Ingalls

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It’s official.  Our household is finally complete.  As of Saturday night, a garden gnome has taken up residence in our yard.

His name is Ingalls, and he hitched a ride here in a housewarming gift bag from our good friends Jim and Alyson*.  Rosy of cheek and blue of eye, he’s surprisingly well-mannered for a gnome, most of whom, I understand, are rather short-tempered when it comes to dealing with big people.

He’s a little camera-shy, but with a small box of Junior Mints and a promise to let him come in to watch HGTV from time to time, I did manage to coax him out of hiding for long enough to snap this quick picture by the hostas:

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Isn’t he cute?  Don’t tell him I said that, though.  Gnomes hate to be called “cute”.  They prefer descriptors like “savage”, “mysterious”, and “ruggedly attractive in a Sam Elliott kind of way”.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was shouting in the streets about gnome liberation and the evils of oppressive gardening?  Well, in point of fact, it was three years ago.  Three years of growing dissatisfaction and disillusionment, watching the ideal of freedom for all gnomedom repeatedly smash up against the cold brick wall of reality.  Nobody in the GGLF talks about the ugly fallout of the gnome liberation movement: displaced gnomes starving in the streets, rejected by the simple woodland communities they used to call home, standing in unemployment lines (where many of them are trampled by unobservant human beings who, let’s face it, have the competitive edge when it comes to jobs hauling fifty pound bags of landscaping bark at Home Depot.)

I sensed intuitively that Ingalls didn’t want to talk about his past, but the haunted look in his eyes bespoke a life on the streets, running from stray cats and filching stale pizza crust out of the Valentino’s dumpster.  If I can give just one gnome a home, a job, and all the earthworms he can eat, how can that be inconsistent with my sincere desire to build a better life for all gnomekind?  After all, he’s free to come and go as he likes.

The Junior Mints are a token of solidarity.

So, the next time you come to visit us at (name of house yet to be decided), be sure to keep your eyes open for a glimpse of Ingalls among the rhodies and lilacs.

And for pity’s sake, watch where you step!

*Also in the bag was this perfectly wonderful wall plaque, which I adore.  We hung it up over the entrance to the downstairs, to remind us how it all ends:

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12 responses »

  1. Three years ago you probably would have joined Hermione in S.P.E.W. How do you feel about that now? And your gnome must be a different variety than the ones the Weasley’s had. Those were creepy little critters.

  2. I’m glad you were able to give Ingalls a home. When I saw him roaming the aisles of Target, asking for spare change and odd jobs, I knew I had to help. And as it turns out, I also knew just the people to take him in. 🙂

  3. He is cute. And I’m sure he appreciates all the great places to live in your yard among all the flowers and plants that I don’t have a clue about. Maybe he can start giving the tours.

  4. I just stumbled across your blog from a link on another blog, I am definitely adding you to my google reader!! For starters you love gnomes and I also have two of them. Secondly, you named him and mine are also named, Sven and Norbert. AND THEN, you have that wall plaque which I also have but I have the one that reads, “all because two people fell in love…” and I hung it near the pictures of pregnancy pictures and newborn pics of my son! I’ll be back! 🙂

  5. Oh, I like this story and am looking forward to many more Adventures of Ingalls. I like Walnut Grove too for a name – but it should have Fairy in there somewhere. Or, oh wait, are they enemies???? Ingalls looks like such a nice little gnome, too.

  6. I’m so pleased to hear of your new resident. I do not know if you remembered that my (not that I own him, but simply that he is my guest) gnome’s name is Alden. So I think that perhaps Ingalls and Alden may already know each other. However,I do not want you to name your home Walnut Grove. I would really love for you to get a dogwood tree and name your home Dogwood Manor or something like that.

  7. Well ask Ingalls if he has a friend that looks like Sam Elliott. If so please send him my way. Tell him he can live inside and that I’m a good cook.

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