When the Germans and Scandinavians first saw the Huns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hun), they said to themselves, “Holy crap, these guys have got to come from demons or something.”
They figured the Huns’ moms were the Alrunes, demons/sorceresses who were plugged in to the secret knowledge of the world. The Alrunes were all shape-shifty, morphing into animals of any kinds–the only thing they couldn’t change was their gender.
Right up until last century, some people kept small statues of the Alrunes in their houses, treating them to food and drink, and even the occasional change of clothes. In gratitude for these offerings, it was said that the statues could tell you the future. Just ask a yes or no question and the Alrune might nod its head.
But there was a catch (there usually is). If you didn’t keep your Alrune statue happy, they would get pissy on you, yelling out how much you suck and bringing bad luck into the house.
Source: Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. 2nd Ed; Shepard, Leslie A., ed. Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 3rd ed.