Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘A short christmas story’

Mabel and Hugo…a short Christmas story

Guinea Pig, Rodent, Mammal, Smooth Hair

“What’s with this whole Christmas thing?” asked Hugo.

“You know humans,” said Mabel.  “They always have to be doing something.”

“Have you ever seen a manger?”

“What’s a manger?”

“It’s where they put their kids when they’re born.”

“You mean a playpen?” asked Mabel.

“Maybe.  I’m not sure.”

“I’ve seen a playpen,” said Mabel.  “They have them so that their kids don’t run away.”

“Humans like to cage things.”

“They even cage themselves.”

“I do like the tree and the lights,” said Hugo.

“So do I.”

“What about the guy in the red suit?” said Hugo.

“What about him?”

“He’s kind of creepy, don’t you think?  He keeps saying HO HO HO, whatever that means.”

“And he wears the same thing every year,” said Mabel.

“Styles change, but he’s always wearing that red suit.”

“I’m glad I’m not a human.  It must be exhausting,” said Mabel, softly.

“They don’t eat enough seeds or grass,” said Hugo, knowingly.

“Do you want to run through some tubes for awhile?”

“Sure.  Then we can take a nap and dream of sunflower seeds.”

“I love you,” said Mable.

“I love you too,” said Hugo. “I’ll give you a head start.”

“In your dreams big boy,” squeaked Mabel, taking off at a run.




A Christmas story…

Man in Brown Coat Smoking Cigarette

“My mom said smoking is bad for people.”

The man looked down and saw a young girl.  “How old are you?” he asked.

“I’ll be seven.  How old are you?”

“A lot older than that,” he laughed.  “And you’re mother is right.  Smoking is bad for people.”

“If you know that, then why are you smoking?”

“It’s a bad habit.”

“I’m trying to stop chewing gum.  My mom said that’s a bad habit.”

“We have a lot of bad habits, don’t we,” he said, taking a long drag.

“My mom said her bad habit is eating all day long.  She said she’s a grazer, whatever that means.  And my dog has a bad habit too.  He likes to sit at the table with us at dinner time.  On a chair.”

“That sounds pretty cute, if you ask me.”

“I’m the one who taught him to do it.”

The man laughed.  “Are you excited about Christmas?”

She shrugged.  “Everything is kind of strange. A lot of people are sick, or hungry.  They’re afraid they won’t have a place to live soon, so the feeling on the air is trembly.”


“Yes.  It’s like this,” she said, moving her arms up and down.”

He nodded.  “I feel it too.”

“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”

“You shouldn’t talk to them.”

“You look like you’re nice, though.”

“You can’t tell what people are like by looking at them.”

“That’s what my mom said.”

“You’re mom sounds pretty smart.”

“I guess.  She knows stuff because she’s lived a long time.”

He laughed again.  “Did she say that?”


“I thought so.”

“Don’t you think it’s weird that you can hold fire in your hand?” she asked.

“You mean the match?”


“I suppose it is.”

“I think we take a lot for granted.”

“I think you’re right,” he said, smiling at her.

“You aren’t homeless are you?”

“No,” he said.  “Do I look homeless?”

“Not really.  I just wanted to know so I could bring food to you, if you were hungry.”

“Well, it’s always nice to think of others.”

“I have a cat named Phylis.”

“I have a dog named, Cat.”

“Really?” she asked, her eyes wide.

“Really,” he said.

“Yesterday was Winter solstice,” she said, staring at him.  “It’s going to stay lighter longer, everyday.”

He nodded.  “Longer days are always nice.”

“If you could have one wish, what would it be?”

“One wish?”

“Yes,” she said, seriously.

“Let’s see. One wish.  What would I ask for,” he muttered.

“It’s a hard question,” she said solemnly.  “When you have to whittle your wishes down to one thing.”

“It is,” he agreed

“So?  What would you wish for?”

“Can I change history?”

She laughed.  “How far back?”

“Pretty far,” he said.

“I think the wish is for right now,” she said, her eyes sparkling.

“Then I’d wish for an end to suffering.”

She looked at him.  “People are kind of sloppy with their wishes.  They aren’t very specific.  So, all I can give you is an end to suffering for yourself.  You didn’t say an end to suffering for everyone.  Therefore, your wish was limited to you.  But I promise that you will never suffer another minute in this lifetime.”  Then she touched his hand and was gone.

“I guess I was right,” he sighed. “You really can’t tell what anyone is like, just by looking at them.”


Photo:  Plato Terentev






A Short Christmas Story…

“Are your ready?”


“I can’t hear you!”


“It’s just about time.”

The reindeer shuffled back and forth, their frozen breath, misting on the cold afternoon air.

“Harnesses cleaned and in place?”


“You look beautiful. I like the red tassels.”


“The toys are in the sack.  The GPS is…”

“GPS?” said Cupid.

“I thought we’d try it.  We almost missed Indiana last year, so Alfred hooked up a GPS to keep us on the right arc.”

“Don’t you trust us?” asked Dasher.

“Of course I trust you,” said Santa.  “I just thought we would try something new.”

The reindeer stood silent, staring at him.

“Fine.  We won’t use the GPS.”

The reindeer, smiled.

“Are you feeling jolly?” asked Vixen.

“Not really,” sighed Santa, shaking his head.   “But you know I always feel better once we’re in the air.”

“Christmas eve night is the best night of the year,” said Dasher.  “You have to be jolly.  People will notice.”

“I’ve been practicing my Ho, Ho, Ho’s all morning, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

“I hope not,” she said, pawing the ground.  “Because wondering eyes are going to be looking at you.”

“I know, my dear.  I’m fine.”

“Same route as last year?” asked Vixen.

“We’re going to do the United States first.  They have fallen apart and I want to get their presents to them before their civil war begins.”

“Didn’t they already have one of those?”

“They did,” said Santa unhappily.

“But I thought the US was the home of the free and the brave,” said Dasher.

“Not anymore,” whispered Santa.

“That’s too bad.  I liked flying there.  Well, it used to be fun before all the dishes and aerials.”

“Yes, landing is a little more tricky now.”

“Did you pack our snacks?”

“I did,” said Santa.

“And you have enough water for all of us?”

“I do.”

“Did you remember your hot chocolate?”

“Yes, thank you.  The sleigh is almost ready to go.”

“I don’t think we should give presents to government officials anywhere in the world,” said Prancer.

“I agree,” said Dancer.

“Me too,” said Cupid and Vixen.

“Don’t worry, my beauties,” said Santa.  “They’re all still on the Naughty List.”

A cheer arose from the reindeer.

“It’s almost time, Santa,” said a small elf, handing him a large red pill.  Several other elves were feeding pills to the reindeer.  “Safe flight,” sang the elves.

“TO THE SLEIGH,” shouted Santa.

“TO THE SLEIGH,” said the reindeer,  their hooves barely touching the ground.

“I love to fly,” whispered Vixen.

“Oh, so do I,” said Cupid. “Christmas eve really is the best night of the year.”





A Short Christmas Story…

“My mom said christmas is just one more Pagan holiday that men stole.”

“My mom said that too.  She won’t let me capitalize the word christmas, even in school.  She said she’d rather have me fail than to do it.”

“Did you fail?”

“No, my teacher doesn’t think it should be capitalized either, so I got the best grade I ever got on a story.”

“That’s great.”

“My teacher’s having lunch with my mom before we go back to school.”

“Maiden, Mother, Crone was turned into someone’s father, his son and some kind of ghost.”

“We have a Yule Log.”

“My mom said that if she and two of her girlfriends had to find a baby they wouldn’t need camels and a star, they would just know where to go.  Besides, she said following a star would be like telling someone you’d meet them under the moon.  She said all that stuff is just made up to help men feel important.  She said Mary was probably exhausted and without ice cream. She said the goats and lambs were a nice touch but the men probably killed and ate them because that’s what a lot of men do.”

“Wow, my mom never said any of that.”

“Well, you’ve met my mom, right?”

“Right.  Are you hanging up stockings?”

“Sure.  Aren’t you?”

“Yes.  We empty them on christmas morning, before the fancy pancakes.”

“What’s fancy about pancakes?”

“My dad makes them into the shape of trees and The Green Man.  He’s tried reindeer but he wasn’t happy with the way the antlers turned out.  I think his snowpeople are the best.”

“That’s so nice.  We don’t have a special holiday breakfast at my house, but maybe we should start one.”

“I look forward to ours.  He puts chocolate chips in the pancakes.”

“At midnight, on christmas eve, we have a bonfire in the yard.  My mom draws stuff on the patio, with chalk, and lights candles.  She puts food out for the animals, calls on the Four Directions and does a bunch of other stuff..”

“Is your mom a witch?”

“She said all women are witches, some of them just don’t know it.”

“My mom cleans a lot.  She doesn’t like it when I get dirty.”

“You’re always getting dirty.”

“I know.”

“Are you having company?”

“Definitely.  Are you?”

“No, we’re going out.  No one likes to come to our house because we’re vegetarians.  My mom tried making a tofu turkey one year, but we had to throw it away.  It’s everyone’s favorite holiday story and someone tells it every year.”

“Why do they do that?  That happens at our house too.  One year my aunt made dessert, put it in the oven, but left the plastic lids on the dishes and they melted into the pudding.  People ate the dessert anyway, but they are still laughing about it.  They have one about gravy too.”

“Grown-ups are weird.”

“I think so too.  Maybe when we grow up we’ll be different than they are.”

“I’d like to think so, but we’ll probably forget to stay like we are now.”

“Maybe we should write it down.”

“Good idea.”

“What’s wrong?

“My parents want to move.”


“I know, right?”

“You can’t go.”

“I don’t want to go.”

“I won’t let you go.  We’ll run away.”

“How will we live?”

“We’ll think of something but you can’t go.”

“Maybe you could come with us.”

“I don’t think my parents would like that.”

“It would be better than running away.”

“I think so too, but they won’t agree.”

“Would you miss them?”

“Not as much as I’d miss you.”

“Then we don’t have a choice.”

“No, we don’t.”


“They want to leave the country because it’s turning into Germany in the forties.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know, but they don’t like it.  They said there are no superheroes, like in the movies, and no one will come to save us and that we have to get out while we can, before the borders are closed and we won’t be able to escape.”


“That’s what they said.”

“Maybe they’ll change their mind.”

“Maybe.  I mean my allergist is here and so is Ming-Ming’s vet, and my grandma.”

“Look, it hasn’t happened yet, so we have time to plan.  Let’s just go ice skating?”

“It’s true, you know.”

“What’s true?”

“There are no Superheroes except in the movies.”




A Short Christmas Story…

“What does your mom want for Christmas?”

“More books. That’s all she ever wants.  She said when she was born she looked at her mother and asked why she hadn’t sent any books and a flashlight down, so she could have been reading all those months before she got here.”

“But even if her mother could have eaten a flashlight…”

“Don’t try and make sense of it.  When it comes to books my mother doesn’t care about things making sense.  My dad told her that if a person reads a book a week from the age of five to one hundred, they would only read about three and a half thousand books.  She reads more than one book a week, but not every week, because she said that she has to make room for life, at least once in awhile. Then she glared at my dad and he laughed because she can’t stop buying books.”

“What does your dad want?”

“I don’t know, underwear, I guess.”

“That’s probably what my dad’s getting.  Maybe a shirt, too.”

“What does your mom want?”

“My mom wants a vacation by herself for two years.  My dad said that was too long but maybe she could go see a movie.  She threw a piece of bread at him.”

“What did he do?”

“He ate it.”

“My grandma’s getting a new tattoo for Christmas.”

“My grandma’s going to swim with the dolphins.”

“That sounds wonderful.”

“She’s done it before.  She said dolphin’s are a lot nicer than anyone she knows, except for me.”

“My teacher started crying Friday.  She begged us not to get her any more mugs, or anything with apples on it.  She said she would be happy if we just said, ‘Have a nice holiday,’ but some kids said that their parents already got her mugs.”

“Well, that’s not good.”

“No, it isn’t.”

“What do you think you’ll get?”

“Probably pajamas and a book. My mom always gives ma at least one book.  Maybe socks, or a bracelet, and drawing paper.”

“I’ll probably get new boots and and a couple of video games.”

“If you could have anything in the world, what would you want?”

“I’d want people to stop killing animals and each other.”

“That’s what I would want too but the grown ups don’t care what we want.  They don’t think about the world they are making us growing up in.  They talk about keeping kids safe but they make the world a violent and unsafe place.  They’ve forgotten what it’s like to be kids.  When we do grow up, I don’t know what will be left.”

“Maybe we won’t even have a chance to grow up.”

“I’ve thought about that too. Maybe we won’t.”



A Short Christmas Story…

“We baked cookies yesterday.”

“Were they good?”

“Yes, but we baked them so we could give them away.”


“I don’t think the people who get them want to eat them because my mom said that a lot of people are afraid of food nowadays.”


“Who knows?  She said they’re afraid of sugar, carbs, anything they eat, actually.”

“I like cookies.”

“So do I and I’m not afraid to eat them either.  People think not eating anything that tastes good will keep them healthy and they’ll live longer.  That doesn’t work, because if you fall off of something, or get hit by a car, giving up sugar isn’t going to save you and then you died and didn’t have any fun while you were alive.”

“You’re really smart.”

“Well, I’m a girl…so.”

“So why did you make the cookies if no one wants to eat them?”

“Oh, they’ll eat them.  They ask for them every year.   They can eat stuff that tastes good, as long as it’a a special time of the year.  I don’t know why people don’t enjoy life.  I think the government, who owns the media, makes people feel afraid to live and enjoy themselves.  They do it to distract them, so people are busy worrying about stupid things and not paying attention to what the government is doing to them.  I’m never going to be like that.  No one knows how much time they have and to not have a cookie once in awhile, isn’t something I’m interested in doing.”

“Me neither.”

“I’m not going to be afraid of anything.  My mom said that’s the only way to live, otherwise you just waste your life living careful and you miss all the good things.”

“You’re mom is smart too.”

“Thanks.  She is.  She’s a girl.  My dad is smart too, but we’re still trying to find out what he’s smart about.  He can tell you baseball scores from 1943 and he can…uh, make grilled cheese sandwiches.”

“Well, that’s something.”

“Definitely.  He said guys don’t talk about things.”

“I do.”

“I know, that’s why I like you.”

“You like me?”

“Sure, that’s why I spend time with you.  That’s why I bought you a Christmas present.”

“You bought me a present?”

“Of course. You’re my best friend.”

“I am?”

“Well, what did you think you were?”

“Uh, I don’t know.  I guess I didn’t think about it at all.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

“You might want to find out why you never thought about us being friends.”

“Is it important?”



“You need to think about that as well.”

“I feel like I’m in school.”

“No, you’re in life and that’s way harder than school.  If you ever want girls to like you, you better start thinking about what they want and what they mean to you.”

“I’m just a kid, why would I want to think about girls?”

“Aren’t you going to grow up?”

“At some point, I guess.”

“Well, you need to be prepared.”

“What did you get me for Christmas?”

“It won’t be a surprise, if I tell you.”

“I have something for you too.”

“You probably don’t, but that’s okay.  I just saw something I thought you would like, so I bought it for you.”

“Do I love you, or are we too young for that?”

“Too young, but we can still be good friends and then, when we’re big, we can decide if we love each other.”

“Okay.  How old do we have to be before we decide?”


“So I have time then.”

“Yes, years.”

“I really do have a present for you.”


“Yes, and I picked it out myself.”

“That makes it special.”

“It does?”

“Yes, it means that you thought about me,” she said, leaning over and kissing him on the cheek.

“Are you sure we have to wait until we’re twelve?”

“I am.”



A Short Christmas Story…

“Maybe trees should wear lights all the time.”

“My dad said we would get tired of them, if we saw them every night.”

“I don’t think I would get tired of them.”

“Me neither.”

“They might look funny in the summer, though.”

“I didn’t think of that.  You’re probably right.”

“Snow makes them look pretty.”

“It does.”

“Your dad could be right.”

“I’ll tell him you said that because he’s wrong a lot.”

“My dad’s wrong a lot too.”

“My mom said he can’t help it.”

“That’s what my mom said.”

“What do you want for christmas?”

“I asked for a horse but my mom said we aren’t zoned for horses.”

“Maybe you should ask for a farm, then you could have a horse.”

“I’ll tell her that when I get home.  What do you want?”

“I want the days to be longer and the sun to always be out.”

“I don’t know if you’ll get that.”

“I asked for slippers with cats on the toes, just in case.”

“I asked for a new jacket.  I don’t think my family would want to live on a farm.”

“I think farms are a lot of work.”

“I told her I could keep the horse in my room but she said that wouldn’t be fair to the horse and that horses don’t like to sleep in twin beds with boys.”

“I can understand that.  My cat sleeps with me but she’s small and she bends.  Horses don’t really bend and they don’t use a litter box.”

“That’s true, so it’s probably good that I’m not getting a horse.”


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“Happy.  What do you want to be?”


“You will be taller, so you’ll definitely be what you want to be, when you grow up.”

“That’s true.  I don’t know how to measure happy, but I’m sure you will be.”

“I made my mom potholders for christmas and my dad a collage.”

“I made my mom pieces of 3 pieces of paper that said I would clean my room when she wanted me to and I made my dad three pieces of paper that said I would take the garbage out when he asked, without falling on the floor, or making excuses.”

“Wow, those are great presents.  They’ll love them.”

“My dad’s baking cookies, wanna come over and have some?”

“Sure, that way I can tell him he was right about the tree lights.”

“He’ll really like that.”




A Short Christmas Story…

It was Christmas Eve, just before midnight, and they were sitting together, in a stalled car, on the side of a country road.  Silence enfolded them, as inches of heavy snow piled up.

“We are so perfect for each other.”

“I know,” he said, moving closer.

“Why is that?”

“All the pieces just fit.”

“They do,” she smiled.  “From the first moment.”

“From the first moment.”

“I never even looked at anyone else, after I saw you.”

He laughed.

“Well, maybe, but you know what I mean.”

“I do know what you mean.”

“It’s always been you.”

“I know.”

“It always will be you.”

“I know.”

“How long can you stay?”

“For awhile.”

“I’m cold,” she said, rubbing her arms.

“It’s winter.”

“Why did you die?”

“I had to.”


“It’s hard to explain.”

“I hope no one finds me.”

“No one will.  Not in time, anyway.”

“Is that why you’re here?”

“It is.”

She smiled and closed her eyes.  “Best present ever,” she said softly. “Merry Christmas, my love.”


A Short Christmas Story…

“There’s a lot of ways the world could end.”


“We could get hit by a comet, the sun could go out and we’d be dead in eight minutes, a massive plague could wipe us out, and they could use T-Rex DNA and bring them back?”

“We’d be dead before we’d even see the comet, the sun won’t go out for millions of years, yes, a plague could kill us and we don’t know if a T-Rex could live in this environment. They’re used to more oxygen in the air and higher humidity, although they might like some parts of Florida.  The government is more dangerous than any of those things.”

“You’re not worried?”

“About what?”

“The end of the world.”

“I don’t even care about the end of the world, let alone worry about it.  The end of the world comes for each of us when our time is up.”

“What about a nuclear war?”

“Idiots are in charge and if they kill all of us, it’s our own fault for giving them power in the first place.”

“What are you worried about?”

“Nothing.  I don’t worry.”


“No, never.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know how.”

“What do you think about?”

“What’s happening at the moment.”

“What is happening at the moment?”

“We’re here, talking about stuff that scares you.”

“Aren’t you afraid of anything?”


“Why not?”

“Same reason I don’t worry.”

“Well, nice talking to you.  Merry Christmas.”

“Same to you.  Be sure and look both ways before you cross the street.”


A Short Christmas Story…

“Whatja think of the carrots?”

“They were okay but the apples could have been better.”

“I agree.  Glad he remembered the sugar cubes, he usually forgets them.”

“If it wasn’t for us he’d never find any of the houses.”

“I think he appreciates us.”

“How can you tell?”

“Maybe he’s just tired of doing the same thing all the time.”

“All the time?  He goes out one night a year, that could never be thought of as all the time.”

“You gonna eat that carrot?”

“Nah, you can have it.  I had a lot of cookies.”

“Thanks.  The cookies were good, the elves seemed happy with them.”

“I like more chips in mine but yes, they were good.”

“Do you ever think about retiring?”

“Retiring from what?  Standing around, walking through the snow? Like him, we only work one night a year.  It’s the only time we actually see, or do, anything different.”

“What do you think other reindeer do on Christmas Eve?”

“I don’t know, spend time with their families?  Eat more sugar?”

“I don’t mind pulling the sleigh.”

“Neither do I.  Prancer loves it and starts prancing a month before we go.”

“I know.  I enjoy watching him.  Blitz is kind of cute.  She’s strong and I’m thinking about asking her if I can fly next to her this year.”

“Not a bad idea but you better ask her soon because I think Comet has his eye on her as well.”


“That’s what I heard.”

“I like Cupid too but she’s more like my sister.”

“She’s like everyone’s sister.  We all love her.”

“Then there’s Vixen.”

“Don’t even think about her. She’s way too much for you to handle.”

“You’re probably right.”

“Trust me.  I am.”

“I hope Dasher doesn’t fall off any roofs this time.”

“He was just fooling around, You know what a clown he is.”

“What about Rudy?”

“Not joining us.  Said he’s been stereotyped and doesn’t like it.  It’s not his fault his nose is red.”

“Here come the elves with more food.”

“Well, eat up.  We’ll need our strength and ask Blitz asap, or she’ll be flying next to Comet.”

“My antlers are bigger.”

“But he’s charming.”

“That’s true.  I’ll save some sugar cubes for her.”

“She’ll like that but you might want to think about getting her something special for the flight.”

“Like an ankle bracelet?”

“Great idea, she loves sparkly things.”

“Is Comet getting her anything?”

“I think he’s getting her flowers.”

“She’ll eat them.”



“You’re welcome.”




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