Richard gets carried away with words when he isn't writing his novel , pondering human nature, or gardening, and sometimes even then.
Happiness is Happy Gnomes
Make Your Gnomes Happy
What gnomes like best is more gnomes. Ask any gnome, and s/he will tell you that, aside from gardening, nothing makes him or her happier than the right company.
According to Gnome Daily Times writer, Pen Small, the happiest gnomes in the survey were gnomes living in gardens with more than 12 gnome resident workers, (some of whom are female and none of whom are non-gnomes, such as dwarves or smurfs), and a well-tended, large-ish garden with diverse flora. Healthy cats were observed lounging around the birdbaths in somber-colored homes where the gardens with their brilliant colors were the obvious focal point. "No excess in machinery is found in a happy gnome’s yard," Pen explained.
Let's Make Amends for Gnome Neglect
If you have broken any of these general rules, and who hasn’t, you may need to make amends. We have broken the guidelines out in to explicated sections with carefully specified instructions, so you will know exactly how to act in the future. We thank The Gnome Project’s Symposium for Improving Gnome-Human Communication for the detailed and thoughtful information.
Some have suggested that gnomes are little, bitty bigots due to their cultural stance on dwarves, cats, and house paint. Others have said that gnomes are emotionally abusive in the way they treat people they live with who mow half-acre plots with riding mowers. Noted abuse experts have posited that the beat-down any gnome will offer a resident who has let the birdbath grow slick or dry well exceeds proportionate punishment.
The Gnome Project acknowledges these as valid observations. In response it has developed an anger management program for gnomes aimed at reducing gnomes’ need to abuse recalcitrant or neglectful homeowners. Another grant awarded just this month will research possible gnome bigotry and its causes. “We aren’t perfect,” Gnome Project Director Pointy Redhat explained, “and we are famously slow to change.”
Recent Research Indicates Gnome Happiness Finds Roots in Environment, Companionship
10. House Paint Can’t Be Colorful
Gnomes we interviewed for this article all claimed that they do not like what they refer to as “South American colors” which includes pink, salmon, lime, orange, blue, or purple, in any combination or singly. Additionally, they do not like colonial or hacienda style architecture. They get the shivers from archways, a thing they say started when the Romans commenced their persecution of gnomes and much of gnome culture went underground.
Always aware of gardening conditions, many gnomes interviewed remarked that they regretted these taste preferences because they prevented them from large-scale immigration to South America where they have been told the gardening is as easy as Jack-in-the-beanstalk-type bean growing and twice as fast.
Several of them repined that they were sure they could just barely scratch the soil, throw seed near it, and grow a bumper crop. Some cried at the thought of it. It would seem that the preference was not a prejudice so much as a condition.
We All Love Cats!
Really, Who Doesn't Love Cats?
9. Gnomes Love Cats Around
You must have cats living with you to have healthy gnomes. Unidentified particulate found on cats’ fur effects gnome physiology in several ways, one of which is similar to the way marijuana effects humans’ or catnip effects kitties’.
When a kitty rubs against a gnome, the gnome not only gets a nice buzz, but it also feels good to him and helps revitalize his old skin. Since gnomes, as far as is known, are nearly immortal, dying eventually but not in anyone’s lifetime, and since they work outside, their skin is particularly sensitive.
Additionally, gnomes make their breeches from cat hair they collect from their kitties. Even though more modern sources of material for breeches are plentiful, gnomes like cat hair pants the best. They are long wearing in addition to soft.
No one seems to understand the incredible health benefit gnomes get from cats. One theory is that cats’ eyes can see gnomes move, even in the daytime, but this theory remains unproven and unverified by the gnomes themselves. We do know that gnomes like things tidy. Gnomes have been heard remarking that kitties smell clean and keep their fur looking lovely.
Gnomes are not Dwarves, Smurfs, Fairies, or Brownies, Please
8. Don’t Ever Confuse Gnomes with Dwarves, Smurfs, Fairies, or Brownies, Please!
Even in your most careless moment, please do not ever, even for a moment, mistake snow White’s dwarves, nor any type of Smurf, fairy, or Brownie, with gnomes. Gnomes are a separate species, one much, much older than Snow White’s dwarves which can only trace their ancestry back to 1940’s Hollywood or the Smurfs whose race only dates to current times. Gnomes are fiercely proud of themselves and their works.
According to gnomes, dwarves are all defined and delimited by the name attributes of Snow White’s original set. We warn you that this prejudice, like other prejudices, is disturbing and we warn you that you may never feel the same about your gnomes if you read further, so skip to the next paragraph while we repeat the gossip we heard gnomes say about dwarves.
They consider the dwarves a passel of underachievers who have allowed themselves to be corrupted by a human overlord, and that is just the beginning of their ire toward dwarves.
Gnomes Reject Dwarves and Smurfs
Sing a Lot at Work
Help Humans Garden
Don't Help Humans
Live at Disneyland
Live in Cartoon Land
Why Don't They Love Everybody?
First, gnomes have a great deal to say about the living arrangements at Snow White’s house. We don’t want to go full blue here, but you can imagine what we mean.
Second, Dopey, Sneezy, and Happy, they maintain, are all hardcore drug addicts, the former a sleepy-headed hophead, the second a habitual cocaine inhaler, and the last perennially high on Valium or Xanax.
Third, and they really tell it like this, in order with specific details, gnomes believe no one has the right to be grumpy or bashful, even if that is his name. Gnomes make it a point to graciously welcome each day, even rainy ones, and they expect the same from others. For a while they tolerated Bashful’s shyness, but when it became chronic, they stopped tolerating what they consider a flaw that Bashful won’t address in an adult manner.
Finally, fourth and foremost, gnomes hate Doc. They hate Doc so much they get angry at even the mention of his name. We were nearly expelled from last year’s Gnome Rendezvous just for asking about contemporary attitudes toward Doc.
Gnomes Feel Kindred to Brownies and Fairies
Help Humans Garden
Help with Household Chores
Live in Woods
Fairies and Brownies
Fairies and Brownies are more socially acceptable to gnomes, although in no way integrated into their society. Fairies and Brownies’ species date back as far as the gnomes do, and they are both working groups as gnomes are. As every gnome knows, one doesn’t pick fights with Brownies or Fairies unless one has a lifetime to dedicate to it.
One gnome who preferred not to be identified told us that he, “would rather pick a fight with a whole family of Franklin County, Virginia moonshiner hillbillies as pick one with just one Brownie. They are fierce and don’t accept peace offerings. We all get along now, and we keep it that way.”
Gnomes, like Brownies eschew conspicuous consumption, insobriety in any aspect, and improvidence of any kind. They live humbly, and they expect others to do the same.
Gnomes don’t interact much with fairies, either. When queried about this, most gnomes say fairies are too short tempered for garden work. Reportedly, fairies also quickly become impatient and overwhelmed when confronted with hard, slow, physical labor and occasional disappointment.
This mystifies the gnomes we interviewed for this article since hard, slow, physical labor and occasional disappointment define the gnome condition. No one is more loath to lose a plant than a gnome, but they do accept that sometimes it happens. Fairies, they allege, fly, literally, into fits of rage and assign blame as a means of addressing dead and dying plants. Gnomes believe this response is ineffective.
Rate Your Small Being
Tidy the Shed, Scrub the Birdbath, and Fill the Feeders
7. Garden Shed/Birdbath Condition
If you have a garden shed, and they don’t require that you do, the gnomes believe it must be tidy. Going back to the improvident theme, gnomes, being gardeners are experts at planning ahead and envisioning future growth. If they find your shed cluttered, they conclude that you don’t know how to organize or plan ahead, and they don’t like it. They have been known to play tricks on the owners of untidy sheds, and some of them weren’t pretty or funny.
If you don’t keep your birdbath clean and fresh, gnomes say, then what do you keep clean and fresh? Gnomes like tidy and clean, and although gnomes don’t practice war, if they did cleanliness, tidiness, and order would probably be their battle cry.
No Laziness or Phoniness Invited
6. Garden Equipment Rules
No gardening equipment is required to maintain happy, healthy gnomes. They would prefer to see you working in the garden each day, but they don’t judge nor gossip about humans generally. Among gnomes it is known and accepted that humans can’t garden on our own. Every gnome we interviewed said s/he felt good about helping humans even though they are technically required to do so.
All equipment must be tidy and in good working order. One gnome we interviewed said he once lived in the garden of a lawnmower repairman’s shop and had to run away because the shop was continually filled with broken lawnmowers and weed eaters.
Caution: All equipment must be proportionate to garden size. If a gnome sees you using a John Deere riding mower for a job of less than an acre, that could easily have been mown with a push mower, oh Lordy! One of our neighbor’s gnomes saw him use a wood splitter where a maul would have done just as well, and he just left out. Our gnomes, watching from across the street all shook their small heads as they watched him go.
Bigger is Relative
5. Large Garden Size Proportionately
Bigger is better. Gnomes judge themselves and others by the amount of garden work they can do, so plenty of work to go around is essential. That said, we have known gnomes to live in very small gardens when the folks they work for also live in very small houses.
In other words, gnomes are not at all impressed by high socioeconomic status. They define wealth differently than we do. They do have a pronounced bias against people who have large houses and small gardens.
Noted gnomolgist, Jeani Beany, explained, “Gnomes assess wealth in terms of how well you take care of your garden, your Significant Others, and your hearth. They value self-reliance. They don’t separate gardening/work/wealth. Culturally, it’s just all one inseparable thing.”
The ideal gnome home has a garden covering as many square feet as does the house. Gnomes will find their own place to sleep, in the garden, and you will never need to leave food out for them.
Are You and Your Home Right for Gnome Cohabitation?
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- I host plenty of cats all day and all night long.
- I don't buy garden equipment that is over-engineered and bigger than I need to care for my yard.
- When I work in my garden, I don't call it work because I love it so.
- I either dislike or am willing to try to strongly dislike Smurfs and Dwarves.
- I think many of the world's problems are caused by Smurfs and Dwarves.
- I like to have many gnomes in my garden.
Interpreting Your Score
If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Run when you see gnomes because you are not right for them, and they are too polite to tell you so.
If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: Re-read the article and change up some of your answers. Hint, answer true more often and then improve yourself by making yourself agree with your answers.
If you got 4 correct answers: You may have some ability to successfully host gnomes. However, you could improve your readiness by trying to agree with more of the test statements.
If you got 5 correct answers: Go get you some gnomes! Don't wait another second. While your score was not perfect, you clearly have gnome potential!
If you got 6 correct answers: We think you already have gnomes, already know how to care for them, and already love them. Go get more gnomes!
Lots and Lots of Kinds of Plants
4. Large Variety of Flora in Garden
Gnomes live to work in the garden caring for plants, so it follows that they would like to be challenged by new varieties of plants, trees, and shrubbery. They even like algae. Among gnomes, you are what you know about growing flora. Gnomes do not fret over love, food, shelter, or clothing. They worry over how much they know about any given growing plant.
A well-known theory of gnome development, the evolving difficulties theory developed by Red Green and Phat Beli back during the infancy of gnomology, posits that as gnomes age, they require more and more complexity in their work. Thus, happy gnomes have constant access to new types of flora to grown.
One particularly engaged human gnome host told us that when his gnomes seem grumpier than usual, he buys dying plants in flats and leaves them on the sidewalk in his garden. He says it makes them so happy to have something to care for that he can hear them humming within minutes of depositing the poorly flats of plants on the walk.
3. Gnome’s Labor Must Be Voluntary
For as long as gnomes and humans have associated, gnomes have worked for us. Legend tells that we never asked them to work, but common sense doubts it. Fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and flowers are irresistible, and as a rule, gnomes out-garden humans by 2-1. Not only do gnomes work faster than us, they also work longer. Most gnome hosts have not seen a gnome sleep.
Gnome labor, however, must be entirely voluntary. Even small requests are completely unacceptable. Angry gnomes offended by requests, untidiness, and ostentation are known to travel a gnome underground railroad to any of a number of gnome preserves in England, where they may live as they choose for the duration of their long lives with plenty to do and admiration from the many visitors to the preserves.
Beware, gnomes are notoriously bad swimmers, so if you make a gnome unhappy and he must try to swim to England to reach a preserve, untoward events may transpire. If, however, the gnome you offended is already in England, there is less danger for the gnome in his journey, but we don’t find the English that offensive these days and suspect the gnomes don’t either.
Gotta Have Me Some Women!
2. Female Gnomes, More is More
Gnomes, as you may already know, are most often male. Exact numbers are not available, but we know there are fewer female gnomes than male gnomes. As with many species, a dearth of females is usually accompanied by social problems.
In an embarrassing and publicly denied incident last summer, an all-male colony of gnomes was incited to verbal violence and a partial shovel assault when a brawl broke out over which hair color was superior for female gnomes, the choices under discussion being grey, white, or green. In what has been described as the first known kerfuffle in the last 1,300 years, several gnomes were angered, many shouted insults, and one threw his shovel at his brother.
To create an environment that engenders happy, verbal abuse free gnomes, we recommend as many female gnomes as you can find. As mentioned, research on this topic is scant, and answers are few. We can verify that female gnomes exist, and we can tell you that you can buy a few here.
Lifespan, workload, sexual reproduction, living preferences, and best hair color for female gnomes remain mysteries. All we can tell you for certain is that more female gnomes in a gnome population is fortuitous for any number of complex social and physiological reasons.
It Takes a Village
1. Many Gnomes Needed for Optimal Social Health
Even more important than female gnomes are male gnomes. For reasons not well understood, gnomes need each other. And they don’t just need a few others, gnomes thrive in large “family” groups, ideally numbering at least 12 members, but more is better. Though not necessarily genetically related, the gnomes in your yard will form familial bonds once they are gathered together. Gnomes’ sense of connectedness and community are essential to them. When a gnome says, “It takes a village,” he really means it.
Recent research in its early stages indicates that the optimum number of gnomes differs by geography, with locations closer to the Equator requiring an average of 2.3 more individuals per family group than locations elsewhere. It is suspected that gnomes don’t thrive as well in hot areas, but this hypothesis has not been subjected to rigorous scientific inquiry. Adjusting for the 2.3 members, ideal gnome family size is 12-36 individuals.
Keep your gnomes, many or few, as happy as you can by following these 10 guidelines. Keep up with gnome current events. Be the person your gnome knows you can be.
Share Your Gnome Experiences
Have you had gnome experiences that you would like to tell someone about? Write them here in the comments. People who live with gnomes want to know and may provide useful advice.
Beanne, Jeani. Gnomology: A Complete Study. Fairyland: Adventure Works Press, 1990. Book.
Breechez, Smal. Gnomes: Habits and Quirks. Fairyland: Imagination Books Ltd, 2000. Book.
© 2018 Richard Green
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on October 19, 2018:
Aww, I love gnomes. I have several in my garden.