Woods and Water
By: Rob Somerville
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Due to the many requests from our readers, I wanted to share my poem about an amazing encounter I had with our favorite jolly man, Santa Claus himself!
My young friends, the following is a true story about what happened to me while deer hunting last Christmas Eve.
Believe it or not!
Now listen my friends and you shall hear,
Of a Christmas tale so strange and so rare.
Twas the day before Christmas, a cold, snowy day you see,
An hour before morning, found me perched high in a tree.
I had one more buck tag to fill for this year,
As I sat bundled in all the warm clothes I could wear.
All of a sudden I saw such a strange and wondrous sight,
Twas a bright red light, soaring high through the night.
As I sat and pondered as to what I just saw,
A tremendous noise broke the silence and filled me with awe.
Limbs crashed and rained down,
as the woods seemed to shatter,
And I woke from my stupor at this boisterous clatter.
Bodies were crashing, and running askew,
Could it be a whole deer herd? Well it was more than a few.
I slipped quietly from my stand, a few steps had I taken,
Is that sleigh bells I hear? No, I must be mistaken.
As daylight arose, I crossed my fingers for luck,
Peeking around a huge oak tree I spied a huge buck.
My legs turned to Jell-O, and I shivered and shook,
At the chance of this trophy, which would make record book.
I forced myself to steady and raised my rifle to aim,
When from over my shoulder a cheerful voice came.
It said, “Just hold on a minute Rob, and listen to me.
And in my voice I believe some logic you’ll see.
I’ve got no problem at all with hunting, my friend,
But if you shoot this animal, then Christmas might end.
He’s not a whitetail, of that you should know.”
And as I looked through my scope,
I saw the deer’s nose all aglow.
“Rudolph?” I asked with my voice all a stammer,
And the voice simply said yes, hitting home like a hammer.
So I turned to the voice and said, “Then you must be ….. ,”
But I was cut off with a wink, a Ho-Ho, and Tee-Hee.
“That’s right”, said the old man in red and in white,
So chubby and happy with pink cheeks so bright.
“I’m Santa Claus, who some call Saint Nick,
And I’ve got a big problem. You see, Rudolph is sick.”
I stepped back on to something, and heard a funny noise,
And looking around, I saw thousands of toys.
I glanced up in a tree, and saw a sleigh upside down,
All broken up, with presents strewn all over the ground.
As Rudolph walked up and licked Santa’s hand,
I saw a tear run down the cheek of that man.
He said, “Well Rudy, we must be just a couple of old fools.
We’ve outlived our uses, and bent all the rules.
I guess there will be some sad girls and boys,
Who behaved all year, but still wont get their toys.”
I sat down on a stump, blinking back my tears,
As memories filled me, from past Christmas years.
When I, as a boy, crawled in to my bed,
And visions of presents filled my young head.
But what could I do, no magic had I,
I could barely run, let alone could I fly.
I told Santa, you know I’d help if I could,
If I knew what to do, I certainly would.
As I stared down at my boots, feeling so useless and weak,
I felt a wet nose, as It nuzzled my cheek.
It was Rudolph the red, who nudged me to stand,
And he lit up his nose, as he tugged at my hand.
“It seems Rudy likes you,” said the fat man in red,
“And it just might work,” with a wink, Santa said.
Oh no, not me, I’m just an ordinary man,
But Santa smiled at me and said,
“If you believe, then you can.”
The next thing I knew, my four-wheeler was packed,
With candy canes, teddy bears, and presents all stacked.
Rudolph was hooked up to my front-end winch,
Santa pulled out some Skoal and thumbed out a pinch.
He sprinkled the dust on me and my ride,
Saying, “This magic dust will give you the power to glide.
Though Rudolph is too old to pull such a load,
His bright red beacon will light up your road.”
To make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I pinched myself hard,
Thinking that we must look like a strange Christmas card.
Santa jumped up behind me, and gave the throttle a tweak,
And I thanked my heavy-duty shocks as they let out a shriek.
We tore out through the woods, and soared through the sky,
Over mountains and valleys, so far and so high.
The rest of the night went by like a blur,
It went by in fast motion, with a dizzying whir.
We went down the chimneys of millions of houses,
We awoke not a soul, not even the mouses.
We ate milk and cookies, till I felt my belly would pop,
And at the end of it all, I just wanted to drop.
“Here’s the last stop Rob”, I heard Santa say,
As I stepped on to the roof, and said “What a day!”
We had arrived at my own house; and I was ready for bed,
So I hugged old Saint Nick, all clothed in red.
He said, “One more thing, before you leave,
I have one more gift, and it’s yours to receive.”
He handed me a box, wrapped in paper and bow,
It read, “Do not open, until tomorrow.”
He told me he loved me, and I hugged Rudolph’s neck,
I bent over to Santa, and gave his cheek a peck.
“I’ll never forget you, please call me next year,
And we’ll do this again, me, you, and that deer.”
The next morning I rushed to the tree like a kid,
To see what present under the paper were hid.
I tore it apart, and eyed it with glee,
It was a photo of Santa, and Rudolph, and me.
Santa is magic, and Christmas is too,
It’s not just for kids, but also for you.
Keep Christ in Christmas, for his birth is the reason,
That we celebrate with gifts, during this glorious season.
I hope your holidays, are filled with peace, love, and light.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
I want to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!