Etwas the Elf

Etwas the Elf
Our heroine, photo by Maia Ycot

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Elf and the Hermit Drone

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 decided to go for a ride on her butterfly, Rascal. Home to her mushroom, she ran and saddled up her little partner.

Off they flew, fluttering among the rocks and mosses south of Hverager├░i and in between the rare pines that people had brought from sultrier climes, like Scandinavia.  The pair were exploring the branches and needles of one such when they heard a buzz.

Flying closer to the sound they found a little bee flitting up and down the side of the tree.  ´Howdy, Mr. Bee!  Whatcha doing?´

"Auncle Bee," the bee corrected.

"Auncle Bea," Etwas repeated.  Rascal didn't speak.  Butterflies don't speak.

"I'm bringing pollen from the pines to my hive."

"Oh," said Etwas.  "The queen will appreciate your industry.  Where are the other bees?"

"I live alone.  No queen, no other drones, no workers, just me.  Would you like to see my hive?"

"You bet!" Etwas gratefully accepted.  She unsaddled butterfly just outside a tiny hole in the pine.  She and Auncle Bea clambered into the hole and the Elf gathered a gob of wax, a hair from her own tiny head and made a candle which she lit by rubbing two yellow pollen grains against each other.  

"Oooooooh," she exhaled.  In the glow of the candle the hive seemed to go on forever.  Triangular tunnels stretched and curved out of sight.  The tunnels drew the light far away and reflected it so that Etwas saw geometrical constellations brightening distance wax.  "It's beautiful!  All of this is for you?"

Auncle Bea buzzed low.  "Soon after I was born, I tried to have a snowball fight with my siblings.  The queen was angry and sent me away.  Since then I have lived a solitary bee's life."

"Aw, that's sad.  Why work so hard when you already have all you'll ever need and a beautiful home to boot?"

"I was born to bring pollen home.  I don't need to serve a queen.  I just do what I was born to."

Outside the tiny hole in the branch, Rascal fluttered nervously.  Soon, a sound like thunder rumbling through dry leaves swelled outside.  Auncle bee and Etwas peeked out and saw thousands of bees racing around the tree in a panic.  "Fire!" one screamed and 100,000 echoes simultaneously.  The Elf and her companion looked out past the pine needles and saw smoke from a stand of trees far away.

"Hurry! Auncle Bea shouted to her cousins.  "It's safe in here and there's food for all!"  

"Hurry!" Echoed Etwas in a more dulcet voice.

The panicked cloud turned towards the first offer of salvation.  Two by two, they climbed into Auncle Bea's hive.  Once the workers had explored and assured themselves there were no hungry birds inside, the Queen arrived and pronounced the hive "Adequate."  In reward for saving the hive, the Queen offered Auncle Bea the title "Second Regency" and the ranking of "Most Satisfactory."  Auncle Bea began to weep amid the hurrahs for the Queen and Etwas shyly removed herself and rode home with her best pal, Rascal.

And ever since then, among bees and elves, it has been a common platitude "If you are good alone, you can be good with others."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Etwas and the Steed

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 floors when she ran smack into a shiny black hoof.

"Well, hello, little Elf," said Brisket the horse.

"Howdy, Brisket! What do you say good?"

"All is fine.  Where's Rascal today?"

"Rascal got worn out from our adventures yesterday.  He's back at the mushroom resting."

"Haw! Haw! Haw!" laughed the curly-haired black pony.  "But you're just a tiny thing.  Even a butterfly should be able to carry you.  Hop on up here."

So Etwas hopped onto Brisket's metal shoe and shimmied up the hoof and climbed the hair on his leg until she reached his weathers.  She hoisted one hair and slapped him with it on both sides of the shoulder.  "Hyah!" she cried.

Brisket laughed and ran and ran and laughed.  He reached the river at Selfoss and Etwas whipped him again and on he ran with a wry expression in his eyes.  He ran a circle around Keri├░ crater and Etwas whipped him again with that solitary quirt of Brisket's own hair.  He galloped on with grit until he dove into the geyser pool at Strokkur.

The geyser blew Etwas thirty feet in the air and she floated down in a water droplet until she landed beside the panting horse whose own expression was painted in sweet relief.

And ever since then it has been common knowledge among Icelandic horses that the smallest things are the most exhausting.

The Elf, the lazy Duck and the Golden Fish

Once upon a time, Etwas the Elf was running through the forest of tall grass, under the canopies of clover and around the stems of tall flowers when she came to the edge of a little pond. To us it was a little pond, but Etwas named it the Great Ducky Sea because there, near the close shore, a duck was floating on the surface.

"Howdy, Mr. Duck!" Etwas called.

The duck slowly looked around but did not speak.

Etwas proclaimed it a "Good day for catching some fish!"

The duck slowly nodded its beak.

"Here," offered the little Elf in the green pants and shirt. "I'll help!."  She braided some grass into a fishing line and tied it on one end to a piece of dried straw she'd found.  One the other end she fashioned a little hook from a whale's tooth she'd found a few days earlier while idly digging a tunnel from her mushroom house to the next flower.  She baited the hook with a shiny grain of soil and cast into the Great Ducky Sea.

She watched eagerly and the duck watched placidly.  Before long the braids of grass moved and not long after that a golden fish broke the surface of the water and and flipped into the air before diving back down.

"I'd sure like to snag that fish," Etwas said to the duck, who nodded languidly.  She cast her line again and this time felt a tug.  She pulled on the dried straw in her hand and out popped the golden fish with the hook in its mouth.  It broke the water and flopped in the air landing on the duck's beak.  The duck was startled and looked up, flinging the golden fish even higher into the air.  Soon the fish was at a height where she tugged once again on the line and Etwas swung the piece of straw in circles.  The fish picked up speed as it circled the elf and finally let go of the hook so that it soared across the pond.

"Oh, thank you, Etwas," called the golden lady fish.  "All my life I've watched the ducks on the surface and wished to fly like them!"

And ever since then, the elves near the Great Ducky Sea have said that "A lazy fisherman makes golden dreams come true."