The bright sun shone through the kitchen window as Berrie finished her shift inspecting candy canes. Hanging up her apron for the day, she smiled knowing that soon she would be outside with her special friend.
Clearing her throat for the second time, Doheny, a cookie maker, finally caught Berrie’s attention. “Like I asked before, do you have any plans for the rest of the day?”
“I’d like to spend a little time with my special friend before she disappears,” responded Berrie with a grin as she put on her boots.
“Special friend? I thought I was your best friend!” exclaimed Doheny placing her hands on her hips.
Berrie chuckled. “Of course, you’re my best friend, but I have someone special I like to meet from time to time.”
“Do I know her?”
“I don’t think I ever introduced you to her, but I’m sure you have seen her from time to time.”
Just then Hanna walked up to the two elves. “Just finished my shift for the day. Do you mind if I join the two of you?” she asked.
In a stern voice, Doheny replied, “Apparently, we are not good enough for Berrie. She is meeting with a special friend today.”
“That’s not true. I love both of you, but with the sun out I just want to spend a little time with my special friend. She will be leaving in a few hours, and then I will have plenty of time to spend with the two of you.” Then Berrie sang, “You don’t know who she is?” as if to tease the elves in fun.
“Where is she going? Is she returning to Lapland to visit relatives?” Doheny demanded to know.
“Of course not,” replied Berrie. After growing really tall, she begins to shrink, and when the sun sets, she just leaves.” Again, she ended with, “You don’t know who she is?”
Hanna scratched her head. “Your special friend can grow and shrink?”
“Yes she can, and if I meet her in the middle of the day, she likes to play hide and seek.”
“What?” a confused Doheny asked.
“That’s right. Just about noon, she will go hide and when I can’t find her, she will just reappear without saying a word. I never have figured out where she is hiding,” Berrie explained, adding, “You don’t know who she is?”
Doheny was beginning to lose her patience with Berrie and asked, “What else do you do with this friend besides play hide and seek?”
“I love to dance with her. No matter how or where I move, she is always right there by my side. She is the best dance partner I have ever had.” Berrie began dancing while singing . . .
Move this way, move that way,
See her do what I do, See her do what I do . . .
“Then we run across the snow,” Berrie continued. “No matter how slow or fast I go, she stays right with me. Sometimes she is on my left side, sometimes on my right, sometimes behind, and sometimes in front. No matter where she is, we have fun together.”
Curious, Hanna asked, “Does your friend have a name?”
“Not really,” Berrie remarked shrugging her shoulders. “To tell you the truth, we have never spoken. I guess you could say we have a very quiet friendship. But I don’t mind.” Berrie responded smiling broadly. “You don’t know who she is?”
Doheny looked at her friend and laughed. “Of course, we don’t know who she is. You never introduced us.”
“That’s right,” Hanna added quickly. “Soo….. why can’t we all play together?
“Humm,” Berrie answered as she started to put on her coat. “I guess that’s possible, but she is shy. You know,” she added excitedly while putting on her gloves and hat, “I’m pretty sure that she has other friends who could spend some special time with each of you.”
Doheny and Hanna looked at each other and smiled. “Does that mean,” Doheny asked, “that we can all play together?”
“I don’t see why not,” Berrie responded. “Since we are finished with our shift, I think we need to go outside and have fun, don’t you?”
As each elf grabbed one of Berrie’s hands, they began to dance around in a circle, happy to be together. “We don’t have a lot of time,” remarked Berrie, “so hurry up and put on your coats and boots.”
Once the three elves were ready to face the cold outside, they walked down the hall and out the back door. Though the sun glowed across the snow and ice, Doheny and Hanna saw no one. Finally, Doheny wondered loudly. “Where are these special friends you talked about? I don’t see anyone? Was this a trick to get us outside?” she grumbled.
Laughing, Berrie pointed to her left. “Allow me to introduce you to my special friend.”
Shaking their heads in confusion, the two elves exclaimed, “WHERE!!”
Singing and dancing, Berrie threw her arms outward and twirled to the sound of her voice, and her shadow followed her.
“She got us again, didn’t she?” Doheny remarked as she realized that Berrie’s mysterious friend was her shadow.
“Yes she did!” exclaimed Hanna. “I love how she gets us thinking. Shadow-dancing looks like fun!”
The three elves began dancing and twirling with their shadows, and joined together singing,
Me and my shadow
Strolling around the North Pole
Me and my shadow
Dancing over every knoll
Notes From Santa
To read more about Doheny please check out: With A Little Help From My Friends, which was posted on July 1, 2019; Santa’s Favorite Elf, which was posted on September 7, 2020; The Great Cookie Bakeoff, which was posted on July 6, 2020; The Key to Kindness, which was posted on November 2, 2020; and Elf Secrets, which posted on November 30, 2020
To read more about Berrie please check out: Not All Candy Canes Are The Same, which posted on July 22, 2019
To read more about Hanna please check out: The Lost Elves, which was posted on February 3, 2020
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one next Monday. If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until next week . . .
Illustration by FireMane Studio