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Christmas Rush For Santa by Rick Haynes

The weathered chair rocked back and forth; the legs hitting the wooden floor in a steady beat.

With his long white beard, red coloured tunic and trousers, the old one frowned. There was so much to do and so little time. As usual, the elves had decided to play games a week before Christmas Eve. Playing hide and seek had always been their favourite pass time, but not this year. Using their magic, the elves had vanished. The toy factory stood idle, the golden dust sparkled, waiting to be released to all the children on Earth.

Running his hands through his beard gave Santa time to think. He had always found a solution to the annual problem but this year was proving to be very difficult. Last year, much to the Elves annoyance, he took away their magic wands as punishment but his ire never lasted long. Father Christmas had quickly returned the wands once the elves had promised to return to their work. And with production back to normal, Santa had launched his sleigh into the night on Christmas Eve. No child would be disappointed and all would be well on Earth.

Unfortunately for Santa, the elves had hidden their wands this year. They thought it fun, but Santa was worried. ‘I love my elves, but how can I get them back to work?’ he said to himself.

“Yes! That’s it!” he shouted.

“Rudolph! Come here. Quickly now.” He whispered in Rudolph’s ear, heard a snort, and watched as he flew into a mass of fluffy white in the skies and vanished.

Father Christmas sent Dancer to find the elves for he knew where they were hiding. “You have gone too far this year,’ he chided. “This is no longer a game but if you return to work, I will forgive you. Well?”

Over the cries of no-no-no, one elf stepped forward. Dressed in a velvet green jacket with silver buttons and striped green trousers, he looked up to Santa. “Play the game, Santa, or Rudolph won’t have any toys in the sleigh.”

Santa laughed so loud the elves put their hands over their ears. “No work means no Rudolph rides, Elvenar. I wouldn’t want to clean out his stable now; you know how smelly it gets when he has to stay inside.”

“Not fair! You don’t mean it! It’s a joke!” The elves all shouted at once but Elvenar, the chief elf, waved his hands for silence.

“Where is Rudolf?” he asked. “And where are Dasher, Dancer and the other reindeer?”

“I think Rudolf said he would be returning soon with a new band of elves. You know how many apply every year as being part of our special team is their dream. I will never let all those children go without toys on Christmas Day. And if you won’t work, what choice do I have?”

“You wouldn’t do that, Santa, would you?” Elevnar was clasping both hands together as he looked at Santa’s face.

“Maybe I could stop Rudolph? But you would have to promise me to behave.”

The chief elf rushed up to Santa and fell to his knees. “Sorry, Santa, it was only a game. We won’t make the same mistake next year. Please give us our jobs back. Please.”

“Err... maybe I could do that. Maybe, I should do that as you asked so nicely. Now, if you all return to work I’ll see if I can stop Rudolph.”

All of the elves cheered as they threw their coloured hats in the air. And within minutes the elves were back in the workshop. They were singing as they made toys for all the children on Earth.

Father Christmas opened his mouth wide and roared with laughter. The elves didn’t know why but soon joined in with the reindeer stamping their hooves on the ground.

Rudolph flew down from the clouds to land next to the elves. Seeing the reindeer alone, Elvenar grinned at Rudolph and returned to his work.

“How many elves did you ask, Rudolph?” Santa said.

“Hundreds, all keen to help you in your hour of need, Santa.” He pawed his front hooves on the ground and laughed. “You really are a naughty Santa for telling a little lie, aren’t you?”

“I suppose I am, but what else could I do? A little trickery was needed and now all the children of the Earth will receive their presents on Christmas Day.”

Happy Christmas everyone.

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