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With our apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, we offer our own, Herd version of “A Visit from St. Nicholas:”
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Chez Herd
Not a Siberian was howling, not even a word;
The stockings were hung very high out of reach,
In hopes that no dog would be able to breech.
The Sibes were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of slow squirrels danced in their heads;
I smiled and patted myself on the back,
Pleased I had actually settled the whole pack,
When out in the kitchen arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what Typhoon did splatter.
Away through the den I flew like a flash,
Tripped over some dog toys and fell with a crash.
My head hit an object with quite a strong blow
Made the room spin wildly and tilt to and fro
When what weird vision my rattled brain provides,
But a miniature dog sled and six hungry Sibes,
Frightful was the driver in the upheaval,
For it was, of course, Queen Natasha the Evil.
More rapid than Frankie in avoiding any blame,
She whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Kiska! Hurry while hu-dad is in a swoon.
On, Qannik, Cheoah, Frankie and lil’ Typhoon!
To the top of the couch! to the top of the wall!
Wreak havoc, wreak havoc, wreak havoc to all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, leap to the sky;
So up to the countertops the Sibes they flew
And took full, complete advantage of dad-hu
And then, in a twinkling, I realized their cause
The prancing and clicking of all their paws.
As I held my head, and was turning around,
Down the sliced ham and turkey came with a bound.
Food all covered with fur, and six dogs underfoot,
I decided the best choice was to stay put;
A bag of dog toys she had flung on her back,
Queen Natasha the Evil cheering her pack.
Her eyes—how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry!
Her ears were like radar, Her cheeks all hairy!
Her droll little mouth was stuffed with stolen loot,
And sprinkles and crumbs of leftovers on her snoot;
The stump of a bone she held tight in her teeth,
And the plunder encircled her head like a wreath;
She has a cute face and an innocent smile
But all of that is designed to hide her guile.
As she climbed high to retrieve loot on the shelf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself;
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head
Soon gave me to know I had everything to dread;
She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And helped The Herd plunder the kitchen with her smirk,
And laying her paw aside the bridge of my nose,
The message was clear, I would utter no “No’s”;
She raced from the room, to her team she did bristle,
With their loot, away they all flew like a missile.
But I heard them exclaim, ere they dove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
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