Sunday, August 07, 2005

How to make a dwarf happy

Sunday. A day for prayer and rest.

And guests.

Today we invited Gimlitin, the dwarf, his lovely wife, Tirba, and their four children -
Hihi, Ieru, Rrovt, and Tideh – for lunch.

The first thing I learned is that their family name is Deepspirit.

The second thing I learned is that Gimlitin had been planning tunnels. He brought with him so many maps he could barely get through the door! And he kept dropping maps, constantly having to stoop over to pick them up, then dropping more as he stooped.

“Santa,” he said when he, all the maps, and his family were all through the door, “I have some ideas.”

“I’m sure you do,” I said. "But today is a day to relax and enjoy each other’s company."

He looked a bit flustered at this, but followed me into the living room.

Hihi, Ieru and Rrovt, were already playing keep-away with Shulun and his pull rope. Shulun’s tail was wagging happily.

“Children,” Tirba began, with the sound of chastising in her voice.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “Shulun is enjoying it.”

Amid the sound of playful growls from Shulun, and the laughter of dwarf children, we enjoyed tankards of mead – the honey wine that dwarves (and I) enjoy.

Mrs. Claus sat with us, the meal well underway in the kitchen.

“Where are you coming from?” she asked.

“We now live beneath Pic de Vignemale in the French Pyrenees,” Gimlitin said. “But for many years we lived in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland.”

“Both beautiful areas,” I said.

“We are glad that you have come to stay with us,” Mrs. Claus said, “But after living in such mountains, it must be strange moving to the North Pole.”

“My people have been talking about the need for dwarves to return to the North Pole,” Gimlitin said. “There has been too long a history of dwarves working with the great Santa Claus for at some of us not to be here. Tradition must be served.”

I nodded.

“Besides,” Tirba said,” my great-great grandfather and grandmother lived here. Perhaps you remember Laggi and Larni Bladesmith?”

“Laggi Bladesmith!” I exclaimed. “I most certainly remember him. He could thrown an ax as far as many elves could fire an arrow – and often with greater accuracy.”

She smiled with pleasure. Gimlitin nodded.

“There are many songs about Laggi,” he said.

“I don’t doubt it,” I said. “So you are Laggi’s descendant. You come from a great family.”

I then looked at Gimlitin. “To have married one from such a family, your family must have many things to sing about in its own past.”

He nodded with satisfaction at my compliment.

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch, telling stories of the past. I made sure I brought up as many stories involving dwarves as I could.

As we enjoyed dessert – a lovely cheesecake – Gimlitin said, “I will honor your desire not to talk about business today. Perhaps we could meet tomorrow. I have many questions about the tunnels that are already beneath the North Pole.”

“I am helping with some work at the fireworks factory first thing in the morning, then I have to catch up on some mail,” I said. "But right after lunch would be fine. In fact, let’s meet in the basement of the great hall. There’s a secret entrance into the tunnels there.”

“We…we can go into the tunnels?” he said, his eyes glowing.

“Ho! Ho!” I laughed. “After seeing the look in your eyes, how can we not?”

If he hadn’t been a dwarf, I think he would have hugged me right then. As it was, he shook my hand so fiercely when they left that it tingled for 10 minutes!

“I think you and Shulun have made friends,” Mrs. Claus said.

I looked at Shulun. He was sound asleep inform of the fire, exhausted after having played at length with Hihi, Ieru and Rrovt.

I shook my tingling hand.

“I just hope Gimlitin doesn’t have the same effect on me!”


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