Adoption, Domestication, or Slavery? You Decide! Gnomes

Free the Garden Gnomes!
Adoption, Domestication, or Slavery? You Decide!

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When you see row of tiny faces peeking out from behind your neighbor's bush, you may be looking at real gnomes, or you may not be. You see, your average gnome loves a well-done statue as much as any human does, and they've been known to set up plaster or plastic garden gnomes in strategic places around their gardens, much as we'd install, say, a concrete version of the Venus De Milo. On the other hand, you may be seeing the real thing. You'll have to watch closely to be sure; gnomes are very good at not moving. In the event that your neighbor's gnomes are real, we urge you not to give in to the urge to gnomegnap! Sure, it looks funny on TV, but think of the poor gnomes.

Worse, please don't fall for the gnome liberation rhetoric! There's been a lot of debate, recently, about whether gnomes are like adopted family, or more like domesticated pets. Now, a real gnome-keeper knows that they're neither; you don't adopt a gnome, a gnome adopts you. While there have been a few situations in which gnomes have been convinced to perform unnatural actions by their gnome-keepers, by no means can keeping gnomes around the house be considered slavery. And yet that's what a new movement has been trying to tell us for the past few years!

Free the Gnomes?

Recently, several organizations have emerged with the stated purpose of freeing gnomes from what they call "oppressive gardening." Activist groups like "Free the Gnomes" and "The Liberation Front for Garden Gnomes" have taken to kidnapping gnomes, changing their appearances, and dumping them in forests -- far from home and in an unfamiliar environment. Yet another proof that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions! Some of these poor gnomes find their way back home to their hearths and families, but many do not.

Fortunately, there are valiant humans willing to take a stand for gnome rights. The Switzerland-based International Association for the Protection of Garden Gnomes is battling the gnomegnappers on the legislative front, by lobbying various local and national legislatures to make gnomenapping a felony. Perhaps in a few years, it will be safe for your little friends to go out in the front yard for a refreshing change of pace, or even to check the mail for you. Until then, it's best to keep them safe inside the house or in the backyard garden, where nefarious characters can't see them -- unless you like the idea of getting regular letters containing pictures of your gnomes in faraway places.


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