Selections from Mr. Kringle’s Tales: A Miracle for Elf Randy

In a variation on “From the Stacks,” I have decided to offer you, between now and Christmas, a few of Jonathan’s stories from one of his most popular books:

Mr. Kringle’s Tales: 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Not that many people can write “funny,” but it was one of Jonathan’s gifts. This particular story might make you laugh out loud–a trauma of elf-sized proportion.


A Miracle for Elf Randy

The scourge of Elfdom, causing the tiniest heart to palpitate in fear—a malady so intense that the eyes bulge in abstract horror:

Tallitis—a disease leaving the once-proudly miniscule elf with swollen hands, feet, nose, ears, arms and legs, while skyrocketing the victim to a freakish FOUR FEET IN HEIGHT. Eat a bowl of four-leaf clovers and pray to be spared.

Elf Randy wasn’t so lucky.

About a month earlier, he had noticed that his little toe was larger, challenging his big toe for Top Little Piggy. A fluke, he decided. Then his left ear sprouted new length—terrifying. He had to wear a scarf and hat to disguise it.

Two days later, the nose became bulbous, the right knee a mountain and his lips ballooned to the size of inner tubes. There weren’t enough hats or scarves to disguise the disgrace.

“You have Tallitis!” screamed Elf Candy.

A tragedy.

Elf Randy was forced to live in a stable with the reindeer (because no one was quite sure if Tallitis was contagious.)

He busted out of his clothes and Mrs. Kringle had to darn him a robe made out of a used blanket from a reindeer stall.

Things were looking up—but for an elf with Tallitis, that was bad.

Doctor Ulandi risked a visit. “I’ve been thinking about Tallitis,” he said.

“Do you have a cure?” Randy was desperate.

“If the problem is big, then we need to think small. I want to try something.”

Doctor Ulandi pulled out a handful of pills. “What makes us shrink more than diet pills? Then I want you to soak in a bathtub of lemon juice, read a story by Edgar Allen Poe, drink seven cups of coffee…”

“Wait! I don’t understand,” interrupted Randy.

Doctor Ulandi heaved a sigh. “You see, diet pills make you lose weight. Lemon juice causes you to pucker. The story will cause you to shrink back in fear. And the coffee will stunt your growth.”

“Will it work?”

“No,” Ulandi said. “But it will keep us occupied until you explode.”

“Explode??!”

“Just kidding,” Doctor Ulandi said innocently. “But anyway, the final step is to throw you in the washer on the hot cycle.”

“What?”

“Well, it sure shrunk my pee-jammers last week.” Ulandi smiled and frowned at the same time.

Well, of course, Elf Randy agreed to try it. He followed each step faithfully. And so, coffee-breathed and starving, he dove into the washer.

Round and round he went in the oversized contraption, an elf needing to be “Cheered” and swept by the “Tide.”

When the cycle stopped, Ulandi shouted, “Hurry! Throw him in the hot dryer on ‘whites only’!”

Finally the dryer stopped tumbling. The door was opened. Damp elf smell encompassed the room.

A leg plopped out. A tiny leg. Then another.

Randy dropped to the floor—a new pixie.

Healed.

“It’s a miracle!” he exclaimed.

Doctor Ulandi gasped. Then, regaining his composure, he proclaimed, “You are re-Elfed.”

Randy returned to shop life.

A cure for Tallitis had been found.

Doctor Ulandi submitted his findings to a medical journal. (They declined to publish due to a very tiny readership.)

Ulandi summarized the day, “Well, as they say—it all comes out in the wash!”


If the story intrigues you, go ahead and purchase a copy of the book. It’s on Amazon.

Click the title to purchase your own copy

Mr. Kringle’s Tales: 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

 

 

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