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The Resourceful Elf: Part Two
By Tom Mercer
Former Carbondalian

Continued from Dec. 22, 2022 Work in Progress page 

Snuffles the Elf was at a loss. He was no longer one of Santa’s helpers due to an error he had made on a needed sleigh repair. The repair — which had gone awry — forced Santa to make an emergency landing in a frozen Indiana cornfield. Santa’s delivery schedule was seriously impacted, which resulted in Snuffles dismissal. 

And, suffice to say, opportunities were limited for unemployed elves. Snuffles was concerned about his prospects for future employment. He had spent most of his life performing various maintenance tasks at The North Pole, but he knew that his skill set was hardly appropriate for the world-at-large. Nonetheless, Snuffles the Elf decided to search for employment in a warmer climate, while his beloved wife remained at their home near the top of the world. He began his job search in sunny Los Angeles, California. 

Every successful job hunt begins with a plan. So, soon after Snuffle’s arrival in Los Angeles, he sat down and made a list detailing his interests and skills. The list was short. Sleigh maintenance and repair had been his primary function in the frozen North, but he feared that particular skill would not be valued in The Golden State. He knew enough that no one commuted to work on a sleigh in Los Angeles. 

Snuffles created a second list that focused on jobs suitable for an elf, but that list was painfully short as well. It included toy making, sleigh maintenance, jingle bell tuning and sleigh runner repairs — frankly, none of which would be marketable in Los Angeles. So, Snuffles made a third list comprised of alternative employment possibilities and it included the following:

1) Writing a book titled “Memoirs of an Elf.” 

2) Teaching a course focused on wooden toy design and production. 

3) Landing a role as a munchkin in a “Wizard of Oz” production.

4) Getting a job at the local “Santa Land” theme park.

5) Writing a newspaper column called “Short Person in a Tall World.”

Unfortunately, Snuffles had no experience in the entertainment industry nor as an author. Even worse, he had no “paid” employment history of any kind. (Diazepam) Snuffles became discouraged (not a desirable quality for an elf) and he started visiting the reindeer at the local zoo where he would talk to them at length about his predicament. The reindeer were clearly sympathetic, but they were unable to offer any helpful advice. Still, Snuffles tried his best to maintain a good elf-attitude.

Then, one day, as Snuffles was leaving the zoo after talking to the reindeer, a man approached him with an incredible proposition. The man was a talent scout and he was searching for a “side-kick,” late-night television host. He believed Snuffles would be a “good fit” and asked the elf if he would be interested in the position. Snuffles spent all of 10 seconds considering the offer, after which he agreed to audition for the role. 

To make a short story even shorter, Snuffles landed the side-kick job and that same week he joined the Screen Actors Guild, signed a two-year employment contract, made arrangements to bring Mrs. Snuffles to Los Angeles and rented a nice apartment overlooking the beach. Things were “looking up” — just as they always seem to do for diminutive elves — and anyone wishing to see a happy elf (with a great sun tan) only needs to tune into the right late-night TV show.