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Tommy Tiptoe

Tommy Tiptoe

After a heavy snowfall, did you ever wake up in the morning and find tiny footprints in the snow? The footprints were made by Tommy Tiptoe.

Tommy tiptoe

No one has ever seen him, not even the Willetts who own the farm where he lives. Tommy Tiptoe is a little elf who has lived there for many, many years.

His home is in a dark comer of the barn, where he sleeps all day, wrapped up in his long gray beard. If you were to catch him sleeping, you would think he was only a handful of cobwebs.

Tommy tiptoe sleeping on a bed of straw

At night he is wide awake. When everyone in the farmhouse is lost in dreams and the animals in the barn are nodding their drowsy heads, Tommy Tiptoe watches over them all.

At midnight he tiptoes from one building to another to see that all is well. He even peeps into the windows of the farmhouse to make sure everyone is safe and sound.

Tommy tiptoe peeping into the farmhouse window

Every morning the Willetts find tiny footprints on the snow but only Kevin knows they belong to the little elf. He knows because Grandpa once read him a bedtime story about Tommy Tiptoe.
At breakfast Kevin looks out the window and sees the tiny tracks in the farmyard. He says to his mother, “Tommy Tiptoe was here again last night. See his footprints in the snow?” His mother just smiles and gives him another helping of his favourite cereal.

Kevin knows Tommy Tiptoe was watching over him again. So each night after he goes to bed he tries very hard to stay awake so he can talk to the little elf: He wants to thank Tommy for looking after him. But every morning when Kevin wakes up. Tommy Tiptoe has already come and gone.

Kevin looking out of the window

After breakfast Kevin goes to all the farm buildings to talk to the animals. First he visits the dog kennel, where his pet is playing with her puppies. “Good morning,” he says to Lady, his shaggy collie. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank him for watching over me again last night.”

Lady wags her tail and barks. “No, but perhaps Speckles has seen him.

Kevin speaking to Lady the shaggy collie
Next he visits the noisy hen house, where all the hens are scratching and cackling. “Good morning,” he says to Speckles, the hen. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank rum for watching over me again last night.”

Speckles fluffs her feathers and clucks.

“No, but perhaps Stamper has seen him. ”

Kevin speaking to speckles the hen

Next he visits the stable, where Stamper, the black horse, is munching sweet-smelling hay. “Good morning,” he says to Stamper. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank him for watching over me again last night.

Stamper shakes his long mane and whinnies. “No, but perhaps Heidi knows where he is, Heidi is a mother, and mothers are very wise.”

Kevin speaking to stomper the black horse

Finally he visits the warm barn, where the cows are slowly chewing their cuds. “Good moming~” he says to Heidi~ the Swiss cow. “Have you seen Tommy Tiptoe? I want to thank him for watching over me again last night.
Heidi swishes her tail and mO-O-O-O-S. “Yes. I’ve seen him. And to-o-onight I’ll give you a cup of milk to-o-o leave for him. Something to-o-o drink when he is thirsty is the only thanks Tommy needs. If it is gone in the mo-o-o-rning, yo-o-ou’ll know Tommy Tiptoe was here.

Kevin speaking to Heidi the Swiss cow

That night Kevin sets a cup of Heidi’s fresh warm milk outside on his windowsill. He climbs into bed to wait for Tommy Tiptoe, but is soon fast asleep.

He dreams, and in his dreams he sees the little elf. Tommy Tiptoe is drinking the milk and smiling kindly at him. The tassel on his gray cap bobs and drops of milk glisten on his long gray beard.

Kevin sleeping and dreaming about Tommy Tiptoe

The next morning when Kevin wakes up, the elf is gone. and there are tiny footprints in the snow. The cup on the windowsill is empty.

At breakfast Kevin says to his mother, “Tommy Tiptoe was here again last night. The milk I left for him is gone, and I can see his footprints in the snow.

His mother just smiles wisely and heaps his plate high with pancakes.

After a heavy snowfall if you look carefully, you may see tiny footprints in the snow. You see them, you’ll know they are the footsteps of Tommy Tiptoe.

Tommy tiptoe's footprints in the snow

By Charlotte Richards©