Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Mr. Knisperhexie

Happy St. Pat’s Day to all you Irish people! I hope you’ve got your green on, so you don’t get pinched! Because that could hurt!

We German-types have our own version of leprechauns. You might call it a “garden gnome,” but in my world, a he-witch or other enchanted (and enchanting) little dude is a Knusperhexe.

If you’re into opera, you might recall the term from Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel.

To my grandma, who spoke a kind of pidgin German, it was pronounced less like k'nooce-puh-hex-uh and more like k'niss-per-hex-ie. So that’s how it’s come down to me, and I see no reason to go backwards and use the Old World pronunciation. (Even if it’s correct.) I’m a German American, not a German (so there).

So we still have Grandma’s Knisperhexie at the corner of the house, and this spring he seems to be smiling more than ever. I think the daffodils and forsythias are pleasing him. Of course he’s glad to see warmer weather, since he spends all winter outdoors.

Yeah, spring is a good time of year. It’s always welcome when it comes.

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