8 Santa’s Homeward Journey
“Ho, Ho Ho!!” chortled Father
Christmas as he progressed on the last lap of his return journey.
He slalomed round a mountain top
like a small kid. The reindeer seemed to be enjoying it too, freed as they were
from their traditional burden.
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle
all the way,” Santa sang to them in an enthusiastic baritone. “I shall have some Christmas pud and you
shall have some hay.”
They were all looking to their
swooped down in order to gain some speed to sail over Ben Nevis, the last
obstacle before his homeward descent.
He misjudged it.
There was a jarring crack and Santa
uttered an expletive that it was just as well nobody was there to hear.
The traces of the reindeer had
become all tangled, but he managed to stop the team – and there they remained,
in hovering mode, just beyond the mountain summit.
Santa leaned over to survey the
damage. One main runner was broken and hung down at a drunken angle. It would
be quite impossible to land with it like that.
He decided he needed help, and rang
“Is that the Reindeer Accident
Centre?” he shouted as soon as the call was put through.
“If your reindeer has lost a shoe,
press One” the voice said. “If two or more reindeer have got their horns
entangled, press Two. For all other enquiries, press Three.”
Santa pressed three, and waited
impatiently while White Christmas was repeated five or six times. Eventually, a
voice said “Can I help?”
“I sincerely hope so,” said a
desperate Santa. “I have a team of six reindeer, it has gone midnight, I have
not had my dinner, and my sleigh has a broken runner which will make it
impossible to land. Yes – I do need help.”
“Where are you, exactly?” asked the
“We are hovering just off the peak
of Ben Nevis.
“Ah!” said the phone. There was a
pause. “Bad luck”. The phone went dead.
At that moment a snowman came flying
past singing ‘I’m Walking in the Air’. He stopped.
“Having trouble?” he enquired.
“Am I glad to see you,” said Santa,
well aware that flying snowmen had magical powers.
The snowman looked at the sleigh,
muttered a few words, and the job was done. It was not well done,
because snowmen do not possess very effective manual skills, but the duct tape
looked sufficiently secure to see Santa safely back.
“Race you back home,” said the
“I’d love to” replied Santa, “But I
think I’ll take it a bit easy. In my job I have to have a number of sherries, and
last year I was breathalysed by the Lapland police. If they think I have been
involved in an accident they will probably stop me again. If they do, I’ll lose
“Just tell them to save some pudding
because I’ll be a bit late back, would you?”
The snowman nodded, and sailed off.
It was a tough job, being Santa.