Etwas the Elf

Etwas the Elf
Our heroine, photo by Maia Ycot

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The elf and the old, grey, jaded goose*

Once upon a time, Lord lord lord, Etwas the elf was a-running, a-lord lord lord, through the forests of grass, under the canopies of clover and around the stems of tall flowers when she came upon a grey goose at the edge of the Blue Lagoon, just standing and staring.

"Howdy, Mr. Goose!" quacked Etwas.

"Hmm," honked the goose.

"Why don't you jump in?" the little Elf asked.  "Don't you love ponds?"

"Listen heah, Elf.  Ah was mindin' my own affai's, oh, 'bout'n twenny-foah weeks back, when a man o' de cloth up'n pulls his huntmassa an filled me fulla lead.  Ag was six weeks a-fallin an' six weeks a windin' an' plucked by his missus and parboilt.  Ah was six weeks a parboilin' an dey pokes me widda foak, and dey slashes me widda knife an dey th'oes me in de hog pen an they run me t'rough de sawmill an when I finally get away widdit, danged if hea' don't come dis long string o' goslins all quackin' about how'n I's dey daddy.

"So af'n alladat, an' Ah gots de goslins squahed away, Ah comes ovah heah to de blue lagoon fo' some res' an' relaxation an' mebbe some fishin' and dang me but I jes' don' even fills lak swimmin' o' fishin o' doin' mucha a arythang!"

"Do you feel like playing?" the little Elf asked.

"Miss, jus' about de las' thang ah feels lahk wu'd be playin'"

"You sure, Mr. Goose?" Etwas asked and then she plucked one of the tiny quills growing back on the goose's tail and tore off through the underbrush.  Well, the old goose took up his temper and dashed after the elf with an outraged honk.

"Lil' E'f!" the goose warned, "Ah kin still eat a fish, an' Ah can still bite a mongoose and see if I doesn't bite you an eat you too!"

"Have to catch me first!" the Elf shrieked and ran around a stand of lupine, green amid the purple but too quick for the tired old goose who hopped and fluttered and darted after her.  Etwas dove into a rabbit's hole and the goose stuck his wide beak in to get her but his beak got stuck in the mud and the goose tried to dig his beak back out of the refreshing mud of the Blue Lagoon.  He scrambled and bucked and jumped but all he did was get his feathers muddier and muddier.  So he scratched and sprinted backwards and sprayed his underside with hot salt.

Etwas ran through the warren, making lunges with the tiny feather.  "En garde!" she yelled.  "Jeté!"  Finally she reached a tunnel that lead to the surface and as she ran out, there was the old goose no longer grey, but white.  He was covered in the mud of the lagoon and he was staring at her crossly.

"Jeté!" the little elf shouted and rushed the goose with his own tailfeather.  He stuck his beak out and grabbed the little Elf and tossed her in the air.  She landed with a "plunk" on his muddy head and they both laughed until they both fell over on their backs.

"Say," pondered the goose, "Do ya reck'n that cloud up yondah looks like a preachah?"

And ever since then, if you ask Etwas the difference between persistence and play, she'll tell you "Dey ain't' none!"

*Today's post is sponsored by the earworm** I woke up with this morning.
**Where you see "zulu1" in the lyrics, the word is "shotgun" and where you see "daddy," Lead Belly usually sang "preacher."***
***I love footnotes.

Programming note: Tomorrow morning, I leave for Iceland.  I'm not sure yet if the Etwas stories while I'm with Emma Lynn will go up here or straight into Emma Lynn's ear or straight into Emma Lynn's ear and then here or sometimes one way and sometimes the other, all of which is to say posting might be intermittent or absent until Dec. 1.