The small caves in the hills on the southern side of the Harz, especially in some parts of the region of Hohenstein deserve our special attention. Why? For the most part, these are so low that adult humans can only creep in, but the location feature looks suitable to be used as home for large communities. These were once inhabited by dwarfs and are still called Zwerglöcher (dwarf holes) after them.
Once upon a time the Dwarfs had two kingdoms between Walkenried and Neuhof in the Hohenstein region. Once one farmer of that region noticed that his crops were being robbed every night. Even after much effort he could not find out who the offender was. At last, following the advice of a White woman, (weisen Frau – ref. EU folklore) he went to his pea-field at nightfall and struck the pure air with a thin rod. It was not long before some dwarfs appeared in front of him. He had to split off their invisible fog-caps. The trembling dwarves kneeled down before him.
He came to know the people who robbed the fields of all the landowners of that region. But he also learnt that they were forced to steal crops only because they were hungry. The story of the captured dwarfs created lot of uproar in the entire region. The dwarf people finally sent messenger to villagers offering a solution for themselves and their captive brothers – they wanted to leave the country forever. But the nature of the condition set created new dispute. The inhabitants of the country did not want to let the dwarfs leave along with their collected and hidden treasures and on the other hand, the dwarf people did not want to be watched during departure. Finally it was agreed upon that the dwarfs would build a narrow bridge at Neuhof, and place a large pot there. Each one of them would keep a certain portion of his possession as deduction duty in that container. Also none of the inhabitants of the country would watch them passing through the bridge.
The departure of the dwarfs was planned per agreement. But a good number of curious people had hidden themselves under the bridge. They wanted to ensure that even though gazing at the departing dwarfs ruled out, they would at least hear the sounds of the coaches carrying the dwarfs. And so they heard those little people passing through the bridge for many hours as if a very large herd of shepherds crossing the bridge. Since that last major emigration of the dwarf people, any trace of them was rarely found in this region. We have heard from our grandfathers that a few of them, who were still residing in the mountain caves, sometimes stole babies from the country-dwellers’ houses, whom they exchanged with changelings (ref. EU folklore).