It's been a while since I had one of these posts. I had actually forgotten about them for a short time! But one of my Christmas gifts was an iTunes gift card, and I used part of it to purchase two writing apps. One is hundreds of writing promts, and I love it! This post is from a promt in that app, "Writing.Com writing prompts." Prompt is in bold print, the rest is all mine.
Since when is the hamster hiding in the cookie jar? I wondered as I heard scratching and nibbling coming from the belly of the ceramic gnome. I finished wiping down the counters and went to Lucy's room. "Lucy, what is Mr Sparkles doing in the - " I stopped short as I noticed Mr Sparkles happily running on his hamster wheel in his cage, safe and secure. Lucy, 8, came out of her little brother Mark's room where they were playing. Being only five, he didn't seem to have much choice in the matter. Lucy wanted to play, so play they did.
"What, mommy?" asked Lucy.
"Never mind," I answered. "I thought I heard Mr Sparkles in the kitchen but he's in his cage. I must have been mistaken."
"Maybe we have a mouse," Lucy said, skipping back to Mark's room, unaware of how not helpful that thought was to me.
I went back to the kitchen, to the cookie jar. Yes, I could definitely hear something inside. But how on earth could any mouse get inside and then put the lid back on? The kids can't reach, unless they dragged a chair in from the dining room. Anything is possible, I guess. I decided to be brave and open the jar. Outside.
I carried the gnome out the door into the back yard. Our neighbors had an outdoor cat; the mouse ate my cookies so he could take his chances with Fluffy, the fifteen pound tabby from Hell. That cat was all teeth and claws and attitude. I waited until I was at the back of the yard, away from the house, and lifted the lid.
"Finally!" a little voice said. "I was afraid I was trapped in there forever!" I dropped the jar, breaking it, as a little head popped out of the top. I looked at the pieces of gnome and scattered broken cookies, and cursed myself as I started picking up the pieces. I was surely seeing things. And hearing things. And now I had broken bits of ceramic in the backyard where the kids play. Wonderful.
"Sorry I scared you," said the voice again. I looked around and didn't see anything. Then I saw movement by the rose bush. Oh. My. Word. There was a little tiny person talking to me! He was around eight inches tall, and wore black tiny trousers and a green buttoned jacket. He had short red hair and a tiny little cap on his head. If he was inanimate, he'd be adorable. As he was walking in my backyard and talking to me, he was scary. I must have been looking at him with my mouth open, because he chuckled. "Don't worry, I'm used to the stares. But you might want to close your mouth, flying insects and all that." I closed my mouth, but still couldn't speak. "My name is Percival. I'm a house elf, and I'm here to help you."