Jack and I happened upon this assortment of oddities just off the path, down by the river. We found a small hubcap, a bicycle tire and a little house together in a group. The house looks like a birdhouse set upon the ground and not in a tree. Jack tells me it’s a house for Imps and wanted to leave quickly.
“Why so nervous, Jack?” I asked him.
“That’s an Imp house, mommy. We need to get out of here.”
“Why… I’d like to meet an Imp.”
“No, you wouldn’t mommy. The Imps aren’t nice. They like to play tricks. Nasty tricks”
“How do you know these things, Jack.”
” I Pay attention to what goes on. You don’t see or hear much, mommy. I know it’s because you’re only a human, and your senses are dull.”
“My senses are not dull, Jack. I have excellent hearing, and my eyesight is fine with my glasses on.”
“Silly, mommy! You never see the Pixies and fairies or even the elves and the trolls! Humans scare the little folk, so they stay away from the paths and hide in the forest.”
“Well then, how could I see them if they hide from me?” and then I added, “Silly, Jack!”
“Mommy, let’s get out of here. I’ll tell you about the little folk later. I don’t like the Imps!”
“How do you know about the imps, Jack?”
“Mostly from the Fairies and the Elves, but I met a few Imps last spring. Remember when I got stuck in the mud on the other side of the river?”
“Oh yeah, Jack, I remember. I almost got stuck in the mud myself, trying to get you out. We were both a mess.”
“Well, that was the imps fault. They promised me a cookie if I went to visit their camp. And when the mud got too deep for me to go farther, they sat there watching me…and then you…and laughing. That’s what they do. They sit around all day eating mushrooms and getting silly, and then they play tricks on the other little folk. And the bigger folk when they come by.” Jack was getting visibly antsy, looking over his shoulder and shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
“How do you know this house belongs to Imps?” I asked, ” Maybe we should look inside to see what’s there.”
“NO, mommy. They’ll poke you in the eye or bite your nose. I can smell the Imps. Please, let’s go.”
“The house is right on the pathway, Jack. ” I thought you said the Little Folk stay away from humans, so why would they live here?” I said, getting down on my knees for a closer inspection.
“Silly, mommy. The Imps aren’t afraid of humans. They’re fast, and they have camouflage, and they like to steal from humans and play tricks on you. That’s why the bicycle tire and hubcap are here. They stole them from people. This house looks like a trap to me, mommy. Please, let’s go.”
“Alright, Jack, let’s go,” I said, standing up and brushing the dirt off of my pants. And so we left the river and made our way home with my curiosity left unsated. Camouflaged Imps? Pixies and Faeries? Elves and trolls??? I know Jack is typically taciturn, but it seems he knows a lot more about the forest than I do. I hope I can convince him to tell me more since it seems my human senses are a bit dull after all.