Etwas the Elf

Etwas the Elf
Our heroine, photo by Maia Ycot

Monday, November 21, 2011

The little elf and the great achievement

Once upon a time, Etwas the Elf was running through the forests of grass, under the canopies of clover and around the stems of tall flowers when a strange creature loomed out from behind a tree.  It was a dark animal with hair on its shoulders and its back and its body but a naked face.  It's knuckles dragged on the ground and it had a big nose and big chin and it scratched itself all over with its big old feet, disturbing peaceful families of fleas from their harmony with each rough stroke.

"Howdy, Mr., ah, Mister."

The creature answered in a deep, rough voice.  "Howdy, Etwas!"

"Whatcha doing, Mr. Mister?"

"Watching you, right now.  And talking to you.  And thinking of singing you a song about prison, slavery, vagrancy and/or death."

"Hmm," the little Elf considered.  "Maybe we can do something else."

"I know a game," the creature offered.

"Yes, sure, let's play your game."

"OK, here's how you play..." the explanations of the rules went on for quite a ways and it seemed to be a sort of race but it ended at a certain time, 3PM so it wasn't at all clear how to win a race when it ends at a certain time.  But games don't always have to make sense and slave hymns didn't sound like that much fun so the two started.  The little elf and the big monster leaned forward.  The animal stuck three gnarled fingers in the air and counted down.  "Ready, set, go!"  Per the rules, both elf and animal flopped over and took a nap.

When the requisite sheep had been counted, they dragged themselves up and climbed the tree together, stripping bark as they went.  When they reached the top, they gathered the bark into ropes and fashioned the ropes into lariats which they threw over the pinnacle of a nearby rock to make a bridge which they walked down.  The creature lost his balance more than once but, happily, he had prehensile feet and made it to the rock upside down, where Etwas was waiting for him.

Then they gathered driftwood to make a ladder, tying the crossbars together with the risers using blackberry vines the elf cut with her little knife.  The monster got pricklers in his hands, and Etwas snacked on a few berries while the creature groaned and got out of his hands what he could.  Then they set the ladder against the side of a mountain and climbed.  When they reached the top of the ladder, the pair shrugged and started up the cliff face.  Finally, they reached the top.  There they made ink from the blackberries in the animal's hand and tip-toed into an eagle's nest to graffiti the eggs.  Etwas made an "E" and the animal made a sign too, although Etwas couldn't tell what letters, if any, were used.

They gathered feathers and sticks on the top of the mountain, and the wax from a bee's nest to build artificial wings which they strapped on their arms to fly back home.  Etwas flew high until the sun began to melt the wax that held the feathers on the wing, so she flapped towards a cloud which cooled the apparatus and then she circled.  The creature, of course, being big and heavy, plummeted straight to earth almost immediately and landed on his head.

When the race ended at 3pm, Etwas had dragged the enormous, unconscious creature back to the starting line and she had to admit, she felt like she'd accomplished a fair bit during the race.

And ever since then, Etwas looks carefully after her babysitters.


  1. Hopefully the unconscious creature was in fine fettle when he regained his senses.

  2. Yeah, happy thing he survived and didn't kill anyone else, either.