My Little Brownie

This happened many years ago when I was a schoolgirl in my early teens. (I am now 69.) In those days, I used to do my homework at the kitchen table where the smell of cooking and my mother's comfortable presence were conducive to the creative process. One day, as I was busy with my books, in my peripheral vision I noticed a movement on the floor. I turned my head to see, thinking it might be a mouse but nothing was there. A little time passed, and I saw it again, and this time I saw a tiny figure run behind the stove. It happened very quickly and was just a fleeting impression, but it looked like a very small man. I mentioned it to my mother, who was never surprised at anything I said, and she just smiled and thought it was entirely possible.

Several days later, the same thing happened, only this time I really got a good look at my little man. It almost seemed as if he wanted me to see him this time, because he looked into my eyes with an amused expression. I was alone, and again it was by the kitchen stove. He was about ten to twelve inches tall with a tiny brown face, wrinkled and dry looking like an autumn leaf, and his eyes were very sharp and shiny like two black diamonds. There didn't seem to be any whites to his eyes. He seemed very old and had a slightly mischievous look about him. His clothing was also brown, a little darker than his face, and close-fitting like tights, and he wore a little peaked brown cap on his head. In those few seconds that I was allowed to see him (and I know that he deliberately allowed me that privilege), I saw all those details. Then he was gone again behind the stove. Sometimes weeks would pass before another sighting, and sometimes I'd see him dash behind the radiator in my bedroom -- maybe he enjoyed the warmth. I mentioned all this to my family and they listened with great interest. One aunt commented that I had seen an "elemental." But I just thought of him as an elf, or my little brownie.

A year or so went by and one day at school my friends were talking of flying saucers and green men from Mars and I thought I'd put in a word for my little brown man. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew I had made a mistake. Everyone laughed and I felt like a fool -- I never saw him again. It was strange, the little man didn't seem to mind if my family knew about him, maybe they believed me, but when I mentioned it to strangers who laughed, he disappeared from our lives.

Olga Adler