As you clear debris away in the enchanted forest you will come upon crates that contain animals that were captured by the evil gnome. You will be able to free these animals. Some will take a few seconds and others may take hours or even days to free. Some may require you to hire your friends to help.
You can spend food points or gold bars to speed up this process.
Once the animals are free they will live in your gnome town with you and you will build them a house and they will become your helpers in the game.
When you click on an item to clear away the first animal you freed will go do the job. If you click on another task such as clearing a second item or harvesting a crop the second animal freed (there may be two in a crate) will take that task, and so on.
Each animal works on the task and has the option to speed up the work available.
Tip - Some animals will be working on long term jobs that take several hours. This will put that animal helper out of commission from doing other jobs unless you choose to pause the job. This will halt the long term job and free the animal helper to work on other things. When you are ready simply resume