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by Shaara
Rated: E · Short Story · Children's · #788636
One of Santa's elves kept forgetting to wear his glasses.
When Joshpa Didn't Wear Glasses

Santa’s elves always packed the Christmas Eve bag of goodies. Santa relied on them, knowing that they used magic to fit everything in. He had no reason, therefore, to check over the bag before he set out on his trip around the world.

But one particular Christmas evening, I’m afraid, things didn’t go as smoothly as usual. Santa’s elf, Joshpa, who always insisted he didn't need to wear his glasses to see well, put in a layer of toys. Unfortunately, Joshpa wasn’t wearing his glasses, which he really did need, so he didn't SEE that he was putting a toy airplane, a blue model train, and a special yellow and purple candy cane underneath little Pedro Smith’s very heavy, remote control robot.

Of course, none of that was noticed until Santa’d delivered toys and treats to half of Africa, all of Europe, three-fourths of Japan, and four countries down in South America. When Santa reached Susie Button’s house and pulled out the special yellow and purple candy cane that she’d asked for, he discovered that the candy was broken.

“Oh, no,” said Santa. “What am I going to do?”

Rudolph, in charge that night, shook his head, wiggled his eyebrows, and lit up his nose. He knew they had no time to dally over a broken candy cane.

“Oh, my friends,” Santa said sadly. “Don't you see? This is terrible. I have a broken yellow and purple candy cane. I can’t put that in little Susie’s stocking, and I know she doesn’t like the red and white kind.”

A big frown had planted itself on Santa’s face. The reindeer almost didn’t know him. They fidgeted, and Rudolph, not known for being patient, nuzzled some snow with his nose, and tossed some of it at Santa.

Santa sighed, hitched up his pants, which were just a little baggy since he hadn’t yet had his dinner, and left Susie Button’s house without giving her any candy at all.

Santa flew back to Africa. He placed bananas and coconuts in all the stockings of the monkeys. He filled the elephant’s shoes with peanuts and gave the lion a big bright, red bow for his long beautiful mane. The rest of the stockings, the ones for the children, were all filled with toys and goodies.

Next Santa flew to Australia and visited all the little joeys, koala bears, and platypuses. He made sure that the children were taken care of too -- all the children except Stephen Peppermill. Little Stevie had asked for a toy airplane, but when Santa pulled it out, the wing was broken off. Poor Santa. He looked like he was going to cry.

The reindeer stamped their hooves and Santa shrugged sadly. Then off they went to Argentina, way down at the bottom of South America. Unfortunately there was a little girl named Maria who’d asked for a blue model train. Santa shook out his bag. He had lots of horns and games. He had red and white candy canes, dolls, and a badminton set, but the only blue model train he could find was the one with a big dent in the top and a broken, wobbly wheel.

Santa began to cry. “Oh, what am I going to do?”

Rudolph blew on Santa's neck. When Santa still ignored the reindeer, Rudolph pushed hard at Santa's back. Santa didn't even turn around to look. The deer nudged him even harder, and poor, old Santa toppled over.

“Ouch,” Santa yelped, picking himself up. He glared at Rudolph. (Which is a very unSanta like thing to do, so you can see clearly how very, very upset Santa was.)

Rudolph lowered his head and stepped forward, ready to butt Santa again.

“Ho, ho, ho!” Santa cried out. “All right, Rudolph. I know what you’re trying to tell me. I’d better get going, or I’ll never get these toys out in time.”

Santa got back into the sleigh and took off into the night.

Very late, at a quarter to Magic and fifteen minutes until Wonder, Santa pulled into the North Pole. Immediately, as tired as he was, he looked up Joshpa.

“Joshpa,” Santa roared. “You have some fixing to do. Get those glasses on and hop to.”

Poor Joshpa had to locate a new purple and yellow candy cane for Susan Button. (Should I tell you that he took it from one of the elves who’d been saving that candy for his breakfast treat?)

Joshpa found a toy airplane for Stevie up on the shelf beside three spare dolls, and he finally located a blue model train for Maria down on the workbench. (Luckily it had just been finished, although the paint was still a tiny bit damp.)

Joshpa hitched up a small, fast sleigh behind a reindeer named Plutonium, and then loaded himself onto its seat. In five minutes he was soaring up into the sky, heading for all three houses where Santa hadn’t been able to leave the item the child wanted.

Joshpa delivered the presents. (Yes, the paint on the blue model train was all dry by then.)
He had just finished fixing his mistake when the first rooster crowed down in New Zealand. That was really bad because the spell of Magic that Santa puts on all the radar detectors wears off at daylight.

Poor Joshpa! He couldn’t fly. He had to bed down in a barn and bury the sleigh in an old haystack. All Christmas Day Joshpa hid there, eating boiled eggs and wild apples, and waiting for the sun to go down. While he was "twiddling his thumbs," he had plenty of time to think about the mischief he'd caused by not wearing his glasses.

Plutonium tried to cheer Joshpa up. The little reindeer knew that everyone makes mistakes, but of course, he couldn’t tell that to Joshpa because reindeer can’t speak. Plutonium, instead, nibbled some hay and licked Joshpa’s face. Finally, the two of them snuggled down and went to sleep.

That night, when it was dark as the sole of an old shoe, the elf and the reindeer flew home. Joshpa immediately apologized to Santa, but Santa, feeling a great deal better after having had his Christmas dinner, merely patted Joshpa on the back and treated him to some delicious gingerbread.

Little Maria, Stevie, and Susie -- why they never knew about that extra trip needed to bring them their special Christmas wish. And after that, Joshpa was much more careful about wearing his glasses, but unfortunately, he still sometimes forgets. So, if sometime you see someone doling out presents, and you know that it's not Santa, it just might be Joshpa. If you see him, be sure and remind him to wear his glasses.

© Copyright 2003 Shaara (shaara at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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