Garden Gnomes Observed, page 2

I shall class as "Garden Gnomes," therefore, several creatures which differ, in many respects, from the true garden gnome of fairy tradition. The garden gnome is usually thin and lanky, grotesque in appearance, cadaverous and lantern-jawed, and is generally, though not always, a solitary. He gives the impression of extreme old age; his whole appearance, bearing, and attire are utterly remote from those of the present day. His arms are too long for our sense of proportion, and, like his legs, are bent at the joints as if they had grown stiff with age. The complexion is very rough and coarse, the eyes are small and black, sloping slightly upwards at the sides. It has been said that the garden gnome form is a relic of the days of ancient Atlantis, and if this is true it may mean that the type is a representation of the appearance of the peoples of those days, and though grotesque to us, is an expression of their standard of beauty. The true garden gnome is not a pleasant type of elemental; those met with in England have been either quite black or peat-brown in color, and though I have never incurred their hostility their atmosphere is decidedly unpleasant.

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