The Little Button Elves by Enid Blyton

Type: Fiction
24 Pages
Published in England by Award Publications Limited (1985)

There were five little elves who looked very much alike and wear the same clothes, and they were identified by how many buttons they had on their tunics. The one with one button on his tunic is named One Button, the one with two buttons on his tunic is named Two Button, and so on.

One day, the five went out for a picnic, and on the way to their picnic spot, Three Button – who was carrying some cakes – tripped and fell, and all the cakes fell into the water underneath a bridge. To make out for what he had done, Three Button offered to find some water to fill in their kettle to make some tea for the picnic.

He found a cottage and asked the owner, an old lady, to have some water. The lady gave him permission to take the water from her tap in the kitchen. In the kitchen, Three Button saw piles of newly-baked cakes, and he stole five cakes to be eaten for his picnic. The other elves ate the cakes without asking much about how Three Button got it.

Not long after having the cakes, all five of them instantly got fatter and fatter, until their tunic got so tight that the buttons popped off. Embarrassed, they quickly shut themselves at home and studied their magic books to understand what had happened to them.

Finally they discovered that eating newly-baked pimpernel cakes can make one get fat almost immediately. Three Button felt guilty and confessed that he had stolen the cakes; and that the cakes must have contained pimpernels. The elves then found a remedy to make them reduce fat and get their original body size again. Soon they gained their original body size again. 

Not long after, a pixie came to their house and wanted to see Two Button. Then only they realized that their buttons had popped off and now they were not recognizable anymore. Worse, they themselves did not remember who had how many buttons on their tunics.

Finally, a pixie suggested they go and meet a Mother Pimpernel for advise, as she is a very wise old lady. It turns out that Mother Pimpernel is the old lady whom Three Button had stolen the cakes from. They went to Mother Pimpernel’s cottage to confess and ask for forgiveness apart from asking her for advise on their identities.

Mother Pimpernel advised them to count how many buttonholes they had on their tunics. The one with one buttonhole would be One Button, the one with two buttonholes would be Two Button, and so on. Soon they got to identify each other again and they then sew new buttons on their tunics.

Mother Pimpernel had forgiven them for stealing her cakes, but she requested them to come to her cottage and feed her chickens everyday in return. The five elves agreed, and everyday they took turns to come to Mother Pimpernel’s house and feed her chickens. And of course they never steal again.


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