Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual
Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity
was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including the
species of domestic rodent known as Mus Musculus.
Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood
burning caloric apparatus pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding
an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric
appellations is the honorific title of Saint Nicholas.
The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective
accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations
of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.
My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings were
about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the
exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance
that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for
the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.
Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this
fenestration. Noting hereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected
as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be
said to rival that of the solar meridian itself. Thus permitting my incredulous
optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance,
drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer.
Piloted by a minuscule aged chauffer so ebullient and nimble that it
became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller.
With his ungulate motive power traveling at what may have been more
vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators, he vociferated loudly,
expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each
of the octet by his or her respective cognomen: “Now Dasher, now Dancer”,
Guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our abode, through which
structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the
32 cloven pedal extremities. As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile
location, and was performing a 180 degree pivot, our distinguished visitant
achieved — with utmost celerity and via a downward leap — entry by the
way of the smoke passage.
He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebon residue from
oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof.
His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora
of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.
His orbs were scintillating with reflected luminosity, while his submaxillary
dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability.
The capillaries of his molar regions and nasal protuberance were engorged
with blood which suffused in subcutaneous layers, the former approximating
the coloration of Albion’s floral emblem, the later that of the Prunus
Avium, or Sweet Cherry.
His amusing sub- and supra-labials resembled nothing so much as a common
loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small
tabular and columnar crystals being.
Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose gray
fumes, forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of
a decorative seasonal circlet of holly.
His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful,
his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of pectinous fruit
syrup in a hemispherical container.
He was, in short, neither more or less than obese, jocund, multigenarian
gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite
every effort to refrain from so being.
By rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid and rotating his head
to one side he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.
Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the afore-mentioned
hosiery with various of the afore-mentioned articles of merchandise extracted
from his afore-mentioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle.
Upon completion of his task, he executed an abrupt about face, placed
a singular manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ,
inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith
effected his egress by renegotiating, in reverse, the smoke passage.
He propelled himself in short vector onto his conveyance, directed a
musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered
quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto
observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed.
But I overheard his parting exclamation, audibly immediately prior to
his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility:
“Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self-same
assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly
pleasurable period between sunset and dawn!”