Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, The Writing Huntress was cleaning, cleaning like a house mouse. Her blog was neglected as she hung the dog’s stockings on the chimney with care, In hopes that her statistics wouldn’t plunge horribly, waiting for Saint Nick to deliver all she wanted, under the tree, right there.
The dogs were nestled, after walking round’ and round’ in circles, all snug in their puppy beds, while visions of marrowbones and crack-addled, suicidal squirrels danced in their heads. Hubby in his leprechaun boxers, and I in my Red Head orange hunting cap, had just settled our hunting-heavy brains for a short, Carolina winter’s nap.
When out on the pond there arose such a clatter, I sprang from our log bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a Chuck-Norris flash, I would have tore open the shutters and threw up the sash, to the porch I went in a dash!
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen frost, gave the warm-weather creatures in woods a start, making them appear lost. When what to my groggy, tired, annoyed eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight trophy reindeer.
I made a start for the shotgun in the cabinet, but soon realized I would have become the most hated huntress on the planet. Their master, a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a deflating moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than pterodactyls his mouth-watering courses they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by cut!
“Now Dinner! now, Shoulder! now, Pate and Flank! On, Back Strap! On, Rump! On, Tenderloin and Shank! To the top of the tin roof! To the top of the log wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild Carolina hurricane fall, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the wall. So up to the cabin-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of ammo, and St Nicholas too.
Our dogs woke with a start, barking like crazy, as I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little meat-toting hoof. Hubby lay unconscious as I held tightly my shotgun and was turning around, when down the chimney St. Nicholas came with an earth shattering bound.
He was dressed all in rabbit fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. He stared me down like a gunslinger as I checked out the sack, filled to the brim with hunting goodies on the Old Man’s back,
His cheeks weren’t rosy, his eyes weren’t merry. He looked exhausted, nothing at all like a cherry. He told me I wasn’t the first of the night to assault him with gun or bow, that he knew his fat reindeer drove even a sane man to stoop that low.
So as to not insult the saint, I stowed the weapon away with a jerk, and offered the old man a reprieve from his tiresome work. I motioned towards the perfectly wrapped cigar and flask, told him they were for him to unwind for a moment, interrupting his task.
Sensing a safe place, he transformed into a chubby, plump, jolly old elf, the dogs stopped growling as I lowered down to sit with the man, amazed at myself.
I dared to tell him that I stopped believing in him ages ago, but the events of the night showed me all I needed to know.
As if sensing my holiday spirit exploding, the old man finished his drink, and filled all the stockings with everything but the kitchen sink. I knew what was going to happen next so I sat up straighter; knowing the Fat Man’s mode of transportation was not an escalator.
He turned, winking a quick Thank You, and laid a finger aside his nose, and, as I only imagined in my dreams, up the chimney he rose! I heard him laugh as he gave his team a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. Before I retreated to bed, a familiar voice exclaimed over the imaginary rolling white, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”