Greetings from Namanu!
Winter is a lonely time for a camp elf. From my home atop the Guardian Fir, I can see all of Namanu, and recently I’ve spent a lot of time staring out there, wondering when people will come back. During the day I take long walks through camp, chatting with animals and doing research so I can answer campers’ questions. At night I light a fire in my wood stove and settle down with a good book. I like the quiet, but it’s February, and that means I miss campers more than ever. So I’ve decided to start writing again, to tell you about the things I see during my wanderings around camp.
The weather this winter has been crazy! When it was really cold, I strolled around camp, taking pictures with the camera my friend Gertrude gave me for my birthday. The camera is pretty heavy for an elf my size, so I pull it in a wagon behind me. I had a rough time getting the wagon down to the river, but it was well worth it. I sat next to the Sandy for a long time, watching the steelhead swim by and the osprey fly down the canyon. Then I munched on a few fairy popsicles (I think you call them “icicles”). It was one of the coldest weeks in my 84 years at Namanu, and at night I slept with lots of extra blankets.
Remember the quiet I was telling you about? I love the sound of campers having fun at Namanu, but I also love hearing the river rushing and the birds singing, so you’ll understand how shocked I was when I woke up the other day to a very un-peaceful banging! It was barely daylight when the ruckus began, and I rubbed my eyes to look outside. I don’t often get grouchy, but this was really loud, and I got out my pen to write a noise complaint for our caretaker, Yosemite Sam, to deliver. I looked out my window and gasped: The clatter was a bunch of people pulling boards off Uncle Toby’s Story House!
I ran straight down there, still in my pajamas, and then stopped in my tracks: They were taking boards off, but they had new ones to put back on! I watched them all day, as they took old boards out and started to put new boards on. Now every morning I look out at Uncle Toby’s first thing, and this morning I saw they had taken half the roof off—I could see right down into the Story House! After making sure they had more shingles to put up, I kicked back and watched. Uncle Toby would be amazed by how much people love his Story House. I don’t know much about construction, but it looks like it’ll be done pretty soon.
Visits from Flank and a snowman
I don’t get much mail in the winter, so I was surprised when I checked my mailbox and found something. It had a note on top that said:
To: Mr. Skriggleboggle
Underneath I found this summer’s camp catalog. It was awfully nice of the camp director to deliver the catalog, because it reminded me that summer isn’t very far away. I might just sign up for that outpost trip.
I’ll leave you this month by telling you about a rare thing that happened this winter: Snow fell at camp, and it stuck! I met a jolly snowman across from the House of Health, and then I towed my camera down to the river, where I found heron tracks in the snow, and took this picture, just for all of you.