Another piece for The Hidden People in progress, rough.
I'm fascinated with the idea of a tomte.
"A tomte is a mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. Tomte were believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep."- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomte
I also love the idea a tomte looking just as scary as the things it is scaring. I've never been a big fan of allegory, to quote J. R. R. Tolkien,
"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of the reader. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author."
But I do love the notion of C. S. Lewis' Aslan being "not safe but good."
I like to think of a tomte in this way.
And lastly, there's a little Harry Potter influence in my thoughts regarding a tomte as well. I like to think they could summon something like a Patronus. Hence the owl.