One night, I explained to Garry about house-elves. He isn’t a big reader of fantasy, so some of this stuff was news to him. I told him if we left milk and cookies out, the little folk would come to our house.

Overnight, while we sleep, they would clean, scrub, repair, and cook. Fix the roof. Clear the snow. When we got up the next morning, the coffee would be ready along with delicious, fresh-baked goodies.

Homemade pound cake.

He looked at me. I think he wasn’t sure if he had heard me. “Is this like, real? Has this ever happened?”

“No,” I said. “Only in folk tales and fantasy novels. And Harry Potter. But wouldn’t it be nice if it were true? We could leave out milk, cookies, and an old pair of socks. Just in case.”


“Yes. They use them as clothing.”



One eyebrow went up. “You know some furry family members who would surely eat everything. And Bonnie would steal the socks. They might leave us a gift, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be freshly baked croissants … or a clean house.”

I’m sure I had him, if only for a few minutes. I think I could have turned him into a believer. Underneath our rationality, we want to believe in magic. Raw reality has such rough edges these days. It’s exhausting and frightening.

Give me myth and please pass the magic. It’s so much better than reality, isn’t it?

18 thoughts on “HOUSEKEEPING BY MAGIC – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. well now I have to pop into town to buy some biscuits to put out with the milk. Those elves are going to deserve the best biscuits, Tim Tams. I hope they are quite and do not whistle while they work like the dwarves do. Love this post..I want to believe I do.


  2. We all need a little magic now and then. Perhaps when the elves are done with all my cleaning, they could then go over to my office and take care of everything there. They probably wouldn’t even be annoyed by that commute.


  3. There is still magic; we just have to recognize it. When I was a little girl, i believed that when the door to my room was shut,my dolls talked to one another. So, I would shut the door and then listen with my ear up against it and then suddenly open the door. They were too quick for me every time. I never caught them, but I still believed. Now, I believe in the magic of love, of friendship, and of healing.


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