Gardens, homes, and saunas need gnomes. In Finnish, they are joulutonttu — Christmas elves that bring happiness and protection to a home. Whether mischievous or diligent, they are kind creatures who bring out the playfulness in writers. Unlike unicorns that have a dark side, gnomes cause writers to get punny.
Never before has Carrot Ranch seen the likes of gnome sweet gnome with such widespread lightheartedness. Gnomes also brought out serious stories from a small character. This will indeed go down as a special collection in history.
The following fun is based on the December 12, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a gnome.
PART I (10-minute read)
Oh, There’s No Place Like … by Roger Shipp
“Oh, there’s no place like …” carolers were approaching my door.
I’d gotten a call from my elderly neighbor just seconds ago. “They’re all over.” She whispered. “All over the street.” She was frantic. Should she call 911… she thought she should… but she was sure the police wouldn’t believe her.
Before I could decide how I could be of assistance, there was a knocking on my door.
Parting the curtains, I peeped.
Gnomes… and gnomes… and gnomes. As far as the eye could see.
“… For the holidays you can’t beat gnome sweet gnome!”
And then they left.
Dear Santa by tracey
My name is Terrence and I am a gnome working as a guard in a diamond mine. While I know this work is important it is not my true passion. What I really love to do is make toys and ornaments. I love glitter!
I have heard there are gnomes who make sleigh bells and I would be happy to do that if there was an opening available.
I believe I can be an asset to your North Pole operation and will be ready for pickup on Christmas Eve if you will have me.
The New Farm Hand by Joanne Fisher
Cindy went to the south field wanting to get the land ready for sowing crops. To her surprise, she found the land had been tilled. She looked for Jess and found her fixing the tractor.
“I thought you were going to leave the south field to me?” Cindy complained. Jess looked at her in surprise.
“What are you talking about? I haven’t been there.” Jess replied wiping the grease of her hands.
Cindy went back and looked around. She saw a gnome standing by the fence smoking his pipe.
“Thanks.” Cindy said to the gnome. He smiled at her.
The Fairy Garden by Nicole Horlings
Velvet GlimmerDust peeked out of the hole in the tree stump to make sure that the humans were not around. She wanted to go gather dandelion petals for her garden salad.
She tread lightly between the flowers, and noticed something new nestled between the petunias. It was a bench, and Midnight Riversplash was already snoozing on it. She shook her head at him, and waved to Ivy WillowBrook, who was knitting in the gazebo. Ooh, there was a new patio table set by the hydrangeas, perfect for a tea party.
She went out for something… Oh right, dandelion petals.
Gnomes, Inc. by clfalcone *
“At Gnomes, Incorporated, we’re serious about gnome-ness.”
The worker shuttered.
The director slammed photos on the desk, pointing at Leprechaun pissing a toppled gnome’s face.
“You got drunk, fell asleep, let Leprechaun steal your gold…he even pissed on you…!”
“Disgraceful!” He stood up, pointing to the exit. “You’re fired… banished from Gnomes, Incorporated forever!”
“What’ll I do now?”
“Go downtown to unemployment… become a pole dancer…I don’t know… just leave!”
Off scurried the worker.
Weeks later, the director got a postcard of a pole dancing gnome, with the caption: ‘Fuck you….making more money here than at Gnomes!’
Gnome in a Bucket by Ann Edall-Robson
The old chicken coop had become the catch all for everything that ‘might be needed’. Why Mac had picked Hanna to clean it out was something the dust covered young woman didn’t understand.
His one request, “Keep an eye out for anything Liz can use for flowerpots.”
Setting aside some dented, handleless buckets, Hanna spotted a garden gnome in one of them. It wasn’t a normal garden store variety, this one had a look about it that was oddly familiar. She hadn’t seen the little statue before, or had she? Hanna shivered.
“Maybe Liz will know something about this.”
Guilty as Chewed by Di @pensitivity101
‘Who did it?’
The tail slunk between the back legs, the head hung low almost touching the floor.
The chewed plastic gnome glared down from the pelmet where it had been placed out of reach.
The original owner had come charging across the road to complain that our family pet had destroyed her favourite gnome, insisting on a replacement.
The swinging Big Ears now held court by the ornamental pond in her front garden but the dog knew that he was in the dog house if the gnome was drawn to his attention, and would retreat to his bed.
The Neighbor Boy Noticed by Susan Sleggs
Mrs. Borden looked at the clock. Nine-thirty. She used to get out to her garden at seven-thirty. She opened the back door and held the jam and knob to steady her way down the two steps then tottered to her small garden that she couldn’t convince herself to give up just yet. A very large ceramic gnome with a mischievous grin waited. The sign hanging around his neck said, “Weeding done.” Her mouth fell open and one tear slid down her cheek. Who would do such a thing?
The local scout troop made a game of not getting caught.
Polio and Politics by Faith A. Colburn
I had a friend—a gnome-like fellow who said he’d thought, when he was a child, that every six-year-old spent a year in an iron lung. He was a canny bulldog in local politics, supporting rights for people with disabilities. There’s the time he argued for wheelchair ramps at the courthouse.
“We’ll help them up the stairs,” said the councilmen.
“Look,” said Roger, “someday you may have an accident. Maybe you’ll need a wheelchair. Then, how would you like to sit at the bottom of those stairs out there waiting for someone to notice you?”
The courthouse has ramps.
Gone Fishin’ by Anne Goodwin
He was hard on the outside, hollow within. Lacquered against the elements, he squatted, with his fishing rod, beside the pond.
People threw in coins, made a wish: for a lottery win, a baby, a cruise. Fixed smile above his beard, his belted tunic, above his boots, he looked the part they needed him to play.
They’d got him wrong. He could’ve told them how to cure the climate crisis, to hold back the tides of fascism, to create a more equal world.
Their hearts were hard, their skulls were hollow. Why would they listen to a garden gnome?
House Protector by Charli Mills
The Russian soldier came on baking day. The Finnish women kept their kerchiefed heads bowed. He dismounted, kicked the oafish-looking gnome statue, and grabbed the youngest girl by the waist.
“You smell pretty today.” He smiled coldly.
Macy tried to withdraw and relaxed when she saw Joulutonttu upright himself. “It’s the bread,” she said, distracting him.
She led the soldier to the communal kitchen where the massive beehive hearth burned. She showed him loaves, opened the large oven door —
They later told their men that Joulutonttu protected them. But it was Macy who shoved the Russian in the oven.
Nonbinary Gnome by clfalcone *
He was next…he had to tell the group. His short legs couldn’t dangle so he wiggled his boots instead, removed his red conical hat, saying: “I’m Manus McGnomus and I’m not a gnome…. inside, I’m a fairy….flying on dragonfly wings, spreading fairy dust goidnees to all… not hoarding gold or guarding paths…I don’t even like gardens, and the only gold I like is fairy dust….” He fluttered on.
Utter silence, then uproarious laughter, taunts of, ‘Gnomes can’t fly!’
He clammed up, looked about, jumped off the seat, muttered: “…. can’t tell you jive turkeys shit!…”, pattering quickly down the hallway.
Gnome by Anita Dawes
My son brought home this grey gnome
Telling me he hoped it would bring me good luck
Of course, it never did
So he brought home a larger one
Maybe this on could do it
Got to give it to him, he tries!
So they ended up in the garden
Personally, I believe the gnomes
keep their magic for the Gods
as legend has it,
they forged golden rings for them
when they come together
any objective is achieved
would that I could get my hands on just one
that would be like sucking on Devils candy…
gNoMeZ by clfalcone *
The Pixies and Brownies cowered, the Fairies bolted, but the Sprytes lingered, watching. Conical shadows grew larger than life, collecting at the intersection: gNoMeZ were in da house…two feet tall, twenty gnomes wide.
Fifteen black bowlers converged at the opposite end, L3pr3ch4nZ leader squeaking, “Give us McSeamus, or else!”
“Or else what? Give us back the gold…. or not else!” Retorted the gNoMeZ. Hammers threatened sheleighlies, cudgels menaced axes.
Suddenly, a fairy-dusting gnome floated overhead, singing, “…who says gnomes can’t fly… this is what I think of your silly war…!” And he farted more dust on the dueling hoodlums.
Hero by Nancy Brady
Instead of a horse, the little bearded man named Harry rode a wildebeest he had recently purchased. He had been granted an audience with the ruling monarch, who raised a sword to each of his shoulders. It was unusual to have an American granted such an honor, but his bravery warranted it. He was armed with only a utensil that sliced through the toughest meat.
The newspaper article said it the best:
Harry, a hairy gnome from Nome riding his new gnu, kneeled, and then was knighted by the king. It was said his weapon was a steak knife.
Gnome Alone by Pete Fanning
I’d spent ten and a half years with my head in the mulch when Annie found me. Mrs. Dulvey had set me in her garden in the late seventies—right near the gardenia that somehow survived all those snows.
Over the years we were like soilmates. Mrs. Dulvey had a lot to say, not that her family cared to hear it. After she died, some neighborhood kids kicked my head clean off its spring. Years later Annie came along and gave me a new perspective on life.
Annie has much to say, not that her parents care to listen.
PART II (10-minute read)
Go Big or Go Gnome by Donna Matthews
Mama Gnome is wiped out. It’s been a busy shopping for presents, decorating trees, and planning meals kind of day. And she’s had enough.
“Siri, call Sister Gnome.”
“Hey, Yourself! What’s the word?”
“Make me laugh…whatcha got?”
“I’ll be gnome for the holidays!”
“Country roads take me gnome…”
Both giggling. Mama Gnome catches her breath and says, “I love you, sister…gnome matter what!”
A final bout of laughter as they say their good-byes. Still chuckling, Mama Gnome pulls into her driveway, considering dinner, imagining a big ol’ pot of chili…go big or go gnome!
GnomeChat by clfalcone *
On the Gnome Dating Site…
You know….gnome things… hoarding gold….guarding precious stones… clearing garden pathways…
Listen: I’ll give you some extra-gnome loving if you help me out, lover…
Sure… what do you need?
Oh, just you wait, honey… it’ll be great! First, a valid credit card…
Sweetie, I’m a gnome …I hoard gold…. I don’t have a credit card….
Wait…. you’re not one of those Nigerian pixie scammers tryna get my gold, are you? Coz some Russian leprechauns already tried this …. I reported them….
(… three weeks later, no response….)
[Damn! I Really liked her….]
Late Again by Nobbinmaug
Eldysa watched the clock as the seconds turned to minutes. The minutes stayed minutes, but there were a lot of them. Dinner was on the table cooling with each passing second.
The door slowly creaked open. Salrick entered, whistling.
“You’re late again. That’s three times this week.”
“I was talking with Sheila.”
“My boss, yes.”
“You’re a lawn gnome. How much work talk could you have?”
“The weather for one. Rain’s coming.”
“Is something going on between you two?”
“Seriously? Human women are not attractive. They don’t even have beards.”
“They don’t? Yuck.”
Gnome More by Annette Rochelle Aben
The top shelf of the bookcase was where Claudius took his naps. Lorraine always left it clear, so he could stretch out whenever the mode struck.
This Christmas, however, was different. She was decorating the bookcase. Now, there was garland hanging everywhere and wee figurines scattered on the shelves.
With a swipe of a mighty clawed paw, the garland was merely tinsel. One by one, each of the wee figurines were sent crashing to the floor. Sorry, not sorry.
As Claudius looked down from his perch he thought, be it ever so humble, this is no place for gnomes!
Merton by Saifun Hassam
Merton’s stone cottage stood among lupines and delphiniums at the forest’s edge. He was a garden gnome, helping in the village gardens.
Children gathered around Merton near the lily pond entranced by stories of forest gnomes, and his journeys over hill and dale. In the evenings he sat on the low stone wall that ran along the forest’s edge. His lamp glowed brighter under the glittering evening stars.
It was dawn on a summer morning. A waning moon hung above the giant spruce and fir. Merton bid the children farewell. They were heartbroken. Merton was going home to Charlevoix.
The Last Gnome – A True Tale by Gordon Le Pard
“I hate gnomes.”
She raised her gun, aimed at a small figure, and shot. The gnome fell back.
“I agree,” said her sister, dispatching two more in quick succession.
They walked round the mound that had been, in their words, ‘infested with the little beasts’.
“I think that’s all.”
“It is now, as a shot took off a hiding gnomes head.”
Cowering in the undergrowth Lampy tried not to show himself, the sisters walked off, happy at what they had achieved.
Years later, Lampy was finally rediscovered and celebrated, the last of his kind, the Oldest Gnome in England.
Author’s Note: Google ‘oldest gnome’ to learn the truth.
Missing by Sally Cronin
Eunice loved her garden gnomes and each birthday her husband would buy her another for the collection. Then one July, her favourite, a right Jack the lad, with a red jacket and green trousers was stolen. She was heartbroken and even put up missing posters to no avail. Then the postcards started arriving from all over Europe. ‘Having great time, see you soon. Love Jack.’ Sure enough one morning in October, Eunice looked out the window to see him back in his usual place. Her husband smirked. ‘I see the students are back after their summer holidays my love!’
The Domovoi by Colleen Chesebro
Danica felt the presence of the domovoi in the kitchen. Flour covered the floor and the table.
“Did you make this mess?”
“Da,” a small voice answered.
“Don’t you want to celebrate the winter solstice?
Dusa was her home’s guardian, and he often helped her with household chores.
“I was afraid you forgot me.”
“I never forget you. Come, have some honey cakes. That will sweeten your mood.”
Dusa gobbled up the treats. With a snap of his fingers, the mess disappeared.
Always remember to take care of your house fairy and not neglect them. Especially during the holidays.
Take a Chance, Change Your Life by Liz Husebye Hartmann
We’d answered the ad thumb-tacked to the corkboard at the neighborhood bar.
“Caretakers wanted, unoccupied mansion, rent dirt-cheap, duties minimal. Help us keep the riff-raff out! RSVP P.O. 9999NO 55101”
We were desperate, floundering through graduate school, and flat broke.
“Heaven sent,” noted Evan, so we took a chance.
We weren’t the sole tenants. Enter Lillehans, Gerta, and Nikko, who safeguard the grounds for a bowl of piping-hot Rømmegrøt with cream, a spoonful of lingonberries, and the occasional craft beer. Nisse make good partners, as long as you keep your promises.
It was the best job we’ve ever had.
A Gnome of My Own by Doug Jacquier
“Smithers, l’ve just had a call from the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, himself.”
“Cor blimey, sir.”
“He’s ordered 100,000 miniature gnomes, with Union Jack waistcoats, to be placed in the backpacks of every British soldier fighting in Europe. Imagine every Tommy going into battle with the quintessential symbol of everything that’s British nestled in his kit. God, King and garden at their backs, our brave fighting men will be invincible. They will stop at nothing to prevent the icon of this sceptered isle falling into enemy hands.”
“You can rely on me, sir, to keep the gnome fires burning!”
Gnome by JulesPaige
uff dah or okay!
this was not a mistake; me
finding this treasure
A sunflower original watercolor painting by Marisol – I’d have to get that hanging on the wall soon. Luck it seems is all just a matter of which way the wind blows. I’d always believed that thirteen was a lucky number. Dawg had found me on such a Friday.
Byrd and Lucky looked at Dawg as if to say; “The dog did it” – The open box had been knocked over. Bubble wrap surrounded an odd shape. There was a fabric gnome holding a sunflower! Uff dah! …
Hide and Seek by Kelley Farrell
“I thought you got rid of it.” Jana hissed into Kaylie’s ear.
“Obviously not. It’s right there.”
Kaylie peered through the cracked open closet door.
The little man in a scarlet tunic and green hood faced away from them. He paced a few steps then began to glow.
“Maybe it’s over.”
“Come out, come out …” His wispy voice shook the walls. Boxes rained from the shelves forcing the girls through the door in a pile of discarded things. “There you are.”
The little man with unblinking eyes stood over them.
“Ready or not, here I come.”
No One Gnome by Bill Engleson
What a footfall flouncer, I am.
Mouth full of mud and December grass.
Is this my yard?
Whadda ya know!
Gawd, were we looped last Labor Day.
“What I’m thinking, man.”
“Who?” I asked.
“The Gnome,” he pointed. “Chumpski.”
“You’re nuts. He’s made of clay.”
“Clay! Crud! Whatever. He’s got my number.”
Crapola, eh. And now I’m belly flopped, gazing up into Chumpski’s terracotta eyes.
Something nasty is in the works.
“Bugger off, creep,” I yell.
Chumpski keeps staring away like a crazy anarchist.
Just Right by Norah Colvin
Longing for height, Gnomie joined Santa’s queue in the mall. Unfortunately, the queue hardly moved, and people grumbled when the air became hot and still. Elves demanded everyone disperse. Gnomie didn’t want to disperse. He wanted to be tall. Elves spotted him approaching Santa. “Hey! You there!” He froze. Santa glared, then said, “He looks about right.” The elves quickly explained — in the heat, Santa’s ring had slipped off and into the air conditioner, jamming the controls. No one could reach it. “I can!” said Gnomie, and he did. Elves cheered; Santa smiled, and Gnomie contemplated a new request.
Gnome Help by Joanne Fisher
I knew I wouldn’t be getting out of bed today since I still had a temperature. The gnome appeared holding onto a tray with a bowl of thick vegetable soup. I sat up.
“I brought you some soup, since you’ve eaten little today.” The gnome put the tray on my lap, and also placed a hot cup of tea by my bed.
“Thanks you’re a great help.” I replied.
“No problem. You need to rest and get that fever down!”
The gnome sat down beside me and began reading aloud. Life was so much better with my gnome helper.
Gnome On the Range by D. Avery
“Gee, Pal, why’s Shorty havin’ folks write about biology, you know, genetics an’ such? Or is genes the genre this time aroun’?”
“What?! Kid, ya might wanna check yer own pool. What crazy notions ya on about now?”
“Genes Pal. Genetics? Shorty wants us ta write about genomes this week.”
“Kid, it’s gnomes. Those little folk that live underground and guard the Earth’s treasures.”
“Oh. Huh. Pal, is Shorty a gnome? ‘Cause carrots are underground treasures. An’ while World Headquarters ain’t unnerground, it’s gonna be unnerneath all thet snow.”
“Shorty ain’t a gnome.”
“Mebbe Shorty’s her gnom de plume.”