At the end of last month, Jenna (mentioned in this post) decided that she and I would each write a story. This is the one I came up with:
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a colony of umbas. Now “what is an umba?” you may ask. An umba was a creature so small that he was overlooked for many years.
The umbas lived in an enchanted forest filled with candy canes and gumdrops. The candy canes, to them, were the size of trees. And the gumdrops could be sat upon, the way a human might sit on a large rock.
One day an elf entered the forest where the umbas lived. The elf had been sent on a mission by Santa Clause himself. He had been given the field assignment of finding a treat that could be left in the stockings of good boys and girls.
The umbas hid from the elf because he was so much larger than they and they were afraid that he was a harmful giant. After all he had been crushing parts of their forest with his feet.
When the hungry elf looked beneath his feet when he heard a loud crunch, he bent over and picked up a broken candy cane. He looked around and noticed several candy canes and gumdrops.
“What were these things?” he wondered.
He sniffed and tasted. Oh, what deliciousness. He bent over even further to pick up a gumdrop. It had a different taste and texture but it too was delicious. The elf removed a large pouch from around his shoulder and proceeded to fill it full of candy canes and gumdrops. The umbas were devastated. How in the world would they ever protect their land and homes?
When the elf returned to the north pole with his newfound candy collection, Santa was impressed. He recruited a team of elves to gather what was left – and to take with them a specialist who could determine how to replenish what was removed.
The umbas meanwhile had prepared a way to protect themselves from the evils of the elves. They fought to save their land – but because they were so teeny, they were unnoticed by the elves – who continued to pick candy canes and gumdrops and drop them into their bags.
Many umbas returned to Santa’s castle that day – for they had remained clinging onto candy canes and gumdrops that had been picked. Being at the North Pole was a whole new adventure for them. They had moved themselves into the barn where the reindeer lived.
Now, before the umbas had moved in, Santa’s reindeer were just like any other deer. They didn’t fly. But gradually they learned how. You see, the umbas carried a magic inside of them which was passed on to the reindeer who had eaten the entire population of umbas. And so even though we don’t have umbas anymore, it is through them that the reindeer were given the power to fly.