Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"The Night Before Christmas" (farm version)

The Night Before Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the farm, not a creature was stirring not even in the barn.

The buckets were hung on the nails with care in hopes that St. Nickolas soon would be there.

The kids were nestled all snug in the straw, while visions of banana peels danced in their heads

Molly in her kerchief and Arlo in his cap had just settled down for a Winter Solstice nap. When out in the corral there arouse such a clatter, Arlo sprang from the straw to see what was the matter.

Away to the window he flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The full moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below.

When, what to his wondering eyes should appear, but Papa’s red sleigh and eight tiny goat deer. “Hey, everyone, it’s the relatives from the north!”. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, he knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid that chickens his coursers they came. And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixon, On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the coop, to the top of the barn! Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all”!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, so up to the rooftop the coursers they flew with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too.

And then in a twinkling, Arlo heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As he drew in his head and was turning around, down off the roof St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in Carhartts, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all covered with hay.

A bundle of treats he had flung on his back, and he looked like a delivery man bringing in the milk.

His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The sprig of wheat he held tight in his teeth, and the fragrance of pine needles encircled him like a wreath.

He had a broad face and little round belly that shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, right jolly old elf, and Arlo laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the buckets, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, but the wall he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But Arlo heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

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