The last two posts on Just Plain Stupid were parts One and Two of Will Wright’s story, Pickle’s Christmas Wonder as it appears in the Bethlehem Writers Group award-winning anthology, A Christmas Sampler. link
Nothing against Will, but it was so sweet it made my teeth hurt.
If you think Christmas is a time of soft twinkling lights, teddy-bears, kittens, and little puppies that never piddle on your just-washed laundry, then Pickle’s Christmas Wonder is a story for you.
For the rest of us – the kind that celebrates the holidays by twining a bit of mistletoe around our middle fingers when we salute people who steal the last parking space at the mall – in other words, the kind of good people who read this blog, a different kind of story is in order.
Elfie the Elf
by Headley Hauser
Generally, elves would rather have a reputation than be relegated to the obscurity of anonymous elfhood. Elfie however, did not appreciate the reputation he, through his family, had earned.
Elfie was the son and grandson of older Elfies. His mother was named Elfine. Even his little brother was named Elfie.
Elfie and his family were known as the elves without imagination.
Elfie toiled in Santa’s workshop making hobby horses and toy boats.
It didn’t matter that very few children wanted hobby horses or toy boats any more. Most of the other elves were making tablets, smart phones, and gaming systems. But in spite of his best intentions, whenever Elfie picked up his hammer to make a toy, it ended up as a hobby horse or a toy boat.
“I think we have all we need of those,” said Grufflebunt, the elvin line boss. “Try something a little different.”
“Like what?” asked Elfie.
“I won’t ask too much of you, knowing your family reputation. How about a Jack-in-the-box?”
“Oh,” said Elfie, looking uncertain.
“Surely you can make a Jack-in-the-box!”
“Um,” said Elfie.
Grufflebunt gruffled at Elfie - a skill which qualified him for management. “Just don’t make another hobby horse! We have too many hobby horses.”
“Right,” said Elfie. He made a toy boat.
Later at dinner, when he, his mother, Elfine, his father Elfie, and his little brother, Elfie were eating meatballs and mash potatoes as they had for every dinner Elfie could remember, Elfie surprised his family by saying something other than, “pass the salt, please.”
“We’re elves,” said Elfie.
Elfie the father, and Elfine the mother looked surprised and concerned by Elfie’s statement. Elfie the little brother didn’t pay attention to anything other than his meatballs and mashed potatoes.
“I believe you’re right,” said Elfie the father after a particularly awkward pause.
“Elves should be creative, “said Elfie. “Elves should have imagination. I want to be a creative elf with imagination.”
“Hum,” said Elfie the father.
That was the end of the discussion for the rest of dinner as Elfie and his family finished consuming their meatballs and mash potatoes.
It was hours later when Elfine looked up from her crossword puzzle. Her crossword puzzle consisted of two words. One across was a four letter word for “precipitation common in the North Pole.” One down was a five letter word for “famous resident of the North Pole.” She’d been working on it for some time.
“Elfie,” said Elfine the mother.
“Yes,” said Elfie the father. “Yes,” said Elfie the older son. “Yes,” said Elfie the younger son.
Not sure what to say, Elfine pointed at Elfie the older son (who as you may recall is the title character of this story.) “I think you’re right, Elfie,” said Elfine the mother. “I think you should be creative and have… that other thing you think you should have. I believe in you, Son. I know if you put your mind to it, you can… do that.”
“Thanks, Mom,” said Elfie, and encouraged by his mother’s faith in him, Elfie determined to be creative and to have imagination. He determined to spend every free moment to generate creativity and imagination. He was sure he could do it if he tried!
That was fifteen years ago. So far – just a lot of toy boats and hobby horses.
What? You expected an imaginative solution to Elfie’s problem? If I had a useful imagination, I’d be raking it in writing self elf books. Here's one of those annoying elf on shelf vids. Merry Merry.