There’s an elf on Hal’s basketball team.
There are 5 normal, uncoordinated, barely-understand-the-rules, clueless little boys, 1 phenom that scores all the points and wins the games, and an elf (who also happens to be uncoordinated and clueless and barely understands the rules, but he’ll grow to have magical powers so it’s all cool).
As we sat at one of the recent games, I argued my case to my husband.
“Just look! I tell you he’s an elf.”
He just smiled at me.
“See his hair? It hangs down almost to his eyes and down in front of his ears in sharp points, which emphasizes his ears. Which aren’t pointy yet, but I think that’s just because he’s young. Give him some time.”
My husband laughed.
The elf boy is thin and fairly uncoordinated so at one point I said, “He doesn’t have the graceful movement yet but that comes with age too.”
“Oh, it does?”
“Of course it does. You read The Last Dragon! That poor helpless child elf was clueless and clumsy. He didn’t know how to do any magic but it came with time. Give this one some time. Eventually, he’ll be the most beautiful person on the court. Trust me.”
“So are you saying he can shoot arrows through brass rings at a hundred yards?”
“Not yet. Too young. He’ll get there though.”
At one point, the magical creature walked close to us and I saw why his eyes had looked so big and dark at a distance.
“Look!” I said to my amused husband. “Just look at his eyelashes! No one has eyelashes that long except elves. I’m telling you, it’s true. I’m surprised no one else has noticed.”
“I’m glad you are so entertained by River,” my husband said.
“River? His name is River? Really?” I asked.
“You haven’t stayed for any basketball practices, have you?”
“No. But come on! The name bolsters my argument. That’s a nature name – elves are one with nature. It’s an elf name!”
I saw an adult man talking with River in a fatherly fashion near the end of the game. The man certainly did not look like an elf. Not at all. So I can only assume that since elves do not walk openly among us, this man had been hired to act in this care-taking role while in public spaces. The elves obviously wanted to give their boy the best opportunity to interact with other children. Because anyone who knows anything about elves knows that they don’t have children very often. There’s probably no one in his extended family close to his age.
So here he is, playing basketball with my son. Who, just like everyone else in the gym except me, is clueless he’s playing with magical greatness in the making.