When I was small on my Grandparent’s homestead in Arapahoe, my Grandma told me to behave or the Little People would take me home with them. That idea terrified my sisters and I into obedience – at least for a little while.
As I grew older, we were told to respect the Little People and they would leave us be. Somewhere in that teaching, we were also told to leave them gifts. This lesson stuck when we encountered evidence of Little People far from our Grandma’s Wyoming home.
We were living in Alaska and I was 10 at the time and my sisters 8 and 6. We had just moved to an apartment complex in Delta Junction and were exploring our new home. Behind one of the buildings, we found an impossibly small garden with full grown miniature vegetables.
Full heads of cabbage the size of our thumbs, peas that we could barely see, teeny carrots, radishes popping their tops out of the ground and much more. We were fascinated and even found the faint outline of a trail leading to this neat and orderly garden. The rows were all perfectly straight and lined up, the space between each row just big enough to accommodate the tiny vegetables.
We ran home and got our miniature Tupperware set and poured milk into one of the small orange cups even though it was still huge compared to the garden. We carefully placed the cup near the garden and eagerly tasted the vegetables, bring careful to only take a few samples. They were all ripe and ready to eat despite their size. I remember the sweetness of the carrot I picked and the impossibly small peas when we cracked open a pod.
The next day, we hurried back and were excited to see that the Little Person had accepted our gift and had left the cup where it was but had drank all the milk. We could also see that they had begun harvesting the garden since several of the pumpkins were gone.
When we weren’t harassed by the Little People, we figured that they approved of the milk which we guessed was a treat they could not otherwise get. (I don’t think their are Little Cows…)
After several days, we finally decided to show our Mom the garden. When she saw it, she was obviously surprised and then told us to be careful. She tried to reason it away and said the ground was too hard and must have stunted their growth. That argument didn’t fly because, we argued, the rows were too close together. Mom just shook her head and then told us we shouldn’t play over there anymore. We were disappointed but a bit relieved since we didn’t want to irritate the Little People more than necessary!
Years later, I asked Mom why she didn’t take any pictures and she said she wasn’t sure but that even now, she can’t explain why there was such a small garden.
This is my personal encounter with this race of mythical creatures and when I talk to others, nearly everyone on our reservation have their own story or know someone who had their own Little People incident.
My belief? I don’t believe in coincidences. I have heard too many first hand accounts not to believe. And it is not just us Native Americans that have reported sightings – different cultures just have different names. Leprechauns, gnomes, green aliens….
The truth is out there!