Most people told them it would never work. The rest shook their heads and said nothing. “At least they are staying out of trouble,” was muttered thrice a day.
The kids ignored them and kept on working, testing ideas and calculating for every possibility. They carved grooves in the rocky surface to channel the wind and harness its power. They brought in soil to grow food on the top and in every crevice. The waves and the tides powered the engine.
When they were finished, the children invited everyone in the village to the launch. A handful of non-related adults showed: the type who liked to laugh at another person’s failure. They were disappointed.
The mammoth barge slipped into the sea, looking like any other cliff on the Bay. It puttered away under its own power, with a hundred cheering children on board, ready for adventure.
When dwarves take a break from mining, they like to wander up the mine shafts and peek out at the sunshine. They do not, however, like running into people and being forced into how-do-you-do’s and other such pleasantries. Mentioning the weather is known to make them cry.
It got so bad a dwarf named Elwyn invented a nifty contraption he called the ‘mushroom’. With a mushroom, which is rather like a human periscope, a dwarf could listen for voices and footsteps and take a quick look around before venturing from the mine. This invention changed lives. No more were dwarves locked into meaningless conversations which used up their lunch hour, but they could frolic in the sunshine all the same.
Elwyn was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his contribution to dwarf society. However, the Nobel people considered such dwarves to be make-believe and threw out the nomination. The dwarves are still upset about it.