“Do you want to tell me how we’re gonna get past an army of pine trees?” Chrissy asked as they walked along the bike path. “In case you forgot I had to save you from them last time.”
“I know, and I appreciate it. But my grandfather said we can’t let doubt stop us. Doubt is the problem, not the trees.”
“Doubt? He’s apparently never seen trees like this then.”
As they approached the old path into the woods, several of the trees shook snow off their branches and moved right to the edge of the paved path. The wind picked up, shaking the branches even more.
“They don’t look happy, Joe. How we gonna get by them?”
“Remember what I said, doubt is our real enemy. Do you trust me, Chrissy?”
“I do. Do you think I’d be wandering around these woods in the freezing cold facing an army of trees if I didn’t?” She paused for a moment. “I either trust you or I’m just crazy, but either way here I am and there they are,” pointing at the angry trees. “Now, what?”
Joe reached into his pocket and pulled out two glow sticks. “I had these left over from Halloween, take one and break the seal when I tell you to.” He handed one to her and kept the other.
“What are we gonna do with these? Light the way? I’m not the crazy one here, you are.”
“Listen to me, what is the one thing every tree fears?”
“Beavers?” Chrissy said, “or termites?”
“No,” Joe raised the glow stick in front of him. “Fire. These glow sticks look like they’re burning. All we have to do is act like they are fire and the trees will get out of our way.”
Chrissy looked at the glow stick, then at the giant trees rocking back and forth in the wind. “Really, you think it will fool them?”
“Have no doubt, Chrissy, have no doubt.” Joe broke the seal, shook the stick until it glowed brightly, then ran at the trees waving the stick back and forth.
And it worked. The trees backed away, shrinking back into the forest.
“C’mon, Chrissy, it’s working.”
Breaking the seal on her own stick, she followed behind Joe. Taking delight in scaring giant trees just by believing she could, she’d never doubted it for a moment.
Five minutes later, they arrived at the barn. Sliding open the door, they found the elves busy with the reindeer and polishing the parts of the sleigh.
They got right to work, Chrissy read the instructions while Joe and the elves hammered, tightened, stretched, and snapped together the various parts. It took several hours, but it was looking like a sleigh.
“The next few steps are critical to the safe operation of the navigation and flight control systems,” Chrissy read aloud. “Use extreme caution in assembling each part, following each step precisely.” She looked up from the book. “Maybe we should take a break, we’ve been at this awhile and it will be dark soon.”
“Good idea,” Joe said. “We’ll come back tomorrow
Crissy placed the book on the bench and came over to admire their work. “Can you believe we’re building Santa’s sleigh?”
“I know, it’s amazing. I wonder when Santa shows up to check things out?” Joe saw the elves exchange glances as he spoke. “They’re not telling us something,” he whispered to Chrissy.
“Let’s head home.” Joe walked over to the bench. “I’ll take the manual with us so I can read it when I get home. Might make things go faster if I have time to study it.”
“Do you think that’s a good idea, Joe? Shouldn’t we leave it here?”
“Nah, it will be fine. C’mon let’s go.”
Grabbing their coats, they headed out the door. After a few feet, Joe stopped.
“Oh, wait a minute. I forgot the other glow sticks in case the trees come back.” He handed her the book. “Hold this, I’ll be right back.”
He ran back inside the barn. As he started back, a scream shattered the air. “Chrissy,” he yelled and ran outside, followed by several elves. Chrissy was lying on the ground rubbing her head.
“I don’t know. A sudden wind came up and I turned away from it. Next thing I knew something hit me in the head and I fell down.” She rubbed her head, checking her hand for any blood.
Joe helped her up. “You sure you’re okay?”
“I’m okay, I’m okay. Must have been a branch blown out of a tree or something. Let’s go.” She looked around on the ground. “Where’s the book? I had it in my hands when I fell.”
The book was gone!
P.S. If you’re interested in the previous one from Christmas Past here’s a link. Please share this and this new story with all your family and friends.