Now, the war must end.
The Rise of the Gnomes Part Six: The Resolution
Mother sat for a long time, just staring at the leader of the gnomes. She couldn’t continue to fight them, and she couldn’t allow them to run free. Somehow, she needed to make them change their ways.
At last, an idea came to her. She got all the cages filled with gnomes and lined them up in a row. Then she sewed a halter and a leash for the leader.
He bit and scratched at her as she tried to put the leash on him, so she jabbed him with her knitting needle until he stopped. When she had his leash attached, she set him on the floor. She pointed out some broken glass from a vase the gnomes had smashed on the floor. She handed the gnome a small broom and dustpan.
“Clean it up.”
The gnome sat on the floor, crossed his arms, and refused to comply.
Mother poked him with her knitting needle, but still he refused. She poked him again and again, until finally he began to sweep up the broken bits.
He worked slowly, oh so slowly, but mother would not relent until finally the mess was cleaned. Then, she put him back in his cage.
That night, she noticed her knitting needle seemed to be a little longer than it had been before.
The next morning, she again leashed the leader, and this time leashed one more. She showed them a stain on the carpet where they’d spilled something. She handed each of them a scrub brush and a small bowl of soapy water, and instructed them to get the stain out.
Many pokes and prods with the needle later, and the stain was clean. She put them back in their cages. Again, her needle seemed to have grown. And now her back itched.
Day after day, she added one more gnome to the party of leashed cleaners, and supervised as they began to make right the disaster they’d made of her home, until at last the house was clean and peaceful once more.
When it was done, she took the leader and sat him on the counter and looked him straight in the eye. She pointed her knitting needle, which was now twice as long as it had been, at the gnome. “I’ll let you and your people free, as long as you behave. But mark my words, if you get out of hand, there will be consequences.”
The tip of her knitting needle began to glow. The itch on her back flamed, and two wings sprouted out from behind her shoulders.
The gnome leader bowed before her. “We will obey, Cleaning Fairy.”