Posted by Gary | Posted in Gnomes | Posted on 19-09-2011
Tags: garden gnomes, gnomes
The garden gnome: subject to numerous legends and stories all over the world. Here we'll take a look at the characteristics of these little men, some of the legends that surround them and the people that fight for liberation of the gnomes!
The vast majority of the gnomes you see will be males that are indulging in various pastimes including hiking, gardening and fishing. They are often depicted as being between six to twelve inches in height depending upon their age.
Gnomes are helpful little men that perform good deeds without the need for recognition. Some of their activities including caring for injured animals and feeding those animals that are hungry if there wasn't enough food left out in winter. They are said to be particularly fond of rabbits.
Why do you never see a gnome move? Well, according to some legends they are turned to stone by sunlight. However, when night falls they are released from the spell and are free to move around.
As such friendly creatures the gnome has very few enemies. However, they are hunted by trolls! Although the trolls are unsuccessful as the gnomes are too clever and can easily outwit them.
Scandinavian legend has it that gnomes live for around 400 years. The female gnomes give birth only once (to twins). They live in rural locations and help farmers in their work. They are very good to humans but are still very secretive. Their underground burrows and gnome language are off bounds to their human friends.
In the Netherlands gnomes are referred to as kabouters. According to Dutch folklore, kabouters live underground and help with household chores.
Being such legendary creatures gnomes do have friends that fight for their freedom and try to return them to the wild. Two of the most notable groups can be found in France and Italy (The Garden Gnome Liberation Front). In 2008, a man from Brittany was arrested for stealing 170 gnomes after the authorities were tipped-off by local residents complaining of their vanishing gnomes. Upon investigation he'd squeezed all of them into his own garden.
In fact, the gnome abduction problem got so bad that an international database was set up to trace them. Gnomes Without Homes allowed people to post photos and information in the hope they would be reunited with their gnomes. However, as of September 2011 the website is not active so one can only hope the gnomes are safe!
And, one eerie gnome legend to finish with. A town in South America is said to be terrorised by a living gnome. There's a link to the video below so you can make your mind up for yourself!
Written by Gary Mullen from Garden Gnomes.
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