, often told the bishop and others of what was to happen, and he took good care that the watchmen should not go to sleep on their post.
It was, however, dangerous to affront him. One of the scullions in the bishop's kitchen used to fling dirt on him and splash him 'with foul water. Hödeken complained to the head cook, who only laughed at him, and said, "Are you a spirit and afraid of a little boy?" "Since you won't punish the boy," replied Hödeken, "I will, in a few days, let you see how much afraid of him I am," and he went off in high dudgeon. But very soon after he got the boy asleep at the fire-side, and he strangled him, cut him up, and put him into the pot on the fire. When the cook abused him for what he had done, he squeezed toads all over the meat that was at the fire, and he soon after tumbled the cook from the bridge into the deep moat. At last people grew so much afraid of his setting fire to the town and palace, that the bishop had him exorcised and banished.
The following was one of Hödeken's principal exploits. There was a man in Hildesheim who had a light sort of wife, and one time when he was going on a journey he spoke to Hödeken and said, "My good fellow, just keep an eye on my wife while I am away, and see that all goes on right." Hödeken agreed to do so; and when the wife, after the departure of her husband, made her gallants come to her, and was going to make merry with them, Hödeken always threw himself in the middle and drove them away by assuming terrific forms; or, when any one had gone to bed, he invisibly flung him so roughly out on the floor as to crack his ribs. Thus they fared, one after another, as the light-o'-love dame introduced them into her chamber, so that no one ventured to come near her. At length, when the husband had returned home, the honest guardian of his honour presented himself before him full of joy, and said, "Your return is most grateful to me, that I may escape the trouble and disquiet that you had imposed upon me?" "Who are you, pray?" said the man. "I am Hödeken," replied he, "to whom, at your departure, you gave your wife in charge. To gratify you I have guarded her this time, and kept her from adultery, though with great and incessant toil. But I beg of you never more to commit her to my keeping; for I would sooner take charge of, and be accountable for, all the swine in Saxony than for one such woman, so many were the artifices and plots she devised to blink me."