Little Vince and the Elf Gatherers

Evening had fallen. The moon appeared in the sky, with stars flickering around it, and no lights were shining in the windows anymore. Everyone in the city was already asleep. It was deep in the night. But although it was this late and no one was awake anymore, quiet rustling could be heard under one little boy’s bed. It was inside little Vince’s room.

Vince was a clever boy who liked sports and making models. But he was very messy. And under his bed was where he tossed all the things he was supposed to be throwing in the trash. Gum wrappers, bits of cookies, broken wheels from his toy cars, and many other things. And because he had thrown so many pieces of trash and discarded things there, elf gatherers often came there.

Little Vince And The Elf Gatherers
Little Vince And The Elf Gatherers

These elves were small and black so that no one might see them. They went to places they knew to be messy and picked up all the mess. Anything could come in handy. They would take it into their hidden house. But oftentimes, when they were in someone’s room picking up rubbish like this, they happened to pick up something that wasn’t a part of the mess. For example, a toy. When these elf gatherers visited Vince’s room that night, they couldn’t hold back their excitement.

“This is paradise! So many things. How wonderful. We’ll have such a good time,” the elves cheered under Vince’s bed. And so, in the deep of the night, while everyone was sleeping, there was a lot of rustling inside Vince’s room. The elves picked up everything they could find. But as so often happened, they also grabbed Vince’s favorite toy car. He’d left it on the floor, so they thought they could take it.

In the morning when Vince got up, he felt along the ground with his hand. He wanted to find his car. But he couldn’t find it anywhere. He searched the whole room but it was as if it had disappeared into thin air. The next night, some Legos he’d left lying on the floor vanished. And the next night, it was a rocket that had flown all the way under his bed. And it went on like that every night. Whatever he’d forgotten to put away would disappear. And he couldn’t find it anymore.

Vince decided he would figure out what was happening and solve the mystery. He decided that tonight, he would not go to sleep. He would keep watch and hopefully see something. Late at night, his eyes were already growing heavy, but he was still trying to stay awake. He lay in his bed, waiting. Suddenly there was a flash of light under his bed and then he could hear scuttling and rustling. Carefully, he leaned down and glanced under the bed. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

He could see tiny black men running around under his bed, picking up all of his things. He was so surprised that he lost balance and fell out of his bed. The elves startled and froze on the spot, standing there with armfuls of things and full rucksacks on their backs. They stared at Vince who lay on the floor across from them and they whispered one to another: “Do you think he can see us? What are we going to do?” one of them said. A second elf replied: “Don’t move, maybe he won’t notice us.”

“But I can see you. What are you doing? Those are my things!” Vince blurted out. The elves were taken aback. But they knew that there was no way out of this; they would have to tell the truth.

They said, in their defense: “But you threw those things away, Vince. We are elf gatherers. At night, we visit children’s rooms and look for things that children have tossed aside and didn’t put away. We pick them up. It’s our work and we really like those things too.” “But I didn’t throw them away,” Vince protested. “Maybe you didn’t, but you didn’t put them away and you threw some of them under the bed. And you’re not supposed to do that to your things.”

Vince thought about that. He realized that the elves were right. He promised to them that he would put his things away from now on, so that the elves wouldn’t have to come to his room anymore. And he did as he promised. Since then, no one has ever seen a toy out of place in Vince’s room. That’s because he was too scared that the elves would take it away at night.

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