Folklore illustration of a “Moosweiblein” – one of the moss folk from our local German folklore.
I live close to the magical Harz Mountains where the moss people are said to exist. They are known as small creatures with a close connection to nature and trees.
According to legend, the moss people would occasionally borrow items from people or ask for help but would always compensate the owners generously, often with either good advice or bread. It was, however, easy to anger such wood-sprites, either by spurning their gifts or by giving them caraway bread.
Moss people, especially the females of the species, are able to send plagues on one hand, but on the other can also heal the victims of such plagues. During epidemics the Holzfräulein (“Wood ladies”) would emerge from the forest to show the people which medicinal herbs could cure or ward off plague.
The background photo used in the first image is by Kira auf der Heide via unsplash.