Copyright (C) 1997 by William Mistele.  All rights reserved. 

                         The Wind Elves 

Long ago in Ireland,  there lived a farmer named Sean  McDermott. 
Late  one  night  when Sean came home,  he found  his  son  David 
sitting outside the house. 
     "What have we here?" asked Sean. 
     "I can't sleep," said David.
     "How come?" asked Sean. 
     "The wind is rattling the house," said David.
     "So it is," said Sean.  "Why don't we make up a story  about 
the wind so it feels more friendly."
     "How do we do that?" asked David. 
     "Let's  imagine  that elves control  the  different  winds," 
replied Sean. 
     "What kinds of elves are there?" asked David. 
"There  are five kinds.   First are the bright elves," Sean said.  
"They  are noble and heroic.   They invented chivalry and  honor.  
And for those they favor, the wind always blows steady."         
     "Aren't there also forest elves?" asked David.
     "Yes," said Sean.  "They are called tree elves.   They  like 
peace  and keep to themselves.   They plant trees in circles  and 
hear others' thoughts as clear as a bell.  The wind is gentle and 
caresses the leaves peacefully when the tree elves walk through a 
     "Perhaps I have seen these tree elves," said  David.   "When 
no one is looking, they dress up in silver and violet.  Then when 
the  moon rises they call out:  `The coast is clear.   Come  out, 
come out, and dance all night as the stars circle above us.'"
     Sean says, "But other elves, the dark elves, can only be seen 
on moonless nights.  They are fond of confusion, thickets, and 
ensnaring brush.  They try to make you forget where you have left 
your possessions so they can steal them after you are gone. 
     "Dark elves like to tie the wind in knots. You can see their 
handiwork  when leaves lift off the ground and whirl about or the 
wind shifts directions back and forth."
     "What  about  the  wind that blows during  a  storm?"  asked 
     Sean  replied,  "Storm  winds are controlled by grey  elves.  
Riding great warhorses upon gusts of wind, they gallop in front a 
     "Look!  That must be a band of grey elves leaving the forest 
now,"  cried David.   "You can tell where they are riding by  the 
shaking leaves and the swaying branches.
     "That's the elfin leader in front.  He is famous for tearing 
pieces of laundry off mom's clothes line with his lance.  The elf 
behind  him  with  the  huge  hammer  likes  to  hit  doors  left 
unlatched,  slamming  them shut with a bang.   And the third  elf 
with  the bow is a great archer.   He shoots your hat off so fast 
it flies from your head before you can catch it with your hands."
     "You have sharp eyes my boy," said Sean.   "Quite  different 
from  wind  elves  are the blessed elves.   They are  skilled  in 
making wine,  love potions,  and magical charms.   They  invented 
harps  and tin whistles.   And they dance on water when the  wind 
ripples across a lake in cat's paws."
     "Are  there  any other elves?"  asked  David.   "You  aren't 
keeping something from me, are you?" 
     "The  last kind, though I hesitate to speak of them, is
 very mysterious," Sean went  on.  "They are called fire elves.   
They sometimes disguise themselves as  human  beings 
so they can recite their poetry and  sing.  But actually 
they are great warriors."
     "Warriors?"   asked  David.   "Do they fight like  the  grey 
elves, attacking laundry, slamming doors, and shooting off hats?"
     "No," answered Sean.   "They are the only ones strong enough 
to destroy the darkness in the human heart.  They pay a price, 
however, for such magick.  Though they see the inner light
shining in all things, their paths are solitary.  I don't know a single
fire elf who hasn't died of loneliness at least once or twice." 
    "But  why are they elves?" asked David.   "They sound 
like human beings?"
     Sean replied,  "No one is sure who or what they  are.   They 
travel freely through both the human and the elfvin worlds."
     "How can you tell if someone is a fire elf?" asked David. 
     Sean answered,  "Their eyes shine like the light of dawn and 
their  voices  sound  like  thunder and  the  laughter  of  waves 
splashing on distant shores."
     "But what do they have to do with fire?" " asked David. 
     "Their  courage  is forged from fire and  they  destroy  all 
fear," replied Sean. 
     "What winds do they control?" asked David. 
     "The  cold winds of winter and the warm breezes of  spring," 
replied Sean. 
     "Tell me," David said, "How do they survive winter without 
love and what secrets do they know that darkness vanishes before
their eyes?"
     Sean replied, "The Earth Herself is their guide.  They follow 
unknown paths of beauty to discover the secret treasures of Her heart."
     "I  would  like  to meet a fire elf some  day,"  David  said 
yawning as he fell asleep in his father's arms.