West of the Fields

A tropical ecologist reporting from the field. Musings on life and art, botfly extractions, tropical plant identification, beer, parrots, machetes. Etc.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Night Before Christmas, hiker style

Every year around this time, I think about Christmas 2000. My older sister and I were hiking the Appalachian Trail, holed up in a shelter in Virginia on a cold Christmas night. I wrote this little ditty to cheer us up. Still works, most of the time. Enjoy.

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shelter

the rodents were running about, helter-skelter.

Our foodbags were hung on mouse-hangers with care

in hopes that the buggers could not get up there

and Isis and I, in our polypro caps,

had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap

when up on the roof there arose such a clatter

I jumped from my bag to see what was the matter,

and what to my wondering eyes should appear

but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,

and Santa was there, too, just four inches tall!

"Good gracious," I blurted, "how'd you get so small?

St. Nick shed a tear-- it was sad to behold--

and gathered his courage, and solemnly told

how a bunch of mad scientists, early that day,

had caught him and his reindeer in their Shrinking Ray.

"So now," Santa moaned with an audible sniff,

"it's obvious I can't deliver my gifts,

unless someone helps me out, me and my deer.

And now you know, jackrabbit. That's why I'm here.

I've heard hikers are an ingenious lot,

who jury-rig pack frames and straps and whatnot..."

"Don't fret, Santa!" I said. "It happens that I

have a science degree, too! I'll give it a try."

And I used all the cells in my brain to devise

some method to bring Santa Claus back to size...

"Eureka!" I cried, and I built a machine

the likes of which on earth has never been seen.

Some pieces of foil in Ziplocs, well-sealed,

I used to correct for the magnetic field.

The neutron-colliding reactor I strove

to assemble with Shoe-goo and parts from my stove.

My trusty white Photon provided the beam

that would re-enlarge Santa and his reindeer team...

SHAZAM! The Enlarging Ray worked like a charm,

and Santa and team were restored without harm.

"A miracle! How can I thank you?" he said.

"You could slack me to Springer on that reindeer sled..."

So if you see reindeer aloft in the sky

weeks after Christmas, well, now you know why!

And thus ends my rhyme, which I hope people like--

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good hike!


At 10:44 PM, Blogger Patrice Nora said...

This is genius! -Storm

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Susan said...

Thanks, Storm! It still makes me smile, after all these years.


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