A Visit From Ol' Nick
by Penny Jones
'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the school
Not a child was stirring, not even the fool.
Letters to Santa were being written with care,
In hope of the presents that soon would be there;
The children were settled all still in their chairs;
While they dreamed of the toys that soon would be theirs;
The teachers sat quiet, waiting for the bell’s chime,
That would herald the end, announcing home time.
When the bell rang, the kids rose with a clatter,
Running to parents, full of joy and of chatter
Of the work that they done, and the list that they’d made
Of the gifts that they longed for, and hoped for and prayed
Carol thrust the list at her mum, her face full of glee
As she wondered what Santa would leave by the tree.
Though Carol did not notice her mother’s dismay
Instead with her friends she did run off to play.
Whilst Carol ran round the playground and slid down the slide
The list that she wrote her mother read and she tried
To decipher the scrawl that had been committed to paper,
As Carol and her friends ran, played and capered.
Once home on the fridge her mother did stick it
On the hope that her father would be able to unpick it:
“A masher? A lancer? A cancer? A fox?”
Her father stared at the list, at a complete loss
“Just go to Argos and get her that doll from the telly,
Some books and some chocolate and sweets for her belly.”
The days before Christmas passed in a blink of an eye
And on Christmas Eve night there was a red glow in sky;
“Rudolph.” her dad told her, with a wink and a nod of his head
Now let’s do your teeth and get you tucked up in bed.
I woke with a start to a crash on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof
Was like nails down a board, a most terrible sound
As smashing through my window came St. Nick in a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his hooves to his hood,
And his clothes were all tarnished with flesh and with blood;
A squirming bundle from his back he flung on my bed,
He looked nothing like Santa, though his fur was still red.
His eyes twinkled with fire. His smile struck me in fear.
“I’ve brought your desire. Now just you come here.”
He reached for his sack and undid the bow.
Through the smile on his face, his teeth gleamed like the snow;
The stump of a leg he held tight in his fist,
His voice growled like thunder “I think this was your list.”
What he pulled from his sack made my knees turn to jelly.
Its eyes rabid and yellow, its fur matted and smelly.
I pulled up my feet, as it crouched on my bed.
My skin crawled at its snarl; its breath stank of the dead.
“A puppy” he said, as he stroked the hound’s back;
It sat back on its haunches as if to attack.
“Santa…” I spoke with a tear in my eye,
“I don’t mean to be rude.” I said with a cry.
“Santa.” He said through a laugh made of ice.
“I’m Satan, not Santa; I’m evil not nice.
You asked for a puppy, it was there on your list.
Now you take good care of him” He bent down and hissed.
Turning away, Satan picked up his sack
“If next year you want Santa instead of me back
You’d do well to print neater, your writing’s a sight.
As he leapt out my window and into the night,
Snow falling on rooftops, quickly covered his way
As his words cut the dawn “Have a great Christmas day.”