HE Toy Valley lies in that part of Austria known as
the Tyrol. Its real name is the Groednerthal. It lies
at an elevation of about four thousand feet and is
surrounded by the high pale peaks of some of the
grandest of the Dolomite mountains.
It was once my pleasant fortune to spend several months
with a friend in this interesting corner of the world,
where the people are all wood carvers and where many of
the wooden toys so dear to childhood are made.
The people, a unique remnant of an unknown race, among
[viii] a strange language of their own, particularly those in
the upper end of the valley, which is where Donkey John
lived. They are kindly, simple souls whom it is a
pleasure to know. Besides taking beautiful walks over
the paths of the wild mountains, we spent many pleasant
hours in a certain ancient stone house standing on a
steep slope, where a dear old man and woman sat all day
long carving toys, and who gave us seats at their
table and taught us how to make the little Noah's ark
The town below the mountain is Bozen, as can easily be
proved by the statue of Walther von der Vogelweide that
stands in the midst of its square. The Big Alp is the
Seiser Alp, to which one can climb as John did, though
of course Anton is not there now, as the story happened
about a hundred years ago.
Neverthe- [ix] less the Groednerthal is well worth a visit to any one
who can speak German and who loves simple people and
TRYON, N.C., 1909.