The thing every person should know about Gnomes is that above all else, if a gnome does not get enough sleep he gets extremely grumpy.
You might be thinking, “But all the gnomes I’ve seen decorating lawns and stuffed into flowerpots seem to be enjoying various activities. They look so happy digging in the dirt and pushing their wheelbarrows.” Or perhaps a gnome made you smile when you saw one brandishing a small lamp and waving as if to say, “Follow me.”
Well, I’m here to tell you . . . the last thing you should do is follow a gnome down a dark garden path. You’re likely to find yourself lost in the middle of a forest with the small fellow trying to convince you to let him nap in your lap.
As is often the case with gnomes, life is all about sleeping. Through a series of intriguing events and somewhat disturbing discoveries, I learned that if a gnome does not get the required twenty-two hours of sleep within a period of thirty-six hours, he will spontaneously petrify. The process of turning into stone is quick and unexpected, and often you will hear the gnome giggle right before the petrification process is complete. Without appropriate intervention, it takes a gnome at least fifty years to thaw from this frozen state and regain his elasticity. It’s not uncommon to hear a de-petrified gnome say that it was quite pleasant to serve as a garden decoration or to travel the world with a human while in that blissful state of suspension.
Just think, if Granny Jenkins only knew that her beautiful yard was decorated with a host of petrified supernatural creatures, she might have a whole new appreciation for her little lawn buddies. I know my grandmother changed her tune when she found out. She even started polishing the mini-folks daily.
As for me, I began carrying a particularly special gnome with me everywhere I went. I even gave him his very own front row seat to see the world from the cup holder in my car. His perennial expression reminded me of a famous grouchy dwarf, so I figured it was only fitting that I name him Grumpy.
One of my favorite things to do when I got into my car was kiss my finger and place the kiss on his small bent black hat. Then I would say, “Hi there Grumpy. Are you ready for the latest news?” Back then, I wouldn’t wait for an answer. I would start right in telling him about my day as we drove along. And he was a great listener.
Imagine my surprise when one stifling hot day in the desert, Grumpy replied, “Good day to you too. Now turn on that blasted air freezer!”
I looked from side to side, searching for the origin of the voice, thinking I was imagining things, but the voice, fainter this time, came again. “Hello human. What’s the trouble? Can’t you hear an old gnome when he’s speaking to you? You’ve been blabbering on for some weeks now. Your lot can’t seem to help yourselves . . . incessantly rambling on about this or that, but I suppose it’s in your nature. No matter, I think it’s only fair that I get some say-so, so listen close. It’s overly hot in this metal box, and I sure would appreciate some coolin’ off. Seeing as I am presently unable to move, I’d rightly appreciate your clicking on that air freezer.” By the end of his sentence, the voice was like a small whisper in my ear. I pushed the button for the air conditioner and glanced at the small figurine I’d found a year prior.
After a few minutes I heard a sigh followed by, “That’s the toad’s croak. Thanks.”
Feeling quite discombobulated, I asked, “Who are you?”
This time the voice sounded as if it had originated in my head, as if I were answering myself, yet at the same time it felt foreign and invasive. It said one gruff word, “Grum.”
Feeling a bit of a fool even though no one was around, I spoke out loud, “Grum is the name of my garden statue?”
Grum’s words clearly formed in my head, “Who are you calling a garden statue? I went and accidentally got myself petrified ’bout just a year before you found me; blasted forty some odd years to go, and counting. Never mind that. I happen to be one of the most famous gnomes in Faeyelwen . . . and boy do I have a tale for you.”
Grum’s story is a stunning tale of adventure, mystery, and magic. It reveals that life is not always what it seems, and we need to be aware so as not to miss our chance to participate in the unfolding magic and wonder all around us.
So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to my friend and travel buddy, Om Grumwort Slinkvold. Grum for short. Sure, he’s a bit grumpy, but his heart’s in the right place.
We will follow his adventures in a place known as Faeyelwen. It is a realm beyond the veils and on the other side of imagination. Faeyelwen is a lush and beautiful land that houses the kingdoms of faeries, elves, trolls, sprites, elementals, dwarves, and creatures I’ve never heard of and for which there is currently no name in the English language. Last but not least, Faeyelwen is the home of gnomes, and Grum, the hero of our tales.
Tune in next Wednesday to read about Grum’s magical experiences in Faeyelwen.