Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Four Oaks Christmas Story


Once in a while, for the amusement of friends
I start spinning a story to see where it ends
While I might mess with facts, I can say with conviction
That sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction
Of last night, for instance, I give this depiction:

It’s three nights before Christmas and out at Four Oaks
The wind is a-howling, the fire pit smokes
The Baileys is waiting for coffee to brew
In a Dutch oven bubbles a savory stew

I’m humming and poking at embers and ash
When from deep in the forest I hear a great crash!
Into the darkness I peer warily
Into the shadows that stretch scarily

I wish for bright light but the fire burns low
I see I must stray from its comforting glow
To fetch a few logs from the edge of the wood
So I zip up my coat and I flip up my hood

It’s 20 long paces to get to the stacks
I take a deep breath. I take up the axe
If something is out there to give me a fright
It will see what I’m made of. I’ll put up a fight!

Into the shadows I step quietly
With my axe at my side, and what do I see?
But a monstrous Thing half obscured by a tree!
With an eye that glows red and looks right at me!

What should I do? Should I strike? Should I run?
Should I offer it stew? Would it eat a bun?
As I ponder these questions imagine my shock
When the Thing heaves a sigh and commences to talk.

In a whisper it says, “You’re tall for an elf.”
It takes me a bit to recover myself.
For it’s plain to see as the strange Thing draws near
It’s no monster at all! It’s Rudolph the Reindeer!

I notice he’s staring rather intently
At the axe in my hand, so I set it down gently
A smile spreads over his sweet furry face
I ask, “How in the world did you come to this place?”

“I was practicing flying and following my nose
When I began to feel sleepy and started to doze.
I awoke to discover I’d lost altitude
I’m sorry to startle, didn’t mean to intrude.
If you’ll just point me North, I’ll be on my way,
And the children will have presents come Christmas Day.”

“I know where to direct you,” I say. “See that star?
It will guide you North. It will take you far.
But before we bid each other adieu,
Tell me—are you hungry? Would you like some warm stew?”

His nose flames bright red; his agitation grows great
At the sight of the boiling pot on the grate
And I realize then that the Thing I’d held grim
Had been more scared of me than I’d been of him

I laugh loud as Santa: “Ho ho! Ho ho ho!
I see there is something that you need to know.
You’ve clearly mistaken me for a barbarian.
That’s not venison stew. That’s all vegetarian.”

Now maybe you don't think my story is true
That we shared a fine feast and then off he flew
But last night I learned something I never knew
And Rudolph said I could share it with you

While he’s grateful that children want him to be fed
And leave cookies and carrots before they go to bed
As together we sat, the reindeer and I,
He told me he much preferred blueberry pie

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