ABOUT six miles from Graun, above the Endkopf, in the dominions of the Frauenpleiss, which ancient legends report as the residence of several fairies, lies the Grauner-Alp, which is also called the Vivanna, and which belongs to the parish of Graun. Jacob Wolf, a huntsman of Graun, ordinarily called “Kob,” started one evening, towards the close of the autumn, on a hunting excursion, and climbed up the Vivanna, intending there to pass the night, so that he might be ready to follow the game at an early hour on the following morning. He entered the hut which stands upon the Alp, and after having laid down upon a bundle of dry grass for his night’s rest, he heard the door slowly open, and a little old shrunken woman entered, whose attire was very like that of a Sennin, and who seemed to be quite at home there. She lighted a fire, took cream and flour from a little hole in the wall, and set to work to make cakes. As soon as she had finished them, she called out, “Now we are going to eat, and the one down yonder on the grass must be of the party too.”
The huntsman was quite frightened and dared not move, but as the little woman called out a second time with her shrill voice, which sounded almost like a command, he picked up his courage, and approached the spot where the old hag was standing. But, oh, terror! at that moment, in the midst of a most fearful noise, there all at once entered through the door a whole tribe of spitting, growling, and miauling cats, pigs and bucks, besides every description of other wild beasts.
The huntsman sprang quickly back into his corner, seized his rifle, which he had fortunately charged with a crossed bullet, and fired right into the middle of the devil’s army, which was entirely dispersed in one moment. No more was either to be seen of the old hag, and her cakes stood burning before the fire, and smelling of all sorts of fearful abominations. The huntsman fled from the spot as quickly as ever he could, and rushed down into the valley, giving up all idea of his hunting excursion. But in the morning he found out that, in his hasty retreat, he had left his hunting-sack behind; and so he set off in broad daylight, accompanied by another man, to the scene of his fearful adventure, where they found the sack, with all its contents, bitten and torn to pieces. When recounting this story, Kob always used to say, “The hell company would have served me the same trick, had I not run off as quickly as I did.”