Libussaby J.H. Museaus
Genre: Fairy Tale
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:
Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed
Deep in the Bohemian forest, of which now only a shadow remains, dwelt years ago, when it spread itself far and wide into the country, a little spiritual people, aeriel, uncorporeal, and shunning the light. They were of a finer nature than mankind, which is formed out of gross clay, and were therefore imperceptible to the coarser sense; but to the more refined they were half visible by moonlight, being well known to the poets under the name of the Dryads, and to the old bards under the name of the Elves. From time immemorial they had lived undisturbed here, until the forest suddenly resounded with the tumult of war; Duke Czech, of Hungary, crossed the mountains with his Slavonic hordes, to seek a new dwelling-place in this spot. The beautiful inhabitants of the aged oaks, of rocks, caves and grottoes, as well as those of the reeds in ponds and marshes fled from the noise of weapons, and the snorting of war-horses. Even for the mighty Erl-king the tumult was too much, and he removed his court to the more remote deserts. One elf alone could not resolve to quit her beloved oak, and when the wood was hewn down in every direction to make the land arable, she alone had the courage to defend her tree against the power of the new comers, and chose its lofty top for her abode.
The first quarter of this story concerns itself with a fairy/elf who will do anything to protect her tree from being cut down…and the human who stands by her side. It’s quite enchanting and powerful, and could make for very fine theatre. The bulk of the story, however, concerns the offspring of the elf/human and rambles and wanders and ultimately peters out. But do look at the opening sequences…they’re quite magical.
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