Monday, 16 December 2013

The Sixteenth Day of Christmas - Never Look a Gift Gift in the Mouth

The sleigh followed the star. There was a lot of 'Look! Yonder!' and 'Yonder Star! Look!' from the Three Wise Men, who were very keen to shout and point, thereby showing scant regard for the efficacy of Santa's satnav system, which was very top-notch and tally-ho as you would expect from the owner of a cutting edge delivery service. Harold Angel reckoned they were suffering something called 'camel/sleigh' envy and were merely trying to exert their manliness. Mrs Pumphrey wished they would just shut up because she was getting one of her heads.

Eventually, the star stopped. I am not sure that this is scientifically possible, given the various forces that exert themselves in the running of our marvellous Universe - forces like Gravity and Centrifugal and Brute and Star Wars - but then I suppose the whole idea about Christmas is that whatever your inclination, it is a very magical, mysterious and miraculous time of year. 

And so the star stopped, and hung in the sky as if to say, 'Look! Here is where you need to be!' 

The sleigh hovered next to the star and its occupants looked down. They agreed that the sight upon which their eyes rested was neither glamorous nor fancy nor bursting with any sort of grandeur at all.

'Looks like a slightly bigger version of my garden shed,' said Tango Pete. 'Only a bit more ramshackle.'

Down through the sky they swooped, landing on a piece of rough, stony ground just outside what appeared to be a stable. The Three Wise Men dismounted the sleigh and brushed out their robes and straightened their interesting selection of headgear. 

'Oh, my goodness!' said one of them suddenly. 'I left my gift on the back of my scooter! I can't turn up without a gift.'

'Me, too,' said the Second Wise Man. 'In fact, when I slammed on the brakes in my taxi, my gift shot off the front seat and spilled all over the footwell.'

The Third Wise Man sighed. 'I expect my gift has been looted,' he said. 'Probably winging its way to 'Cash For Gold And Fill My Wallet With Wonga' as we speak.'

Well, the Wise Men were in a right old calamity and tizz and hoo-ha. What sort of guests turn up at a stable without a gift? Especially when they were visiting a baby and a Very Special Baby indeed. 

'Aren't gold, frankincense and myrrh rather inappropriate and, dare I say, dull gifts for a baby?' said Mrs Merrily Onhigh. 'Shouldn't you bring something like building blocks, rattles and a dinosaur that makes an entertaining roar when you squeeze its tummy?'

'If I was a baby,' said Harold, 'I'd want Lego, a Swanee whistle and a chocolate orange.'

'It's all symbolic,' said the First Wise Man. 

'And boring,' said Merrily.

Sensing an argument on the horizon, Santa was already rooting around in his Christmas Sack. 'Look,' he said, 'I haven't got a full range of gifts on board because this was just a trial runout before The Big Day, but I do have a box of Terry's AllGold, a bottle of 'Frank' scent by I-Should-Co-Co-English-Channel and some Merrrrr Lip Balm for Men, Keep Those Chapped Lips At Bay, Chaps. Will they do for the moment? I can return on Christmas Eve with the real things. I promise.'

Well, Santa's promise is as good a promise as anyone can get, so the Wise Men accepted the stand-by gifts, bid farewell to the intrepid explorers and set forth for the stable door.

'But do you know where I can find the Last L of Christmas?' shouted Mrs Pumphrey.

Before the Third Wise Man disappeared into the stable, he turned. 'You need to see my cousin!' he called.

'Who is your cousin?' shouted Mrs Pumphrey.

'Wenceslas!' called the Wise Man. 'He is a King, too. He'll be getting ready for the Feast of Stephen.'

'Will he mind us just turning up?' said Mrs Pumphrey.

'No,' said the Wise Man. 'He is a good king. Just make sure you dress up warm. It's really cold at his place. And see if you can pick up some holly and ivy. He likes his halls well decked, does Wenceslas!' 

And here, as an added Christmas extra, as I sit in front of our NEW WOOD BURNER (oh yes!) is Fairy Gonzo atop our Christmas tree!


Countryside Tales said...

Now, that Fairy Gonzo is marvellous. I do hope you've got your wood burner a-burning this fine eve Lady M? So pleased it is in in time for Christmas. The Big FC (as he is known in our house) prefers his brandy and mince pies warmed by the fire on his busy night, so he'll be thrilled. X

Denise said...

I did make him a new tutu this afternoon - something more bouffant as he has been wearing the same one for several years now and it was starting to lose its oomph!

And yes, the fire has taken its inaugural flight this evening - it has been FAB!!!