A species of androgynous, magical beings, Elves vary in size and appearance. Some are so tiny that they live inside rose blossoms, while others look like adolescents. Male Elves have no beards; the females too retain childlike beauty. Elves are said to live as long as 1000 years and in rare instances they breed with humans. In most literature, the Light Elf is depicted as nature-loving and appreciative of the arts and music, while the Dark Elf is shown to be selfish and destructive, even deadly. Deriving from Germanic and Nordic myth, stories about Elves differ from culture to culture. Writers as diverse as Shakespeare, Grimm, Tolkien, HC Anderson, etc. have expounded on and given varying tones to tales of the Elves. Ballads of yore, too, tend to include male Elves. Closer to home are Santa's magic Elves, and those mischevious Elves in the game D & D, or video games with all sorts of Elves... One legend about these creatures promises that if you sprinkle buckthorn in a circle under a full moon and dance, an Elf will appear to grant one wish.