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Our Vacationing Garden Gnome

      Just as I was approaching our driveway, after my customary evening stroll, I noticed there was something missing from my front lawn display. In between my antiqued stone rabbit and two large Terra cotta pots, there was an empty space. I have always been very particular about having my ornaments, no matter how cheap, arranged and exhibited in perfect fashion. I stood still for a moment to give myself time to reflect. "Ah yes, now I remember, the garden gnome."

      He was just your run of the mill plastic, discount store, garden gnome. Could the wind have blown him away? Surely no one would steal such a worthless object. My antiqued stone rabbit would have been a much better catch. Shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders, I grabbed a potted chrysanthemum from the front step and stuck it in the empty space. "Not great but it will do," I muttered to myself.

     I never gave the missing gnome anymore consideration after that day. Until, one evening just as we were about to retire, I heard a faint tapping sound that seemed to be coming from our front door. I felt a little anxious and somewhat perplexed. "Who could be calling at such a late hour and why didn’t they ring the door bell?" Nervously I placed my hand on the door knob, ever so slowly opening the door. "There’s no one here!" I shouted with a sigh of relief. "Wait a minute. What’s this on the step?" I knelt down to get a closer look. It was our garden gnome. His rosy-cheeked, white-bearded and shrewd little face seemed to express a sense of accomplishment but in his eyes I detected a glimmer of mischief. The demeanor he portrayed was one of dignity and pride. Around his neck hung a tiny hand-written sign that said, "Back from holidays." Under his arm he carried a large bundle of photographs. He looked so incredibly animated that I had to stop myself from asking him to come inside. I carefully picked him up, brought him in and stood him on my dining room table. I gently removed his bundle of photographs and proceeded to view them. There he was as large as life and proud as punch posing on the statue of Ogopogo by Okanagan Lake. Being entertained on a houseboat while cruising the Shuswaps. Admiring Vancouver from the Lions Gate Bridge. Sunning himself on the beach at Penticton and standing on a rock surrounded by a majestic mountain range. Our garden gnome had been on vacation; touring or so it seemed, throughout the whole of British Colombia.

     I wanted to thank his traveling companions, so I stood him back in his rightful place in my front lawn display, with a sign that said "Thanks for the Holiday." Now our garden gnome is no longer regarded as a worthless inanimate object. But a mystical little man that has traveled throughout British Colombia, found his way back, and has the photo’s to prove it!