And what if cheerful shouts at noon
Come, from the village sent,
Or song of maids, beneath the moon
With fairy laughter blent?
William Cullen Bryant - Excerpt from "June"
Huldra is a groundskeeper of sorts, wandering around her realm whilst making sure everything is as it should be. The female cares for areas in the mortal realms, while the males are given custody of Faërie areas. She looks like a lovely young woman with long, wild hair, often with a circlet of wowen flowers. They have the tail of a cow, and about half of them has a back that is hollow like a rotted log.
All Huldres can turn invisible at will, and they command all animals within their realm. They usually own forests, and are often seen by mortals as they dance and sing there. If there are nearby farmers which the Huldra takes a liking to, she sometimes sends him a fairy-cow. It looks just like a normal cow, but will never get sick and the milk is of exceptional quality and quantity. Sometimes the puzzled farmer believes that he has mistakenly stolen his neighbors cow, and drives it out of his barn. It always returns, and if he sends it out again he can hear the Huldra cry:
"You rejected my gift? So be it, I won't offer it again."
Many Hulders grow lonely, especially due to the separation of the males and the females. The males solve this by luring humans into Faërie, to take as wives. The females sometimes sneak into mortal parties, in the hope of being courted by a handsome guy. More often than not these flirts end up as nothing more than fond memories of the strange girl never seen again, but there is one way to make the hulder stay.
If a mortal throws an item of cold steel over a hulder, she is paralyzed until released by the thrower. But they are now betrothed, and there is no known way of getting out of this predicament. During the marriage festivities the barn is also decorated, for the family and friends of the bride will come to party too, and since the mortals usually show a healthy amount of fear for the Fey, they wisely leave them alone.
Hulder brides are prized for many reasons, and their good looks and cheery nature are but two of them. The huge dowry consisting of heaps of gold and silver jewlery also contributes to this, but the main reason is quite different. Hulders are workers, plain and simple. They are still connected to the animals, and care for them like their own children. No farm with a Hulder resident will ever have trouble with livestock or crop. She will not tolerate lazyness under her roof, and if her husband ever neglects the animals, she will promptly put on a show of strength by bending an iron bar like string. This usually intimidates the man into action.
Many nobles prefer to assign their forests to Hulders as opposed to Leshiye, mainly because they aren't as prone to gambling, though some find that the superior power of the Leshiye outweighs this disadvantage. In the end it is a matter of preference.
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