by Duncan Wells
THE REINDEER ELF
illustrations by Carol Moore
Absulum the Reindeer Elf
worked in the reindeer barn.
He had to clean it everyday
and that was rather hard
for it was such a dirty job
to mop and slop and scour and scrape
every corner, nook and cranny
in that reindeer place.
Absulum the Reindeer Elf
had to keep the reindeer groomed.
He had to give them all a bath.
He had to feed them too.
Cook their meals, brush their fur
and fill that barn with hay
and every morning when he woke
he would have to do it all over again.
Absulum the Reindeer Elf
played nurse and doctor too.
He took care of all the reindeer
if they were sick or had the flu.
He fixed their sleigh, he mended their reins
and if they were sad he would wipe their tears.
He worked his fingers to the bone
but it seemed that no one cared.
Of course the elves in Santa's Workshop
they were such a happy lot
singing songs all day long
with that jolly happy Santa Claus.
They laughed and danced from toy to toy
as if it was such fun
while outside in the reindeer barn
was the Elf named Absulum.
Absulum the Reindeer Elf,
when he heard that happy noise,
would wish he was a Workshop Elf
making Christmas toys;
but a Workshop Elf is wise and tall
and Absulum was not
and that was why he was in that barn,
well that is what he thought.
Now, it was on a Christmas Eve
when this incident occurred,
Santa's sleigh was flying high
there was no reason for concern
until the wind came up
and the snow came down
in a blinding wall of white
and all the reindeer say
that it set the stage
for the tragedy that took place that night.
Through that snow the reindeer flew
with neither fear nor fright
but the wind grew strong
and stronger still
until a blizzard grabbed
that Christmas night.
And it shook that night,
it shook the sky
and it shook that reindeer sleigh.
The reindeer they could hardly see
so soon they lost their way.
They were tumbling twisting
'round and 'round.
They hit the tree tops
flipped the sleigh
and smashed into the ground.
The reindeer sleigh was broken
it was scattered everywhere.
There were parts and pieces on the ground
over here and over there.
Christmas toys torn from their wrapping,
ribbons tangled in the trees
and there upon the forest floor
lay Santa Claus, and all could see
that he was hurt from the tragic crash
but just how bad no one would ask.
For asking might be finding out
an answer no one cared to know.
The reindeer gathered 'round him
each one limping, scraped or cut
and one by one they called his name
"Oh, Santa Claus? Get up!"
But not one move did Santa make
not a flicker not a sound
and every single reindeer there thought,
"What will we do now?"
The sky was black there was no light
no moon or shining star.
The reindeer huddled close for warmth
around Santa Claus who was lying there
in such a heap of sadness
pines and twigs caught in his beard.
Then one reindeer thought out loud
"If only Absulum was here."
Then suddenly the reindeer,
well they all began to chant.
"Absulum oh Absulum
do you know where we're at?
Oh Absulum, Absulum
please come we need you now!
Absulum, Oh Absulum,"
the reindeer chanted loud.
can you hear us call?
Suddenly a star lit up
that stormy Christmas sky
and it fell toward the Earth
and landed there at Santa's side.
The reindeer all stepped back
and gasped in wonder at the sight
of Absulum the Reindeer Elf
and the star he brought for light.
He placed that star upon a tree
and it filled the Christmas sky
then quickly down with reindeer 'round
he was there at Santa's side.
Then on his knees the Reindeer Elf
he breathed a single breath of life
into his mouth and as he did
Santa opened wide his eyes.
"Absulum?" Said Santa Claus.
"Absulum, is that you?"
but Absulum did not answer
for there was too much work to do.
He held his hand up to his mouth
and let loose the oddest scream
that echoed through the forest
through the mountains and ravines.
Now, that scream? It was a creature call,
one he learned when he was young.
It was a call that creatures answered to
and caused them all to come.
And come they did
from hovel, hole,
from cavern, nest and tree
to offer help
to a Reindeer Elf
who was in his hour of need.
Within seconds Squirrel
and Moose and Deer
were there upon the scene.
Raccoon, Fox and Bobcat came
and every bird from every tree.
And every bunny rabbit hopped
and those who had to crawled
to take part in the rescue
of the reindeer and Santa Claus.
Each part and piece of Santa's sleigh
was gathered from the wreck
and brought to Absulum the Reindeer Elf
who began to put the pieces back.
The reins were mangled, tangled torn,
the runners snapped in two
but Absulum the Reindeer Elf
knew exactly what to do.
And so, while he worked on Santa's sleigh,
the creatures all pitched in
to gather up the toys
that were scattered by the wind.
They put the toys back in their wrapping,
tied the ribbons, filled the sack.
By then that sleigh was good as new
so, they threw the sack in back.
Then they helped old Santa to his feet
and up onto the sleigh.
The reindeer they got in as well
wherever they could find a space.
Then Absulum the Reindeer Elf,
he called the creatures 'round.
He placed the reins upon them all
and said, "We're taking Santa home".
Then up into the drivers seat
that tiny elf did climb.
He took the reins
and without delay
commanded them to fly.
Well, that sleigh took off
it left the ground
and headed straight into the sky
being pulled by Moose and Bunny Rabbits
and creatures who weren't meant to fly.
But fly they did and how or why
is not an answer we need know.
You see the question most important is,
"Did they get them home?"
Well, yes they did.
They got them home
and quickly took them in.
Missus Claus fed them chicken soup
then she called to Absulum.
She said, "Absulum, look outside
there are toys still in the sleigh.
You have to get back out there
and deliver them right away."
Absulum looked at Missus Claus.
He knew she was in charge
but, instead of following her orders
he took his reindeer to the reindeer barn.
He tended to their injuries
all that night and all the next day
and as for all those toys outside
well, that is where they stayed.
Because Reindeer Elves
only with what's right
and when taking care of reindeer
is all you know in life
then you do what must be done
to make sure those reindeer never come to harm
and so, now you know
why Absulum works in the Reindeer Barn.
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Copyright ©1999-2003 Duncan Wells. Illustrations by Carol Moore. All rights reserved.
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