Santa's Reindeer in the Sky
Long, long ago before this earth had any girls and boys
To hang their stockings on the shelf expecting Christmas toys,
Good Santa was a big white cloud that floated in the sky;
If you had lived in those old days, you'd seen him floating by.
But when the children came to rule upon good Mother Earth,
She took kind Santa from the sky and made him God of Mirth;
To bring at every Christmas time good gifts to girls and boys
And make them all so happy with a lot of lovely toys.
Far, far among the icebergs, in the cold and freezing zone,
She built for him a palace, where he lives almost alone,
With only good old Mrs. Claus to keep him company,
And sometimes Cousin Nicholas for two days or for three.
Wise Mother Earth she knew this clime would suit good Santa well,
For here no foolish, idle folks would ever come to dwell;
Nor pay the Saint visits which would waste his precious time,
While he could work much faster here than in a warmer clime.
But never did he suffer from the icebergs at the Pole,
As fairies kept his fireplace all full of red-hot coal;
Or heaped bright burning logs on it as full as it could hold,
So Santa never felt a tweak of Jack Frost's biting cold.
Likewise the fairies brought to him and his most faithful spouse,
Just everything that they could to keep a cozy house.
And even cooked their victuals and brought them every day
Exactly at the proper time, upon a huge hot tray.
And after they had eaten all the dainties on the tray,
The good kind fairies quickly came and took the tray away;
So Mrs. Claus had no excuse for being cross or sad,
Since no experience she had had with Bridgets getting mad.
When Santa finished all his toys, he put them in a sack,
Where he intended carrying them just like a pedler's pack,
But Mother Earth surprised the Saint and to his palace led
Eight lovely prancing reindeer and a large commodious sled.
These reindeer were the cousins of swift Pegasus, the steed
Who helped the hero Perseus when he was in great need;
And, like the flying hero horse, they lived up in the sky,
Till Mother Earth had need of them to help old Santa fly.
And so on every Christmas eve for full ten hundred years,
Good Santa and his reindeer fleet have banished children's tears
By bringing them most all the gifts their little hearts could wish,
And filling stockings, shoe and plates, and even pudding dish.
But when last Christmas came around, good Mother Earth, she said,
"Dear Santa, I have something fine for you to use instead
Of your good, faithful reindeer and your big old-fashioned sled,
For here's a lovely aeroplane, all painted shining red."
The wise old lady then declared that he could safely fly
With this machine most anywhere away up in the sky,
And travel far, far faster than the reindeer who were fleet
But stumbled sometimes on the roofs made slippery with sleet.
The aeroplane could carry well a larger load of toys,
So he could visit more good girls and also little boys,
Who lived in far off heathen lands where everyone's a sinner,
But that's no reason each should do without a Christmas dinner.
With this machine he'd save some time to look out for each pet
Of all the little girls and boys, as they so oft forget
To treat their pets most kindly upon the Christmas morn
In memory of the Saviour who on this day was born.
And likewise all the horses, the cows and pigs and sheep,
For men so seldom think of them when Christmas time they keep;
And even wild, fierce animals, and fishes in the sea,
Should all be made quite happy at Christmas time to be.
"I do not like this plan at all of giving up my sled
And my good faithful reindeer," so good old Santa said.
But Mother Earth she laughed at him and said she would repay
The reindeer, whom she would send home straight to the Milky Way.
But Santa was old-fashioned and had great fears to fly
Without his sled and reindeer, he'd used in years gone by,
And begged that on his maiden trip these true old friends to take
To help him should the aeroplane prove but a wicked fake.
The laughing Earth then granted him this very small request,
And early on glad Christmas eve (the eve of all most blest)
He started forth upon his trip, did good old Santa dear,
Guiding his Wright aeroplane with feelings of great fear.
But Mother Earth showed she was wise and knew just what was best
To help the good old tired saint while on his children quest;
And fast the good Wright aeroplane it flew both low and high,
So Santa took the Earth's advice, and though he heaved a sigh,
He dropped the poor old worn-out sled as he was passing by,
And people said, who saw it fall, "A meteor from the sky!"
Then, kissing each good reindeer, he bade them all farewell,
And left them in the Milky Way, forever there to dwell.
And you, my little playmates, who have heard the tiny hoofs
And there, for all the time to come, these steeds will romp and play.
Of the wondrous flying steeds pattering on the roofs,
If you would like to catch a glimpse of Santa's good reindeer,
Then wait until it's dark some night, and when the sky is clear,
You'll see them very plainly in the broad light Milky Way,
by Winifred Sackville Stoner Jr.