The Gnometown Tale of "Doc Ralph"
Dr. Ralph Gerbig
Gnometown was growing. The word was spreading all over the area that this community was the best place to live, and work and play. Many of the gnomes worked on farms, planting, cultivating and harvesting corn and soy beans. Some worked with the animals, feeding, cleaning and keeping them healthy. There were many gnomes who found jobs squeezing the oil out of soy beans, pouring it into gopher drawn barrels which were floated on the river to far places. There were gnomes stirring vats of milk and making good cheese to eat. The gnomes who worked at the gnome hospital were busy patching up farm injuries, taking care of sick gnomes, keeping the others healthy and helping to bring forth tiny gnome babies.
The Council of Gnomes met regularly under the large oak tree down by the river. It was a warm August night when they met to discuss the Gnome business. Daws stood up and reviewed with everyone how well Gnometown was doing.
“Gnometown is the envy of all the towns around. Our gnomes are busy working and playing. I just can’t think of anything we could change to make it better.” Daws stated proudly.
Doc Phil raised his hand to signal his wish to speak. “I would like to address an issue tonight,” he said, moving to the front by the fire. “Because our gnomes are so busy, accidents happen, illnesses befall us, we have aging gnomes and babies, we have a lot of babies. The staff at the gnome hospital are overworked. We need another doctor to be able to care for our gnomes, and I’d like to take some time off to go fishing with Doc Bill and Elder.”
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, I had no idea,” Daws stated, as he turned to the crowd. “Does anyone here have any ideas?”
Gnome Rudy stood up with concern and said, “I am going to Minneapolis to check on a new industry which wants to come here, I will go to the big school there and try to find a doctor.”
“Thank you, Gnome Rudy, take gnomes Gerry and Joe with you and find the best there is, “announced Daws, “and report back to me when you get back.”
So all that took place and several weeks later, as the the gnomes were working in the fields, they were startled by a “Whoosh, whoosh, ”looked up from their tasks to see a large, brightly colored ball in the sky with a walnut shell floating under it. Someone was in it and waving a friendly greeting at them. They all ran to see it as it crashed to the ground in the clearing by the river. After the dust settled, a tall slender man and his wife crawled out of the nut shell and dusted themselves off. “Don’t worry, we’re not hurt. Tell me, am I in Gnometown?” he asked.
“Yes, this is Gnometown. Welcome,” stated Gnome Kay. “And tell us who you are and why you are here?”
“I’m Doc Ralph and this is my wife, Sue,” he answered as he grabbed his satchel from the walnut shell, “I have heard this is a good place to live and that I can help the gnomes here stay healthy.”
The gnomes that had witnessed this spectacle, clapped and yelled for joy and some ran to tell the others.
“Do you make music here?” Doc asked expectantly, “ I like to play my sliding horn.”
Gnome Maestro John stepped out of the crowd to shake his hand. “Welcome, Doc Ralph, you will find the gnomes here love to make music with brass, wood, ivories and voices. Come, join us. Music comes from the heart and we have big hearts here. “
“Welcome, Doc Ralph,” added Doc Phil, reaching out to shake his hand with his fishing pole in the other, “Thank you for lightening my patient load at the hospital. I would like to introduce you to Gnomes Elder and Doc Bill, my fishing buddies, we were just about to catch some big ones. We’ll stop by for late rounds and fry up some of our catch.”