Over the crusted snow and ice,
Under the shimmering Northern Lights,
The sparkling spires of Santa-land,
Rise up for their wonderful one-night stand.
‘Round the pole the ice floes sweep,
Not enough forage or browse to keep,
A lemming alive – let alone a deer,
At any time of the day or year.
Christmas-eve morning – it’s snowin’ hard,
“Elf” Elfson, the wrangler, leaves the yard,
Ridin’ old Dancer and movin’ fast,
To gather the bunch where he seen ‘em last.
South, past the “Sixties” where west winds blow,
The winter range clear of ice and snow,
On the tundra he finds the missing seven,
Up to their dewclaws in reindeer heaven.
He circles downwind and out of sight,
Hopes they don’t spook till they’re headed right,
“Watch that Blitzen! He’ll lead ‘em a-muck,
That ornery, bunch-quittin’ son-of-a-buck.”
Once in position, he rides in slow,
Heads up! They see him – they snort and blow!
“Ho, boys…!” He circles back and forth,
Startin’ ‘em easy, pointin’ ‘em north.
Elf has ‘em penned by a quarter past noon,
Hoofs and horns trimmed by the light of the moon,
Curried and brushed, they’re fatter ‘n butter,
Harnessed and hooked up to Santa’s old cutter.
Now, here’s St. Nick in his magic red suit,
Sprinkles stardust on each reindeer snoot,
And away they all fly to circle the earth,
Helpin’ to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
Sherm Ewing has published two books; The Range (1990) and The Ranch (1995); Mountain Press Publishing Co., Missoula, MT. Both books illustrated by Wanina Ewing Travis of Claresholm, Alta.