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Rated: E · Short Story · Animal · #2067375
500-word story for Dec. 3rd Advent Challenge concerning reindeer.

w/c: 500

          On December 3rd all the elves were busy in the workshop building toys, bicycles, and dolls for Santa to deliver on Christmas Eve. Everyone had a special job to do, except for the little Pixie named Maxwell. He was dressed head to toe in red felt, and he loved to play pranks on the elves by moving their tools to different benches. The elves, growing tired of Maxwell's foolishness, ordered him to leave the workshop.

          Maxwell wandered through the barn. Upon hearing Donner and Blitzen's banter and boasting of who was the fastest and most agile of all the reindeer, a plan for a prank started forming in Maxwell's head. Jumping up to Donner's stall gate, Maxwell chimed in, "Say, Donner, how about you and Blitzen have a race to the middle of Lake Logan and back to prove who's the fastest and most agile."

          Donner snorted, replying, "Hooves down, t'will be me to win that challenge!"

          Looking over to Blitzen, Maxwell asked, "What say you Blitzen, are you game?" He cajoled the reindeer.

          "Phttb! I could beat Donner blindfolded!"

          Maxwell, Donner, and Blitzen met at the edge of Lake Logan the next morning. The temperature had fallen during the night. The lake appeared to be frozen solid.

          Lining up the two reindeer, Maxwell made sure each had even footing on the shore. "You see that red cone out there in the middle of the lake? That's where you'll make the sharp turn to return here to the finish line," Maxwell explained as he walked backward onto the frozen ice. Raising his arms up, he yelled, "on the count of three... ONE, TWO, THREE!" Dropping his arms, the reindeer thundered past him.

          Donner and Blitzen galloping side by side, neither had an advantage until they rounded the cone. Donner had the inside and Blitzen the outside position. Pulling ahead, Donner left Blitzen behind him. Neither reindeer noticed the small warning sign on the red cone: "CAUTION! THIN ICE!" Blitzen's sharp hooves and the combined weight of both animals was too much for the thin ice to hold. Cracks appeared under Blitzen's rear legs. Donner was several lengths away now unaware of Blitzen's peril. Upon crossing the finish line, Donner turned around to see how far behind was Blitzen, panic rose in his heart seeing his friend falling through the ice. Trumpeting an alarm so loud, the elves and Santa were at Donner's side in an instant.

         Santa gave directions for the elves to tie ropes to Blitzen and tie the other ends to Donner. With a little flight dust, Donner pulled his friend from the broken ice. When all the reindeer were safe on the shore, they told Santa what had transpired.

          "MAXWELL! Step forward," Santa commanded.

         "I'm sorry, I didn't mean any harm," Maxwell offered.

          "Maxwell, my boy, you are on poop patrol from now until New's Year Day, shoveling the glitter out of the reindeer stalls," Santa led them back to the barn.

*Reindeer* *Reindeer*

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