Friday, November 28, 2008

Stolen Shoes

Life in Kickapoo Center at the Turn of the Century

Meeting of Most Exalted Supreme Gnomes

From left to rightDelmar Denton(lower left) Newton Ulm, Wayne Snut (pronounced snoot)-Most Exalted Supreme Gnome & Elfred T. Nome

Friday morning. Twenty degrees. Pucci comes in three times, once through his newest entry point-the kitchen window which has no screen. While he's eating raw turkey gizzard, the Council of Gnomes is meeting in the addition to the Kickapoo Center Schoolhouse.

After a roll call and approval of the minutes of the last meeting of the High Command of Gnomes, crow marshals-at-arms shush the crowd. The gnomes are upset. They have no shoes. Someone snuck into the gnome tree house near the berm on the east fence line here in Kickapoo Center and stole shoes. Annfred Manly is the first to discover the theft. She's the wife to Manfred Anley, assistant manager of Gnomesworks Inc., a security firm known world wide for it's expertise in guarding valuable possessions. This could prove to be embarrassing to Manfred. Annfred is slipping out of her slippers and looking for her shoes. Where are those sheepskin lined cozies? Looking under the couch, behind the refrigerator and under the bed, she couldn't spot her shoes. She goes to Manfred. "Have you seen my shoes?" she asks. " I think someone is sporting with us,"she replies with an irksome tone. Manfred replies,"No! Have you seen mine?" A quick check with Thelma, Wilma and Uma, their daughters, reveal their shoes are also missing.

This is indeed strange. Stolen snuggly shoes. Gnome shoes are finely crafted of the finest sheepskin and wool. They are sturdy, strong and waterproof. Made in Italy by the firm that manufactures name brand apparel, Gnucci, gnome foot gear are famous in all Europe and America. There is a three month waiting list for a new pair. This is surprising since gnomes all wear the same shoe- size 6, narrow width. A quick call to the Most Supreme Exalted High Commander, Wayne Snut(pronounced snoot) brings about a crowded meeting in the mess hall of the gnomeworks.

Delmar Denton wants to organize a posse. Delmar watches too many cowboy shows on GNTV (gnome TV ). "That's what they do in the John Gnwayne movies," he says. Elfred calls for order. "See hear citizens," he snorts in a loud voice. "There's gno reason to go off half cocked." Newton Ulm agrees. " I say we launch a formal investigation." Wayne Snut(pronounced snoot)-the Most Exalted High Supreme Commander bangs his fist on the table. Frightened by the gesture, the crows flap their wings and fly up to perches high in the mess hall. In the back of the room a tiny voice calls out.

"Yoo-hoo, yoo-hoo." the voice tinkles like ice in a glass. It's Esther Biden. She lives in the marsh grass barely below the berm. She's not a gnome nor is she an elf. She's one of the little people who are seldom seen except on those cold winter nights when a wisp of smoke, a dash of snow and a flash of light glances off her frosty frock as she gathers firewood for the fancy Foosmelsmeg (pronounced Foolsmelsmeg )gnome wood stoves. "I think I know who snuck off with your shoes," she says in a high tweety twang.

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