The gnomes were at it again. I walked into the treehouse last Sunday, and they were prepared. The were sitting in a half-circle around the doorway, and jumped to me as soon as I entered. "You've changed", the eldest of them spoke, sounding rather accusatory.
It took me a while to figure out what they meant. My brain raced, though the thinking process wasn't helped by the fact that I was now being lifted by fifty gnomes and, quite involuntarily, transported to what looked to be a chair with some sort of manacles on it.
Did I get a haircut, I asked myself. Nope. Grow an extra toe? Definitely not! Did I accidentally conjure my first patronum, thus finally prove myself worthy for a belated start at Hogwarts? I tried to discover how I had 'changed'.
As I came closer to the menacing shape that by now I was certain was intended for torture, I wondered what had happened to the formerly peaceful civilization of Gnomes. I knew they had recently discovered iron working, but surely in usual civilizations random cruelty didn't enter the scene until the invention of social media. I now saw the chair in full light, and it appeared to be wrapped.... in balloons and garlands?
Oh. I should have remembered. It was my birthday!! I changed into a technically-a-year-older-yet-for-all-practical-purposes-still-the-same version of me. The gnomes had noticed it, and threw me an awesome surprise-party! I should have known: gnomes do not get violent. We had a lot of tea and biscuits, albeit quite small ones. Imagine getting stuffed on cheesecakes the size of sugar cubes. At the end we ate pizza with all of us gnomes of House Monkey, and played balloon volleyball. Later, my family and friends came over to celebrate as well, and we had a nice long walk in the forest near the treehouse. (I secretly suspect that the gnomes were originally a cadet branch of the much larger Gnome, Troll and Elfish confederation in that forest).
Anyway, it was a great weekend, and I'll soon be back on the blog with lot's of inspiration and new yarns (that may or may not have been part of the birthday loot)!