The Elf Tree

Beside the shore of the hallowed lake, there has dwelt a kindhearted Elf for nigh unto 20 years. A shy emissary from the lands of enchantment,  on spring’s first day he returns to his dwelling by the water.    Politely knock on his door and peer inside to see piles of candy and slips of paper, little notes written by the hands of children.  The young ones leave him treats and letters, with sincere greetings or serious queries, to which Mr. Elf kindly replies.  Upon their return a child will find a note addressed to them by name, neatly typed in the smallest of print.  So many to rifle through, but they always find a merry reply, with the closing salutation, “I believe in You.”

Then when summer is done and fall in is in the air, it is time for the Elf to vacate his tree once more.  He hangs a plaque announcing that he has departed and returned to his castle in the west for the winter.

True story!





Thanks to my exchange with Laura Bruno, who reblogged this on her blog, I recalled an additional piece of information that I’d like to add to this post ~

This tree is located on the shores of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.  The lake was named by an army colonel who was stationed in the area in the early 1800′s. He found the lake so beautiful that it reminded him of his cherished fiancé, Harriet, who was far away in the east. So he christened it in her honor. Harriet’s last name was…Lovejoy!

[the name “Harriet” is derived from “Henry”, derived from Henrik, derived from Germanic Heimrich:  heim = home & ric = ruler…and thus means “ruler of the home”, otherwise rendered as “keeper of the hearth”.  ]



46 thoughts on “The Elf Tree

    • It is so magical, whoever it is, they have touched the lives of thousands of children. And they have made the world a bit more enchanted for the adults as well.

      • Oh, I would love the see it in real life!! 🙂 In Norway we have a mail box on top of a big montain, the mail box is supposed to be for the troll that lives in that mountain, and children write letters to the troll and put in the mail box 🙂 I did that when I was a little girl 🙂

        • Next time you’re in Minnesota I’d be happy to bring thou there. : ) And what a wonderful folk tradition you have, how great to have participated in it. Oh – your story reminds me of this – When we were children my parents took our family to a giant statue of the lumberjack folk hero Paul Bunyan. As we approached the statue a big voice boomed over the loud speaker greeting each of us kids by name.

          • Oh, that is lovely story! 🙂 Yes, Norway is full of folk traditions! 🙂 I love that part of my country, most of our traditions are rooted in nature 🙂 I will be sure to tell you if I ever come to Minnesota!! 🙂

            • I’m of Norwegian descent and am actually quite enamored of the culture and traditions of both Norway and Sweden.

    • You’re so welcome! It blessed my day, too. Of all the walks I’ve done along and around the lake this year, this was the first time I stopped by the tree. The salutation “I believe in you” was my message for the day. Just what I needed to hear. Warm blessings to you…

  1. Pingback: The Elf Tree | Journey Of A Nifty Day Trader

  2. I had to come back and read again, I knew I would 🙂
    what a wonderful post Cnawan….! Thank you for sharing it….
    honey is a favorite of their’s too 🙂
    Take Care…You Matter…

    • Thanks Maryrose! As I mentioned in another reply comment, of all the many times I’ve walked along the lake this spring, this is the first time I was drawn to it. “I believe in you” was a nice message for me today. I’ll be sure to put out some honey!

  3. Reblogged this on Angel 4 Light and commented:
    Precious and dear. We need to let the Child in us come forth and Dare to Dream. Let us stay positive and believe in a beautiful World filled with Love and Peace. Times may seem shaky at best but there is a better Tomorrow on the Horrizon. You will see if only you believe. Be blessed.

  4. Reblogged this on Tania Marie's Blog and commented:
    This is such a sweet, enchanting, perfect little message of hope, belief, and all things magickal. Of course my Faery sister Laura reblogged this too from the mystical Cnawan Fahey – he knows how to capture Faery hearts 😉 I also feel that this short post on “The Elf Tree” goes wonderfully with Cnawan’s poem shared the day before titled “Crimson Dawn”. They both speak to all things possible and the power of belief. There are hidden gifts in everything for those with hearts to see them.

    Here is Cnawan’s poem:

    The gray dawn
    of an overcast life
    brings another day
    beneath the shroud
    of sorrow.

    But to part the clouds
    to find that inner light
    and cast it upon the pain
    transmutes grief to glory.

    Every poignant tale
    that pangs the heart
    with colors of emotion
    is born of alchemy
    when someone let the sun shine
    upon their clouds of sorrow.

  5. Thank you for this enchanting story. The children are given hope, magick and that special sprinkling of faery dust. My grandmother was from Ireland and never lost her magic and childlike wonder. This reminds me of stories she would share with us. No matter what she had gone through she was the most magical woman I knew. I so appreciate this story and you bringing her back to life for me once more. That was a wee bit of faery dust right there. ;-). Hugs. Dawn

  6. Love this! I am inspired to see if there is a tree in our seaside town that could host a similar elf…. In Denmark, they are called “Nissa”. So perhaps a tree here could host a “Nissa”.


  7. Pingback: Laura Bruno – The Elf Tree – 6 july 2014 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  8. Ahh! so magical and wonderful! Thank you!! The little things really do light up the world. I live in Asheville and there are little fairy doors all around if you can spot them! A friend showed me one once and it totally made my day. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  9. How weird that I clicked this link in my email after you had liked my piece, ‘Credo’. That you should have written of belief and fairies and childlike wonder is so apt. This is magical and it thrills me to read that so many still enjoy that realm. I tell a story to my own kids and those I teach about the time I took flying lessons from a fairy that lived in a tree in my garden many years ago. Seeing the little door reminded me of that. As long as we can suspend our disbelief and embrace the world with innocent rapture I have hope for a lighter, brighter future.

  10. Thom, the Lake Harriet Elf, also known as Mr. Little Guy, has been answering notes and letters now for 20 years. This August 15, Thom’s birthday, the Minneapolis City Council will be honoring him with a resolution proclaiming the day Lake Harriet Elf Day. This fellow is a saint and my hero!

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