This fairytale is an offering to the Lorenzburg community, in response to the recent vote to name the two forests in the area. I hope you shall enjoy it!
This is how the old folk in Lorenzburg tell the story of how Cowberry forest was named.
Now, the Elf Queen is both ancient and eternally young and it is said that she has a thousand and one daughters. Who knows, it may be the truth, for surely mere mortals couldn’t know the ways of the splendid and mighty Elves!
And the queen is equally fond of all her daughters for none is alike: some of them have skin like ebony and teeth like pearls, others are white as snow and freckled all over. One may have hair that blazes red in the sun, while another has curls like twined shadows. Every daughter is beautiful just because no one is just like her. The Queen could never favor one over the other.
And, don’t you believe it, every few hundred years or so one of them wants to marry. This creates quite a fuss you see, and the spiders are commanded to spin their silken threads for the dress. And the fabric is woven tight until it is like ice shimmering under the northern lights! Then the daughter is given a golden ring, with stones and mighty charms, for the Elf Queen is rich and wise and learned in the ways if magic.
Lastly the bridal crown shall be dressed in greenery and this has to be done on the eve of the wedding. Then the daughter of the Elf Queen walks through the forest to find Cowberry sprigs and she has to collect them with her own hands, for else it will be an unlucky marriage. And following the Bride is an escort of maidens and gnomes and elven men with starry wands in their hands. And she is radiant like the morn even in the night, for the elves have been named after the stars.
But once upon a time, I think it was when your great great grandmother was still just a girl, the ring fell of the finger of the Bride to be, and it was lost in the forest. This was on that darkest night of the year which we call Lussi-night and therefore it was never seen again even though the maids and gnomes and elven men searched long and well. So, there was no wedding for the girl, for how can one swear an oath without a ring?
Since that night, so long ago, the elves search trough the forest every Lussi-night. If you are lucky you can spy them from afar, with their lanterns and candles and starry wands to light up the winter night. Leading the party is the Daughter of the Elf Queen, still with her bridal crown of candles and cowberry sprigs on her head, for you see, many years among humans are just a few moments to the Elven kind. And it is said that her companions are singing to cheer her up.
It may, or may not, be that girls about to marry started pacing the forests up here, in the hope of finding the fabulous ring. However it is certain that the Cowberry Forest got its name from the custom of collecting cowberry sprigs for bridal crowns. And one should always leave a silver coin in good payment for what is taken, else the little folk may be angered and lead you astray! But no one can advice you what to do if you find the Elf Bride’s ring. You will have to think of something yourself.