Etwas the Elf

Etwas the Elf
Our heroine, photo by Maia Ycot

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The elf and the beetle

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 she saw a beetle starting a hole in the dirt as the sun was just rising.

"Howdy, Ms. Beetle!" Etwas greeted the carapacious cavernator.

"Hi, Etwas, can you help me dig my hole?"

The elf took out her little knife and started digging with the beetle.  As the hole got deeper, they took turns- one would dig down and the other would keep the walls smooth, strong and circular.  Down and down they dug.  Before long they were down over their heads and the roles changed with one digging out the bottom and tending the sides, and the other carrying the tailings out and dumping them on the ground nearby.

Eventually, the hole was so deep that the one digging was constantly in darkness and still they dug.  Before long, even the one strewing the dirt outside the hole was in darkness.

"OK," the beetle said finally.  "That's perfect."

"Is this a nest for your babies?" asked Etwas.

"No, no."

"Are you going to store food in here?"

"Nah," answered the dirty beetle.

"Are you going to live in here?  Or hide from predators in here?"


"Then why did you want to dig this hole?"

"I just wondered what was at the other end."

And ever since then, Etwas is careful to ask questions before she starts digging around.


  1. How did the beetle know that they were ready?

  2. Because that's where the hole ended.