It is nice to be able to pass on good news Freddy, as Maria named him has moved to his forever home.
Please note they allow him to snooze on laps and the sofa whereas I am banned from such activities.
Have you broken your New Years Resolution yet?
All around me I hear people, dogs, cats even birds saying they are disgusted with themselves for they have broken their promise to get fitter, or slimmer.
Well I am proud to say I have not broken mine.
Because I have no desire to learn how to swim, drive a boat,
or be fitter or slimmer,
I like me just the way I am.
Now can someone please tell Maria this as she insists a two mile walk is good for me.
Happy New Year to everyone far and wide,
A New Year is the same as a blank canvas for this dog.
My resolutions should read like this:
I will lose weight by walking more and eating less
I won’t laugh at Maria’s chicken legs
I will not canvas for fans at a barbecue
I will not stop while walking and wait for kids and little old ladies to pet me.
But the truth is:
You got to laugh at something, besides she laughs at her own legs too.
When you have crowd appeal why not use it?
And besides you should always obey traffic signs:
It is really Christmas now! The internet is working and Maria can post these pics of me, Ellie and our Christmas Eve surprise.
A new house!
She of course had to try it out first,
Because I knew this was only the start of it!
Better, tastier things were yet to come,
“I am sick of red and white,” Mrs Constance Claus grumbled. Summer, her snow white cat ignored her as she was busy washing her fur.
Constance noticed the snow falling in thick clumps and the cheery red lights from the workshop didn’t lessen her bad humour.
Enda, chief elf, scurried by with the inevitible list dangling from his hand. He stopped, pivoted about and stood before Constance. “Speaking of Red and white …we are out of both,” his grin was wide.
Constance used to his sneaky sense of humor, and trickery glanced at the red ink on the white paper and said, “I suppose you mean red ink and white paper.”
“Blast,” thought I had you fooled, “but yep you are correct. Could you order some please?”
Constance smiled, nodded, and promised she would order both red ink and white paper.
That evening Constance broached the topic of red and white with her husband. He was staring morosely at the beetroot salad and poached chicken on his plate.
“I’m not happy” she began.
He frowned. “Neither am I.”
He cleared his throat, indicated his plate with what he hoped was a look of disgust,, ” with this dinner it is very …” He scratched his beard and searched for a suitable word. “Bland, boring, tedious there is only so much beetroot and white chicken one can take.”
Constance agreed adding, “Yes that is the way I feel about red and white but what can I do about it?”
“We can start by making a few changes around here” Nicky stared at his plate. “I would like to possess magic that would turn this in to steak and chips or Guinness steak pie.” He wondered if the elves would swap dinners with him.
With a start he reaised Constance, his constant Constance, was having her version of a melt down. He watched with interest as she stood then taking both plates of dinner she handed them to Bob, the dog.
Bob delighted with being remembered on such an auspicious ocassion as dinner, accepted both in two generous sized gulps. He then licked Nicky’s hand and wagged his tail at his benefactor.
Constance didn’t notice she was busy pulling out the laptop from under a mountain of lists. It opened with a grunt. She ignored its creaky protest and said,”I will start right away, no time like the present.” She raised an eyebrow challenging him to disagree only to discover her usually slow moving husband was standing before the giant fridge eyeing up today’s treat for the most productive elf – sticky toffee pudding cake.
When he returned to her side minutes later it was to present her with a slice of cake and a tub of her favorite rocky road icecream. Minutes later she was smiling. “I spent some money” Constance declared.
“Good,” he raised his eyes from his spoon long enough to ask, ‘what did we buy?”
“A microwave, a steamer and not a red or white purchase was made.” This was the only cryptic remark she made for the rest of the evening.
Nick snoozed with happy thoughts of deep fried garlic mushrooms, fish in beer batter and dough-nuts a banned treat for the past six months, since he won the dough nut eating contest to raise money for a save the reindeer charity.
However Nick’s dreams did not come true. The next evening he was staring at chicken salad. He looked from the plate to his wife and back again. His beard wobbled with sadness.
“It’s a salad.” Constance told him, ” A smiling happy rainbow salad.”
“Oh great. ” He stabbed the carrots, cucumber, and began to chew while dreaming of steaming pots of cheese fondue with stacks of potato crisps sitting on the side.
One week later there was a delivery made to the north pole. This, the elves declared was not good. They were in a twirling mess because products left their store room. Nothing ever came back, ever. The triplets, Slim, Noel and Sam were arguing about whose shoddy work was responsible for such a disaster. Enda’s voice silenced them. “I think this is the first time in history we received a parcel, not to mention a whole truckful of parcels and none of them are for us, they are all for Constance.”
Twenty four elves swivelled about in their seats to catch a glimpse of Constance and Summer who were making their way across the square into the giant storeroom.
Constance looked happy, more than happy, Slim thought she was about to cry with happiness. “Ohh they came. I am so happy, please put them in my workroom.”
The curious elves did as she requested though some tried to linger after the parcels were lined up in her room. For the next two days everyone was far too busy to wonder about Constance’s mysterious parcels. Christmas was about to happen and in the north pole this meant every elf was acting like a super hero elf. As Enda reminded them, “In this highly populated world it is our duty to make sure every child receives something. And we will not fail them. The production line must move faster, breaks will be shorter. Elves we have only 36 hours more to Christmas Day.”
“Turkey day,” the triplets said and sprang into action. For the next thirty six hours they worked around the clock in shifts of twelve hours with a five hour break to eat, and sleep.
It was a close finish but they managed it.
Their last chore was to squeeze Santa into his sleigh and persuade Bob that perhaps he would be more useful as an anchor dog in the back keeping a protective eye on the goods to be delivered.He didn’t look impressed. He was sitting in the front until a large bone landed in the back of the sleigh and Bob moved to the rear.
The elves waved their delivery sleigh off and sank into an exhausted heap on the workroom floor. Constance appeared with a generous sized tray filled with cookies, donuts, hot chocolate and reindeer shaped marshmallows. She didn’t relax until every elf in the north pole was snoring their hearts out. Then she picked up her phone and dialled her friends.
When Enda walked into the great hall the following morning to inspect the green christmas tree and its silver and red decorations. He let out a roar, “Vandals.” Before Constance could stop him he alerted the elves. Thirty seconds later they stood before the tree, distressed, crying and in shock. For the glitter filled hall looked like a rainbow coloured scene from a Disney movie.
Summer had been given a makeover as well, she was a delightful shade of blue. She seemed to like it and strutted about waving her tail.
“Why?” Enda bellowed.
There was silence.
Then Constance stepped into the middle of the hall. “Why not?” She held up her hand to silence the outburst of answers. “We have carried on this tradition for over six hundred years. Six hundred years of red and white. I am the custodian of the hall and I have decided from now on , each year one elf will be chosen to create a different scene in the hall. Why we could even put on a play”
The elves were not appeased.
She continued,” We are becoming stunted and stuck in a rut. Let us remember how to have fun. Wander around and see what I have done then after breakfast you may each seek me out and make your complaints.”
Slim stood staring up at her. He adored Constance, she could do no wrong in his book. “I am game to give it a shot, I am not boring or stuck in a rut.” And he marched off, behind the giant multicoloured tree. Seconds later his laughter filled the hall, “catch me if you can find me.” Enda looked high amongst the rafters and smiled. “I want a go.” Because Slim was paragliding high above them.
Soon the hall was filled with the sounds of elves having fun. Like penquins a group were sliding down a huge slide to land in a pile of multi coloured sweets and treats of a chocolate kind. Others were climbing a candy rock wall which filled the lower hallway. Hours later they were a little worried when they couldn’t find Sam. The elves were having a rest sitting on the edge of a giant warm water pool. A gurgling sound from the pool alerted them, they swung about to find Sam, wearing a dive suit complete with mask and snorkel. “Can you not see what I have found down here, magical marshmallows. ” He held up a giant sparkly marshmallow and then lifted his mask to allow him to take a giant bite. “Delish. And there is tons more of them.”
Marshmallows kept the fun going for a few hours. Exhausted and sticky they gathered in the middle of the hall. The same dreadful thought arrived in each of the elves heads as their stomachs gurgled.
“Dinner, we didn’t put it in the oven!” Their thundering feet echoed through the building. They met Constance licking her lips walking from the kitchen. “No panic I cooked dinner last night I simply need someone to finish setting the table and we are all ready to go.”
But to her dismay no one moved. “I can’t eat cold Christmas dinner today is not the 26th. Cold leftovers are for the 26th not for Christmas dinner.” They wailed.
She merely smiled at them and said, “You got to start trusting me. I am not a fan of cold Christmas dinner and todays is piping hot, I promise.”
Minutes later the air was filled with loud pinging sounds. Constance emerged carrying huge trays of piping hot turkey, ham and huge vats of stuffing and potatoes. “A giant microwave or several if I am honest.”
So it was that Christmas 2015 became a turning point in the elves life for it wasn’t only children who got to have fun and stay up late. Santa was a little preturbed that nobody thought to wait for him but a few rounds of the obstacle course and many many marshmallows later he was smiling as brightly as any star.
Bob was happy nobody had thought to remove the marshmallows, his challenge was to eat as many as he could without bursting.
John and Sara Buggy were twins who didn’t look alike. They didn’t think or act alike either. In fact, they were complete opposites. Sara was a quiet, studious type while John was a messer who hated school and spent his days there playing practical jokes.
One blustery, grey Monday morning, they trudged their way to school, all set for another run-of-the-mill day in the tiny two-classroom building.
“Why are we walking fast?” Sara asked John.
“I have something to do,” he replied, with the beginning of a smile tugging at his mouth.
She knew that look but instead of pressing him further, concentrated on stretching her short legs to keep up with his longer stride. There was a six-inch height difference between them and while John had a head of smooth, dark brown hair Sara was stuck with a headful of tangled, red curls. This didn’t sit well with her.
“School is the oddest place because most of what we learn is pretty useless in the real world,” John was saying, as they walked through the main door.
Sara considered her answer for a moment.
“You may think you’re right but I like learning new things and it’s always so cosy in here.”
Once they were seated, Sara started to worry about what trick John was about to play on their teacher. Mrs Brown, she noticed, kept sniffing and clutching a hanky to her nose. Sara wondered if she were ill. She glanced at John who winked at her.
“Not long now,” he whispered.
“What have you done?” she hissed.
Suddenly, Mrs Brown sneezed. John giggled. Sara turned her attention back to their teacher who sat in her chair with her nose twitching like a rabbit. She sneezed six times in succession, sending her glasses bouncing onto her desk. She managed to stop long enough to hold her nose and shove her glasses back in place. Getting up from her desk she walked to the door and said very quickly, “Carry on with your maths.” This short statement was followed by more sneezing as she left the room.
John was given many high fives and claps on the back as his mates asked how he did it.
“A master never reveals his secrets,” he grinned.
Sara was not impressed. “Someday Mrs Brown will get really mad at you and…”
“And what?” John demanded. “Writing a hundred lines is nothing I haven’t done before. Now, come on, it’s break time.”
Suddenly a shadow fell across his desk and Mrs Brown said, in a sharp tone, “Let’s try five hundred lines on the blackboard today John, not on your tablet where you are a master at copy and paste. The line, I should not play pranks on the teacher, is to be written at lunchtime.”
Mrs Brown then turned to Sara adding, “And John is to do it on his own.”
“Yes, Mrs Brown,” Sara said.
At lunchtime Sara slipped back into the classroom to help her brother, but found him staring at the blackboard.
“You haven’t written many lines,” she said.
Sara noticed a message written across the board – and it wasn’t in John’s handwriting.
School is a useful tool for life, John and Sara.
Sara read the words aloud and looked at John.
“I didn’t do it.The board was clean when I began and then it just appeared. It’s wrong anyway, school is stupid.”
He wiped the message away.
“Perhaps it is magic?” Sara said in a wistful tone.
“Huh, there is no such thing,” John sneered. “If there was I would click my fingers and the whole board would be full of lines, just like this.” Turning to face Sara he clicked his fingers but noticed her smile fade as she pointed back to the board.
There before them, more lines of the same sentence appeared. They watched as they scrawled, with no sign of a marker, in neat, tidy rows.
Sara counted the lines.
“There are twenty rows of twenty-five lines.” She looked at John. “Did you do this? Do something else!”
“Two packets of crisps,” John shouted, then clicked his fingers and waited. Nothing happened.
Sara was busy staring at the blackboard again. She read the message aloud.
You have enough lunch to eat in your schoolbag.
“I don’t like this. Is it a ghost? ” Sara whispered and jumped further away from the board.
John was curious and moved closer. “Rubbish! Ghosts don’t exist.”
“I wonder why it happened today?”The words changed and she read aloud, Today is my birthday, I am one hundred years old.
Gathering all of her courage Sara said, “Happy Birthday to you but who are you?”
I am the schoolhouse you are standing in and my name is Clearie.
“Clearie, what an awesome name!” John said.
The words on the bottom changed once more and they both read the message.
Clearie means minstrel and scholar in Irish.
Suddenly, the ringing of the bell announced the end of break. The arrival of the other children back into the room prevented Sara and John from finding out more.
Sara did notice the last message was wiped clean before Mrs Brown arrived back to her desk but she instinctively knew it wouldn’t be the last of them.
In the meantime, there was John’s lack of lines to worry about…
Copies of the book can be purchased via http://www.emuink.ie
This company also offers a unique book rental along with the usual, Kindle/e-reader and printed copies to buy.
I am truthfully hoping I can get some reviews as feed back is how we can develop and change as writers.
Thank you all and have a great Christmas.
It was a great night, and everyone seemed to have fun as you can see by the pictures I was supported by family and friends, and some of my Facebook friends surprised me by dropping in.
Thank you everyone and a reminder it is for sale as an e-book and you can rent it which is an unusual option but one worth considering: http://www.emuink.ie
But there was someone missing who needed a hug, but he got plenty when we got home.
I am in a panic and not even The Bob is calming me. My children’s book is being launched tomorrow night. I will put up an short piece from it for my few followers, thank you all.
But for now, here is the cover of the book. It is aimed at children of 7 years and upwards. This schoolhouse was bored and …ran away.
Kishore Pratim Biswas, who is most rising Indian contemporary artist, based on Mumbai
Sabbles woz 'ere