few days before Christmas in a land far away.. in the North.. where its
cold and dark at this time of year..
Its always the same
grumbled Santa as he stared at the dashboard of his power-sled. A tiny orange
emblem of a Sled with a line through it glowed defianty back at him. "Only two
years and it's already flumped. What a pudding." He'd made the switch to
electric after his reindeer fell foul of more stringent emissions regulations.
I knew I shouldn't have drunk all
that Sherry on last year's run, maybe I'd have taken better care of my stuff if
I wasn't so basted all the time.
He turned it off and on a few times in
vain, the orange light merilly beaming away each time, all that stood between
him and one billion mince pies. He pulled his phone from his pocket.
Ill call Brenda, shell
know what to do.
The phone wasn't working. It required
four new AA batteries.
Oh, Baubles! cursed Santa
and stomped off towards his house, leaving the garage open.
Inside, beard frozen, he dialed Brenda
from the tundra-line, small avalanches of snow rumbling down his big red tummy
as he did so.
Brenda? Oh hello its Nick
here, do you remember who fixed the sled last year? Its dead
Nick you idiot! Don't tell me you
forgot your annual service! You only have two to remember!
Santa looked at his jolly red boots. His
beard dripping on the carpet. Well," he muttered, it was nearly
new, I thought it'd be alright for a few years..
You were busy sleeping off the
Sherry before jetting off on your holidays, werent you? Well your only
option at this time of year is Elfords. I don't think they trifle with these
new fangled electric Sleds much, mind." She gave him the number. Best
call them soon, I think they close at five for the holiday.
Thanks, Ill call them in a
minute, although I seem to remember they charged me a fortune last time.
Santa said, then he had a good grumble to Brenda about the general state of
things before wishing her a Merry Christmas and plonking the phone back into
Flump! he said as he took
off his coat and boots, flopped onto his big comfy chair, and promptly dosed
off, snoring loudly.
Some hours later he was awoken by the
rattling of the kitchen window.
Must be windy outside he
thought as he rose unsteadily from the chair. Flump! That bothersome
window is ajar again. Id better shut it and go up to
He trudged into the kitchen and trod in
a pile of snow on the floor with more blowing in through the half-open window.
Flump! My best slippers are wet now!
Having shut the window and swept up the
snow it occurred to him that he probably hadnt shut the garage door when
he came in earlier.
Flump! I forgot to call Elfords
and a sled full snow isnt going to help it start!
Having put on his weatherproof red coat
and boots he went outside, it was blowing a blizzard, he couldnt even see
I really should move from here,
theres no need for me to suffer this awful weather, with 21st
century logistics I could operate from anywhere!
As he staggered through the snow drifts
he thought he could see a dim red light. Was it another warning light on the
sled, maybe hed left the ignition on?
As he approached the light he heard a
snort. So its you is it? Come to ask for help I
Eh? Rudolph? Is that you?
Exclaimed Santa, I havent seen you for ages!
No of course you havent,
since you put us out of work weve had to hawk our reindeering services
around the zoos and Christmas theme parks. Dancer's halfway up a lamp post in
Evesham covered in lights, and Blitzen is doing reaction videos on Youtube.
Im only here visiting my old mum before leaving for Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas
World in Stockport.
Santa scratched his beard.
Im sorry about that but we just couldnt carry on with the old
sleigh, we needed something greener and faster, with bells on.
Ive heard all about your
fancy power-sled, said Rudolph. Its not really Christmassy,
is it? You're supposed to be Father Christmas not the blooming milk man. I bet
the range is terrible too, I expect it needs a charge every few thousand
Well, I have plenty of AA
batteries. Look, this years going to be very quiet if I cant get it
fixed. Sled-Ex are delivering all the toys here tomorrow and Ive no way
of distributing them!
Rudolph looked thoughtful for a moment.
I might have a solution to your predicament, if youre prepared to
do something for the reindeer.
Well, yes, of course, its
Christmas after all! Whats the plan?
In my travels around the world I
have realised that there are millions of deer out there; Roe, Elk, Red, Sika,
Fallow, Moose, Muntjac, Indian Hog Deer..
Indian Hog Deer? broke in
Santa, Youre kidding!
No, they're deer. There are loads
of them, and theyre all jealous of the reputation of reindeer at
Christmas. I reckon theyd jump at the chance to help.
You think they could pull
Better than that, theres so
many that you could have a fleet of sleds using deer with local knowledge,
Moose in North America, Fallow in Europe..
Indian Hog Deer in India!
Santa exclaimed. What a good idea!
Ill get on to it then.. if
you promise to keep us in employment as team leaders.
If your plan works then we can put
all the batteries in the toys this year! nodded Santa and he stumbled
back towards the light of his kitchen where the snow had piled up inside the
So if you see a sleigh flying past this
Christmas, see if you can identify the deer pulling it, they may not all be
reindeer! (just the one at the front..)