Etwas the Elf

Etwas the Elf
Our heroine, photo by Maia Ycot

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The elf and the blackberry bush

Once upon a time, Etwas the Elf was running through the forests of tall grass, under the canopies of clover and around the stems of tall flowers when she found herself suddenly in a spiky maze of long vines covered in daggers.

The elf jumped up, grabbing one of the prickles and swinging to the next until her feet were dangling ten times her own height over another weapon-encrusted stem which was at least five times her height above barren ground.  She looked up to see where she was going and noticed a dark purple berry made of many shiny seeds growing from the bramble over her head.

With great enthusiasm, Etwas clambored from prickle to bramble until she reached the berry.  She pulled off one of the drupe's components and pulled the taut top seed to her mouth and took a bite.  Sweet juice filled her mouth and black juice painted her hands and her face and her clothes and even her pointy little shoes were colored like night by the time she'd eaten the whole berry.

Etwas looked down and laughed at her dyed body and then looked to heaven as she burped.  She shimmied further up the vine and found another big berry and ate the whole thing.  Then another.  Soon the day turned to night and Emma Lynn was full of sugar and invisible.

She could not see her hands or her feet or her swollen belly or the way home.  She missed a few prickles and wound up dangling more than once over black empty space, with a single handhold or her toes twisted around the vine.  By the time she reached solid ground once more she was lost but still full of sugar so she ran in circles until one brought her to familiar territory and she finally fell asleep under her very own mushroom.

In the morning she woke up and jumped up to start a new day of play when she noticed that half her shadow stayed in place where she had slept. Even now, there is a dark image of the little elf under mushroom where the blackberry juice soaked into the ground from her skin and clothes.

And that's how Etwas came to realize that sweetness leaves a stain.

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