When we arrived on the island, my sister and I brought a basket of provisions to the hut. As we were going back to the ship, I noticed the form of a man crouching behind a bundle of sticks. We were frightened, but he looked at us with peaceful eyes. We drew closer, giggling. What a strange creature! I wanted to touch him to see what he was made of.
I put my hand on his sleeve and I felt a very sharp prick. It drew blood! He had a pin sticking in the sleeve of his jacket. At the time, I didn’t know what it was. I screamed at the top of my lungs, and my companions rushed out of the hut. When they saw the man, they picked up all the goods we had carried out, and, in an instant, the boat, my sister, all my friends, and all our goods had vanished.
We were left alone together on the island. “You will have to make me your wife,” I said, “for you have drawn my blood, and now I belong to you.”
The Elf Maiden in The Elf Maiden, Brown Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.