In years long gone, too many for the almanac to tell of, or for clocks and watches to measure, millions of good fairies came down from the sun and went into the earth. There, they changed themselves into roots and leaves, and became trees. There were many kinds of these, as they covered the earth, but the pine and birch, ash and the oak was the favorite tree, for people lived then on acorns, which they ate roasted, boiled or mashed, or made into meal, from which something like bread was kneaded and baked. With oak bark, men tanned hides and made leather, and, from its timber, boats and houses. Under its branches, near the trunk, people laid their sick, hoping for help from the gods.
this cute modern (1919) fairy tale about meneer van eyck who had a dream in which a kabouter shows him how to make a wooden shoe and a pile driver, pretends that holland got its riches, not through the exploitation of its colonies and the slave trade, but by making wooden shoes and using pile drivers.