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Chapter 11 The Reindorse

Posted by greygelding , 16 May 2016 · 1,794 views

Santa Claus

One Christmas the other worker and I got a gift for our boss and we decided to give it to him at a Christmas party he was having at his house. Of course me being me, I just had to do something special. In that day and age there were no low voltage portable Christmas lights so I rewired a set of lights so they would work off of a battery mounted at the rear of the saddle. They decorated the saddle and reins that the Bo horse would wear. Using coat hangers and cotton, Pam made him some great looking white antlers. I managed to scrounge up a Santa Claus suit and presto there was Santa and his decorated reindeer ready to present my boss with his gift. When we arrived we found a full blown party in progress with friends and neighbors in attendance. We were a big hit, in fact a bigger hit than I could have anticipated. As we concluded our business and prepared to leave, one of the neighbor ladies asked if I would come back to the neighborhood the next night and do it for the kids. A time was agreed on for the next evening which was Christmas Eve.

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We unloaded Bo and decked him out in his festive garb. I rode down the street, and as I approached the corner leading to the dead end street where the kids should be waiting, I noticed some parents waiting with several large cloth bags. Pam handed me one and it was full of toys. Of course, Santa needed his toy sack but what was up with all the other bags? As it turned the corner a cheer arose and I was faced with a virtual sea of kids. They came in all ages from babies to teenagers and the parents all had cameras at the ready. What had I gotten myself into? The thought raced through my mind that I could turn around and with Bo's speed we could be gone before anyone could move. Like magic, a path opened up in the middle of the crowd and we made our way to the place of honor. With a Ho Ho Ho and a Merry Christmas I dismounted. One kid, there's always one in every crowd, stated "That doesn't look like a reindeer!" One thing I did know is that if I didn't think fast this evening might not turn out as well as I wanted it to. As a hush fell over the crowd it seemed like everyone in that part of the city was waiting for Santa's answer. I surprised even my self as I actually came up with one. "It's not a reindeer, it's a reindorse. It's a cross between a reindeer and a horse. It's too warm here for reindeer". One other child responded "That's right! I saw that yesterday on TV with Rudolph." Just like that everyone was in the Christmas spirit again. Pam took control of Bo and under her watchful eye and with the help of some parents lots of kids got to touch their very first reindorse that evening.
Time to hand out the gifts. I reached into the bag and pulled out the first one as the sea of expectant faces watched in breathless excitement. How would I get the right present to the right child? It turns out the parents had thought of that too. There was a name tag with the first name on it. Also there was a note attached which I quickly read to myself. "Was mean to his sister this year." It quickly dawned on me what I should do with my new found power. Looking up I saw a dad discretely pointing to a young boy standing in front of him. Using my best Santa voice I called "TOMMY!" and pointed directly at him.
"Whoa! Santa knows my name".
"You've been mean to your sister this year haven't you?"
"Uh uh."
"If you do that next year I won't bring you any gifts. Will you be good next year?"
"Oh yes Santa, I promise."
As I handed him the gift I could see some parents hurriedly scribbling on pieces of paper. Gift after gift I was able to point to a child, call him or her by name, and usually praise them for good grades, taking care of the dog, doing their chores, and other things the parents had clued me into with their notes. Through it all Pam and Bo were patiently waiting behind me and I'm not sure who was enjoying it more. Bo was puffed up and seemed to rise to the occasion.
Finally the last gift was given and it was time for me to bid my farewell. After all it was Christmas Eve and I needed to get back to the North Pole right away. Also I reminded the kids that they needed to get to sleep so I could do my job, and don't forget the milk and cookies. As I turned to Bo a small girl about 2 years old came up to me dragging her toy. It was a large top with a rod sticking out of it. When the rod was pushed up and sown the top would spin. It was almost as big as her but she was proudly dragging it behind her. She looked up at Santa, smiling and her large eyes were shining - a face I will never forget. As I mounted and started to depart, one of the parents stuffed an envelope in my hand and wouldn't take it back. I don't remember the amount but I do remember the wording after all these years. "It's not hay but thank you so much!"
Now I was all dressed up with nowhere to go so I thought I would just ride home instead of using the trailer. We rode through neighborhoods with our Christmas lights shining in the darkness. We turned a corner and there in a driveway was a man getting something from the trunk of his car. "Wow! Could you wait here for a minute?" "Martha! Come here quick, get the kids and go next door and get the Johnsons." Cameras flashed, excited kids of all ages petted the reindorse, and a lot of milk and cookies would be left out that night. This happened several times on the way home and each time Bo would proudly puff up and stand tall. When we would continue on our way Bo would deflate a bit and we would stroll along enjoying ourselves. As we were nearing home we passed a bar. The door opened and out came an obliviously intoxicated man. He took one long look at us, exclaimed "OH MY GOD!" He went back into the bar and I don't know if he's still drinking to this day or never took another drink again, but I'm sure we made a real impression on him. That year we had a very Merry Christmas.

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Wish I could give it more than one like!!

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