“Twas the night before, the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was sleeping, not even a mouse;
The stockings were all torn from the chimney with no care,
In hopes that food would be there;
The children were wrestling all over their beds,
While collisions drummed on top of their heads;
And mamma in her disbelief, and I in my madcap,
Had just knuckled down for a long winter’s scrap;
When out I was drawn to such a banter,
I sprang up with a hothead to get an answer.
Away through the bungalow I flew like a flash,
Tore apart the bruisers and torn up the bash.
The buffoons and the rest of fallen fellow,
Gave many a clamor with the suspects aglow;
When, what to my fuming eyes should appear,
But another fray with eight of my own tiny deer.
With a battle so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be our own little Nick.
More rapid than my reflexes his charges came,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them all many a name;
NO Dutch! NO Dora! NO Lila! NO Whitman!
NO Nick! NO Louie! NO Gray and NO Addison!
To the top of the tree! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!
And then amongst the twinkling, I heard a woof.
With a poof and a goof I had my proof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the Christmas tree came kittens with a bound.
With regressed fur, from head to foot,
And their apparel all tarnished with ornaments and loot.
A bundle of claws and fangs all flung on my back,
And they looked like panthers just opening up my back.
Their eyes how they bristled! My whimpers so many!
My cheeks were rosy, my back side bloody!
Their droll little mouths were drawn like a bow!
And the beard on my chin was stripped to the marrow;
There was but a stump left to be held beneath,
And the smoke escaped, all around my head like a wreath;
My face all clawed and my ground up belly,
That was mistook for a runway so fleshy.
I was bloody and lumped, no longer my jolly old self,
And I could no longer laugh when I saw myself,
A wink of their eyes and a twist of their heads,
Soon gave me to know I had something to dread:
I spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And refilled all the stockings, then with a jerk,
And laying my finger beside my nose,
And giving a nod, up the tree arose;
I sprang to my feet, and to the team I gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard them all exclaim, as they ran out of sight,
MEOW! WOOF, WOOF! MEOW, MEOW! WOOF!
Bertrum James Meisner Jr.
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