Poor Mountain Mother was weeding her flower garden one bright summer day when she heard a tiny, but mean voice.
“Be careful,” the voice said angrily. “You are getting dirt all over my feet.”
Poor Mountain Mother stopped what she was doing and looked around her. She didn’t see anyone so she continued with her weeding.
“I said stop!” the voice yelled.
Poor Mountain Mother stopped weeding. She looked all around her and she thought she saw the lips of her garden gnome move.
“You are alive!” exclaimed Poor Mountain Mother, fearfully.
“I am very much alive,” said the garden gnome, doing a little dance.
“How can you be alive?” asked Poor Mountain Mother, pointing a very shaky finger at him. “You aren’t real. You are made of ceramic.”
“I am as real as you are,” said the garden gnome, lifting up his shirt and pointing to his heart. “My heart beats just like yours.”
“Go away!” exclaimed Poor Mountain Mother. “You are scaring me.”
“I don’t mean to scare you,” said the garden gnome.
“What is it that you want?” asked Poor Mountain Mother. “You must want something.”
“Oh I do want something,” snapped the garden gnome. “And you are going to get it for me.”
“I will do nothing of the sort until you use your manners,” said Poor Mountain Mother, putting her hands on her hips.
The garden gnome looked in his jacket pocket and then in his pants pocked. He then sighed.
“What were you looking for?” asked Poor Mountain Mother.
“I was looking for my manners,” said the garden gnome.
“You won’t find your manners in your pocket,” said Poor Mountain Mother. “They are something you have inside of you.”
“I guess I don’t have any then,” said the garden gnome. “Now, are you going to get me what I want?”
“What is it that you want?” asked Poor Mountain Mother.
“I want a cup of tea,” said the garden gnome. “And some of those fresh baked cookies that you baked.”
“How do you know I baked cookies?” asked Poor Mountain Mother.
“I could smell them,” said the garden gnome. “Now hurry up with my tea and cookies.”
“For a little guy,” said Poor Mountain Mother. “You sure are demanding.”
The garden gnome stuck his tongue out at Poor Mountain Mother.
“And you think I am going to make you a cup of tea and give you some cookies,” said Poor Mountain Mother. “You have another thing coming to you.”
“A cup of tea and some cookies would be nice right about now,” Poor Mountain Mother heard from behind her.
Poor Mountain Mother looked behind her and saw Poor Mountain Father standing there. She turned pale white.
“Are you okay?” asked Poor Mountain Father. “You look like you have seen a ghost.”
“Not a ghost,” said Poor Mountain Mother. “A talking garden gnome.”
“Oh dear!” exclaimed Poor Mountain Father. “You’d better get out of the sun. I think you have sun stroke.”
Poor Mountain Mother followed Poor Mountain Father into the house. However, she did kick the garden gnome over first. He was ceramic and not real because when she kicked him, she hurt her toe.