Mortimer’s Christmas

Santa’s deliveries will be hit this year by a shortage of reindeer. Four have left him for better positions in the haulage industry.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and in the big house
The last creature stirring was Mortimer Mouse
Devising some uplifting sentiments new
To fill up his masterpiece Keep Squeaking Through:
Motivational mush from a born optimist,
The book that will soon top the bestseller list.

His secret reason for keeping awake
Was trusting that Santa Claus wasn’t a fake.
A message to Santa he’d sent up the flue
Asking for Wensleydale and Cornish Blue.
He knew well that Santa faced billions of pleas
But hoped he could drop in some small bits of cheese.

For hours poor Mortimer paced in the dark
As even the foxes slept on in the park,
Screechless at last in the moon’s pallid light,
Their usual lovemaking stilled for this night.
One thought beat on Mortimer’s soul like a drum:
Had he been too naughty for Santa to come?

At last he could hear a faint noise on the roof.
He tried to believe that it might be a hoof.
He pinned back his ears and strained hard to hear more,
But just then a note was pushed under his door.
It said “Owing to factors beyond my control
I cannot deliver now to your mousehole.
There’s a terrible shortage of hauliers this year
And I’ve lost as many as four of my deer.
I’ve lost my old Dancer, I’ve lost my old Vixen
I’ve no takeout Donner and no bloody Blitzen.
With four missing reindeer I haven’t the speed
To visit each household and drop what they need.
If you give me a name I will certainly labour
To leave your request with a suitable neighbour.”
The same message appeared under millions of doors
All signed “Yours regretfully, (Mr) S Claus.”

Poor Mortimer sniffled but did not repine.
He took up his pen and wrote a new line
Of uplifting thought for his uplifting book.
He stiffened his sinews and told himself “Look,
Things could be much worse when the times are like these.
If Santa can’t visit, I’ll make my own cheese.”

And this is what Mortimer wrote with a smile
(The Queen might well take certain tips from his style):

“The sky may be dark but it still is the sky
And it’s waiting there for you if you choose to fly.
So soar like an eagle and don’t be a grouse.

Signed, Yours very truly
Mortimer Mouse.”

24. December 2021 by rkh
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