Sunday, August 14, 2005

At home with some gnomes

A positive sign. Eomar and many of the other elves who have been “sick” were at church today.

I made a point of going over to Eomar at the end of the service.

“I’m glad to see you here,” I said. I hope you’re feeling better.”

He looked at me uncomfortably, then mumbled, “Yes, a bit.”

This afternoon Mrs. Claus and I went to visit the family of Coryto and Dalmadge. Coryto works in the greenhouses with a number of the other gnomes.

He and Dalmadge have eight children – not usual in gnome families. Their children are Dalmil, Gerpen, Gerwyn, Glimwocket, Hedmut, Jebbiddle, Punger, and Roonbell.

My goodness, they’re a lively bunch!

I was impressed with how they have changed the home assigned to them – adding beds and storage space to accommodate the whole family. They also have potted plants everywhere!

“Ho!” I said when we entered their home,”It’s like a garden in here.”

“We just brought a few plants from our old garden back in Norway,” Coryto explained. “My wife has a green thumb.”

“From the looks of it, very green,” Mrs. Claus said. “How delightful.”

At that, Dalmadge just had to give us a tour. Room after room of plants. Some of the flowers were blooming, in fact, filling the house with all sorts of wonderful smells.

The children scampered between the plants, sometimes hiding behind larger ones and popping out to surprise us. I laughed many times.

“This is the first gnome home I’ve been in since your people have arrived here,” I said as we returned to the living room. “Are all the homes like this?”

“Some are,” Coryto said.

“Many of our people brought plants,” Dalmadge added.

“Some have even more plants,” Coryto finished.

Gnomes do everything together – even talking.

We had a delicious meal – all vegetables and fruit, in typical gnome style. (Though they are not strictly vegetarians, gnomes tend to prefer plants to meat.)

As we enjoyed a cherry pie for dessert, young Gerpen asked, “When will there be a forest?”

Both Coryto and Dalmadge said at the same moment, “Gerpen!”

I laughed.

“I think that’s a good question,” I said. “Now, there is a study that will be done. We have to find out if it is even possible here at the North Pole. Why we’d have to bring up so much dirt, and we’d have to build a big enough greenhouse, and we’d have to keep it warm. We’d also have to find out if we will be able to keep it hidden so that planes or satellites won’t see it – even though most governments keep our secret.

“We’ll have an answer by next February if it’s possible,” I continued. “If it will work out, then it will probably take a year or so to build it, and many years for the trees to grow big and tall.”

Gerpen, Dalmil, Gerwyn, and Glimwocket all squeaked, “Years!”

Forests take a long time to grow,” Coryto said.

“Why I when I was a little gnome about your ages,” Dalmadge said. “I planted an apple tree.”

“It was just big enough for us to have our head table under at our wedding,” Coryto.

“Though Uncle Wimmut did bump his head on a branch,” Dalmadge said.

“He’s one of the tallest gnomes in Norway,” Coryto added, looking at me,
“He’s a giant,” Glimwocket said.

I think I would like to see a “giant” gnome, I thought. He might reach my belt buckle!

The visit ended with a traditional gnome ceremony of holding hands in a circle and singing a parting song. The children have already begun to learn harmonies.

It was beautiful. I’m glad that we have gnomes back at the North Pole.


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