Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood. Everyone deserves a vacation so delightful, it produces art that practically makes itself. That’s what happened when a garden-variety Canadian lawn decoration took to the open road for eight straight months to write a travelogue dedicated to his beloved owner.
When her garden gnome mysteriously disappeared, Bev York of Victoria Highlands, British Columbia decided not to investigate the curious incident and assume that some young hooligans had stolen it. Weeks went by, and York did her best to carry on with the gnome-shaped absence in her heart (and garden). Then, eight months later, the gnome re-appeared. Like all great writers, he had returned with a new name – Leopold – and a book filled with his adventures. Unlike most writers, though, he arrived in a plastic bag tied to the house’s gate.
The person who took Leopold – still at large – compiled his travels across North America in a hardcover-bound photo book, alongside his most sincere thoughts and ideas along the way. He, along with his kidnapper, apparently took a trip through the western side of the continent, maneuvering through Route 66, the Grand Canyon, all the way down to the beaches of St. Ignacio in Mexico.
“Hi, my name is Leopold the traveling gnome,” the opening line reads. “One morning back on December ’15, I saw a motorhome toddle along Finlayson Arm Road and I thought to myself, ‘There’s got to be more to life than standing knee-deep in rainwater, being peed on by neighborhood dogs and staring at the same view every single day.”
He ends his book with a personalized apology for ghosting his owner, tacking on the end this ominous maxim: “adventure before dementia”. As for York, she’s happy her gnome is back home and that Leopold generated such happiness for both her and his traveling partner.
Stay tuned to hear if he ends up getting a publishing deal, or if we spot any “adventure before dementia” tattoos on the street.
Featured image courtesy of Bev York.