THERE is a little lake in Westphalia called the Darmssen, from which the peasants in the adjacent village of Epe used to hear all through the night a sound as if of hammering upon an anvil. People who were awake used also to see something in the middle of the lake. They got one time into a boat and went to it, and there they found that it was a smith, who, with his body raised over the water, and a hammer in his hand, pointed to an anvil, and bid the people bring him something to forge. Prom that time forth they brought iron to him, and no people had such good plough-irons as those of Epe.
One time as a man from this village was getting reeds at the Darmssen, be found among them a little child that was rough all over his body. The smith cried out, "Don't take away my son!" but the man put the child on his back, and ran home with it. Since that time the smith has never more been seen or heard. The man reared the Roughy, and he became the cleverest and best lad in the place. But when he was twenty years old he said to the farmer, "Farmer, I must leave you. My father has called me!" "I am sorry for that," said the farmer. "Is there no way that you could stay with me?" "I will see about it," said the water-child. "Do you go to Braumske and fetch me a little sword; but you must give the seller whatever he asks for it, and not haggle about it." The farmer went to Braumske and bought the sword; but he haggled, and got something off the price. They now went together to the Darmssen, and the Roughy said, "Now mind. When I strike the water, if there comes up blood, I must go away; but if there comes milk, then I may stay with you." He struck the water, and there came neither milk nor blood. The Roughy was annoyed, and said, "You have been bargaining and haggling, and so there comes neither blood nor milk. Go off to Braumske and buy another sword." The farmer went and returned; but it was not till the third time that he bought a sword without haggling. When the Roughy struck the water with this it became as red as blood, and he threw himself into the lake, and never was seen more. [a]
[a] Grimm, ut sup. p. 463.