he heard a little noise and then buzzing in his ears. Pippin gasped-a giant squirrel!

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An Elf Named Pippin
“Is he attuned?”
“Looks like it.”
„Ugh, no…“ said Pippin while shaking ants off his pom-pom crakows.
Amid amber fields surrounding him was a tiny cabin with an asymmetrical thatch
roof. Pippin cautiously walked in.
“Woah! How preeeetty!” squinted Pippin while reaching for a deep blue ceramic plate laid on an old wooden shelf. Pippin held the plate in his small hands for some time until he put it back on the shelf.
“I am hungry.”—thought Pippin to himself—“There must be at least one candy cane around.”
He lifted his head and looked around. Nothing. The only thing that this cabin had was a cute kitchen with no candies. And the stairs. Pippin approached the stairs slowly.
“Introduce a distraction. Promptly.”

Just when Pippin was about to step his right green crakow on the first stair, he heard a little noise and then buzzing in his ears. Pippin gasped and looked to his left. The magnificent deep blue ceramic plate he just minutes ago held in his hands was now moving by itself and slowly, but indeed falling off the shelf. Pippin stood frozen as he watched the plate hit the ground in slow motion, shattering into few larger pieces and hundreds of smaller ones falling all over the place.
The few sunbeams coming through a little window highlighted ocean blue bits of the ceramic, making the accident look a lot like a magical dance of colored bits settling in a mosaic on the ground. And then the buzzing stopped. Pippin was left with what was once a beautiful plate now crashed before his eyes by an unknown force. Those broken bits on the old floor looked nothing like magic anymore.
“Ah, it was such a nice plate…” mumbled Pippin to himself. “The plate is broken, there are no candy canes, and I am not getting any less hungry. I hate this place,” whispered Pippin as he slowly sat down in the middle of the cabin’s floor.
“Introduce the first stimuli. Gradually.”
After gathering enough strength to do so, Pippin lifted his head and looked around. “There must be something.”—he thought—“At least a golden syrup.” It was amid his despair that he noticed a small piece of crumpled paper.
“There is something written on it!” shrieked Pippin, jumping right back on his feet and rushing towards the recipe. He unfolded the note with his bony fingers and noticed black cursive handwriting on it.
“Food Idea: Hearty and Nutritious Lentil Soup
1 spoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
2 cups of water
1 dash salt or pepper
Warm the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery.
Stir often—Cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder—Cook for half a minute.
Pour in the lentils and the water. Add a dash of salt or pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for 30 more minutes. Your lentil soup is now ready. Serve while hot.
All ingredients can be found in the kitchen pantry (marked), and pots, cups, spoons, forks,
and knives are in the large drawer next to the kitchen stove.”
“Hmm… The kitchen stove…” Pippin wondrously looked around and recognized an object as a stove. Of course, he had never used one but saw quite a few on his trips to human homes when he worked as Happiness Delivery Elf. Nevertheless, Pippin confidently approached the stove, taking a ceramic pot from the large drawer. He then opened the pantry, hoping to find what he has been successfully ingesting for the past twelve elvish years and get over with the soup nonsense.
“Damn. No candy canes in this place for real.” After admitting an inevitable defeat, he took an ingredient by ingredient, peeling, chopping, and mincing for minutes and minutes on.
Now and then, Pippin would look at the instructions and continue cooking. Soon enough, his soup was done, and he sat on the floor to try it.

He took a deep breath and dove his spoon into the mixture. As his tongue touched the soup, Pippin jumped and spat all around. “Hot! Hot! Hot!” yawped Pippin as he nervously jumped from one foot to another. “Awful! You are an awful mixture!” shouted Pippin at the bowl of the soup.

“Experiment number one—failed.”
“No, wait.”
Pippin sighed, his eyes full of tears. He saw no other food in the pantry, and he knew that eating this soup was his only chance of surviving. So, the elf sat down to try once more. He took another spoonful of the soup. Before trying it, he blew into the spoon. Then he twitched.
Why did he do that? He never blows into any of his candies. Pippin warily tasted a bit of the soup with his tongue. It was not as hot as before. Then he blew again and took a spoonful of soup in his mouth. He felt warmth filling his body. Pippin feverishly reached for another spoon, and then another, until all the soup from the blue bowl was gone.
“Hmmm. Soup. That was actually nice,” said Pippin as his tiny hand reached for his tummy,
contentedly rubbing it.
“Experiment number one—passed.”
“Write the report. Introduce interaction. Promptly.”

As Pippin enjoyed himself and wondered where to go next, he heard a deafening noise coming from the basement. Moments later, he saw a giant squirrel at the top of the stairs.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my dwelling?” screamed the squirrel, snatching at Pippin.

Report on experiment number one (“Food”):
The subject of the experiment: An elf named Pippin.
The elf in question successfully passed experiment number one. Human-like behavior was observed. The elf in question quickly adapted to any challenges presented. We are now starting with experiment number two.

A report issued by The Human-Elf Interaction Laboratory

E&P by EZorrilla.

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