It had me thinking about a little folk-lore character who doesn't seem to visit these shores. Unlike us faere-folk, he exists exclusively in the heart of Scandinavia with his red hat and bowls of warming porridge.
He dwells near hard-working mountain farms, guarding the children and looking after the animals, especially in the hardest of winters. He can speak to each animal or child in a quiet language that only it can understand. He is endlessly loyal.
In their turn, these poems inspired the amazing Swedish nature artist Harald Wiberg to produce some of the best loved and evocative illustrations from Swedish literature, much bleaker in tone than the earlier work of Jenny Nystrom. Working with writer Astrid Lindgren he created illustrations for "The Tomten" and then "The Tomten and the Fox" as well as an adaptation of the original "Christmas Eve Adventure".
Harald Wyberg 1908 - 1986
photo: Harald Borgstrom
complete with the wintery and holly'd Green Man. Find it on Muddypond's main website.