11 Feb

The Gnomes of the Jungle

             As the train slowly decellerated into the station the gnomes collected their knapsacks and prepared to disembark. Nothing would prepare them for the shock they were about to experience.

               Just as soon as they left the station building, the heat and humidity hit them like a wall. It momentarily took their breath away. Then they noticed bird sounds, singing profusely, mixed with the smell of flowers. Around them were many other gnomes, and this was really something else because they all looked different, dressed different, & even talked in a completely different gnome language.

                  At first the sensory overload was almost too much, but then certain primal gnome instincts began to kick in…….like hunger. Mama gnome was already on top of this issue. She knew her little gnomes well & already was visiting an exchange kiosk, trading her nuts for the local variety. With Papa standing close by, Mama came away most pleased & with a smile on her face, turned around and exclaimed to the kids ‘12 nuts to 1’. That’s pretty good odds kids. Now let’s go eat.’

                    For some reason, even the food was different. It was spicey, however it was delicious in its’ own way. There was lots of variety; fresh coconuts, bananas, papayas, grapefruits that were sweet, mangoes, pomegranates & the list goes on. Another peculiarity of the southern gnomes was they liked chilli on almost everything, chilli & salt & limes squeezed in the drinks & on their food perpetually. Some of the kid gnomes even ate chilli-candy & periodically chilli popsicles.

                     And so the gnomes were enjoying themselves in this new & exotic jungle land, during this initial phase of the new adventure, often referred to as the romance phase. Of course, everything was new to them at first. There were new animals to observe; monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, hummingbirds, parrots, lizards and insects of various types; ants, scorpions and giant bumblebees. Yes, some things were truly frightening.

                      It was during this time that the gnomes were having new & unique dreams, each gnome unto their own. Almost as if God or something spiritual was reaching out to them from the jungle, perhaps from history itself, like some kind of ghost from the past. The parents had dreams of water, floating in a pool near a waterfall, naked in the sun. This was very strange, for gnomes were always very modest creatures. The children's dreams were even more imaginative, often involved some form of chasing or being chased. Once even in the middle of the night, a nightmare, being chased by a big cat. Or one of the little gnomes even dreamed of riding a big elephant through the jungle, snapping branches of trees, as all the other creatures just got out of the way.

                         And then it happened, just as the gnomes were least expecting it, they fell in love. The gnomes had their bonding moment with nature. Oddly enough, they weren't really in the jungle, but on a beach near the jungles edge. More like a desert beach, really, because the landscape had a lot of cactuses & prickly pears, with a few palm trees mixed in. They were drawn to the breeze in the late afternoon, just before sunset. They needed to cool off & so kids, being what they are decided to drop their clothes & run around on the beach naked. Let’s just say there was a gnome celebration. Mama & Papa bear tried to keep it a little more humble, but let’s just say they turned to each other & in that magic moment, they knew God was with them. A peace came over them, that transcends all understanding. Mama said, ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking.’ & Papa gnome just replied simply, ‘Let’s do it.’

                        They adopted the jungle with the beach area as their new gnome territory. They had just done what seemed completely natural to countless generations of gnomes before them. They simply wandered & adopted a new land as their own.

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