There once was a poor shoemaker who only had enough leather left to make one pair of shoes. So he cut them out and set them aside to make in the morning. But when he woke, the shoes were made. He was able to sell the pair for enough to buy leather to make two pairs of shoes.
He cut them out and set them aside to make in the morning, but when he awoke they too were done. And so he would cut out the pieces for shoes at night, and they would be made into shoes when he awoke. By this he was able to make his living.
One night he asked his wife if she wanted to stay up to see what happened in the night. She agreed, and they sat up that night. At midnight, two little, naked men appeared and put the shoes together.
The next morning, his wife suggested that since the little men had made them rich, they should return the favor by making them tiny clothes. So they made the clothes and set them on the table and hid themselves to watch.
The little men found the clothes and were very happy and danced around. They then left and never came back, but the shoemaker still prospered.
There once was a maid who found a letter by the door. She took it to her master and mistress because she couldn’t read. It was an invitation from the elves for her to be godmother to one of their children. The maid wasn’t sure what to do, but was told it was unwise to deny the elves.
So three elves came to take the maid to the mountain where they lived. The maid stood godmother, and wanted to leave, but the elves begged her to stay for three days while they made merry. They then filled the maid’s pockets with gold and took her back home.
But the three days with the elves had been seven years outside, and her master and mistress had died.
The elves once took a human baby and replaced it with a changeling who did nothing but eat and drink. The mother was worried and sought help from her neighbors. They told her to boil water in egg shells, which would make the changeling laugh. Once the changeling laughed, the elves brought the real baby back and took the changeling.
So these were three, quick little stories about elves. I think all the things I knew about fairy tale elves comes from these three stories. They like shoes, they exist in a weird time, and they sometimes steal human babies. I don’t really have much to say about these, other than they just seem to end.