The Farmer and the Forest Maiden

The farm called “Untermoser” is part of the village of Platzers near Meran. One of the farmers of Untermoser married a forest maiden. They had children, and lived in happiness. The man didn’t know the name of his wife, and she had commanded him to never ask about it. Once, the forest woman grazed in the garden at the house, and another forest maiden passed by who called her by the name “Gertraud”. The farmer had been hidden from view, heard the name, and said: “Now I know that your name is Gertraud!” Then the forest woman wept and said: “Now I must leave you forever!” Upon this, she took an iron rod, and stuck it into the field with the words: “As long as a single vein remains of this iron rod, everyone in the Untermoser farm will live well.” This has remained true until this day. Later on, Gertraud frequently came into the house and cleaned her children, but nobody perceived her.


Source: Panzer, F. Bayerische Sagen und Bräuche. Beitrag zur deutschen Mythologie. Zweiter Band, 1848. p. 46f.

Notes & Commentary: Loving the Fey