Has Anyone Seen My Elf
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Lucas the Elf is Jake's loyal after Christmas elf. He appears in Jake's toy box on the morning after Christmas year after year to play with Jake after the fun and magic of Christmas is over. However, on one morning after Christmas, Lucas is gone and Jake is determined to find him!
"Has anyone seen my elf??" Jake cried frantically, running into the living room on the morning after Christmas.
Mom, Susie, and the family cat, Felix, all gave Jake a very strange look and said nothing.
"I REPEAT..." Jake announced slowly and loudly, "...HAS ANYONE SEEN MY ELF? HE'S GONE!!"
"What do you mean 'your elf'?" Susie, Jake's older sister asked.
That's right, Jake thought, they don't know about Lucas yet, I guess I'll have to tell them my secret.
Jake couldn't believe that he would finally be telling his family about his secret friendship with Lucas.
For as long as Jake could remember, he would feel a bit down after Santa had finished making his special deliveries all over the world, and all the presents under his tree had been opened and played with.
Lucas, Jake's loyal after Christmas elf, had been appearing in Jake's toy box on the morning after Christmas year after year, rolling around happily among Jake's stuffed animals, balls and games, waiting for Jake to open the lid and play with him.
They'd play tag and soccer, build tall towers together with lots of building blocks, try out Jake's new Christmas toys, and even pretend they were superheroes in the backyard!
Then, during a long but fun game of hide and seek all over the house, Lucas the elf would disappear, only to show up the following year in Jake's toy box waiting to cheer him up on the day after Christmas.
Jake was almost breathless after he finished telling his family about his special elf.
"I never saw an elf around here!" Susie remarked.
"Lucas played with me, only when I was alone." explained Jake.
"Why didn't you tell us about Lucas?" Mom asked.
"I didn't think anyone would believe me," Jake answered "I thought maybe you or Dad or Susie would tell me that the only elves are Santa's elves."
Mom suddenly remembered something.
"Jake, I cleaned out your toy box early this morning to make room for your new Christmas toys and something very small ran across the room in a flash and darted into the living room!
It moved so fast I didn't see what it was.
Then I heard Felix meowing and racing around the living room, so I thought there was a mouse in the house."
"Maybe it was Lucas!" Jake cried.
"I don't know where Felix chased him," Mom said "when I got to the living room, they were both gone."
"Felix probably thought Lucas the elf was a funny looking mouse!" said Susie.
"Felix, where did you chase Lucas?" Susie asked.
Wide eyed Felix looked from Susie to Mom to Jake, and then bolted down the stairs to the laundry room with his family close behind.
Felix went straight to a big white laundry bin and sniffed around inside but it was totally empty.
Then everyone noticed the clothes that were tumbling around in the dryer.
"Maybe Lucas was here in the laundry bin and then got thrown in the washer and dryer by mistake!" Jake cried, horrified.
"Grandma Pam was doing our laundry" Mom said, "but now she is out taking her morning walk."
As Jake watched the clothes go around and around in the dryer, his tummy also seemed to go around and around as he worried that Lucas may have been caught in the very fast spin cycle of the washer, followed by a dizzying experience getting tossed around in the dryer!
"Well, at least Lucas will be the cleanest elf you've ever seen!" Susie said, laughing. "That's not funny!" Jake shouted.
"I'm home!" Grandma Pam called.
"Don't worry Jake," said Mom in a soothing voice.
"Let's ask Grandma if, well, if she's seen an elf while doing the laundry."
Mom, Susie, Jake and Felix ran up the stairs to greet Grandma Pam at the front door with a very odd question.
"An elf? Have I seen an elf while doing the laundry?"
Grandma had a laughing fit that seemed to last for a whole minute.
Then, after she calmed down, she thought for a few seconds.
"I haven't seen an elf, sorry, but I thought I heard scurrying noises in the kitchen before I left to take my walk. I just thought I was imagining it, so I didn't look in the kitchen."
In no time, Jake, Mom, Susie, Felix, and Grandma Pam were all in the kitchen looking from top to bottom and in all corners for any evidence of an elf on the loose.
"Someone or something has definitely been in this kitchen since we had breakfast this morning!" Mom exclaimed. "Look at the table! All of our Christmas cookies are in pieces!"
"Let's check our rooms!" Susie said.
The family rushed upstairs and peered into Susie's bedroom first.
Susie was surprised to see her brand new set of coloured pencils sprawled all over her desk with a piece of paper lying on it too.
As the family drew closer they noticed a colourful drawing on the paper.
Jake grew very excited.
"That's a picture of me dressed like a superhero! Lucas must have drawn that picture of me because he and I played superheroes last year! Lucas was here; I know it!"
Then everyone entered Jake's room and immediately saw several of his new Christmas presents on the floor.
His magnetic building blocks covered the carpet and two race cars were standing side by side waiting to be raced.
"Lucas was here getting ready to play with me, but now where is he?"
Jake couldn't understand where Lucas could possibly be.
"Lucas must've been really confused when I didn't lift the lid of my toy box this morning to take him out to play."
"Instead he got scooped up in my arms with all of your old toys, fell on the floor, got chased around the house by Felix" Mom said.
Just then Felix put his head down, regretting his wild behaviour.
"Possibly got thrown into the washer and dryer accidentally" Mom continued.
Now Grandma Pam put her head down, hoping that she didn't send Lucas on an extremely dizzying tossing and tumbling adventure!
"Then he must have scrambled to the kitchen for a satisfying treat" Mom added.
"And afterwards desperately searched our bedrooms for after Christmas entertainment and for his special friend, me." Jake finished.
Now it was Jake's turn to lower his head, for he couldn't bear it any longer to think of Lucas lost in his house searching for him.
"There is only one thing to do!" Grandma Pam exclaimed.
"Lu-u-u-cas!!!" she yelled at the top of her lungs.
Grandma's booming voice sent Felix running downstairs as fast as a bolt of lightning.
"Lu-u-u-cas!!! Come out and show your elf self! Lu-u-u-cas!!!
We're going to find your elf, don't worry," Grandma Pam reassured Jake "I have a strong set of lungs and I'm not going to stop calling until Lucas responds."
"Sh-h-h, Grandma," warned Susie "you'll disturb Dad. He's in his office working on his computer."
"Maybe Dad has seen my elf!" cried Jake hopefully.
Mom, Susie, Jake and Grandma Pam ran into Dad's office, minus Felix who was taking shelter from Grandma Pam under the living room sofa.
Much to everyone's surprise, Dad wasn't in his office.
It did not surprise anyone, however, that Dad's desk showed signs of elf mischief!
Lots of pens were scattered all over his desk, paper clips were everywhere, some papers had fallen onto the floor, and Dad's desk organizer was anything but organized.
"Well, this is a messy elf to say the least!" Grandma Pam remarked. "Didn't his mother teach him to pick up after himself?"
Jake looked like he was about to cry.
"HAS ANYONE SEEN MY ELF?" Jake called out in frustration.
Then Mom noticed a note on Dad's desk.
"Look," she said, "there's a note on Dad's desk that's scribbled in red and green ink."
Mom, Susie, Jake, and Grandma Pam tried hard to read the messy handwriting.
Finally, Grandma Pam deciphered the message.
"It says, 'Jake, please check your email. Sorry that my handwriting is terrible."
Jake checked his email on Dad's computer and read it out loud:
Don't worry, I am OK! I had a real adventure today.
I got thrown in the washing machine, but it was kind of fun and I was in the gentle cycle so I didn't get hurt!
The dryer made me a bit dizzy, but I was very warm and toasty, so no worries!
Every time you were in one room, I was in another and we kept missing each other.
I tried calling your name, but my little elf voice didn't carry very far.
I met your dad in his office and we made friends right away!
He was so nice to let me email you from his computer. Your dad thought that would surprise you!
If you'd like to see another surprise, come out to the side of your house when you're ready and don't forget your coat, hat and gloves!
Love, your elf friend forever, Lucas
P.S. Sorry about the cookies. I was hungry."
"An elf who emails? Now I've seen everything!" Susie exclaimed.
Jake, Mom, Susie, and Grandma Pam rushed to the hall closet, put on their warm winter coats, hats and gloves, and dashed outside, making lots of footprints in the snow all the way around to the side of the house.
Felix happily watched all the action from his comfortable spot on the living room windowsill.
There were Dad and Lucas sitting on the big new sled; one of Jake's Christmas presents!
"Come sledding with us Jake and family!" Lucas called. "It's time for after Christmas fun for everyone!"
Seeing Lucas again put a giant smile on Jake's face.
Everyone took turns sledding down the hill with Lucas. "Wh-e-e-e-e!!!"
After lots of fast sledding and hollering, especially from Grandma Pam, Lucas was invited inside for hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.
Lucas thought the mini marshmallows were a perfect size for elves to enjoy.
The rest of the day Jake and Lucas had a ton of fun!
They raced cars together and built a large racetrack and city with the magnetic blocks that Lucas had laid out on Jake's bedroom floor.
Jake told Lucas what a great picture he drew of Jake as a superhero, and then they both became superheroes and saved the day!
They played hide and seek throughout the house, although Jake felt that he had played that game all morning already when he was looking for Lucas!
During their game, Lucas hid in some tricky places, like on the Christmas tree pretending he was an ornament, in the bathroom inside the tissue box, and on the basement bookshelf posing as a bookend.
Then Jake couldn't find Lucas after looking around for quite a while, but he wasn't sad.
He knew Lucas would be back next year.
Jake would miss him, but would always remember how this year Mom, Susie, Felix, Grandma Pam, and Dad were included in the after Christmas cheer!
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