our underground realm."
When the old woman awoke, all was quiet and dark in the room. The candles on the tree had quite burned out, the cuckoo in the clock called twelve, and from the village, came the sound of bells, ringing the glad tidings of Christmas Day. Across the brook, she could see the lanterns flickering in the village square and the people gathering for church. But she did not feel strong enough to go to the midnight service. Then she thought, with a smile, of what she had seen on Christmas Eve, but she said to herself with a sigh, "It was only a dream", and took herself off to bed.
In the morning she milked Speckle and, as she drank the good, warm milk, she laughed to herself over her dream. But it would not leave her mind and, presently, she went to the hearth to see whence the procession of gnomes had come. She found nothing but a hole in the floor, large enough for a cat to pass through; but she thought to herself, "Why should I not go to the well by the chapel?"