“Is he attuned?”
“Looks like it.”
Morning sun rays bathing his face. Pippin lifted his heavy eyelids. Taking a deep breath, he missed the loving aroma, warmth, and spaciousness of lavender fields. He knew every lavender field as well as his Elven poems—and they teach those from the moment you are born into the Elven world. Pippin tightened the grip of his right hand. Nothing. His palm was empty. He shrieked in terror. Where was it?!
Shallow breathing and pulsing tempo in his head. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. He held onto the tip of his pointy ears, bending them up and down, seeking to break free from the beat. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. Pippin looked down to his Elven crakows. And there it was! His left pom-pom was attached to the crakow as if the Squirrel had never torn it off.
“Ah, Mary the Squirrel is actually one sweet being,” thought Pippin to himself. “She must have fixed it while I was sleeping,” he concluded. Pippin was excitedly observing his green crakows when he heard the tempo again. 1-2-3. 1-2-3.
His left crakow, on its own, appeared to take a step forward with its heel lifting from the ground. The crakow pressed into his foot’s ball on the second beat, with a smooth rise of his toes. Pippin’s heel lowered to the floor, back to its starting position at the end of the third beat. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. It petrified Pippin. He was not dancing, but his crakows were. And his entire body now danced along. He rotated to the melody of a flute and strings. Shoulders parallel to the floor, Pippin appeared to be an-A class waltz dancer, but the event fixed his face in terror.
“Mary the Squirrel?!” squealed Pippin.
“Who is Mary?” asked an old elf with a medieval flute in his hand.
Pippin’s dancing stopped momentarily, and he felt relieved to see another elf around.
“Hi! How do you know my name?” asked Pippin, catching his breath.
“They told us you would come,” smiled the old elf and went back to playing his flute.
“Wait. Please wait!” Pippin’s crakows started dancing once again. “When you stopped playing, I stopped dancing. Could you stop again? Please?”
“Oh, I am sorry, young man. But I cannot do such a thing! I am a flute player. What an awful flute player I must be to stop playing, wouldn’t I?” chuckled the old elf as he kept on blowing into the wooden mouthpiece of his long instrument. “Besides, you are a lovely dancer!” the old elf praised Pippin.
Pippin sighed. “They told us you would come…”—repeated Pippin to himself—”I wonder who he meant?”
“Introduce the third stimuli. Promptly.”
“Yes. We are running out of time.”
Pippin looked around to ask the old elf what he meant, but the flute player was gone. 1-2-3. 1-2-3. As Pippin kept spinning, confused, now amid lavender fields. His eyes landed on another player—a fiddler elf.
“Hello? Excuse me? Can you hear me?”
The fiddler looked up from his vibrating silver strings and smiled.
“Hello there, boy! Lovely dance!”
“Oh, thank you… But you see, if you would stop playing for a second so I can take my Elven crakows off…”
“You want to take your Elven crakows off?”
“Yes!” sighed Pippin in relief.
“And you need me to stop playing so you can do that?”
“Oh, I see.”
Pippin smiled, waiting for the music to stop.
“I am afraid I cannot do such a thing, though. And I doubt your family would be proud to know you are trying to take your Elven crakows off. Ah, Elven youth. I could not understand you even if I tried.”
“No. Sir, you got me all wrong! I love my Elven crakows. It is just that they make me…”
“And I love my music. So, cheers, boy!” said the fiddler and walked back, deep into the lavender field.
1… 2… 3… The music faded, and Pippin’s crakows slowly stopped moving. Pippin jumped from joy, took his crakows off, wiggled his toes, and sighed. “I could not understand you even if I tried.” This one sentence echoed in Pippin’s head. Never before had an elf judged another elf. I confused Pippin. He sat next to his crakows, sighed, and played with the pom-poms. Suddenly, his eyes became wet. Pippin jumped back on his feet and rubbed his eyes, wetting his hands too.
“What is this, what could it be?” Pippin wondered. As he carefully rubbed his eyes, a tension spread across his face, tightening and pulling down on the corner of his lips. Pippin sat back down and rested his head on his hands and his elbows on his knees. The liquid drops kept rolling down his cheeks, and for the first time in his life, Pippin experienced heaviness and a sunken heart. He closed his eyes and tried to focus on repeating his Elven poem:
“Down in the Elven town
Where no elf is ever let down
Laid Pippin down his ears
Amid the lavender fields.”
“Oh, Pippin! What a lovely song that is!”
Pippin opened his eyes and looked around in wonder. Mary, the Squirrel, stood at the bottom of Rozalén’s bed. Pippin gazed towards his right hand, only to find his pom-pom there.
“I do not get it. Just seconds ago, I was…” said Pippin.
“Oh, what a nice nap you had. My favorite ones are the ones that leave me confused. Lucky you! Let’s get going now. We are close to the crakow repairer.”
Pippin carefully stood on his two feet and put the crakows on. “Onee… twooo… threee…” whispered Pippin to his crakows. Nothing happened.
“Come on, Pippin! Let’s get going before it is time for a new nap—I can see you love those,” winked Mary the Squirrel to a bewildered Pippin.
Report on experiment number three (“Criticism”):
The subject of the experiment: An elf named Pippin.
The elf in question successfully passed experiment number three. Human-like behavior observed, and the elf in question experienced human emotions. We are now starting with experiment number four.
A report issued by The Human-Elf Interaction Laboratory
E&P by EZorrilla.