Garden Gnome

A gnome lived in the corner of Margie’s garden but Margie didn’t realize that. Margie was a very practical down-to-earth no nonsense kind of woman and she would never imagine creatures from another realm even in her dreams. Her five year old daughter Samantha tried to tell her mother about the gnome whose name was Horace. Samantha loved Horace and she spent many happy hours out in the garden with him. But when she tried to talk to her mother about him all her mother said was, “You have such a wonderful imagination. Now I need to get these weeds pulled so go and play.”

Samantha thought it was very sad that her mother couldn’t see Horace. “Why can’t she see you, Horace? Do you have some kind of magic so only I can see you?”

Horace answered, “No, anyone could see me, but the fact is that very few adults do. Something happens to humans once they get into school and start getting educated so they can get good jobs and live in the real world.”

Samantha said, “Well, that is not going to happen to me! I love you Horace! We will always be friends.”

Horace smiled and nodded but in his heart he worried. But as the days went on, Samantha continued to play with Horace, and they were both happy. Samantha said, “I’m not talking about you to Mommy anymore. She just doesn’t believe in you and I don’t want to worry her.”

Horace said, “That is probably a good idea!”

Years went by. Samantha went off to school, but every day she would come into the garden to tell Horace all about everything. Horace found out that there was a bully in Samantha’s class in second grade. Horace learned about field trips and Girl Scout troops. Samantha told him about her struggles with math and even brought her homework out into the garden thinking Horace could help. He was pretty good with arithmetic, but when Samantha got to high school and ran into something called Algebra, Horace was at a loss.

Samantha shared all her secrets with Horace and the two were very happy in their own private world. Samantha didn’t tell even her closest friends about Horace because she knew instinctively that they would laugh and the magic would be broken. Eventually, Samantha graduated from high school and prepared to head off to college. She wanted to study creative writing because she was a poet. Horace loved nothing better than to have Samantha sit beside him on the garden bench and read her poems to him. But now he was worried again. The magic had lasted much longer than Horace ever thought possible, but would she still be able to see him after college? Horace worried.

But thankfully Horace worried needlessly. Samantha was a poet and for poets, creatures like Horace are every day occurrences. Samantha came back from the larger world to report on other gnomes and even faeries that she had met, and then Horace stopped worrying and just enjoyed his friend for life.

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