Monday, July 21, 2008

The Ugliest Elf

Once upon a time there was an elf who lived all by himself in an enchanted forest. He was an ugly little fellow whose mother abandoned him as soon as he was old enough to crack walnuts with his own teeth.

She didn't even leave him a name.

He was so ugly that not even the squirrels would speak to him. Chipmunks chittered away in fear when he smiled at them. Even the birds flew off with loud chirps to warn other creatures of the presence in the forest of a little monster.

His only friend was an enormous tortoise who was already 150 years old and who didn't have a name, either. The tortoise, who had very bad eyesight, didn't know the elf was ugly. He would frequently squint at the elf and chuckle, and say, "My eyesight's so bad that you look ugly as a wart!"

"I AM ugly as a wart," the elf would say.

But the tortoise would merely rumble his deep chuckle and refuse to believe it. He thought the elf was only being modest.

And so the elf, unloved except by a 150-year-old tortoise with bad eyesight, grew up almost alone.

And then, on his twenty-first birthday, he woke up feeling as if something had changed. . .


24 comments:

Nancy P said...

Over to you, if you'd care to play. . .

Nancy P said...

(Photo by Andif!)

FARfetched said...

I figured that had to be one of Andi's pix… it just goes on & on & on.

And I'm too drunk to add to the story. Maybe if I recover tomorrow. I can barely type at the moment. Chicken houses suXXorz.

Family Man said...

Hiya Nancy!

Don't know what I could add. Everything I think of seems to have been used before. :)

Hope everyone is doing fine.

Nancy P said...

tiptoeing around far this morning! (Ooops, was that exclamation point too loud?)

Family Man! You must have heard our whispers of, "Where is he?" :)
Thanks for coming by to say howdy!

Nobody has to apologize for not playing. . .it's just for anyone who feels the impulse. ; D

Hot, humid, beautiful here. How's there?

Beth said...

Hi everyone. Especially fam! Good to see you - we were wondering if you were okay.

59 and threatening thunderstorms here, which prolly won't happen. We don't get rain in N Idaho from July-November, sigh. High of 81, though, and we don't have humidity here, so I'm not complaining!

No imagination today, sorry. Too early, and I have to go pack. I'll be anxious to see what others have to add, tho.

Hope you don't have a hangover, farf.

Waving as I plod toward Box Hell. I can't BELIEVE no one wants to help me pack!!

FARfetched said...

I drank enough water to avoid the dreaded mid-week hangover, thank God. With any luck, I won't get roped into another chicken house emergency tonight & feel the need to repeat the process. This crap is supposed to happen in August.

Pretty busy at work today, but I'll come by with lunch if I get a chance. I'm thinking chicken & rice.

AndiF said...

Hey, I feel just like Nancy since I'm working at the local library -- only in my case it's because we had huge storms last night and I have no power, no phones (cell or land) but worst of all -- NO COFFEE!

As for the elves and what happens to them, I think this says it all: [LINK]

Nancy P said...

Andielf, lol!! I was eagerly awaiting the punch line and it didn't disappoint.

Aw, Beth, you KNOW we're all there in spirit. Gosh, we'lre all so sorry we can't actually be there to help. :p

chicken and rice, yum. Me, too, far.

Maryb said...

Good morning all. I love the story N, but don't look to me for an ending. I look forward to what everyone else comes up with.

Hi FM. Long time no see.

Andi, we had huge storms too but I didn't lose power. That would have been a perfect ending to yesterday though. Yesterday started with me driving to work and finding one of the streets I usually go across blocked in front of me by a female police officer and a man. Then I noticed the man had a high powered rifle and I realized he was a sharpshooter. I had come upon a big "incident" involving a car explosion, house fire, and shooting. A fireman and 2 police were shot. The fireman died.

The day didn't get any better. But it couldn't have gotten much worse.

Here's hoping today is a good one for everyone.

Kimberly Frost said...

LOL, regarding the poem Andi contributed and love the green photo.

Morning, Nancy, Far, Fam, Beth, & Andi.

My website and MySpace pages launched yesterday. I'm a little overwhelmed, but it's very cool.

I linked to this site. (Under the FAQ for aspiring writers part.)

Hugs to all. :)

Nancy P said...

Margaret Maron sent me this by email, because she had trouble getting it posted here:

And then, on his twenty-first birthday, he woke up feeling as if something had changed. . . His toes tingled, his fingers seemed rubbery and splayed, and his rump itched so much that he had to jump into the nearest mossy pool until the cool dark water soothed the jangled sensations enough to let him set about his morning routine. First he cracked some walnuts for his breakfast, composted the shells, then sprinkled the crumbs on the surface of the pool as a treat for the lilaliani, little golden fish with silver streamers for fins and tails. The lilaliani were very beautiful , very polite, and even more nearsighted than his tortoise friend. Unfortunately they were also very stupid and lacked any conversation beyond “Thank you, kind elf” and “More crumbs, please.” But their beauty was almost enough. When their swirling fins and tails had disappeared into the depths, he began to gather watercress for the tortoise, who would be wanting his breakfast by now. As the sun rose higher and shot bright sparkles across the water, he gradually became aware of a high, sad sighing on the breeze. Somewhere, someone with a flutelike voice sang a song of aching sorrow and loneliness. His arms full of watercress, his rump itching, his toes and fingers all a-tingle, he hurried down the path toward the tortoise’s and then stopped abruptly. All around him the air was full of that sad silvery music, but there on the path lay....

Nancy P said...

I looove that, Margaret.

Maryb, yikes!! That's a story all by itself.

Kimberly, give us links, links! :) And thank you for the link to here!

Kelly McCullough said...

Hi! (Waves) Writing today. Bye. (waves again...pauses...turns back and snatches a scone and a mug of tea) Busybacksoon.

Kelly McCullough said...

There on the path lay a small rectangle of thick creamy paper. Curious, the elf picked it up, read it and began to weep. It was an appointment card...for lasic...for the tortoise...for tomorrow. Soon his best friend would know just how ugly he really was, and then what would happen. He couldn't allow it. He had to find some way to stop the tortoise without losing his friendship. Hurrying back to his little cottage under the roots of the old willow he started to dig through his meager possessions. He had to have a plan, but what could it be...

Nancy P said...

lasic, Kelly!! Lol. I so hope somebody takes it from there.

Lisa Miller said...

The elf set a wormwood box gently on the grass beneath the willow. From his pocket he pulled a golden key and unlocked the box. Careful to hold his breath, he waved away a greenish gas that escaped as he lifted the lid. Then he drew out a stained parchment and studied the map that would take him to the Rivers. Legend says an old hag that grants wishes lives there.


The elf begged his tortoise friend to go with him on this journey. They would discover the magic of the red light. It was dark before they heard the rushing waters of the Rivers. They could see a campfire on the bank. The flickering light revealed a carpet of red clover.

“Come hither weary travelers. Let me look at thee,” said the hag.

The elf and the tortoise walked into the light. The elf could tell by her fine high heels that she had once been a woman of importance. She held a metal scepter in one hand. When she turned her head both the elf and the tortoise froze in horror at her frightful face. Even the nearsighted tortoise could see she’d been tortured and maimed by some horrible monster.

“Don’t be afraid,” the hag said. “I mean you no harm. It is the ser you need to fear. It came from France this monster La ser, claiming to give eternal beauty.”

“That…that wouldn’t be a relative of La sic,” stuttered the tortoise.

The hag leaped up and jammed her scepter in elf’s face. “You tell La Sic he better not show up here. Joan has cursed all those cutting lights.”

Tortoise vowed to avoid such lights and he and elf made a hasty retreat as the hag started coming on to the elf. But in their hurry to escape they turned the wrong way and plunged over a cliff, tumbling towards the roaring waters…

boran2 said...

Wait, there's no car chase in this story. There's got to be a car chase! And a sea monster.

Nancy P said...

Oooo, wonderful Lisa. And so the story grows and goes. . .

Nancy P said...

Boran2, and velociraptors!

Kelly McCullough said...

"I'm going to bite a chunk out that old lizard from the motor pool," said Sam, as he pressed the gas pedal to the floor. "What kind of idiot buys a submarine car and makes it a convertible? I'm a velociraptor. I hate getting wet! He should know that. He should also know that an open top sub is practically a lunch invitation for the plesiosaurs."

Sam looked nervously over his shoulder and once again checked to make sure the pedal really was all the way down. The damn car didn't move much faster than a walk in the water. If only he could find someplace where the cliffs didn't prevent him from getting back onto land! He never should've joined the special dino services.

Just then a tortoise and something...really ugly fell into the water ahead.

Sam's first thought was, "Good! Maybe they'll distract that damn sea monster."

His second was, "What _is_ that thing?"

His third was "Wait, isn't that the lost–"

He never finished the thought, because just then the head of plesiosaur came down on the back of the car like a sledgehammer, and he had to fight to keep from getting flipped. But even as he did so he swung the car toward the fallen pair. If that really was who he thought it was...

Maryb said...

kelly, that is hilarious.

Thanks to everyone who is participating because it's quite entertaining.

Rick Bylina said...

He woke up on his 21st birthday and realized it didn't matter what others thought about him, it only mattered what he did. So the elf continued to do all the right things and good deeds and at his funeral, a 212-year-old tortoise spoke at the elf's jammed-packed funeral, "My eyesight has always been 20-20, perfect, just as was the heart of the elf that wasn't loved by all until he loved himself.

The tortoise at a cactus leaf and walked off into the sunset with James Garner.

Nancy P said...

Awwww. And lol. The End.