Memo to IT, Re: Elf

From: Camp Fletcher Management
To: IT Department Management
Re: Twinkle Loblolly, the ‘Camp Elf’

 Dear IT Management, 

How is your claim that “no one in our department created the twinkle@campfire-al.org e-mail address” even possible? If you guys didn’t set up that e-mail address, then who did? Nobody, that’s who! Only you folks in IT know how to create things like e-mail addresses and websites around here, so I’m holding you personally responsible. I’m starting to get questions about this e-mail address, so this is rapidly becoming a black eye on our organization.

And what do you mean when you tell us you are unable to delete or shut down the elf’s e-mail, and “every time we eliminate that address it turns itself back on?”  I’m no IT wizard, but even I know that e-mail accounts can’t create themselves and they definitely don’t “turn themselves back on” after being deleted.  E-mail doesn’t work that way. I need a better explanation than that.

IMG_1110 (2)What is the matter with  you people? Aiding and abetting a camp elf has to be a crime or something. Besides, everyone knows that elves don’t exist. And if I discover that one of you is responsible for creating the @twinkleloblolly Twitter account we just found out about, you are going to be looking for a new job so fast it will make your head spin.

The alleged elf left another piece of leafmail today. This one was a maple leaf covered with teensy-tinsy letters and left for us in its regular place outside the camp office. It was held down by two licorice sticks.  The red licorice was scrumptious, but I’m not a fan of the black ones, so I left it for the interns to share. I’m attaching the latest message from this Loblolly character. Please have our IT security team analyze it for digital fingerprints to see if it can point to who this person really is and who inside the organization may be helping him or her.

This insanity really must stop. You can be sure that I’m going to bring this elf business up with the Big Boss in our department heads’ meeting on Wednesday.

Hi, it’s Twinkle. It’s been a nice week at Camp Fletcher, and spring is definitely on the way; but it’s still too quiet here without all of the children. That’s why I was so happy when Rick from Alabaster sent me such a nice e-mail this week.

Rick wrote to tell me he enjoys reading my leafmails, but he had never heard of a camp elf before.  I’m sorry about the confusion, Rick. I’m actually a wood elf who lives at Camp Fletcher. People usually call me “the camp elf” instead of the more correct “wood elf who lives at the camp,” and I’m fine with that.  There are several kinds of elves—there are wood elves like me, but there are also prairie elves, mountain elves, desert elves, and even city elves. There are water elves too, but our water elf cousins are kind of snobbish and insist that we refer to them as sprites. Lah-dee-dah.

And no Rick, I’m not invisible. I’m just as visible as you or any other third grader in your class. It’s just that we wood elves are very, very shy and very, very good at hiding, so it’s almost impossible for you to see us if we don’t want you to. And we almost never want you to see us. Elves can be like that mockingbird you hear singing in a nearby tree but can’t spot through the leaves, no matter how hard you look. Actually that bird you hear at Camp Fletcher might really be me. Wood elves love to hide in trees; and my imitation of Mr. Mockingbird is good enough to fool anyone, even Mrs. Mockingbird.  If you do see me when you visit Camp Fletcher, it’s likely to be as a quick flash or tiny movement out of the corner of your eye—in other words, you’ll only see me as a twinkle. That’s how I got my first name, of course, but I bet you already knew that. So if you almost see something when you’re at Camp Fletcher, that’s probably just me saying hi.

Anyway, thanks for writing, Rick—tell all your friends that they can write me too. I can’t wait for you to come back to Camp Fletcher this summer.  Good luck with your book report in Ms. Haling’s class. I’m sure she’s not nearly as mean as you say she is.

Your friend,

Twinkle Loblolly

Camp Elf

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A note from our camp elf

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 humtreeans 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.