A Secret Meeting in The Woods
For three nights I had trekked out to that spot in the woods where I had heard talk of these secret meetings. Once there, near the clearing, and after having spread out an old blanket on which to lay down, I waited patiently. We had a recent coating of fluffy white snow which was lit almost as bright as day on each of the three nights by the near-full moon. My first two stake-outs were uneventful, but on the third night the stars aligned, the moon was full, and I bore witness to some wonderful sights seldom seen!
There was a light wind that night, but in between the gusts that rustled the pine branches, causing powdery snow to fall softly onto the small clearing, I heard a faint crackling of leaves, or of small twigs, just out of my sight within the dark wood. Presently a bright blue nose appeared, then a head, then a body, and before I could catch my breath there he was – a majestic blue miniature reindeer! I rubbed my eyes but he did not disappear. He looked back at the tree line and seemed to gesture with his head. This motion was immediately followed by two more of the mysterious creatures bounding lightly, as if on air alone, into the clearing to join their friend.
Now in the clearing before me I beheld two blue reindeer and one of a brilliant black. They all wore thick and luxurious collars of bright and contrasting colors. I had no way of knowing if these great collars served merely to provide warmth, or more – could this be the source of their reindeer magic? I watched, keeping still and low as they advanced a bit further through the snow. They moved carefully, sniffing the air, but did not appear to note my presence.
From some unseen pouch they drew out several of what appeared to be candy canes, and planted them in the snow, as if to mark the area somehow.
I was entranced by the whole scene and unable to make sense of the candy canes, when, I’m not quite sure – I must have blinked or maybe wiped a bit of snow from my eye, but there, all of a sudden, a familiar looking little man appeared! But could it be? Could it actually be that famous red-suited little man who is generally believed to have associates in the reindeer community? Could it be – Santa himself? I knew then at that moment that why I was chosen to bear witness to this secret meeting would forever be a mystery to me.
Santa and the three reindeer conferred in hushed tones for as much as a few minutes. What little snippets made it to my ears between the gusts of a rising wind were of some soft and musical language not known to me – and I suspect not hitherto heard by any man! Though I could not hear much and did not understand what I did hear, I knew instinctively that I must be witnessing a planning session related to the upcoming Christmas Eve activities.
I became aware that the wind had continued to rise and the conference taking place below me in the small clearing was fading from my view as snow rose into the air in a great eddy. As I squinted to keep Santa and the reindeer in sight, a shooting star caught my eye off to the east. As the snow twinkled in the light, I turned my head just briefly to follow the star, then back to the clearing, and they were gone! The wind had quickly abated and the swirling snow was settling back to earth, revealing a small clearing, empty not just of the tiny visitors, but devoid also of any tracks or trace at all of the magical meeting.
Was this a Christmas miracle or just a strange dream?
The Working Stiff