I love to tell the story of the gnome Rubezahl. He did everything he could to win the affection of a princess, but he could not force her to stay with him. With all his power and magic, the king of the gnomes could not change the heart of a woman. He was left in the underworld, lonely and bereft.
Oh, Rubezahl! How I love you, you sweet old gnome! I tell your story over and over. You could not win the love of a princess but you have most certainly won mine. I hope your story will live on as long as you do, and that one day our world will become hospitable to you. Do not become dispirited with humans, Rubezahl!
A Village Storyteller in Rubezahl, Brown Fairy Book. Painting by Edmund Blair Leighton.