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He thought his gnomes were stolen. But then a secret society returned them


A Kelowna, B.C., man says he's always liked gnomes because they have a "bit of mystery" to them. And he recently got a taste of that whimsy when his garden gnomes disappeared, and came back to him in a peculiar fashion.

Kelly Blair's gnome family is, or at least used to be, pretty low-key. The group of nine lives in a gravel bed at the side of his house amongst some tomato and mint plants. The gnomes can't be easily seen from the street.

They also didn't stand out, because after being outside for the better part of 20 years, the gnomes had little colour left to them.

About three weeks ago, Blair noticed all but one of his gnomes had vanished.

He's in the process of moving houses and recently held a garage sale, during which some other not-for-sale items went missing from his home—a canoe, some tools and a wheelbarrow. He assumed the gnomes were taken at the same time.

But last Wednesday, there was a knock at the back door. The woman behind it handed Blair an envelope.

"She said, 'This may seem a bit odd, but would you just follow me to my car? I'm just the messenger,'" he recalled.

The woman popped her trunk, and inside were Blair's gnomes—freshly painted in vibrant new colours.

"It's amazing the detail. The eyes and the dot of the pupil of the eyes and lips and the beards and all the different colours," Blair told CTV News. "There was no shortage of love and attention to detail that went into them."

Inside the envelope was a cutout in the shape of a gnome, with a signature handwritten on the back: "The Gnome Restoration Society."

The messenger told Blair the group wished to remain anonymous, and offered up no other information. Blair didn't push for more.

"I just wonder how come I'm the lucky guy," he said, adding he wonders how the secret society found out about his neglected gnomes in the first place.

"I don’t suspect the gnomes called for a rideshare and went for a makeover on their own, but who knows right? They're gnomes."

The gnomes didn't used to stand out, but now they do. They're back home among the plants, and their vibrant colours are on display.

Blair was planning on giving the garden gnomes away to a friend before moving, but not anymore.

"I had to say, 'I'm sorry, I can't give them to you,' because they've come back to me like this and they're so precious now," he said.

The gnomes will go wherever he goes.

"Whatever it takes. They're in my world now," he said.

As for the elusive restoration society, maybe only the gnomes know where—and when—they'll strike next. Top Stories

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