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"A Crabby Little Christmas"

The starflakes were falling through moonlight so dreamy; The snow was all drifty, and tasted whip creamy. There was singing in Toyland on this Christmas Eve. Santa's sleigh was all packed up and ready to leave. "The big rush is over!" I heard someone shout. The elves gathered 'round as Santa came out. The boss shook each hand as he passed through the group. Mrs. Santa appeared with a thermos of soup. "Ho ho," laughed the chief, as he thanked everyone For their loyal support and a job so well done. He climbed to the cockpit, then "Contact!" he cried. The reindeer all giggled till they nearly died. He tucked in the blanket along by his knees, took aim at the Milky Way over the trees. 'Mid shouting and waving and kissing goodbye he fastened his seatbelt and took to the sky. The elves went inside to get out of the weather. Time for the annual Elf Get-together. All except on, who just sat on a stump, Crabby Bassnaster, the neighborhood grump. "What is it, Crabby?" asked toymaster Spiro. "We do the work," he crabbed. "Santa's the hero." "Merry Christmas, big deal," and "Humbug", he said. "Put it into the paycheck instead." Bacl to the workshop he stumped with a grumble, grumping back over his shoulder to mumble: "Land, if there's one thing that I jes' cain't take, It's singin' an' dancin' an' ice cream an' cake!" Toyland was dark now, and spookily still; Not a sound of a hammer, much less a drill. How lonesome the figure that walked through the halls, with only the shadow he cast on the walls. By the light on his workbench he fumed and he fussed, brushing away at a small speck of dust. "One more ho-ho out of jolly ol' Santa, I'm gonna pack an' go home to Atlanta." He was sweeping the floor in a circle of light, when he saw something shiny there, off to the right. "A leftover present?! That jes' couldn't be! This couldn't happen to no one but me." Tied with a ribbon and stuck with a pearl, The card was addressed: "To a good little girl". "The name an' address are marked here inside, so it looks like I'm in for a cold midnight ride." He hitched up the sleigh for the unscheduled run. "The work of a pore elf jes' ain't never done."

* * *

"Now, let me see, this looks like the house. I hope I don't stir up no critter nor mouse." Then from the roof, down the chimney he slid. "They ain't makin' chimleys the way that they did." There by the fire a little girl sat "Jes what I need, a wide awake brat." "Are you really Santa?", was her ready query? "Do bloodshot eyes twinkle? Is my nose a cherry? No, I'm just a gopher, a regular jerk. He gets the glory, an' we do the work." "I love you," she said. "I think you're so cute!" His face turned as red as his little red suit. "I just couldn't sleep, I was feeling so bad, My first Christmas Eve away from my dad." What's all that sobbing and snurfing and sighing? Could it be Crabby Bassnaster is crying? He gave her the present and kissed her goodbye, with nearly a twinkle in his bloodshot eye. Back to the rooftop, and into the sleigh, he cranked up the reindeer and roared them away. "Back to the party! Les move this ol' crate! I better not miss out on ice cream an' cake!" And, I heard him shout, as he dropped 'er in gear, "Merry Chrisrmas, y'all, and a Happy New Year!"

Merry Christmas from Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan.

Poem copyright 1969, 2000 by Jack Blanchard


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