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A Dwarf Learns To Swim
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Are there also dwarves in your garden?
You know, these small fat guys with the red pointy hats standing around lazily in the flower beds most of the time.
Mum and Dad call them garden gnomes; however, actually they are dwarves.
How do I know this?
Well, Grompf told me.
Grompf always stood in Mum's flower bed, exactly between the yellow and the white roses.
His red pointy hat was a little bit broken at one place, after I had tried to throw the sand moulds into the flower bed!
Although he only wore dungarees and a shirt, Grompf never seemed to be cold; at least he never put on a coat.
Shortly before the Easter holidays Mum and Dad decided to build a garden pond.
I could already swim very well, and my little sister Marie could not even walk, thus they did not plan a fence around the pond for the time being.
Two weeks after Easter Dad started digging a large hole in the middle of the garden, and after school I was allowed to help.
At this moment I realised that our garden gnome no longer stood between the yellow and the white roses, but between the white and the red roses.
"Look, the garden gnome is watching us building the garden pond," I told Marie, and my little sister chortled happily in her playpen.
Each day when I ran into our garden after lunch, the garden gnome stood a little nearer to our pond.
During the next week, it rained for some days and the hole in the ground filled with water, the garden gnome came closer to the rim of the pond step by step.
I wondered if he was able to swim?
A few days later, when the sun was shining again, I decided to ask him.
"Hello", I said, and took a seat on the grass beside him.
"My name is Robin, and what is yours?"
"Grompf," he grumbled.
Strictly speaking, "Grompf" was almost the only thing he ever said, but that did not disturb me, my little sister did not know many more words either.
"Can you swim?" I continued.
"Grompf," the garden gnome nodded and slowly waddled to the pond rim on his short, fat legs. Then he simply let himself fall forward, of course he sank at once.
After waiting a while I pulled him out of the water and placed him beside me on the grass again.
"I do not believe that garden gnomes can swim" I told him.
"Dwarf!" he snorted.
"You are a dwarf? Well then, I do not believe that dwarves can swim either," I replied resolutely.
"Grompf!" grumbled the dwarf whom I had considered to be a garden gnome up to now.
Then he toddled to the pond again and let himself fall forward for the second time.
When I fished him out of the pond this time, I placed Grompf in his original position between the yellow and the white roses.
Then I ran into the house, took the bag with my swimming togs out of my wardrobe and picked out the water wings which I had not needed for at least a year.
In the meantime, Grompf had nearly reached the garden pond again.
Firstly he tried to resist my attempts to put the water wings on him and blow them up, but eventually he gave up, I was much taller and stronger than him!
Growling and grumbling he toddled back to the pond, dropped into it, and did indeed swim on the surface.
He doggy-paddled slowly, a little bit back and forth, until he lost interest and crawled back onto land.
"Grompf!" he said and nodded to me contentedly.
Of course Mum and Dad did not understand why their garden gnome always had to wear water wings from now on.
But they did not know either that Grompf was actually a real dwarf.
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