The Gnome and I – Episode 13
A New Year and Valentine’s Day
To read from the beginning click here: The Gnome and I
The new year of 2015 brought even more snow and cold. Henri’s friends from Greenland had returned home to take care of their own winter chores. So that left me in charge of snow removal. Which, strangely enough, was a welcome change from being indoors.
Henri stood on my shoulders to get a better look at the icicles that formed all around the house.
However, by February, the novelty of snow shovelling had worn off completely. So I was happy to hear that Henri wanted to plan a special Valentine’s Day dinner as he had decided to make his courtship official with the gnomish librarian, Rita Booke. We looked through cookery books for ideas and planned a menu. I had volunteered to be the chef, so it had to be simple yet elegant, and something I knew how to cook. I also had agreed to be the server but I put my foot down when Henri suggested I wear a uniform. I am the Queen of this castle after all!
Valentine’s night arrived, freezing but clear, with twinkling stars. The table was set with my best china and silverware. Rita looked lovely and Henri was beaming. Before dinner, he presented her with a red rose and asked, “Voulez-vous me faire l’honneur de devoner mon fiance?” (Would you do me the honour of becoming my fiance?) Rita blushed appropriately and demurely answered, “Oui, mon cher.” (Yes, my dear.)
I served the meal, which turned out rather well, and was praised repeatedly. Henri and Rita insisted I eat with them. I opened a bottle of champagne that I had been saving for a special occasion and toasted the happy couple. In the course of conversation, I casually asked if the sound of little gnome feet would be heard in the near future. Rita was aghast! Henri whispered that gnome courtships lasted 10 years and most gnomes waited until they were at least 350 years old to marry. I apologised for my faux pas, blaming it on too much champagne, insisting that Rita surely didn’t look a day over 300.
Henri escorted Rita home. And I, of course, did the washing up. As well as finishing the last of the champagne.