One of the Huldu by Otilia Tena

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SUMMARY: The story of a mysterious vilage owner, unseen and unheard, called "the hidden one".

One of the Huldu

That small music box had triggered my first confused wishes and even now it is difficult to render how a little girl can have the feeling of a vague remembrance which seemed to come from somewhere else than her own childhood. If it hadn't been for it, I wouldn't sit here, waiting for my flight.

Cooking and sweeping were not her favorite pastime and all hard work, she let it slip through her fingers. She spent her days reading old tales or singing, though nothing of all this could compare to her grandfather's enchanting stories. He, in exchange, was very upset that she seemed to disregard her homely duties and used to scold her many times:
"You are lazy and clumsy and you expect to live only with singing and combing your hair. You do it on purpose, don't you?"
"No, grandpa, you see, something weighs on my heart, something I can't tell you about..."
"Why, Unna?"
"Because I can't find a name for it. It's more like a sort of grief... each time the music box plays...it sounds so far away..."
"Sometimes I think you were not made for this world. You are visible, you eat, you breathe, yet you don't belong here, Unna Ishildur. A child would bound you more to this life."

I took a break to fetch myself a coffee but then my flight was announced. I shut it down quickly and five minutes later my passionate thoughts met the cloudy window which had probably kept company to many others like me. To be a lady teacher was the foremost feature of my life, but to be a lady teacher in Iceland sounded quite exotic to me, almost like raspberries with a touch of ice on a usual breakfast plate. My dreams about the unknown mingled with the embroidery of my story.

Their village belonged to an unknown lord, whom people referred to as "the hidden one" because nobody had seen him nor knew where he lived. This may be why they feared him so much. One day Unna and her grandfather Hildimar and many other people saw a caravan of nomad wagons camping close to their house. A woman with milk white skin came to Unna, carrying her two children.
"I am ready to serve you with anything, miss, I want a bath for me and my children".
"Who's next?"Unna asked. "The whole caravan? Take your children and go away!"
"No, miss, it's just us. I'll do anything you ask me to".
"Anything? Very well", Unna said,"then give me one of your children for good. Grandpa said only a child can keep me in this world."
"You can have my child and I can cook and sweep", the white nomad said.
"That's good because grandpa isn't satisfied with the work I do. You can stay". Hildimar asked what her name was and the nomad woman said they called her Nuri Peperuga. They found out that she was believed to be a night murderer and that the nomads had banished her. Unna saw the hidden notches on her body while she was taking the bath. She swore that nothing of this was true and begged them to let her stay. Hildimar was pleased with her work and considered her arrival a fortunate event, since Unna had adopted the nomad woman's child and he had a new grandson.
Nuri Peperuga loved the old man's stories, since she had never heard of elves or hidden people before.

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