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Knuckle Up for Christmas

This story is my entry for the Shameless Plugs Holiday Writing Prompt challenge, in which Samantha the Writer challenged me to write a story about what animal would Santa replace his reindeer with if he crashed in the woods. Click here to learn more about the challenge and listen to me read the story below.  

One Christmas Eve, down in the woods,

Santa had crashed, spilling all of the goods.

Footballs, board games and skateboards were strewn all about,

leaving elves in a tizzy to figure it out.


The reindeer were tangled in a reindeer-shaped knot,

and Santa looked like the victim of a fly swatter’s swat.


"Oh dear!" fretted Gumdrop, a pixie most nervous.

"We're doomed!" added Digger, the most senior gnome in Santa's Secret Service.


But then taking control was the elf they called Knuckles

(a nickname he'd earned winning egg nog bar scuffles).


"First things first, get Santa back on his feet.

Brush off his coat, get his tush in that seat!


Then elves, grab the presents that spilled in the snow.

While the gnomes fix the sleigh, get us ready to go."


To the pixies, Knuckles made a comment most dire:

"We're down all nine reindeer. We haven't one flyer."


"What shall we do?" asked Gumdrop in despair.

"Cancel Christmas," said Digger. "It's not like we've got even one single prayer."


"That's not an option!" Knuckles barked at the gnome.

"We'll deliver each present! We'll visit each home!


We just need a beast that can fly through the air.

We'll find that first beast, then we'll find four more pairs!"


Knuckles’ gusto made Gumdrop think they’d pull this off, maybe,

and gave her an idea that might just be crazy.

"Bears have the power to carry us far!"

Digger scoffed, "Nine bears on one roof? Each one's big as a car!

Besides, they're all sleeping, furry balls in dark caves.

Are you going to wake them? When did you get so brave?”

“Don’t be rude!” Knuckles snapped. “You crusty old buzzard!

Why you’re crusty as a plug made of dried up old mustard!”

Digger turned red, mad, without question.

But Gumdrop ignored him, gave another suggestion.


“Elks are like reindeer, but bigger and stronger!”

“Why you daft little pixie, not one choice could be wronger!”


It was Digger of course, that crabby old coot,

so rude he deserved a crabby coot suit

with some crabby coot boots for his crabby coot feet,

and a crabby coot chair for his crabby coot seat.

“Everyone knows that elks are just awful!

They’ll serve you brown nuggets, and call ‘em falafel!”

A solution came then, for those who could math,

a nine-bunny family hopped down the path.

Now Knuckles was quick with his fists, it was true.

Quicker still with a carrot, a fact no one knew.

In less than a minute, the bunnies agreed,

to help save Christmas, to save it with speed.


Just one more minute and they were all hooked up,

to a jingle bell harness that Knuckles had cooked up.


With jolly old Santa in his seat and composed,

fairies sprinkled their dust, and bunnies arose.


Santa nodded his head and helped Knuckles aboard,

then said to the elf, “You deserve an award!


Saved the day you did, for kids big and small.

and made this the hoppiest Christmas of all.”

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