Patjoepelke - Lokeren, Belgium
Posted by: Arkhan
N 51° 06.214 E 004° 01.255
31U E 571477 N 5661838
Quick Description: Patjoepelke is a gnome, invented by author Yvonne Waegemans who was quite famous in Belgium around the middle of the last century.
Location: Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Date Posted: 9/25/2011 2:19:07 AM
Waymark Code: WMCNC6
Near the 1,000 Twists River there are beautiful white sandy hills. They're the Mole Mountains.
At first glance they are quiet hills, overgrown with firs, gorse and brambles. So nothing special. But watch out ! For in the belly of those very hills a completely different world exists ! There lives the tribe of the Flaxbeards ! They got that name because their beards are long and white, just like spun flax, and their eyes are blue just like the flax flowers. They're very friendly gnomes. Always ready to help, to come to the aid of people and animals alike. They're true handymen, but they don't work for money. Solely because they love everything that lives, and for their own pleasure. But what they truly love are moles. In the tender meadows traversed by the river, thousands of moles wriggle and grub. If one gets sick or is hurt, it's taken to the Flaxbeards, and then they cure it...
Patjoepelke is a gnome, belonging to the Flaxbeards (Vlasbaardjes in Dutch). After a flooding of the 1,000 Twists River (which in reality is the river Durme) he ends up with the Curlybeards amongst whom he stays for many years. Eventually, though, the call of his home land becomes too strong and he returns to the Mole Mountains (De Molsbergen - actually the nature reserve Het Molsbroek (The Mole Marshes)). Back in his trusted environment he meets Yvonne and tells her gnome story after gnome story...
The character of Patjoepelke was created by Yvonne Waegemans, an author of youth novels. She was born in the city of Lokeren, Belgium, in 1909, and died in Wilrijk in 1991. In 2009, the year she would have become 100 years old, Lokeren dedicated a whole year of events and festivities to its celebrated author.
Children today are probably not very familiar with the writer anymore. But that has been very different. In the middle of the last century she was one of the most well-known youth- and theatre authors. At Sabam, the Belgian Association of Authors, Composers and Publishers, over 5,000 performances of her work are registered.
Patjoepelke is the most tangible reminder of Yvonne Waegemans in Lokeren. The city council decided to dedicate a statue to the character and place it in a pool in the Molsbroek, the home of the gnome. It's really great fun for the children of which weekly hundreds flock in the reserve to learn about nature.
Character Type: Literature
Character originator: Yvonne Waegemans
Internet Link: [Web Link]
Address or Location:
Molsbroek Nature Reserve, Lokeren. Close to the Visitors Centre.
Provide a picture of the statue or something at the site relating to it.
You can be in the photo if you desire.