Well - thanks for meeting me, Lake Harriet Elf. Is that the proper way to address you?
That seems fine.
Do you have a name?
Yes, but not one that you would be able to pronounce. It is of an ancient Elvish tongue, whose lilting sound is lost now to time.
Can I hear it?
My true name is KNAAAAGHHHCH.
That sounds like a braying donkey.
To your ears, less accustomed to the ancient ways.
Well, I'll call you Lake Harriet Elf. I hardly know where to begin. People all over the state have heard about the Lake Harriet Elf, and since some have never accepted that you exist…
…it's an honor to be the ones chosen to break through all the rumors and misconceptions. So you actually live in this little house?
Except for a few weeks in February I head down to my sister's in Mobile.
Mobile, Alabama? How do you get there?
I just take 90 to Chicago, then pick up I-65 in Gary and it's a straight shot all the way down.
Your sister is also an elf, I assume.
Of course. You think elves have Biggie children? Come on.
No, I suppose they don't. Now that I stop to think about it. How many elves are there, by the way?
Oh, we are a dwindling race. There are very few indeed remaining in the northern climes.
Maybe 6,000 in Minnesota.
Six thousand! There are that many elves in this state?
So that's more than enough elves, in your opinion.
Well, no, it's just that I wouldn't have expected - look we've got off to a bad start here. We're all just curious about your life. How do you live, for example? What do you do for food? How do you spend your time? Do you like living where you do?
It's a nice neighborhood, of course. I mean, we really are talking "steps from Lake Harriet."
Even for you.
Uh huh. Thanks. That's nice.
I apologize. I meant it in jest.
Whatever. But there are also the drawbacks. The jet noise. The traffic on weekends. The wind chimes. But, I figure that the plusses outweigh…
Excuse me, Lake Harriet Elf - the wind chimes?
Exactly. Right over there. That house across the street. They have like seven sets of wind chimes.
I would think an elf would like wind chimes. They seem quite elvish to me.
Those little tinkly kinds, those are okay. But then they put up one of those big monsters, with the huge chimes and the thing hanging in the middle that blows in the slightest wind so they never stop ringing, all night long, every fifteen seconds- bong! BONG!!! BONGG!
Lake Harriet Elf, please. People are looking over here.
Sorry. It just gets to me. I mean what am I supposed to do, go knock on the door? "Hello - I'm the Lake Harriet Elf. Can we talk about your wind chimes?"
I think they'd be delighted! Anyone would be entranced to meet the Lake Harriet Elf.
Who turns out to be a nervous, aggressive little guy who wants you to take down your wind chimes. I can't see it headed anywhere very good.
END PART I
Next issue: A diet of fertilizer-tainted minnows versus fighting the crows for dead squirrels.