It was four days to Christmas day. Mrs Constance Claus was in a dither. Enda, Chief Elf, was no help. He was moving fast making her head spin.
“Enda, stop moving and help. Where did he come from?” Mrs. Claus was red-faced, her voice loud, both unusual for her. Enda looked up recognised the danger signs of a temper about to blow and stopped beside her. The list of must do’s trailed across the yard and into the workshop. Elves were skipping and jumping over it. He noted Leslie’s big jump and made a mental note to include him in the hop skip and jump the barrel competition.
“From his mum.” Enda said before he thought about it.
“Woof” said the dog.
This got both their attention. “Is he talking to us?” Enda looked at Mrs C. His hat had slipped to the side of his head and it fell from his head straight onto the dogs. Delighted with this game Bob, the dog, started to dance about in a circle.
“Hey you have a note tied to your tail. Give.” Mrs. C said in her best no-nonsense voice.
Bob stopped moving and waited while the note was removed, unrolled and read. He decided to have a nap.
Mrs. C read it aloud, “Dear Santa, I would like to send you my dog to help you at your busiest time. Bob is smart he knows stuff. He is strong and he may help you to get this list to the family who live beside Bob’s house. I put in a drawing of the family drawn by Sean. He put their list written in a bubble above our heads. Bubbles are handy aren’t they, ask Bob.”
Yours miles of smiles.
Enda snatched his hat off Bob’s head and said, “Well I never. This is a first. I wonder who this smiley guy is?”
At these words Bob sat up and stared at Enda. Mrs. C laughed “well it must be this boy Sean’s idea. It is clever and different.”
“What age is Sean ?” Enda demanded.
“Six and three-quarters.” Mrs C referred to the letter written in bright red crayon. She squinted at the letter. ”
“How did you get here?” Enda muttered.
“That is not our problem but him being here is, you know Santa is allergic to dog fluff and this is one large fluffy dog.”
At this moment Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam arrived. Sam bent down and hugged Bob. “Ahh, we always wanted a dog, can we keep him please?”
Bob moved between Sam and Noel. “We can’t keep him he belongs to someone,” Mrs C said. Then she looked at the three elves. They looked sad. There were tears in their eyes. She sighed. “Okay we will find a way to keep him out of Santa’s sight. He is stressed enough without having to worry about his allergy.”
So for the next two days, Bob was in heaven. He got to meet the Reindeer, Rudolph he knew about cos of the red nose. The reindeer are:Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,Vixen Comet, Cupid,Donner, and Blitzen.
They laughed when they learnt why he had come to the north pole. Dasher said, “you are one heavy-looking dog, you will have to sit in the back of the sleigh.”
Bob patiently explained he had come to help pull it. The reindeers thought this was hilarious. They rolled about in the snow laughing, then went back to eating. Bob left them to it and went to find Slim, Noel and Sam. They were eating dinner. “Hi Bob, would you like some dinner?”
Bob sat beside slim and ate a dinner of fish, potatoes and green beans. Enda noticed and shouted over, “hey he can’t eat that.”
Slim smiled then said, “Too late he has and he enjoyed every single bite.”
Bob wasn’t listening he went to sleep. He needed his energy because he had a plan to prove to the reindeer he could do anything they could do.
Next morning he got up early. When the reindeers went out for exercise they got a surprise. “What is it?” Rudolph asked.
Bob said, “It is an obstacle course you have to get from point a to point b and no cheating for this one. No flying over things. You have to run, jump, crawl and climb.”
Vixen looked madder than usual. “Climb. How can any of us climb?”
Bob didn’t answer just looked at Noel, who had helped him build the course. Bob said “Woof.”
Noel let a shout at the group. “When I say go, I mean run, walk, climb just get to the end.”
The reindeer didn’t look happy but they lined up beside Bob. Noel shouted, “Go” and they did.
The first obstacle was easy it was a simple jump over a gate. They sailed over it leaving Bob behind. He wasn’t worried. He jumped over it. At the next obstacle a low muddy patch under a large flag the reindeers held a meeting about how best to get under it and survive. Bob lifted the edge and slide under it then he was heard grunting as he walked through the muck.
Rudolph said, “Dasher you hold up this end I will follow Bob and when I get out I will hold the other end up and you can walk through. Easy.”
Bob was now at the tree. He sat and looked back at the reindeer they were carefully tip toeing through the mucky patch. He gave a small leap on to the tree trunk and two swift strides had him onto the lowest branch. He walked onto it and then leapt to the ground landing on some nice soft hay. Then he trotted to the finish line and lay down to wait on the group.
When they eventually got to the tree they had another meeting. “He said no flying but we could jump.” Dancer said flexing his hoofs.
“No anything over four-foot is considered a flying movement.” Noel told them.
He went to join Bob and they watched the fun. Eventually the reindeers jumped onto Donner’s back from where they stretched up and grabbed the branch, this took a while as they did it one by one. Then Donner was left stuck on the ground.
The others trotted up to Bob. “Okay you won. But you can’t fly? So how can you help us pull a sleigh.”
Bob gave a grunt. Stood up and shook the snow off his fur. Closing h is eyes he took a deep breath and floated gently off the ground. Rudolph shook his head. “Well I never. Okay so you are in. We need to fit you for a harness and teach you the signals for turning right left and flipping.”
During this time Bob heard a lot of arguing and disagreement among the elves and reindeer. Most believed they could manage without this large hairy dog who seemed to smile a lot. The main argument was they didn’t need him. So Bob waited until they had loaded the sleigh and were doing a test run before Santa appeared.
No matter how much the reindeer dug their hooves into the snow the sleigh didin’t move. Enda shook his head. “There were a lot more toys this year than normal and the new electronic stuff is not as light as we supposed. We need help.”
Everybody swung around and looked at Bob. He walked to his spot in the middle of the group and waited while his harness was clipped in with Vixen and Cupid. Vixen snarled at him and Cupid batted her eyelashes. Bob said “woof”
When Enda took the reins in his hands this time the sleigh took off without a hitch and they did a neat lap of the north pole landing to a huge round of applause.
Christmas Eve Santa was being patiently helped into his seat by the four brothers who were shoving and pushing as normal. Slim muttered, “I thought you were on a diet Santa.”
Noel said, “he was, a see food diet.”
The giggling elves were pushing but trying not to squish the great man too much they heard the words they dreaded hearing him say. “Hang on who is that between Vixen and Cupid.”
Enda looked at bob who was wearing a light weight pair of antlers and had a bright green nose stuck over his own nose. “That is Smiley. Our newest reindeer. He is amazing you will like him.”
Then as Santa landed in his seat Rudolph gave the command and the sleigh took off. Santa’s last words to Mrs C and Enda were “But why does Smiley sound like a dog?”