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Pixie and Figgy landed outside the Smith’s home and pulled out the file they’d just received.
“Santa said this was an emergency case?” asked Figgy.
“Yes, he said he wanted us to make it top priority tonight so I asked Nim and Lil to cover the Haroldson’s,” said Pixie.
“Awe, that’s too bad,” said Figgy. “I was looking forward to that one.”
Pixie glanced at him. “You were?”
“Oh yeah! Pip said it was the parents who were the B.R.A.T.T.’s. It’s not every season an elf gets to pull pranks on the parents.”
“It’s not?” Pixie asked. “I mean, isn’t that what we normally do? Every season?”
Figgy contemplated that thought. “Oh, I guess you’re right. But still, it would have been fun.”
Pixie smiled, returning her attention to the file. “Ok, well, it’s not the kids who are a problem here either. It says here that Spunky has a little too much spunk. Let’s see…died toilet water green, well, that’s not too bad…then, shaving cream on faces…goldfish in beds, and…oh boy.”
“What?” asked Figgy.
Pixie cleared her throat. “Er…it seems as though Spunky has gotten himself in quite the bind. Here, look.”
Pixie handed him the folder and pointed to the paragraph she’d just read.
“Yikes!” exclaimed Figgy. “Do you think he really filled the parent’s bed with bed bugs? Real bed bugs?”
“Based on the complaint letter on the second page, I’d say it’s more than a possibility.”
Figgy flipped to the letter:
Santa, or whoever is in charge of this so-called elf,
Please consider this a formal complaint with a promise of legal action if this behavior does not change, and fast! We wrote complaints several times last season and were assured that Spunky’s behavior would improve this year. That there would be consequences for his seriously destructive shenanigans.
We thought we had made clear our indignation at the goldfish in the beds and the vinegar in the milk, but this is way beyond what we will tolerate. Our kids’ pleas are only reason we are giving him another chance. One more incident even remotely destructive, and you can expect to hear from our lawyers. Destruction of property is not mischievous, it’s illegal!
Sincerely angry and fed up,
Fred and Molly Smith
“Whoa,” said Figgy. “What can we do?”
“Let’s start by finding Spunky before he does any more damage.”
As it turned out, it was easy to find Spunky. They flew in to the kitchen and found him sitting in the refrigerator drinking maple syrup from a straw and looking downcast.
“Hey there, Spunky,” said Figgy. “What’s wrong?”
“Oh. Hi.” He gave a heavy sigh.
“Figgy,” whispered Pixie. “Does he look…familiar?”
Figgy looked closer at Spunky and gasped. “You’re not, you can’t be related to—“.
“The Grinch?” asked Spunky. “Yes. I’m his second cousin. Twice removed.”
“Oh,” said Figgy.
“Yeah,” sighed Spunky. “When people look at me, they assume I’m just like him. But I’m not. I like Christmas. I just don’t understand why everyone can’t see that.”
“Spunky,” began Pixie. “Perhaps it’s the way you…express your, er, joy.”
Spunky looked at Pixie in confusion. “Huh?”
“Well,” she continued. “Most elves who like Christmas do things like, decorate with lights and tinsel. Not with spiders and bed bugs.”
Spunky looked unsure. “Really? But bed bugs are funny.”
“Not really,” said Figgy.
“The ones I know are. Amos told the funniest joke last night and Larry can do the best moth impression I’ve ever seen.”
“Um, that’s—what?” Pixie asked.
“Anyway,” said Figgy. “Let us help you find other ways to show your Christmas spirit. Ways that won’t get you relegated to Deer Dung Duty.”
“Ok,” said Spunky. “I guess I’m willing to try anything.”
Pixie and Figgy spent the next few hours creating a list of appropriate and approved Mischief Maker activities. When they were done, Spunky still looked skeptical, but was at least willing to give their way a try.
“You’re sure these mustaches will make them laugh?” he asked as he struggled to place a mustache on the cat. I mean, they didn’t laugh at the bed bugs, and those were hilarious.”
“Trust us,” said Pixie. “This is a classic.”
Spunky still looked uncertain, but Figgy’s smile and nod of encouragement seemed to settle his doubts.
“Bed bugs are funny?” Pixie shook her head as she and Figgy zoomed back to the North Pole. “And I thought I’d heard it all!”