by Peter Morgan
© 2015 Peter Morgan
All rights reserved.
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To Kathy Jackson, for her help, guidance, love and support
The Great reindeer trials are an annual treat,
Where the best, of the best, of the best all compete.
Over four rounds they’re all put to the test,
The pack whittles down, only kept are the best.
Each year it takes place just before Christmas eve,
The prize is the best a reindeer could receive!
Nine places on offer, to see such great sights
As they fly Santa’s sleigh round the world in one night.
For many years now there’s been one number one.
Rudolf the champ, his equal there’s none.
But now a young rookie does challenge the pros,
A relation of Rudolf’s, they share the same nose.
The crowd grew excited and cheered him along!
“Roody, Roody, Roody” they roared out in song.
They had a quick chat at the start of the day,
Before the competing would get underway.
“Best of luck Uncle Rudolf,” said Roody with glee,
“You’ll need all you can get, when you’re stuck behind me!”
But Rudolf replied “Oh now don’t you forget,
Though I’m proud of you Nephew – you’ve not won quite yet.”
The first trial is speed, a lap round the track;
Right from the start Roody’s on the attack.
He finishes well, to the next round he goes,
An agility test on a lake that they froze.
In this second trial they must keep on their feet,
He slips and he slides, but he gets through his heat.
The third is a test of how hard they can pull
A sledge which is packed up with presents ‘til full.
He struggled and strained, finding strength from beneath,
Making it through by the skin of his teeth.
And then the last trial, they hold it at night,
A challenging test of their skills during flight.
Up in a lift to the start they did go,
Then onto a ledge, Roody looked down below.
Roody had never been this high before,
He’d flown many times, a few feet off the floor.
The Race had begun, they all took to the sky.
But Roody stayed still. His feet refused to fly.
His heart beat fast, his knees did shake,
He felt so cold, his head did ache.
The ground rose up and spun around,
It would not stop, he gazed on down.
A team was sent, they brought him back,
Onto the ground, onto the track.
At once he ran, he ran away,
“I cannot stop, I cannot stay!”
They’d mock, they’d sneer, night after night,
“He’s weak, he’s soft, he’s scared of heights.”
Distraught, depressed, distressed he ran.
Upset, annoyed, enraged he ran.
And as Roody ran, he began to recall,
Ever since he was young, ever since he was small.
Year after year, on each festive day,
His family and friends they would cheerily say,
“With that Red nose of yours, just like Rudolf you are;
A hero! A leader! A champion! A star!”
He felt so ashamed, he’d let everyone down.
He’d looked like a fool, like a fraud, like a clown.
“If it wasn’t for Christmas I could have been free,
There wouldn’t have been so much pressure on me.”
Then he suddenly knew, the answer was clear,
“Christmas be gone! It’s cancelled this year!”
His one secret place, where he could let loose,
An Elf toy workshop that’s no longer in use.
He’d always come here, if things got too tough,
When he’d had a long day and enough was enough.
A quiet place to think, relax, unwind
And tinker with old clockwork toys left behind.
“How to cancel christmas?” Roody mused whilst tinkering.
“I could set all the clocks back, make them late delivering.
I could sneak in and break their magical sleigh.
I could kidnap old Santa until Boxing day.
I could tear up the lists of the naughty and nice;
I could take all their toys! But will that suffice?”
“Cancelling Christmas will take something bigger.”
Then he had an idea – he started to snigger.
He had just the thing, just a couple more tweaks,
A project of his, he’d been at it for weeks.
Amongst the machines, his special work station,
Concealed by a cloth, Roody’s finest creation!
Over five metres tall, giant feet, giant hands,
Daisy the Doll, the largest in the land.
Held in her fist, a huge candy cane,
Inside of her head, a mechanical brain.
With curly black hair, and sparkling blue eyes,
A red and white frock (don’t ask her dress size).
He got straight to work, he toiled through the day,
For soon all the presents would be on the sleigh.
Sprockets adjusted, he tightened some springs,
He hammered and welded a few final things.
To power her up, he had to align,
Two dozen batteries, straight up her spine.
On Daisy Doll’s head, a large metal pole,
The antenna providing her wireless control.
Around Roody’s neck, the controller he wore,
With joysticks and switches and buttons galore!
He manoeuvred her well, making Daisy march on.
To the Grotto they charged, to make Christmas be gone!
Santa’s security is very hi tech,
With cameras, scanners and security checks.
The Guards on today, they were quite unprepared,
For Daisy the Doll had them all running scared.
Sirens and shouting was heard all around,
With one giant foot, the fencing came down.
Within a few seconds of hearing alarms,
Appeared Elf Elites, all heavily armed.
Gingerbread Batons, hi-tech Tinsel Throwers,
Mince Pie Grenades and enhanced Bauble Blowers.
They took their positions, the Doll in their sights,
Then readied themselves for one big festive fight.
Santa ran out in full army attire,
He waved and he called, “please stop! Hold your fire!
Hello little girl, it’s Daisy I recall.
My haven’t you grown! Were you always so tall?
You shouldn’t be so naughty, tonight’s Christmas Eve.
All the good boys and girls are in bed I believe.”
“But perhaps you could help do a favour for me,
Our friend has gone missing, it’s Roody you see.
His Uncle is worried, he searched all last night,
He won’t fly the sleigh till he knows he’s alright.
Nor will the rest, they’ve all gone searching too.
If we don’t find him soon, then old Christmas is through!”
From behind Daisy Doll, Santa’s speech Roody heard.
He just couldn’t speak, he hadn’t the words.
When he’d failed to fly, when he froze at the race,
He’d let everyone down, he’d been a disgrace.
But his Uncle was worried, the others as well,
His anger and hatred, completely dispelled.
Roody ran out, and he shouted with cheer,
“I’m here Mister Clause! Mister Clause, I am here!”
But in his excitement, he let out a yell,
He stumbled, staggered, tripped and fell.
The remote came loose, it smashed to bits!
This sent Daisy Doll, right into a fritz!
The huge Daisy Doll, now not under control,
Began madly swinging its candy cane pole.
With the Grotto to save, the Elves had to hurry,
They all opened fire in a big festive flurry.
But all of their weapons were simply no match.
The Doll’s hardened plastic, they just couldn’t scratch.
The controller was bust, Roody felt such despair.
He had no way to fix it, he hadn’t a spare.
But then a small thought went and lodge in his brain,
He had no time to loose and no time to explain.
Upwards he flew towards one little patch,
Atop the Doll’s head, to the small entry hatch!
The Doll rampaged on swinging left and then right,
While at the same time the Elves kept up the fight.
Their mince pies and tinsel shot by everywhere
And the Doll’s giant arms wildly swung through the air.
But Roody flew well, he zigged then he zagged,
That small entry hatch, he finally grabbed.
To the Doll’s curly hair Roody held on so tight,
As he opened the hatch, with all of his might!
Which wires to pull, to many to choose,
He randomly picked, one red and two blues.
The Doll became still. Then a rumble. A roar.
Slowly the Doll lifted up off the floor.
Roody had installed, just a few weeks before,
Rockets galore in the boots the Doll wore.
Now triggered on the Doll took to the skies,
Roody looked down and was caught by surprise.
Higher and higher, he’d soon disappear,
He couldn’t let go, overcome by his fear.
His heart beat fast, his knees did shake,
He felt so cold, his head did ache.
The Doll flew up, he gazed on down,
The ground was gone, he looked around.
Then he saw just bellow, a red flying streak,
Rudolf his Uncle, straining and weak.
“Let go,” Rudolf cried, “it’s ok I’m right here!
Let go Roody please, it’s ok, I’m right here!”
The Elves and old Santa all looked to the sky.
With Roody still on they had watched the doll fly.
Quiet and still, as one they did stare.
Then somebody shouted, “Look, over there!”
One red little shape, that turned into two,
Both Rudolf and Roody then flew into view.
Roody explained it was Christmas he’d blamed.
When fear froze him still how he’d felt so ashamed.
“I’m sorry dear Nephew I thought that you knew,
We’re all scared of heights, yes I was scared too!
Some stay on the ground, too much is their fear,
But some overcome it for this time of year.”
Santa came over, he’d heard what they’d said,
“The Sleigh is all ready, we’ve a long night ahead.
Rudolf is worn, he’s had quite a long day,
He might need some help at the front of the sleigh.
Alongside us all, could you manage your fear?
Will you help to bring joy and to spread christmas cheer?”
Deliveries are done and all reindeer asleep.
Quiet and calm, you could not hear a peep.
The doll they had tracked was now safe on the moon,
The mess all cleaned up, by late afternoon.
Roody had flown, though his fear was still there,
His Uncle and friends helped him out in the air.
The Elves were impressed by his skills making toys,
Now he helps make the gifts for the good girls and boys.
“Christmas Highs and Lows” is an original tale told in verse and rhyme. It's fun, festive and family friendly. It's the day of ‘The Great Reindeer Trials’. A young reindeer named Roody (Rudolf's Nephew), competes to win the grand prize and to live up to the expectations of his friends and family. When Roody is suddenly gripped by a fear of heights, he is forced to retire from the race. Upset and embarrassed, he runs away into the night, vowing to bring an end to Christmas! How do you cancel christmas? Who guards Santa's Grotto? Can reindeer really be scared of heights? Find out in this festive treat, "Christmas Highs and Lows”.