Oliver Picklenose lived in a meadow full of daisies,
tulips, daffodils and pansies. Every day he'd see butterflies, bumblebees,
dragonflies and birds. His home was a large, spotted mushroom. He was
called Picklenose because his nose was wrinkled and scrunched up. He
preferred to be called Oliver, which is what his friends called him.
A stream flowed through the meadow. It wound about like
a snake, from one side to the other. Frogs, lizards, fish and bugs lived
in the stream. Sometimes Oliver sat on a stone and watched all the animals
at play, wishing he could swim.
Being such a small elf, he didn't dare go in the water
and risk being washed downstream, away from the meadow.
As he sat with his legs dangling over the side of the
stone, one of the other elves ran up to him. “Hey Picklenose, I don't like
you. I want you to leave the meadow.” The elf pushed Oliver into the
He fell under the water and then bobbed to the surface
gasping for breath.”I can't swim. Help me!” An oak leaf floated past and
he grabbed onto it and pulled himself up. The leaf carried him down the
stream, past the willow and aspen trees, past the fields of buttercups and
poppies and past the oak trees that were so familiar to him.
When the leaf bumped into a branch that stuck out over
the water, Oliver was knocked off. He grabbed the branch and pulled
himself to the banks of the stream. His clothes were dripping and he
shivered with the cold. “I want to go home.” He sat on a clump of grass
and cried. Something behind him moved. “Who's there?” Oliver stood and
looked around. “Where am I?”
Huge blue flowers, clustered and fragrant shot up from
the ground on long green stems. Wild roses blossomed, carnations, begonias
and nasturtiums grew around him. “This is pretty.” He wandered between the
vines and leaves, pushing them out of the way. “This is even prettier than
A furry brown mouse ran across the path. It saw Oliver
and stopped. “Who are you? What are you doing in Bluebird Woods?”
“Bluebird Woods? I fell in the stream and it carried me
here,” Oliver said.
“You'd better come with me. These woods are filled with
bluebirds and there's nothing they'd like more than to eat something as
small and tasty as you.”
Oliver ran after the mouse, following it into its
burrow. “My name is Oliver Picklenose,” the elf said.
“I'm Gerania and I'm a mouse as you can see. That's an
odd name.” The mouse looked at Oliver's nose. “Though I can see why they
call you that.”
“I'd rather you just called me Oliver, thank you.”
“Oliver it is. Are you hungry, Oliver? I've got some
toadstools and rose hips to nibble on,” Gerania said, showing the elf the
pile of food.
“I'd love something to eat, but I only eat honey and
daffodil pollen,” Oliver said.
“You'll not find any of that here. You'll have to make
your way back to your own meadow. You'd better hurry on your way and be
careful of the bluebirds,” Gerania said. She pushed Oliver out of her
burrow. “Goodbye now.”
Oliver looked up at the trees. They were much taller
than the oak trees and willows and aspen in his meadow. He made his way
down to the stream. “I might as well make my way back along the banks. At
least I won't get too lost.”
He walked all day long, climbing over tree roots and
stones. A dark shadow fell on him and when he looked up, he saw a
bluebird. It flew down and grabbed him with its claws, carrying him high
into the air. “Let me go! Let me go!” Oliver squirmed and wiggled and
finally the bluebird let go of him. He fell through the air and landed on
top of a fluffy dandelion. “That was close.”
Oliver looked around. “I'm back home in my own meadow.
Hurrah!” He ran through the poppies and tulips and climbed up the branch
of a flowering bush. He sat among the leaves and blossoms, happy to be
home again. Butterflies flew past. Bumblebees buzzed him and dragonflies
zipped by. “There's no place like home.” Even though the other elves
didn't like him and called him Picklenose, Oliver was happy to be there.