The elf named Hoppity was a tiny man with disheveled hair and a big, adorable smile. He wore a green coat, red pants, and a green hat. He walked around the world, skipping and singing as he went. Or at least humming something all the time. He was simply a very cheerful small chap. Because he was smiling all the time, he didn’t like when someone around him was in a bad mood. As soon as he met someone sad or weighed down by worries, he tried to cheer them up with all he had.
One day he was walking around a forest and in the distance, he heard someone sing mournfully. It was the thin voice of a girl. Hoppity looked around to see where the sad song was coming from. As he focused on listening, he realized it was coming from the stream. Slowly, he skipped over to it, hid behind a tree, and peeked out to see who was singing. A beautiful girl was kneeling by the brook. Her long blond hair was blowing in the wind and tears as big as peas were rolling down her cheeks. Next to her stood a basket of laundry and she was washing clothes in the stream. While working, she was singing in a quiet, sorrowful voice.
Hoppity walked over to her, greeted her politely, and since he was incredibly curious and eager to cheer up any sad person around, he started asking her: “Hi, don’t be afraid, I’m Hoppity. I’m an elf full to the brim with good mood and I can cheer up anyone. Why are you sad?” “Oh Hoppity, you’re kind to want to cheer me up but I don’t think you’d be able to help me. I live alone with my father at the mill. My father has fallen ill and I have to do all the work by myself. And I must take care of my father as well. I love him very much.”
The elf named Hoppity was truly sorry for her. He started thinking hard, wondering how he could help her. And then it came to him. He took off his hat, and started tossing it up in the air, singing: “Show yourself, magic herb, show us your real strength. Let this girl be happy again, come give us your help.”
Hoppity tossed his hat in the air one last time and let it fall back onto his head. He bowed gracefully, took off his hat, and an herb appeared in his hair. “Take it. It’s not just any herb. It’s magical,” Hoppity told the young girl. “When you come home, plant it so that it may grow. Place it out in the sun and take care of it. And most importantly, smell it every day. And your father should too. You’ll see if it might conjure a smile on your face. If you always stay this kind and have such good heart, the plant will not wilt, and it will help you.” Then he said goodbye and skipped off.
The girl did everything Hoppity told her. She planted the herb, placed it in the sun, and tended it. In the evening, before going to bed, she remembered that she was also supposed to smell it. Both she and her father. And so they did just that. As soon as they did so, a gentle breeze blew through the room. Suddenly everything smelled like a meadow and everything seemed to glisten. The magical scent spread through the entire mill.
After a while, one could tell that her father was feeling better. He has recovered. And a smile truly returned to his daughter’s face. She leaned out of the window and quietly called out into the night: “Thank you, Hoppity. Thank you very much!” A gentle voice called back from a distance: “You are very welcome, dear girl! But don’t forget you must tend the flower and be good in your heart so that it won’t wilt.”
Today, behind the forest near the stream, you can still find a large, old mill. An herb is planted in the window. It is growing beautifully. Every night, the miller and his daughter go and smell it. And because the girl is doing her best to stay kind and have a good heart, the herb still gives off a magical scent.