Section One: The Basics

The fair folk's dedication to art and music is matched only by their physical beauty. Unfortunately, elven personalities are not so pleasant! In fact, most elves become downright hostile at the mere suggestion that they take off their clothes. What elves have against science, I have no idea, but you can forget about trying to reason with them.

Fortunately, there is a way to circumvent this problem by secretly observing elves in the wild.

In this section I share proven methods to assist the researcher. I cover the three behaviors that are most important in the study of elven anatomy: bathing, swimming, and a catch-all category that I dub frolicking.

I) Bathing Elves

I don't believe I've ever heard of a dirty elf. This is partially because elves are naturally stain-resistant, but more to the point, elves bathe often. Up to fifteen times daily!

Behavior: Bathing is an art form to an elf and judging from the piles of supplies they bring with them, much planning goes into it. If you ever notice an elf carrying a basket full of fragrant oils, sea sponges, and other scented concoctions through the middle of the forest you might want to follow. While she could be returning from a yard sale, more likely that elf is headed to a favorite bathing spot.

Locations: The artist needs to look for shallow pools of clear water, hot springs, secluded waterfalls etc. Listen for songbirds singing, look for blooms, ripening fruit, and the tracks of forest animals (the cute and cuddly ones, not brush weasels or musk-hogs).

Difficulty: Easy. The beginner should definitely start here. The soothing effects of the elven bath oils and tonics are most useful for the artist wishing to capture every little detail.

II) Swimming Elves

If you catch an elf swimming, you're in for a real treat!

Behavior: Elves swim leisurely, diving and drifting about like supple pieces of kelp. One exception: there is a strange chant that I've heard elf maidens perform as part of a mysterious rite of passage. The meaning of the elven 'Duk-Duk-Goooz' ceremony continues to elude even the most learned sages.

Location: Depth should be suitable for diving, but it doesn't necessarily need to be all that wide.

Difficulty: Intermediate. Just make sure to lurk in suitable shrubbery and remember: if you can see an elf, the elf can also see you.

III) Frolicking Elves

The frolicking category covers a broad spectrum of exuberant behaviors. This includes formal celebrations, religious experiences, and spontaneous behaviors triggered by natural stimuli.

Behavior: The wide range of frolicking behaviors defies description, but a few of the most common occurrences are prancing, skipping, and out-of-control giggling.

Locations: Frolicking requires more wide open spaces than the swimming or bathing activities mentioned earlier. A field of wildflowers and short grasses; or a large glade in a forest is typical locations.

Difficulty: Advanced. The observation of elven frolicking behavior is, without a doubt, the most hazardous research an artist can undertake. The highly mobile nature of the frolicking elf makes discovery a constant threat, but the observer may be rewarded with a view of rare and previously unrecorded behaviors, perhaps even courtship displays!


Author's note: I have a separate illustrated companion guide to help the researcher recognize elven habitats.

To purchase a copy, mark the box below, tie it up in a bundle and send it to me by way of the mail-delivering yahoo. Without looking him directly in the eyes, carefully place it in his bag or perhaps wedge it in the thick mane of his greasy black hair; that way he won't chew on it.

[X] I am enclosing ten coppers for the purchase of the following scroll:

Illustrated Field Guide to Elven Habitats by Johanius

* Learn to recognize unicorn scat.

* Just how clear is your clear mountain stream?

* Pansies, zinnias, daisies: find out which blooms make an elf want to take her dress off!