Note from Camp Fletcher Management: The message below was left at the doorstep of the camp office. It was written on a single sycamore leaf in the tiniest handwriting you’ve ever seen. To be fair, it was a very big leaf and the author wrote on both sides, but if you try to copy this message on a leaf of your own, even a very big one, you’ll see for yourself that getting all of those words on one leaf is a remarkable feat.
Someone calling himself Twinkle Loblolly wrote this piece of leafmail. Or maybe he is a she—we’re not sure if Twinkle is a boy’s or a girl’s name. The leaf was weighted down by five jelly beans to keep it from blowing away in the morning breeze, and we found the message when we came into work today. The jelly beans were delicious, by the way, especially the green one.
Of course we disavow any knowledge of elves or any other magical creatures running loose at Camp Fletcher. The whole idea is just silly. Still, we have to admit that we don’t often receive letters written on sycamore leaves, so we’re not quite sure how to explain how the perpetrator of this clever hoax pulled it off. Anyway, we’re publishing the note as a clue to help officials who are even now attempting to capture the trespasser who is going by the name Twinkle Loblolly.
Hello, Twinkle here. Twinkle Loblolly. You know me—I’m the Camp Fletcher elf. February is a lonely month for a camp elf, and I miss my friends. The campers have been gone for months and won’t be back until it warms up again. Everything is so sad and brown right now and I miss all the leaves on the trees and all of the wildflowers growing in the woods to make the camp sparkle in its usual rainbow of colors. Spring is coming, though, I can feel it like the sap running through my elfin veins.
The humans who work at the camp don’t like the cold much, so they mostly stay bundled up in their office making grumpy harrumphing noises this time of year instead of roaming the camp singing their happy human songs like they usually do. The grown humans aren’t that much fun to observe, to tell you the truth, but when they’re hiding from the cold, they’re hardly worth watching at all.
I miss my animal friends too. Mr. Kingsnake burrows away for the winter and never comes out to say hi. Old Man Possum doesn’t come around as much in February, and when I do see him, he mostly spends his time complaining. Miss Owl is even quieter than usual this time of year. Mrs. Fox will stop by to say hello now and then, but she’s always in a hurry to be somewhere else, so she never stays for very long.
I thought about going to Florida for the winter because I hear it’s green there all year round. Mr. Hawk offered me a ride, but he said he might get hungry along the way, and an elf-sized snack could be just the thing to fill his belly. I told him I had changed my mind, but thank you just the same.
Mostly, though, I miss having happy children at camp. I can’t wait until the weather warms up and the children return to Camp Fletcher to laugh and play and sing and canoe and hike and do crafts and all of the other things they like to do here. The sounds of happy children make me happiest of all. I love watching them play even though they don’t ever see me except maybe sometimes out of the corner of their eyes.
You may never see me, but Twinkle is always around somewhere at Camp Fletcher, so keep looking.