Finnische Mystik

Zum Sonntag möchte ich euch anstelle von Storm P. und passend zur Jahreszeit und der magisch-mystischen Atmosphäre ausnahmsweise einmal einen Comic vorstellen. Man kann ihn gratis online lesen oder als E-book oder gedrucktes Buch erwerben. Er ist allerdings nur auf English vorhanden. Die Autorin heisst Minna Sundberg, und sie hat die fantastische Geschichte „A redtail’s dream“ geschrieben und gezeichnet.

In diesem Comic bekommt man einen guten Einblick in finnische Mystik und finnischen Schamanismus in der Form eines wunderschönen Märchens. Ausserdem hat Minna sehr viel Humor mit eingebaut. Für mich ist dies einer der besten Comics schlichthin, also von denen, die ich kenne, sowohl von der Bildkunst als auch von der Erzählung her. Vielleicht macht er euch ja auch Spass.

http://www.minnasundberg.fi/comic/page00.php

ARedtailsDream

Wie wäre es mit einem Rauhhaardackel?

Nach meinem Wellensittich hatte ich erst wieder mit 39 ein Haustier, einen Kater. Aber ich kam immer mit Hunden in Berührung, zum Einen in dem Stall, wo wir zum Reiten gingen (dort gab es eine Schäferhund-Spitz-Mischung – wir liebten uns heiss und innig), zum Anderen durch eine Cousine meiner Mutter, die immer Hunde hatte. Zuerst war sie spezialisiert auf Scottsterrier, aber dann bekam sie einen Rauhhaardackel, und ihm ist diese kleine Geschichte gewidmet. Er hiess natürlich ”Lumpi”. Er war herrlich, aber ein bisschen schwerfällig. Er konnte z. B. nicht auf den Hinterpfoten stehen, da fiel er immer um. Einmal war seine kleine Schwester zu Besuch, die im Gegensatz zu ihm klein und wendig war und ohne Probleme ”Männchen” machen konnte. Alle waren natürlich hingerissen von dem kleinen Charmetroll und Lumpi verzog sich maulend unter einen Sessel … bis dann seine kleine Schwester kam und ihn am Ohr unter dem Sessel hervorzog. 😉

lebenserwartung-dackel-steigern_Blog (Das Bild stammt von einem Züchter in Deutschland, den ich leider nicht wiederfinden kann.)

Doch hier die Geschichte, eine Anleitung zum Spazierenführen von Dackeln (English version further down):

Das Spazierenführen von Dackeln ist eine Kunst, die Einfühlvermögen erfordert.

Im Gegensatz zu einem Pferd, dem man antrainiert, wie es sich reiten zu lassen hat, ist es völlig unmöglich, einen Dackel darüber zu belehren, wie er Gassi zu gehen hat. Im Gegenteil, der Dackel belehrt seinen Besitzer darüber, wie er ausgeführt zu werden wünscht.

Bei einem Dackel gibt es keine Kompromisse. Entweder muss man ihn an der Leine hinter sich her schleifen, wobei manche Dackel sogar versuchen, mit ihren Krallen die Vorwärtsbewegung zu stoppen oder man wird im Laufschritt durch die Landschaft gezerrt, sanft vorwurfsvoll seinen Namen rufend. Der Tonfall ist dabei wichtig, denn Dackel sind sehr sensibel.

Die eine Situation ist sehr abträglich für das Bauchfell des Dackels, die andere äusserst demütigend für den Menschen.

Den Dackel von der Leine zu lassen ist jedoch keine gangbare Alternative. Das Resultat ist ein enthusiastischer Dackel, der mit wehenden Ohren die Tauben aufscheucht und auf Nimmerwiedersehen hinter dem Horizont verschwindet.

Es bleibt einem Dackelbesitzer also nur die Möglichkeit, an den Tagen mit Gehverweigerung den Hund Gassi zu tragen und vorzugeben, dass der arme Hund sich müde gelaufen hat, und für die Langlauftage endlich in Form zu kommen und so zu tun, als ob er ein begeisterter Jogger wäre. Gesicht bewahrt; Problem gelöst; Dackel zufrieden.

English:

The walking of dachshunds is an art that requires intuition.

Contrary to a horse, which one trains how it has to let itself be ridden, it is completely impossible to teach a dachshund, how it is supposed to behave while being walked by its human. Quite the opposite: the dachshund teaches the owner, how it wishes to be walked.

There are no compromises with a dachshund. Either one has to drag it over the ground by means of a sturdy leash, and some individuals of that species even try to dig their claws into the ground to stop any progress; or one is being dragged at running pace through the landscape, while reproachfully but softly calling the dog’s name. The tone is important, because dachshunds are very sensitive.

The one does nothing to improve the belly fur of the dog, the other is quite humiliating for the owner.

It cannot be recommended to let a dachshund run without a leash though. The result would be an enthousiastic dog chasing pigeons, ears flaunting, disappearing behind the horizon.

The owner of a dachshund has only one possibility: On days of walkrefusal to carry  the dog for a walk and pretend that the poor dog has run so much that it is exhausted now; and for the jogging days to finally get into shape and to pretend to be an enthousiastic jogger. Face saved; problem solved; dog happy.

Musik, Musik, Musik 1 … Music, music, music 1

Oder ”manchmal bin ich schlichtweg genial” (in aller Bescheidenheit, natürlich)  😉

… or ”sometimes I am simply a genius” (in all humbleness, of course).

Mein Mann wollte ”die Band wieder zusammenbringen”, naja nicht ”wieder”, sondern überhaupt erst einmal eine Band sammeln. Er spielt Gitarre, akkustisch und elektrisch und Keyboard. Als erstes suchte er einen Bassgitarristen und einen Schlagzeuger. Er erklärte mir, dass man damit erst einmal anfangen könnte.

… My husband wanted „to bring the band back together“, well, not „back“, but form a band to start with. He plays guitar, acoustic, electric, and keyboard. First of all he needed to find a bass and a drummer. Those are the essentials, as he explained to me.

Es dauerte eine Weile, bis sich ein geeigneter Schlagzeuger einfand. Die Leute wohnten entweder zu weit weg oder wollten lieber extreme metal spielen anstatt Country und Rolling Stones. Die beiden trafen sich, um sich zu beschnuppern. Es schien ganz gut zu verlaufen, obwohl der Drummer ziemlich viel redete. Er war bereits 72 Jahre alt und randvoll mit Anekdoten. So ein richtiger Hygge-Däne … 😉   Ausserdem wurden wir diverse Male mit dem Einwurf beglückt, dass seine Frau 13 Jahre jünger war als er, und was das für Implikationen für einen Mann hätte … gäääähn.

… It took a while, until a suitable drummer was found. Either they lived too far away from us or they wanted to play extreme metal instead of country music and Rolling Stones. The two men met to „sniff at each other“ as we say in German, borrowing a term from the dog world.  😉 It looked like the chemistry was o.k., although the drummer was talking a lot. He was 72 years old and filled with anecdotes. A real jovial Dane … he also kept delighting us with remarks about his 13 years younger wife, and what implication that had for a man … yaaaaawn.

Dann meldete sich ein Bassgitarrist von ”umma Ecke”, und die drei wollten sich treffen. Schon bei diesem Treffen wollte Anekdotendrummer sich wieder von der noch nicht vorhandenen Band ausklinken, weil ihn eine bereits etablierte Band gebeten hatte, bei ihnen mitzuspielen. Dafür hatte natürlich jeder Verständnis, da er ja professioneller Musiker gewesen war und mit Leuten wie Dario Campeotto und Birthe Kjær gespielt hatte, wie er erzählte. Ausserdem war das bei ihm in der Nähe, zu uns musste er dagegen ca. 40 km fahren. Mein Mann meinte, dass er keine Gelegenheit gehabt hätte, den Bassgitarristen kennenzulernen wegen der vielen Anekdoten … und die beiden vereinbarten ein erneutes Treffen mit Instrumenten.

… Then a bass guitarist, who lived around the corner, showed interest, and the three oft them wanted to meet. Already at that meeting, anecdote drummer wanted to leave the not yet existing band, because an already established band had asked him to join them. Everybody could understand that, he had been a professional drummer, had played with Dario Campeotto and Birthe Kjær, as he had told us. Furthermore they were meeting near his place, whereas he was 40 km from us. My husband said that he did not have a chance to get to know the bass player because of all the anecdotes … so the two of them agreed to meet again, alone, with their instruments.

Bei diesem Treffen stellte sich heraus, dass Herr Bass anscheinend völlig unmusikalisch war. Er konnte nicht hören, wenn er falsch spielte … wie das? Er spielte nämlich auch mit anderen Leuten einmal in der Woche zum Tanz auf. Mein Mann erklärte, dass sich ein Bassgitarrist in einer grösseren Band ”verstecken” könnte.

Wenn das schon beim Folsom prison blues mit drei Akkorden nicht klappte, wie sollte das was werden?

Die beiden trennten sich also wieder und da war überhaupt keine Band.

… During that meeting it showed that Mr Bass obviously was completely tone deaf. He was not able to hear when he stroke a wrong note … how that? He was playing in a band with other people at a dance once a week. My husband explained that a bass could „hide“ in a larger band.

… If that did not work with the Folsom prison blues with three chords, how would that work at all?

… They separated again, and then there wasn’t any band.

 

Zwei Tage später, ihr werdet es nicht glauben, meldet sich der Anekdotendrummer wieder, dass es nicht ginge mit der anderen Band, die wären nicht daran gewöhnt mit einem professionellen Drummer zu spielen … Nun hatte mein Mann aber in der Zwischenzeit beschlossen, dass er keine Lust mehr auf Anekdoten hatte, da sie sich auch bereits wiederholt hatten. (Wir hatten so eine Ahnung, dass wir vielleicht wieder von ihm hören würden … 😉 )Und dann bekam ich eine Idee. Mir war nicht klar, ob sich das machen liess, aber ich machte ihm einen Vorschlag. Nämlich, ob da auf dem Keyboard nicht alle möglichen Begleitungen drauf wären, Bass, Schlagzeug, you name it, und wäre es nicht vielleicht möglich, dass ich die Akkorde spielte mit der richtigen Begleiteinstellung. Wenn es sich nur um Akkorde handelte, das müsste ich doch hinbekommen, schliesslich habe ich mal Akkordeon gespielt. Allerdings kann ich aus dem Grunde Tasten nur mit der rechten Hand spielen …

IMG_7795 Blog

… Believe it or not, two days later anecdote drummer called and told us that it didn’t work out with the other band. They were not used to playing with a professional drummer … However, in the meantime my husband had decided that he had no need for any more anecdotes, they even repeated themselves after only two meetings. (We had a hunch, that we might hear from him again.) And then I got an idea. I didn’t know, if it was feasable, but I told my husband what I had in mind. I mean on the keyboard are buttons with all kinds of accompaniments, bass, drums, you name it, and wouldn’t it be possible that I played the chords with the suitable accompaniment arrangement? If it was only a matter of chords, I should be able to do it, as I had learned to play the accordion. Although, for that reason, I can only play keys with the right hand …

Jedenfalls spielten wir den Folsom prison blues mit seinen drei Akkorden bereits am ersten Tag, und jetzt sind wir bei Leonard Cohens ”Halleluja”, weil das so schön langsam ist. Ich muss ja erst einmal richtig reinkommen in das Ganze. Das macht Spass! Aber so richtig singen kann keiner von uns beiden … 😉  😀 … ich finde das ist ein ziemliches Gejammer, aber da wäre schliesslich Frau Meermond … hoff, hoff …

… Be it as it may, we played the Folsom prison blues with its three chords already on day one, and now we are rehearsing Leonard Cohen’s „Halleluja“, because that is nice and slow. I still have to get used to the whole thing. It is really fun! But none of us is a singer … I find that it is more whining than singing, but there is Frau Meermond … hope, hope …

Nun quält mein Mann mich doch tatsächlich mit ÜBUNGEN zu Akkord-Abfolgen … naja, von nix kommt nix.

… My husband is torturing me with EXCERCISES for the chords … well, from nothing nothing comes.

Wenn ihr in näherer Zukunft einmal von dem ”ungemein begabten dänischen Rentner-Duo” hört, dann wisst ihr Bescheid! 😉

… If in the near future you hear about the „incredibly talented Danish pensionist duo“, you know whom they are talking about!  😉  😀

Fotos des Monats, November 2017/Photos of the month, November 2017

Dieses Mal gebe ich nicht einmal vor, nur ein Foto einzustellen. Da gibt es mehrere, die ich aus verschiedenen Gründen gut finde.

Hier mein roter Weihnachtskaktus, der jetzt auch schon fast ausgeblüht hat:

This time I won’t even pretend to just post one photo. There are several which I like for different reasons.

First my red Christmas cactus, which has almost finished its blossom now:

IMG_7500

Und „unsere“ Vögel haben das Futter endlich entdeckt. Hauptsächlich sind es Feldspatzen und ein Amselpärchen. Es kommen aber auch Kohlmeisen und eine einzelne Blaumeise. Die Meisen sind im Gegensatz zu den Spatzen noch sehr scheu.

„Our“ birds have finally discovered the food. The majority are wood sparrows and there is a pair of blackbirds. We do have great tits and one individual blue tit. However, the tits are, contrary to the sparrows, still extremely shy.

IMG_7554 Blog 2

Mein Lieblingsbild vom Regenwald:

My favourite photo from the „rainforest“:

IMG_7543

Und dann drei Fotos von Lundby bakker, die mich alle drei unterschiedlich ansprechen:

And last but not least three photos from the excursion to Lundby bakker, which appeal to me in different ways:

Bechermoos_2017-11-19

Das Bechermoos hat mich schon immer fasziniert, so wunderbar eingerichtet!

I always liked this kind of moss (Cladonia pyxidata), so cleverly equipped!

IMG_7653

Bei diesem und speziell auch dem folgenden Bild ist es die Stimmung und die ausgeprägte Herbstfärbung.

In this and especially the following photo, it is the atmosphere and the distinct autumn colours that I find attractive.

IMG_7661 (2) Blog

Und damit wünsche ich euch allen einen guten Dezemberanfang!

And with this I wish you all a good beginning of the month of December!

 

Dänischer Humor, wenn er am besten ist – Danish humour at its best

Unsere Trucker-Freunde haben uns die folgenden zwei Fotos mit Schildern geschickt, die das Strassenbauamt  an einer Autobahn aufgestellt hat.

Our trucker friends sent us the following two photos showing signposts that the highways department had put up at one of the motorways.

Schild 1)

RechtsHalten

Rechts fahren – Keep right

Und etwas weiter das nächste / and a bit further on the next one:

RechtsHalten2

Das ist das Gegenteil von links / That is the opposite of left

😉  😀

 

 

Kennt ihr das? – Have you ever experienced this?

(See English version further down …)

Kennt ihr das,
man wirft diverse Essenreste zusammen und in der Kombination ergibt das eine überaus leckere Mahlzeit?

Kennt ihr das,
man ist vor dem ersten Kaffee so, so, so …(ahem, Adjektiv eigener Wahl einfügen)… , dass man sich mit dem Besenstiel selbst fast KO schlägt?

Kennt ihr das,
man hat so viele Projekte, die man gerne anfangen möchte, weiss aber nicht, mit welchem man zuerst anfangen soll, und fängt daher gar nichts an?

Kennt ihr das,
Dass man nicht aus dem Haus gehen will? Keine Lust hat, sich der Welt zu stellen?

Kennt ihr das,
man fühlt sich den Tränen nahe, trotzdem endlich einmal alles rundum in Ordnung ist und sogar die Sonne scheint? Und man weiss nicht, woher diese Traurigkeit kommt?

Kennt ihr das,
wenn man gerade so richtig losplärren will, kommt auf einmal eine Nachricht von einem lieben Menschen, oder der Partner mit einer frischen Tasse Kaffee und einem Kuss, und versaut einem total die Depression?  😉   🙂

******************* 

Have you ever experienced,
that you mixed various food leftovers together and in the combination that made a very delicious meal?

Have you ever experienced,
to be so, so, so … (ahem, insert adjective of your own choice) … before the first coffee that you beat yourself almost unconscious with a broomstick?

Have you ever experienced
that you had so many projects that you wanted to start, but did not know which one first, and therefore did not start anything?

Have you ever experienced,
That you did not want to leave the house? That you are reluctant to face the world?

Have you ever experienced,
to be close to tears, although finally everything is all right and even the sun is shining? And you don’t know where this sadness is coming from?

Have you ever experienced
to really want to burst into tears, and at that moment a message from a loved one arrives, or your partner with a fresh cup of coffee and a kiss, and totally messes up your depression? 😉 😀

 

 

Swami Sri Yukteswar „The Holy Science“

”What is ignorance? Ignorance, Avidya, is misconception, or is the erroneous conception of the existence of that which does not exist. Through Avidya man believes that this material creation is the only thing that substantially exists, there being nothing beyond, forgetting that this material creation is substantially nothing and is a mere play of ideas on the Eternal Spirit, the only Real Substance, beyond the comprehension of the material creation. This ignorance is not only a trouble in itself but is also the source of all the other troubles of man.”

Death and Dying (short story by Kate Ferry)

Present time
As I lay, in the hospital, a sterile and neatly made bed beneath me, dying, I consider life and how it was to me. I am an old woman of 92 years now, with short, white hair, a face of wisdom – or so they tell me — and I lay dying of cancer. It struck me at 90 and has been killing me for the past two years. The doctors say I haven’t much time left — that I can go any day now. The painkillers (mainly Morphine now) greatly numb the pain, but I can’t stop my mind from wandering  — wandering into what’s beyond me and to what my life has been. As a wiseman once said, “In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away”. I reflect a lot on these moments — these precious moments — as I lay here, slowly fading away. Here is where my story starts…

 

****Flashback****

1959
The sun was going down. She stepped outside to light her cigarette. The blood orange sun glared back at her, angrily. The smoke from the first puff curled around her. As the took another drag, she saw a black cat, hiding by the tires of her car. The cat looked back at her. She dropped an ash. The cat hissed. The light from the sun was slowly fading in the autumn sky. Her cigarette got smaller. The embers fell into her makeshift ashtray on the porch where she was sitting in her rocking chair. The phone rang inside. Quickly disposing of her cigarette butt in the ashtray, she ran in through the screen door and answered it.

“Patricia Holmes?” the man on the other end asked after she said hello.

“Yes?” she answered.

“I’m calling about the farm. It seems you haven’t made a payment on your mortgage for awhile.”

Patty sighed. She knew this was coming.

“Look, gimmie sometime. I’ll have the money available for you in a couple of weeks…” she began.

“Patricia, it’s been two months. You need to make a payment now, or we’re going to have to –”

“I’ll have the money soon! Times have been tough, and work is slow!” Patty exclaimed into the

phone before she hung up.

Patty continued to look at the phone after she had hung up. It didn’t ring again. No doubt about it, she was scared. She hadn’t made a payment on her mortgage for two months. She knew she was going to lose the farm. She had no money and nowhere to go. The saddest thing was, she hadn’t had a job in over two months. The economy was down, and she didn’t even know where to look for work. Her unemployment was quickly running out. She didn’t know what to do.

 

Present time
“Hi, Grandma!” My granddaughter, who always visited me in the hospital every day, was just arriving as I was waking up for the day.

“Look what I brought you!” she exclaimed excitedly as she set a bag down on the table in my room and opened it. She pulled out what looked to be a cell phone. In my 92 years, I have never had or used such a contraption as that. I don’t know what she expected me to do with or how she expected me to use it!

“So now I can call you or you can call whenever you want,” my granddaughter, Jolie, was gushing to me as I stared at it.

“Jolie, I’m 92-years-old, stricken with cancer, and the doctors say I can go any day now. Why would you bring me something like that?” I asked.

“Oh, I know, but I miss you, Grandma, when you’re stuck in here, and I can’t talk to you and such,” replied Jolie. “Plus, I miss your stories. Tell me how you met Grandpa.”

I chuckled. “Well, you know, Jolie, after I got that phone call about losing the farm, the next day, I had a gentleman calling at my door…”

 

1959
The doorbell was ringing. Patty went to answer it, dreading who might be behind it.

“Good afternoon,” the man on the other end greeted her, removing his hat.

 

Present time
“Was this man Grandpa?” Jolie interrupted me.

“Hold on, I’m getting to that part,” I replied.

 

1959
The man on the other side of the door looked at her.

“May I come in?” he asked after a moment’s pause.

“Sure,” Patty replied, opening the door wider and letting him in.

“What’s this about?” she inquired as she hung his hat and coat by the door and went to put on the tea kettle.

“I’m here about the farm,” the man replied, looking at her. Patty stopped and almost dropped the cups she was getting out for tea. She set them down and looked back at the man through the partition in the kitchen.

“What do you want?”

The man looked at her warmly. “Did I startle you?” “I have a proposition for you,” he went on.

“What’s that?”

“Sell the farm to me, and I will split the land with you.”

“You mean, I can stay here?”

“Sure. I will build an extra room and board on this land.”

“That’s mighty nice of you,” Patty told the man, bringing him his tea. “One lump or two?” she asked him.

“Just one.”

“May I ask who you are?” She handed him the teacup, and he took a sip.

As he set his teacup down, he looked at her and smiled. “Do you remember a man you met in town by the name of Jones?”

“Carl?” she asked, looking at him quizzically.

“Yes. He sent me. He would also like to ask for your hand in marriage.”

Patty’s teacup slipped out of her hand, and she spilled tea down the front of her blouse.

“Oh, my!” she exclaimed, picking the two pieces of the teacup and sighing.

“It was my mother’s set…”

The man looked sympathetically at her.

She set the two pieces of teacup aside and looked back at the man.

“What is your name?” she inquired of him.

“Timothy Jones, Carl’s brother,” he replied.

“And why do you two want to help me so bad?”

He moved closer to her. “When my brother Carl first saw you, he knew it was love at first sight. You told him about the struggles you were having with the farm, and his heart just opened and bled for you. My brother isn’t even a sensitive man, but when he saw you… it changed him somehow, and he opened his heart and let you in. You’re a beautiful good woman, Patricia.”

A tear ran down her face. How she met two good men in such her time of need, she did not know. She raised her eyes and face to the heavens and whispered Thank you.

“So do you accept?”

She wiped her tears with the back of her hand and nodded. “I inherited this farm, you know… From my parents.”

“I know.” Timothy smiled at her.

 

Present time
Jolie’s cell began to ring. “Oh, oh! It’s my husband… What does he want now?” She rolled her eyes heavenward.

I smiled. “Answer it. He loves you.”

“I know, I know, it’s just that… I hardly ever get time with you, Gram, and I miss you so much whenever I don’t see you.”

“When a man opens his heart to you and needs you, you should respond. Go to him. He loves you and cares for you.”

Jolie answered her phone. After 5 mins, she hung up and looked at her Grandma.

“I gotta go,” she said, tears welling up. “Bye, Gram. I love you.” She bent down and kissed me on the cheek.

I watched her go, smiling with my eyes. My granddaughter — adopted granddaughter, that is — was the most precious thing in the world to me. She came to us — our family — when she was five years old, an orphan due to a car crash that killed both of her parents. Once we went through all the legal paper work and adopted her, she was the sweetest thing that ever came into my life. Her mother — my daughter Sarah — did the best she could for Jolie and raised her to be the wonderful, hard-working, caring woman that she is today. Sarah never married, and Jolie was the closest to her own family she had.

Night had fallen. I was beginning to get drowsy from all the drugs when Jolie popped her head in again.

“7:00. Still visiting hours,” she said as she stepped into the room.

I smiled. “Jolie, I’m a bit tired and drugged up. I’m afraid I don’t have much story left in me for the night.”

“That’s all right,” she replied. “I just came back to make sure your cell phone was charged.” I looked at it, laying over on my bedside table. “Jolie…”

“It’ll only take a second, Gram, I promise you.” She picked up the phone and plugged it in to the wall. “There. Now I can call you tomorrow and speak to you. Sorry, but I’ll be in a meeting at work all day and won’t be able to stop by, but I’ll call you later to see how you feel.” She looked at me with sad eyes. “Did you really accept Grandpa’s proposal that quick?” she asked me.

I nodded, sleepily. “It was a wonderful thing to have met such a wonderful man in town,” I slurred. “I took the chance and what he brought me was a beautiful daughter, whom I named Sarah. She was so sweet and lovely, and she brought into the family the kindest soul into the family.” I looked at her. “You are a wonderful human being, Jolie, and I do love you very much, but please, lemme get some sleep.” My eyes twinkled as I watched her go.

“Good-night, Gram,” she said as she kissed my forehead. “I love you.”

*

After Jolie’s meeting the next day, she drove to the hospital. What she saw when she got to her grandmother’s room was a shock! Nurses were running in and out, cleaning; the bed was empty.

“Where’s my grandmother?” Jolie asked, terrified of finding out the answer.

The nurses looked at each other and at Jolie with sadness in their eyes.

“We’re sorry,” one of the nurses said, “but your grandmother has passed away in her sleep last night.”

Tears sprang to Jolie’s eyes. She walked towards the bed where her grandmother had been laying dying, and touched the sheet. The nurse put a hand on her shoulder.

“She went peacefully in her sleep,” the nurse explained to her.

Jolie didn’t look up from the bed. She closed her eyes. Tears were rolling down her cheeks.

 

A true elfin story (short story by Stella, oh, Stella)

So, that’s it, I cannot do anything else for now. I will have to continue in spring.

The beginning is done: the fireplace, the ladder, the tiled path, the area for gatherings … the rest will have to wait. A pile of firewood is also ready …

What I am talking about is, of course, the elfin dwelling place in the birch stump. I have marked the places for the entrance door and the windows, but it is getting too cold to accomplish artistic wood carvings.

————

The following winter is comparatively mild, but grey, rainy, stormy, in short: not cosy at all! The spring bulbs are slowly coming our with their first green.

At the beginning of May, my husbands enters the kitchen and says enthousiastically that the door, which I have carved into the birch stump looks incredibly real, the windows as well. I rush into the garden right away. It is true! Where I have marked the door last winter, is now an intricate carving looking like Yggdrasil. Further up I can see two windows. They do not look real, no, they are real, with frames and panes and everything. This is not my handiwork! I have not hollowed the tree stump and put in windows and a door. I believe my husband is playing a joke on me.

I take im to task, but he denies all knowledge of the matter. Very well then, I will let him have his fun!

The same night, around one o’clock in the morning, I take a last stroll in the garden, as I often do. There isn’t any wind for a change. I detect a light at the south end of the house. Has my husband lit the candles?

On the birch stump I discover a little figure, swathed in bright light. It is dressed in green cloth from top to toe. Furthermore, one can clearly see four wings on its back. Am I going crazy? Is my imagination running wild? No, my husband must be playing a practical joke. Somehow he is projecting pictures. I go back into the house to tell him that he cannot fool me. I discover that he is already in bed and asleep. What am I to think?

I look out of the southern window. The little figure is still standing out there and is looking directly into my eyes. I go outside again and head towards the birch stump. The elfin, and such a one it is, is not moving an inch.

This first night we only look at each other in silence. I do not remember, how long, but very long. During the following nights we start talking. The elfin understands me and speaks our language. Incredible! What did I expect?

Four elfins have moved into the birch stump, two couples. From my preparations they could see that they would be welcome here. They have embellished everything a lot. The door was too low, the gathering place too small, but then I did not know how tall an elfin was, did I?

It is wonderful to have the small creatures living in the garden. I could watch them for hours. But one day a devil is posessing me. I want to prove to other people that the elfins exist, that they are not purely spawn of my imagination.

So I take my husband’s camera and secretly take some photos. Only one of them is really sharp. But … what is that? Those are not the creatures that I photographed! The figures on the photo look like brown Goldsmiths; still dressed in green, but looking more like insects and with ugly, wrinkly faces. One says that a camera does not lie. I don’t know what to believe.

The next evening I confront the elfins with the photo that I have printed out. They are startled, and then sad, letting their shoulders sag. Slowly their appearance changes, until they resemble the creatures on the photo. But then they begin to whisper among each other, and I notice that their sadness turns into rage. They all look at me with very angry eyes. Can the small ones seriously harm me? I ask myself.

”You know what?”, I say, ”I will burn the photo. Nobody will ever know anything about this.” I take a match and burn the photo on the spot. The faces are looking friendlier already. They come to me and tell me that the elfin faces I have seen so far are only projections, because they have only experienced rejection with their real appearance. People had thought that they were big insects and had tried to kill them. As they are magical creatures, they had thought up the deception with the projection. They had given themselves the cutest possible appearance, so that they would be generally accepted. ”Although it does not really matter so much anymore. Hardly anybody can see us nowadays, not even the children”, I am told. I am glad that peace is restored and the elfins don’t bear a grudge. All four of them have already changed into their cute version again. I wish them good night and go back into the house.

Before I go to bed, I want to delete the electronic original of the photo. My finger hovers a long moment above the delete key. This photo is my only proof of what elfins really look like. But does it really matter? What do those, who do not believe in elfins, care if they are cute or not? I press the key; the photo is deleted. I will take the secret with me into the grave.

 

EPILOGUE

Twenty years have gone by now. The elfins are very comfortable in our garden. The furry animals stay away from them. Their only irritation is the clumsy pheasant that upsets everything and often tears the pile of firewood apart. I wonder what he expects to find there?

They do not care so much anymore about their projected image. I don’t care. I have grown fond of them; they are my friends, no matter what they look like. My husband also started seeing them after a while. Sometimes they make themselves invisible and pull his beard to tease him. From one second to the other the ”cute little creatures” become an ”irritating gang of mosquitos”. When we are alone, to provoke me, he sometimes calls them my ”tame goldsmiths”. But it is all in good humour; everybody respects each other.

When the elfins have children, they urge them quite soon to find their own dwelling, so that the birch stump is not over populated. They are six now; one more couple has moved in.

From under the roots of the birch stump they have dug a secret tunnel. Not even I was told where it surfaces. I do understand them!