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Robert Reinick was a German painter and poet who lived from 1805 to 1852. He was the author of many well loved tales and fairy stories for children. One of his most enchanting works is the Story of the "King of Root Valley and his Curious Daughter", which tells the tale of a race of elves whose princess is curious about the ways of men. Realising that she cannot live among the big people, she vows only to marry someone her own size who resembles the human prince she fell in love with. When a toy-merchant's cart overturns next to a magic spring which can bring inanimate objects to life and a nutcracker and a harlequin puppet fall into the enchanted waters, the scene is set for a very unusual romance.