I love learning about the myths and legends of elemental beings. Things like fairy tales, but not the Disney versions. The original stories often touch upon culture and fears of the people of that time.
I like writing stories as well, so last night I got to thinking about ‘evil garden gnomes’…. yeah, makes you shudder just thinking about them out there in the yard, ready to cause mischief, but myths of the garden gnome is pretty nice overall.
The garden gnome first appeared in 19th century and had ties to local miners that often wore red caps so they could see one another in dark mines. Earlier version of the gnome spoke of their ability to move through the earth, as they were earth elementals. They guarded precious stones, and were secretive, as earth elementals were known to be.
I remember reading a series of book by Wil Huygen, Gnomes which were lovely in their illustration and read much like a field guide to gnomes. From that, they created the cartoon series, David the Gnome. The book was so much better with all the wonderful illustrations on their houses build underground, the culture seeped in Slavic tradition, and even stories of the never-ending fight with trolls.
I’m not sure now I will use a gnome in my story. Perhaps an evil garden sculpture possessed or something might work better? Why upset the gnomes, right?