Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Type of Short Story: Short Story
Summary: No matter how hard she tries life never seems to go quite right for Gnipper Tallhat, an eight-year-old Gnome determined to receive the recognition her intelligence deserves. This time, however, she's got it all figured out. Finally, her father will have to be proud of her accomplishments...provided he manages to live through them.
Gnipper could always figure out how these things happened, a hereditary benefit of being the daughter of one of the world’s truly great scientists, Professor Gnorbert Tallhat. The problem she struggled with was the why. Regardless of how much thought she put into it, Gnipper was never exactly sure why these things happened to her. Some people around the island assumed she was just born unlucky, while others claimed she tried too hard. Those were the nice people; usually the lucky few that had managed to avoid losing a roof or a beloved family pet1 to one of Gnipper’s experiments. The majority of people, however, held a much less polite viewpoint of the youngster. That opinion might have been summed up best by Gnipper’s first governess, a wrinkled old hag that smelled like a combination of mothballs and butterscotch. She quit after three hours, screaming that the little girl was crazier than a leprechaun that lost his rainbow. Gnipper wasn’t sure why her teacher was so upset. She was positive the old lady’s eyebrows would grow back eventually, after all that was what eyebrows tended to do.