They say it’s dangerous to live near the forest where the elves are. They say the elves rob and kill unwary travellers, that they steal children and replace them with their own. I know that’s not so. I live near the forest and the elves are safe.
Safer than my husband, anyway. He was the one who scared our child away, with his yelling. As though I hadn’t been working my hands to the bone, cooking and cleaning while he’d been off drinking in the tavern. As though our baby-girl’s cries were an annoyance, not a blessing.
When our daughter scrambled out of my arms and into the dark eaves, I wanted to go after her but he knocked me down and went himself. I waited up all night, and saw naught until morning, when she came. The elf laid my daughter in my arms, sleeping sound, and vanished back into the forest before I could say a word.
My husband never came back. They say it’s dangerous to live near the forest where the elves are.