And here continues the Christmas Saga of 2020. Like the days of yore when newspapers published anxiously anticipated serialized stories, here is my annual version, Hidden within the words is a secret message. Find the secret and send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, MAGIC. First five to discover the secret wins a copy of every book I publish this year.
This story is as old as the legend of St. Nicholas, handed down over years and years. Told to Christmas Elves as they rested from their work, there is magic within if you’ve the heart and eyes to see it.
But don’t look for it, feel it in your heart. Speak the words to learn the secret
Tiny noises from a several small animals drew my attention. Reindeer are always so loud I hardly recognized the sounds.
With a couple of quick hops, a furry gray rabbit bounced through the snow to stand in front of us. A rabbit that spoke!
“Little Sash, it’s great to see you again, Seamus Angus at your service. Old age fits you well.”
“Driver of the sled, I presume,” the rabbit said, nodding at Jedidiah the turning back to face me. “So, what took you so long to come back and see your family?”
Lively little creatures gathered around, chattering and squeaking in a host of languages. And I could make little sense of it.
Quick as he could, the rabbit would translate.
I was apparently well known here, a legend it would seem.
“Knew you’d come back,” Rabbit said, smiling.
In the meantime, Jedidiah headed down the road. A last look around, and I followed.
“Moment, Jedidiah?” I asked. “It would be nice if I knew where we were going.”
“Must trust me, Sash,” he answered. “Be aware of things. St. Nick warned me not everyone would be happy to see you no more than…”
More and more I wanted to know where I was from. Rapid changes were not my favorite things
“Than what?” I asked.
“Eagles,” Jedidiah pointed skyward. “His eyes in the skies have found us. Coursers and carrot sticks, we better run.”
They—Jedidiah, Rabbit, and the others—broke into a run.
Came diving the eagles, chasing us into the woods, forcing us to hide among the trees.
“And where is this lovely place you’ve brought me to, Jedidiah? I asked.
He scanned the treetops looking for the birds, glancing from branch to branch, tree to tree. Whistled a quick note, then led us down a dark path.
“And are you going to answer me?” I said.
Shouted warnings rang in my ears as the eagles dove on us.
And we ran for our lives….
“Called Harpy eagles, the largest in the world, they are,” said Jedidiah. “Them birds could pick up an elf like nothing, he sent them to stop us.”
By this time, the overgrown trees made it impossible for the Harpies to find us.
“Name this place, and who sent these harpies,” I said, refusing to go any further until I knew where we were.
“Now Dasher!, Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen. On Comet! On Cupid! On Donder. On Blitzen”
To what purpose I did not know, but Jedidiah began naming the main reindeer squad. The echo of his voice reverberated through the woods.
Part VI Tomorrow!