This is a drawing we made of our friend Root. He’s a wee burrow elf and he lives under the cobblestones just outside our house. Like Root, most burrow elves live under cobblestones and they’ve done so ever since people starting putting them absolutely everywhere. Cobbles are nice and smooth unlike the ‘wild rocks’ you find in the forests. No nasty sharp edges on which you could bump your head. When they find a loose one they will crawl underneath it and dig out a little hollow that they call home. They share these little abodes with all the local crawlies which will usually included a frog or two, some snails and a whole bunch of different bugs. They see these crawlies as part of their family and look after them really well…which is why you should never ever take a crawly away from its cobblestone.
Unfortunately this does happen from time to time. People will lift the cobbles, put the crawlies in a jar and take them home. We don’t know why they think a jar is a good place for a crawly to live but the crawlies sure don’t like it and neither do the burrow elves. If they suspect you took one of their crawlies they will sneak into your house and try to rescue them. If you are lucky they will find them and leave…but if they can’t find the crawlies in question they will play tricks on you day and night until they get their crawlies back.
At first it will just be little pranks. An older burrow elf might pull a preposterous faces and leave an imprint of it in the butter or maybe they’ll put some onions in your pillow case but the young ones like Root know about computers and smartyphones. They also like to pull faces but instead of leaving imprints it in butter they will email it to everyone on your computer and they know a trick that will make your phone do a call when you put it in your pocket. But if these pranks don’t do the job they will start to take things from your house and bury it under the cobbles. They are quite small so they can only take little things, but this doesn’t mean the big things in the house is safe. You see, most big things are made up of tiny bits and bobs…and tiny folk can take tiny things apart. So the big things might stay inside the house but they don’t work very well when all their little parts are hidden outside under the cobblestones. This will go on until everything single they can carry or take apart is under the cobblestones or until they find the crawlies…whichever come first.
People quite often blame the wee folk when things go missing or doesn’t want to work, and it’s true. Sometimes they are indeed the ones to blame…but all they want is for their crawlies to come home. And they will always put each and everything back exactly where they found it if you do the same with the crawlies.
Of course it does sometimes happen that a crawly gets trapped in your house without you even knowing, so if you can’t find your keys and you really looked everywhere they could possibly be, it might be a good idea to start looking for some crawlies instead. And if you do find a wee frog or a lost little bug carefully pick them up and put them outside by the cobblestones. Chances are you’ll find your keys a few minutes later right where you left them…