The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, August 31, 2021 1:00 am

Shy elves find pal in 5-year-old

Letters left outside city tree

TERRI RICHARDSON | The Journal Gazette

Mark Meyer has some new neighbors.

It appears that five elves have moved into the Frances Slocum neighborhood off of East State Boulevard. They have made their home in a giant tree that is along the sidewalk near Meyer's house.

I don't know if their presence will increase property values for Meyer or others who live nearby, but they sure have made one little neighbor extremely happy.

Kindergartner Lennon Moord who lives in the area has developed a friendship with the elves and has been leaving them notes since he discovered their ornate wooden door in July while walking. The exciting part is that the elves have been writing him back.

Now, I've interviewed a lot of people in my career, but admittedly never an elf. It proved difficult to get any of the five to comment for this story, especially since, according to Lennon, they are too shy to be seen, but they see him when he is walking. Lennon has even tried to knock on the door, but none of the elves answered.

So I turned to their neighbor Meyer to find out about the elves.

According to Meyer, the elves are named Frank, Frieda, Fritz, Frannie and Francesco. They put their door up in the spring, but Lennon didn't leave his first note until July 25.

Meyer was actually sweeping his deck when he saw Lennon and his dad and stepmom, Logan Gillespie and Jackie Burtnette, leave a note by the tree door, which is along a sidewalk near Meyer's home. Meyer told Lennon to make sure that he checks back at the door because the elves were good at answering notes.

And boy are they ever. The 5-year-old and the elves have been trading correspondence almost every week when Lennon is at his father's home. Through the letters, Lennon says he has discovered the elves like grapes (but Lennon didn't have any grapes so he left cherries; they liked those, too) and cheese (especially on macaroni). On Wednesday, Lennon found five perfect Goldfish crackers and left them at the door – one for each elf, Burtnette says. He also decided to leave the elves one of his toys so, “They could give my toy to another kid far away that doesn't have any toys,” Lennon told Burtnette.

Lennon drew a picture of what he believes the elves look like – all dressed up in their elf suits.

The elves also have given Lennon gifts, including stickers and a book about going to kindergarten which he started this year. It has become his favorite book.

For Meyer, it has been fun seeing Lennon leave notes by the door. During a trip to Ireland last year, he visited an area that had many similar doors on each side of the walls and there were notes left at the doors: “It was very, very cool,” the 68-year-old says.

But when the door went up on the tree, “I truly didn't expect I would ever have a note left,” he says.

Meyer says one of his granddaughters (he has six) has a fascination with fairies so it's been fun for him to see Lennon's excitement.

Meyer hopes that the door will spark an idea that might see 50 or more fairy doors appear in Fort Wayne.

I think Lennon would be OK with that.

Burtnette says the family has an Elf on the Shelf that comes to their house every year, which has sparked Lennon's interest in elves and the magic behind them.

It's that magic that Meyer hopes will continue for Lennon until he decides that he doesn't want to write the elves anymore.

And then who knows? Maybe the elves will move on to another tree in another neighborhood and spark the imagination of another child.

Terri Richardson writes about area residents and happenings that affect their lives in this column that publishes every other week. Email her at or call 461-8304.

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