‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the yard, not a creature was stirring, all the beds were snow covered.
The Christmas lights were hung on the rooftop with care in hopes that St. Nicholas (sans deer) soon would be there.
The spring bulbs were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of spring-time danced in their heads.
And I with my six layers of clothing and a space heater humming had just settled down to dream of next summer sunning. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, carefully moved all the houseplants and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow looked dreadful covering up all my gardens below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny darn deer!
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his feasters they came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
“Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer, and Vixen! On, Comet, on Cupid, on Donder and Blitzen! Over the fence! Over the top of the wall! Now feast away, feast away, feast away all!”
As piranhas that live in the Amazon river, when they meet with a meal, leave not but a sliver,
So into the garden the feasters they flew, pulling a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too.
And then, in a twinkling, in my garden that was left, were eight hungry darn deer committing botanical theft.
So I drew in my hand, and reached for a gun, and cursed because city ordinance said deer shooting couldn’t be done.
Santa was wearing muck boots, jeans and a plaid shirt, and his clothes were all tarnished with compost and dirt.
A bundle of seed catalogs he had next to him on the seat, and he looked like someone who was in for a treat.
His eyes — how they twinkled, his dimples how merry! He was happy looking at roses and trees that grew cherries!
All the while his darn deer were making me wish I had a bow.
As they dug and stripped all that was left in the snow, he paid them no heed, and he just picked at his teeth, and then turned a page as the deer ate my wreath!
The deer continued to eat and fill up their bellies as Santa ignored them and dreamed of making home grown jellies.
The deer wandered into my greenhouse and ate the plants right off the shelf and I shouted when I saw this, like a right angry old elf.
Jolted out of his seed revere, with a twist of his head, Santa came to realize what I had watched with dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, planting new trees and flower seeds so he wouldn’t look like a jerk.
He replaced my devoured wreath with one made of spruce pine and giving a nod, satisfied with the design.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove into the sky black, “Happy Christmas to all, and spring soon will be back!”
Merry Christmas to all our gardening friends Along our Garden Path!
Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.