March 8, 2008

News from the "Elf Door..."Well, it has been quite awhile (see #'s 2/4, 1/19) since we've visited that innocuous hole in a crusty oak tree, the one behind the hinged wooden door known only in certain local circles as... "The Elf Door."
This day's visit brings us perhaps a symbolic hope for Spring in the alms of a tulip bottle opener, holding council over numerous hand-written notations accessorized with a snapped-in-half pencil. This perhaps even more symbolic to the frustrated writer looking for philosophical answers via missive to "The Elf."
The first note reads, in ever so slightly back-leaning hand printing, "Welcome from Willie and Wart in Oklahoma and Master Peaseblossum in Minneapolis. Polecats all."
Not being up on all the Oklahoman colloquialisms, I turned to Noah W. for a little assistance:
Main Entry: pole·cat
Pronunciation: \pōl-kat\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural polecats or polecat
Etymology:
Middle English polcat, probably from Middle French poul, pol cock + Middle English cat; probably from its preying on poultry — more at pullet
Date: 14th century
1: any of several carnivorous mammals (as of the genera Mustela or Vormela) of the weasel family; especially : a brown to black European mammal (M. putorius) from which the domesticated ferret is derived
Well there you are. Quite likely they were drawn to the hollow tree through their own instincts.
Our next message is of the "Ann Landers" variety. I'm sure any Elf has to handle a certain percentage of these and all have to master the prerequisite psychological training and communications instruction necessary for such touchy work. The note reads (after a brace of nicely hand-drawn hearts overlapping at the top), "I miss him." The penned response, "Tell him." Troll. Written in a succinct black-ink cursive. Simple. Powerful. This elf is no phony.
There was one other scrap lurking at the bottom of the sawdust inside the hole, still awaiting an answer. This note read, in what could have been the printing of unpolished youth, "How do you keep rodents out of there...?"
Perhaps we'll find out next time we go, "Behind The Elf Door..."

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