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p. 132



JANNSEN gives the following account of heath-spirits, &c. Abstracts of stories not included under other headings we have appended to his general observations.

 In former days, when trees and bushes talked, animals and birds understood a wonderful language, and the Old Boy wandered about openly and unabashed, and wonderful things often happened on the heaths. He who wished to cross a heath must keep his eyes open day and night. In the daytime, indeed, no spectre dared to appear; but it often happened at night that people were teased and frightened on the heath. If any one was on the heath on a summer or autumn evening, he often heard a rustling and tapping in the bushes, and perhaps water suddenly spurted out under his feet. On winter evenings, or at midnight, he saw p. 133 little flames dancing on the moor, and if he went towards them, they disappeared suddenly, and danced up again in the distance. But if a man was on the moor at night-time, he could not escape from it till cockcrow. If a man had to fetch anything from the heath during hay-harvest, he heard strange voices, or heard a bird singing with a human voice; and whoever drove across the moor in winter with a light sledge must have heard an invisible hand striking against the tree-trunks or the ice. Then you whip up your horse, and hasten across the moor, if you can.

 Jannsen also relates a story of a herd-boy who was scolding at some girls who were gathering berries on the heath, and defying the devil; when he was suddenly seized by the feet and dragged down into the ground, crying for help.