Little Wooden Elf

The little wooden elf has long tired of being whittled. He finds a bonsai shelter in his master’s quarters. He lays beneath the delicate branches against a twisted root. He imagines the tree must be looking for escape as well. The too little woodland woodmen. He is tired of the slow cuts, and the constant body reduction. Though he is jagged, and often cuts himself on himself, he is happy this way. He would take this existence over a more refined state. He still (he checks this as he thinks it) has his tail.  

He wraps himself in the bonsai root, takes a long snooze. Thinks about a greater forest, away from the grey stucco of this walled room. He looks up at the little leaves on the little tree. It is cold in this dirt-bed. It is not like under the light where he stands on the shelf. It is not filled with the amber glow and the long grains that run beneath his feet along the shelf floor that he counts to pass the time, his walnut bed.

This tiny tree. He looks at its fine angles and pleasant demeanor. He thinks of his master’s hands as he traces the paths to the leaves. He thinks of the pruning process that he’s watched so many times from across this room. He recalls the snap sound of the small branches as his master snips to keep the tree growing correctly. He thinks of the way that same hand has been a bed in which he can lay. He thinks even when being scraped by the knife edge that the sound of his master’s whistle is a reward, his warm embrace, the feeling of being needed in a thumb rub.

He looks at the vacant space on his shelf across the room, looks at the circular light that he is positioned under. The little wooden elf looks up at the high shelf his master has chosen to place him and is unexpectedly filled with honor that he has held this vantage point all this time. He is a mighty presence in the room. He is perhaps a favorite. He thinks he ought to return to his shelf.

A golden beam announces itself against the slate path towards the front door across the room. The sun has broken through the forest line to the east. What forest is this? A line of trees never seen from his north facing shelf stand proudly, golden sparkles twinkle as the dew catches the sun. Dust rises and crests in countless dancing particles lit by the beam. This beam is alive and unbroken. He must stand in it, he must feel this glow against his wood skin. He must feel the cool air that shakes the tall branches of the large trees. He pats the root of the bonsai as if to say, goodbye dear friend, and leaps to his master's floor to return to the sun.