lesser-known tales: The Hand With the Knife

But the little girl had an admirer who was an elf and lived in a hill near her mother’s house.Whenever she went by the hill, he would stretch out his hand from the rocky slope and offer her a knife that had miraculous powers and could cut through anything. She used this knife to cut out the peat and would finish her work quickly.

So the brothers crept after her and watched her receive the magic knife. They overtook her and forced her to give it to them. Then they returned to the rocky slope, knocked the way she had always done, and when the good elf reached out his hand, they cut it off with his very own knife. The bloody arm drew back, and since the elf believed that his beloved had betrayed him, he was never seen after that.

from Zipes, Jack (ed. and trans.) The Complete First Edition, the Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Princeton UP, 2014.

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