Troubled Elf

Troubled Elf

When Tempe and Bernard arrived, the three of us slipped into the observation room above the Bike and Scooter Workshop. “We have to be quiet and not let on that we are observing this group of young elves,” I whispered. “I want you to watch Elfanzo, a Whelp in training. He’s the one in green over there.”

We watched Wheelie, the manager, direct the elves on how to put together the scooters in front of them. Walking over to Elfanzo, he explained what he was doing wrong and tried to correct him.

“I know what I’m doing, I don’t need you to tell me.”

Shocked at Elfanzo’s outburst, we watched as he pulled away from Wheelie.

“If you want to be an elf at the North Pole, you will have to follow directions till you are capable of working on your own. Talking back is not tolerated,” Wheelie said, his voice stern.

“Whatever,” hissed Elfanzo who continued to ignore Wheelie’s suggestions. When the wheel fell off the scooter, Elfanzo threw down his wrench and stormed out the door with Wheelie following him.

Bernard turned to run after the two, but I stopped him. “Let Wheelie take care of the situation. You saw exactly what I wanted you to see, so let’s go to my office and discuss what to do with this young elf.”

While walking, I described a recent situation. “Yesterday Quentin saw Snickers joking that Elfanzo threw snowballs like a girl. Elfanzo overreacted and called Snickers names. Then he started pushing him around. Quentin broke up what could have become a nasty fight.”

When we arrived at my office, Bernard and Temperance took a seat by my desk. “How can we help,” replied the two in unison.

“Thanks.” I sighed and shoved a small stack of notes in front of them. “These are the complaints that I have received about Elfanzo since he arrived in January. What can we do? This young elf has shown talent, but his behavior is unacceptable.”

“He lacks good elf-like conduct,” Bernard remarked. “I don’t see that you have much choice, Santa, but to send him back home to Korvatunturi Mountain.”

Tempe shook her head. “Let’s not be hasty. Like Santa said, he has talent. When I was watching Elfanzo, I noticed how embarrassed he was when he couldn’t make things work the way he wanted.”

“Good observation Tempe. I’d say that Elfanzo hasn’t quite grown out of the Elfkin stage.” I thought about what the three of us had seen. “Maybe, if Wheelie had remained calm and asked him what was wrong and pointed out what Elfanzo had done right, things could have turned out differently.”

Both elves agreed. “It also appears that he is having a hard time getting along with the other elves,” Bernard pointed out and turned towards Tempe. “Maybe you could be his mentor, and work with him. I’ve seen how you can calm down elves who are arguing.”

“That’s an excellent idea, Bernard. What do you say Tempe?”

“Certainly, Santa. But before I do, can you talk with Wheelie and explain your plan?”

I agreed, and the next day Tempe returned to the observation room. At first Elfanzo, was fine. When he couldn’t attach the handle bars to the bike, he threw his wrench on the floor. Tempe noticed the other elves shaking their heads and whispering to one another.

Tempe trotted down the stairs and strolled towards Elfanzo. “How are things going?” she asked.

“Not good!” the Whelp elf responded and kicked the wall.

“You sound frustrated. What’s up?” Temperance sat on the stool by Elfanzo’s work station and waited.

The elf leaned back and crossed his arms on his chest. “I guess I thought this would be easier and more fun,” he muttered. “Instead, it seems to be a lot of pressure on new elves to be as good as those who were already here.”

“Many of us felt that way in the beginning, and I bet if you spent more time with the other elves who are new, you’d find a lot of them share the same feelings.”

Elfanzo blurted out, “Yeah, but I really don’t like putting bikes and scooters together!”

“That’s the beauty of the North Pole,” Tempe calmly responded. “Did you know we have 16 workshops and 17 departments? You have time to find your niche before June production begins.”

“You mean I don’t have to do this? I can try something else?”

“Of course. Let’s talk with Wheelie right now and let him know this workshop is not a good fit for you. He can then check to see who is looking for help and let you try another workshop.”

“Really?” Elfanzo clapped his hands. “When can I start? I think I’d like to work with stuffed animals.”

“Love your enthusiasm.” Temperance laughed and suggested that the two of them take a break.

Tempe led the young elf to the dining area, assuring him that this change could work. “But things are not always going to be perfect. Santa can’t have an elf getting mad at others for no reason. Controlling your mood and temper is necessary.”

Elfanzo dropped his head. “I wish I knew how to do that.”

“What if I could help you?”

The young elf looked surprised. “You would do that for me? Back in the workshop, you didn’t yell or try to tell me what to do. I liked that you were kind and patient.”

“I think you will find that most of Santa’s elves support one another. But I have to tell you, it may take a while for you to get over your anger issues.”

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” I called out and walked into the dining area and headed towards the two elves. “How’s this Whelp doing Temperance?” Turning to face Elfanzo, I smiled. “I admire your talents, but you know you have to learn patience and kindness to become a good elf. Then your talents will really shine.”

Elfanzo’s eyes grew large. “Thanks Santa. I’ll work hard, I promise. Tempe’s agreed to help me.”

“Elves helping elves. I like that.” Giving Elfanzo a pat on the back, I winked at Tempe and left.

“Do you think he saw me getting angry today?”

“Santa sees and knows everything that goes on at the North Pole,” Tempe explained.

Elfanzo rubbed his hands together and shook his head. “I have to really work on my anger issues.” Pausing, he grinned at Tempe. “But I have you to help me through these tough times!”

Tempe hugged Elfanzo and smiled. “One of these days, Santa will be delighted with the elf you will become. Until that happens, let’s enjoy our hot cocoa and make a plan.”

Notes From Santa

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday March 18, 2023.  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 the next time . . .

To read more about Temperance please check out

When Tempers Flare at the North Pole – August 12, 2019
Healing Hurt Feelings – August 10, 2020

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Illustration from PNG ALL

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