Monday, November 18, 2013

Fly Me To The Moon

This is a small book with nine short chapters intended for parents and grandparents to read to children during the holidays. While it deals in part with gender equity and stereotypes, it is a triumphant story for all ages that will also make you smile. Please feel free to download it and read it aloud to those you love. Enjoy!

Chapter I

Rudolph sat with Santa in the Claus’s oversized den while a roaring fire blazed in the oversized grate. Rudolph had come to hand in his resignation as Head Reindeer.
“I’ve been doing this job for over fifty years, Santa, and I’m ready to retire.”
“But, Rudy,” Santa argued, “Reindeer simply do not retire! That’s not the way it’s done in the North Pole.”
Rudolph stood and began to shift from one foot to the other, to the other, to the other. He and Santa had been going at it for almost an hour. Santa couldn’t understand that Rudolph was bone tired. The honor of being head reindeer no longer interested him. He was hoping Santa would choose another reindeer to take over his reins.
He sighed deeply and looked the jolly man in the eye. “My job used to be easy. But that was before physical fitness became a household word. Now all we reindeer ever do is workout, train, and workout. The thing is, my body doesn’t jumpstart the way it used to, Santa. Surely you can understand that.”
Santa nodded. “Tell me about it.”
They were quiet for a while, two old friends recalling the days of their youth when life was much simpler.
Rudolph cleared his throat. “My happiest days now are the ones I spend on the ice. Fishing. It’s quiet out there, and catching a fish is a whole lot of fun, Big Guy, even if I do throw them all back. There’s another thing, too.” Rudolph took a deep breath. “Ruby’s complaining that I don’t spend enough time with her and the kids. You know how it goes. We’re not getting any younger and what with the children all grown now…”
“But I don’t have a replacement for you!” Santa lifted his hefty body from the tight fit of his favorite, oversized rocker. He began to pace.
“I can’t trust just any reindeer to guide my sleigh on the most important night of the year. Besides, you can’t walk out on all the children. They’re depending on you.”
“It’s not me they’re depending on, Santa. It’s you. Look, I decided long ago that when the time was right, I would turn my harness over to my son Randolph.”
“Randolph,” cried Santa. “Randolph?” Santa’s mouth flew wide open. “You cannot be serious. Why, Randolph is a baby. He’s still wet behind the antlers.”
Rudolph laughed out loud. “You need to get out more, Santa. Randolph Rednose graduated last year second in his class.”
 “Humph,” Santa retorted. Then putting his finger aside of his nose, he asked, “If Randolph finished second, then tell me who was it that finished first?”
Rudolph puffed up his chest. He was proud of the fact that the two top honors had both been won by the Rednose Family. He held his head very high.
“My daughter finished first, Santa. I’m sure you remember her, don’t you? Randy’s twin sister, Jingle?”
“Oh,” said Santa. “That’s very nice —for a girl.”
Santa finished warming his backside by the open fire and slowly moved away to reclaim his well-worn chair. He sat down with a SHWAAAT. A loud creek echoed from Santa’s groaning chair as he squirmed side to side, trying to find his most comfortable, worn-down spot. Presently, he began to rock back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Rudolph kept quiet, thinking that he would be in a much better bargaining position if he allowed the Big Guy to complete his thinking process.
By and by, Santa said, “I’d like to meet that boy of yours, Rudolph.”
“Yessir. Anytime you say. Anytime at all.”
“Can you bring him around to see me first thing in the morning?”
Rudolph stood and straightened his shoulders. “Would nine o’clock be okay by you, Santa?”

Chapter 2

Randy Reindeer was way past the point of coming unhinged.
“Dad, please tell me you didn’t set up an appointment for me with Santa with talking with me first!”
“I most certainly did.” Rudolph stared at his open-mouthed son. “He’s expecting us tomorrow morning at nine o’clock. And we don’t want to be late.”
Seeing his son’s terrified look, he added softly, “Now, Randy, there’s nothing to get so worked up about. I can’t understand why you’re upset. Santa is quite a nice fellow. Jolly as can be. Everybody says so.”
“But, but…” Randy could not make his words form into sentences.
“But nothing,” Rudolph interrupted. “It’s settled. We’ll drop by, have our little chat with Santa, then I’ll begin your training. By Christmas Eve night, you’ll be in top flight shape, the newest and brightest reindeer on the Santa Claus A-Team. And oh, my boy, you are in for the time of your life! Yes, indeedy.”
Humming loudly and off-key (he was getting a little deaf), Rudolph strode out of the room with a wide grin on his face. There were repairs to make on his icehouse before the season officially began.
Poor Randy stood rooted to the spot where his father had left him. Cold fear ran up and down from the tip of his very, very red nose to the tip of his very, very white tail.
“What am I going to do now? I can’t lead the A-Team all by myself. I’ve got a huge problem. HUGE!”
Randy needed someone to talk to. Someone he could trust.
“Jingle!” he exclaimed. And somewhere deep inside, he began to feel a little better.

Chapter 3

Jingle Rednose lay curled atop her comfortable bed, a soft blue blanket wrapped loosely around her delicate, long legs. The reading glasses she wore slipped down her nose from time to time, but she hardly noticed. Each time a word looked blurry, she would reach up and gently push her glasses in place. She was almost finished reading a book about the Russian Revolution. She was so caught up in descriptions of that beautiful snow-draped land that she barely heard her twin brother calling her.
“I’ll be down in a minute, Randy!”
Before she knew it, Randy Rednose was standing in the doorway of her room with his front hooves on his hips, a disgruntled expression on his face and his back hooves tapping on the floor.
“Are you deaf?” he demanded. “I’ve been calling and calling. Why didn’t you take your nose out of that book and answer me?”
Jingle sighed deeply. Looking at her brother, she saw the anxious expression on his face and was immediately sorry she had ignored him She put her long arms around him.
“I’m sorry, Randy. Do you need me for something?”
She smiled and when she did, her nose brightened up, casting a warm glow all over the little room. The red nose was a family trait. Like her father Rudolph and her brother Randy, Jingle’s nose was bright enough to light up the night sky.
Neither son nor daughter, however, had a nose quite as large as Rudolph’s. And Jingle’s was temperamental! Although it glowed all of the time, it glowed brightest when she was happy. Everything in its path would turn a beautiful shade of warm, rosy pink.
Randy sighed, “I’ve got a huge problem, and you’re the only one who can help me.”
Jingle looked at her brother with new concern.
“Well, come in and sit down. Tell me everything.”
Randy sat on the edge of Jingle’s bed and hung his head. She was always a good listener and he was immediately relieved that he had come to her.
“I am so embarrassed,” he said. Jingle thought he might cry.
“Now, now. Nothing could possibly be that bad, could it?”
“Dad is taking me to see Santa in the morning!” he blurted.
Jingle shrugged her delicate shoulders. “So, what’s the big deal? You’ve been there lots of times.”
“It is too a big deal, Jingle. A VERY big deal!”
Jingle frowned. “No it isn’t. Don’t you remember how we used to go over there and watch the elves build toys when we were fawns? And how about those delicious apple cookies with raisins on top that Mrs. Claus baked and sent home with us for our cookie jar? Remember those?”
“Of course. She gave me the recipe. But this is different. Santa asked for me.”
Jingle frowned and wondered what her brother had done to get in trouble with The Big Guy. “What did you do wrong?” she asked.
“I didn’t do anything. Dad did, though. He told Santa that he wants to retire from the reindeer A-Team. And he wants me to take his place.”
“Oh, Randy,” Jingle cried. “That’s wonderful! How exciting. I am so jealous!
You’ll get to see all of the places I’ve always dreamed about. You are so lucky!”
Randy looked at his sister and cried, “Lucky my left foot! I don’t want to go!”
They both stared at each other until Jingle said, “You can’t be serious.”
“Oh yes I am. If I take Dad’s place, that means I’ll have to fly.” Randy’s voice was little more than a whisper.
“So what?” Jingle asked. “Reindeer fly all of the time. It’s what we do.”
Randy began to pace. “When was the last time you saw me fly, Jingle?”
She thought for a minute. “Just last week. You and I flew over to the Vixen’s to visit Gypsy. Don’t you remember?”
“Yes, I remember it. But we were together, you and I. You have never seen me fly all by myself, and you never will! I can’t fly unless you are with me.”
It was Jingle’s turn to be surprised. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Are you telling me that you have a flying phobia, Randy? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Randy continued to pace. Back and forth. Back and forth. “It’s not something
I’m particularly proud of,” he said to his sister.
“All the same,” Jingle said, “I’d have expected you to say something about it before now. Anyway, I think you’re blowing this whole thing way out of proportion.
You need to talk to Dad, tell him the truth. He’ll help you figure this out.”
“Don’t you get it? Didn’t you understand a word I said, Jingle? Dad is depending on me. Without me and my big fat red nose, he won’t be able to retire and go ice fishing. I don’t have any choice. I have got to lead the team. I can’t disappoint Dad.”
Jingle squinched up her brow, a sign that she was deep in thought. After a minute or so she said, “With the proper training, Randy, you can get over your fear. Dad is a great teacher, and I’ll bet when he’s through with you, you will be as brave in the air as any of those old fuddy-duddy reindeer he hangs with.”
Randy was not completely convinced, although Jingle was usually right. He would go with his father to see Santa and he would try to be brave. In the long run, trying was all anybody could be expected to do.
“Randy, if you don’t want to be the lead reindeer on the A-Team, then what do you want to do with your life?”
“I want to be a chef,” he said. “The greatest chef in the entire North Pole.”

Chapter 4

Jingle and her mother Ruby talked quietly as they put the finishing touches to the supper they had cooked together. Everything was ready although they would not eat until Rudolph returned home from the reindeer playoff games.“
“What book are you reading now, Jingle?”
The daughter smiled and her nose, sensing her happiness, began to glow. Reading never failed to bring joy to Jingle.
“I’m nearly finished with it, Mother, and it’s such a good story that I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. The book has become a good friend and I’ll miss it when I turn the last page.”
Jingle told her some of the things she had learned in the book and Ruby listened. She so wished that her daughter might someday travel to the places Jingle so loved to read about. It was not likely to happen since female reindeer were supposed to raise a family and keep the home fires burning for their men. They were never, ever to leave the North Pole.
Jingle turned to her mother and said, “Mom, something is bothering me.”
“What is it, dear?” Worry lines formed on her sweet face.
“I don’t think it’s fair that Santa’s A-Team is male-dominated. Not one female “equally as well. Maybe better. But Santa never gives us the chance to prove ourselves. The rest of the world has entered the new millennium, but here at the North Pole we’re still in the Dark Ages. Doesn’t that bother you, Mom?”
Ruby looked kindly at her daughter. “No, it doesn’t bother me because what good would it do? Some things never change. Live with it.”
“It’s so unfair, I could find my way to any place in the world with my eyes closed.” Jingle began to pace. “In fact, I know more about geography from the books I read than that old Dasher or that prissy Dancer or all of the rest of the guys on the A-Team.”
“I’m sure you do, dear. But we don’t make the rules, we just follow them. We are does and our place has always been here at home. That is not going change, Jingle. Now, be a good girl and pour us all some milk. Your father will be home pretty soon.”
As Jingle poured, she began to think how different her life might have been if she not been born a female reindeer. Her thoughts strayed to the astrology books she most often read, since it was her favorite subject. She had long ago memorized the names of all the constellations. On any given night, while others were gazing about trying to find the Big or Little Dipper, Jingle was studying the astral movements of one of the more difficult to locate constellations. Eridanus, Cygnus or Uriga.
Jingle’s ability to navigate as well as an astronaut would not do her any good. Like her mother said, she was only a doe, and a doe was all she would ever be.
Ruby interrupted Jingle’s thoughts. “Does this veggie lasagna look done to you? I am never sure.”
Jingle took a long fork and stuck it into the middle of the concoction and watched as tomato juice spilled over the sides of the dish. She shook her head.
“You didn’t follow Randy’s recipe, did you?”
Ruby ducked her head, embarrassed. “Well not exactly. I didn’t think it should bake quite as long as he said it did.”
“Mom! You know that Randy is an expert when it comes to cooking. If he tells you to bake something for an hour, then for sure it has to bake for a solid hour.”
Her mother made a clicking noise with her tongue. “I can’t believe my son wants to tell me how to cook! That boy would take over my kitchen entirely if I let him.”
“So what’s wrong with that, Mom? Cooking food is Randy’s way of making others happy. It’s all he’s ever wanted to do and if you and Dad weren’t so stuffy, you’d let him go to a cooking school and become a famous chef.”
Ruby rolled her deep brown eyes and said, “That’s not going to happen Jingle, and I don’t want to hear another word about it. Randolph, the Rednose Reindeer will take over for your father so he can retire. Rudy will never agree to send his only son off somewhere to learn how to cook.”
A great sadness sweep over Jingle. Her brother was the sweetest, gentlest reindeer she knew and he could cook rings around their mother. “What a shame that being born male means you’re not supposed to cook and being born female means you’re not supposed to fly.” She muttered the words, but there was passion in her voice.
Depressed, she left the kitchen. She had hoped that by pleading her brother’s case, it would capture her mother’s support for Randy’s dream of attending the North Pole Culinary Institute. Now things looked less than hopeless.

Chapter 5

Rudolph and Randy stood outside the house where Santa and Sadie Claus lived.
“Stop fidgeting, Randy or Santa will think you’ve got fleas.” Rudolph rapped on the door using the solid brass knocker that was fashioned like a teddy bear and even looked a little like The Big Guy himself. “Stand up straight,” Rudolph ordered his son.
When Mrs. Claus opened the door, Randy could smell the delicious aroma of wonderful things baking and simmering in her kitchen. He almost swooned.
“Come in, Rudolph! How nice to see you. Randy, just look at you, all grown up. Where have you been keeping yourself, son? You haven’t been to see me in a while.”
Randy shrugged his mighty shoulders. “Oh, I try to keep busy.”
“Are you still friendly with Vixen’s pretty little daughter? Gypsy's her name, isn’t it?” She giggled aloud and her fat tummy jiggled. “The two of you make a darling couple. I expect we’ll be hearing wedding bells before much longer.” Her cheerful voice sang throughout the little house.
Randy blushed. Gypsy had been his girlfriend for a long time and everyone thought they would get married. Randy loved Gypsy, but he couldn't think about marriage until he solved the flying problem facing him.
Rudolph told Sadie Claus that Santa was expecting them and she led them into the den where Santa was chomping and smacking his lips in front of a platter of cookies.
“Santa!” Sadie’s hands flew up in the air. “How will you ever lose that fifty pounds if you keep filling your tummy with cookies?”
Santa smiled sheepishly. “My, dear,” he said as he crunched down on a perfectly formed oatmeal raisin cookie, “you’re such a wonderful cook. How could I resist?”
Sadie Claus stifled a grin. “Go along with you now,” she said and left the room.
The meeting went well. Santa laughed merrily at almost everything, which put both Rudolph and his son at ease. They stayed only long enough for Santa to reacquaint himself with Randy before they left.
“Time to start training you for the Big Top.” Rudolph swelled with pride as the two Rednoses galloped away from the gingerbread home of Santa and Sadie Claus.
“Yessir,” mumbled Randy while fear crept over his body.
His father said, “We have only a few weeks left before Christmas Eve, but I don’t need to teach you how to fly since you already know how. So we’ll begin with ground training. But let me warn you, you will need to study very hard.”
Relief surged through Randy as he listened to his father’s words. He had been afraid Rudolph expected him to fly that very day and he was not yet ready to face his phobia. Lucky for him, his father had never noticed that Randy only flew with Jingle at his side.
For the umpteenth time, Rudolph told his son the story of that famous foggy Christmas Eve when Santa asked him to lead the A-Team. He had known nothing about navigation, Rudolph said, but his nose did. It guided him that night as though it had been doing so forever. After that night, Rudolph made it his quest to learn as much about the art of flying as he possibly could.
“I’m much more confident today than I was then,” he said to Randy. “That’s why I want you to learn things from the ground up. By Christmas Eve, you’ll be more than ready to lead the team. But instead of having to fly by the seat of your pants like I did, you’ll know exactly what to do and why you are doing it!”
The thought occurred to Randy that maybe Jingle was right. With proper training, it might be possible for him to conquer his fear of flying after all.

Chapter 6

Santa was not in a good mood. The idea of Rudolph Rednose wanting to retire in order to ice fish his life away was simply too much for The Big Guy.
Mrs. Claus allowed him his grumpiness throughout the night. After all, he was such a jolly man most of the time, so she thought whatever was bothering him would pass. When his mood had not improved by mid-morning, however, she confronted him.
“Santa, why are you so grouchy? What is your problem?”
Santa threw up his hands. “You wouldn't be in a good mood either, if you had to deal with my problems day after day.”
She smiled and gently guided him to his favorite chair. “Sit. Now tell me what’s troubling you, dear.”
“Rudolph wants to retire!” he exclaimed. “And he wants to train his son to take his place.”
Mrs. Claus nodded thoughtfully. “Santa dear, what's wrong with that? Where is it written that Rudolph must always be on your team?”
Santa Claus grunted. “You know I don’t like change. It throws everything off.”
“Well, Randolph is a fine young reindeer. Why, we’ve known him since he was born. He and Jingle are both bright, strong and thoughtful. Good as gold. Randolph will make a fine replacement. Is that all you’re worried about?”
Santa grunted. “What if ll the rest of the reindeer start talking about retirement, Sadie? Then what? Where will that leave me so close to Christmas Eve? I still have toys to make and I’m already behind schedule. I don’t need any more distractions.”
Sadie Claus placed her finger beside her nose, a habit she had picked up from her husband. In a minute, her face brightened and she exclaimed, “If that happened, then you would have a whole new generation of reindeer to pull your sleigh just as well as the old team did.”
Santa remained unconvinced. Since he never seemed to age, it was always as shock to him when others did. He remembered grownups the way they looked when they were children. It was nearly impossible for him to realize that his reindeer’s youngsters were turning into adults.
Gently, Sadie reminded Santa that Dasher’s strapping big son, Skipper, would make a wonderful addition to the team. “Dancer also has a son,” she said. “Zipper is a fine young thing. And don't forget Orbit, Comet’s son, or little Dodger. He’s Donder’s oldest boy, you know.”
Santa grunted.
“My dear, there are some very good replacements waiting in the wings just hoping to be a part of that special Christmas Eve flight. You have nothing to worry about.”
Santa grunted again. Clearing his throat, he said, “You are probably right, Sadie. As usual.”

Chapter 7

In the following weeks, Rudolph and his son calculated charts and weather patterns. They studied every possible rooftop angle and Rudolph instructed his son in many different landing patterns. Although Randy’s confidence in the technical area of flying grew as he gained more knowledge of aerodynamics, his fear of flying through the air alone remained a huge problem for him. Huge!
He had nightmares in which he caused Santa’s sleigh to crash. Toys tumbled through the air harum-scarum and broke into a gazillion pieces. Santa and the elves flew out of the sleigh down, down, down ... before Randolph would wake up.
Eventually, the lack of proper rest became obvious. His eyes were bloodshot and droopy and he had no appetite for the food he loved so well. Randy having no desire to cook or eat was something worth worrying about.
Sensing his anxiety level, Jingle kept a close watch on her twin. Instinctively, she knew he needed to work through his fear of flying alone. His struggle to conquer it would have to come from within.
On Christmas Eve morning, however, her brother was a mess and she could keep quiet no longer.
“Randy!” she cried. “You look awful. Did you get any sleep at all last night?”
He was so weary that he merely gazed at her and shook his head.
“Oh, my poor brother. You have to get some rest. Tonight is your big coming out party.”
He hung his head and stared at the floor, feeling even more sad and distressed.
Jingle convinced him to go back to his bedroom and get some sleep. “I’ll bring you a hot breakfast but you must promise to rest.”
While a mug of milk was warming, she toasted an English muffin so that all the nooks and crannies were extra crisp, the way Randy liked it. Then she added the last of the elderberry jam that she and Ruby had put up in early autumn. She placed all of the food on a tray, but when she took it up to him, she found him asleep. Like a good sister, she set the food down on his bedside table, covered her twin with a soft, fluffy blanket and then slipped quietly out of his room.
Randy slept until another nightmare overtook him. Seated on the side of his bed breathing hard, he barely heard Jingle when she came back in to bring his lunch.
 “You’re awake,” she cried. “Look at this nice tray I fixed. A peanut butter and elderberry jam sandwich and a bowl of mother’s veggie soup that you love.”
Randy, who so adored food, had no appetite. She could have brought him a water sandwich and he wouldn’t have noticed. He barely acknowledged his sister and the lunch she had made especially for him.
“Oh, Randy!” Jingle exclaimed. “Tell me what’s going on. I’m so worried about you.” She put the tray of food down and sat next to her twin on the edge of his bed.
He was still breathing hard as he told his sister about the nightmares and how he had hoped his fear of flying might disappear with his newfound knowledge of air travel.
“Instead of conquering my phobia, I only succeeded in making it worse! Now I’m out of time, Jingle. Dad is counting on me to lead the reindeer team tonight. You should have heard him bragging to Mr. Dasher and Mr. Comet about how smart I am and how fast I learned the dynamics of landing and how brilliant my nose light will be tonight.”
“That’s great, Randy.” Jingle patted her brother on his wide shoulder in hopes that in some small way it would comfort him. “If Dad has confidence in you, then you can have confidence in yourself.”
“Well, I don’t and I’m not likely to pick it up in the next few hours!”
Randy gave her a look and as he did, he seemed to gather more conviction than he had felt in weeks. He said, “Jingle, I just realized what I have to do. I need to find Dad and tell him the truth.”
“Which is?” Jingle asked.
“That I cannot replace him tonight or any other night. Nobody can. He is Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer. He's famous all over the world and he can’t quit and go fishing, for heaven’s sake! He has to lead the A-Team whether he wants to or not.”
Randy stood on wobbly legs, determined to go find his father.
“Wait!” cried Jingle. “Don’t do anything yet. I might have a solution!”
Her brother froze in his tracks before slowly turning to face his sister.
“There’s no way to solve this, Jingle. Even if I am Rudolph’s son, I can't fly without you. If you were a boy twin instead of a girl, things might be different. We could swap places and nobody would notice. But a girl without a rack? No way.”
 ”Listen to me, Randy and don’t interrupt.” Jingle put that determined look on her face that he knew so well.“
“Okay, but make it quick. He sat down on the overstuffed chair that Ruby had slip covered for her son’s room.
 ”What if we go together to explain things to Dad? We’ll tell him how all of our lives we’ve done practically everything together. He’ll understand that. Then, you tell him the truth about the flying fear. He loves you, Randy, and nothing will change that.”
Jingle’s brother gazed at her for a long while. “I know he loves me, but that doesn’t change anything. He's still thinking I can fly tonight in his place.
“That’s the beauty of my plan, Randy. By telling Dad the truth, he’ll learn the whole truth. We won’t hold anything back, including the fact that I want to be on the A-Team and I’m qualified to be there. All that stuff Dad has been teaching you? I've known it for years.”
 “What’s that got to do with anything, Jingle? You're still a girl and you still can’t be on the team,” Randy exclaimed. 
“So what,” Jingle exclaimed. “Amelia Earhart was a girl. Sally Ryde, the first female Astronaut? A girl. I think it’s time Santa brought the North Pole up to speed, don’t you?”
Randy smiled. “What exactly is your plan?”
“Simple. We both lead the A-Team tonight. Twice the strength; twice the speed, twice the light. You don’t have to be afraid of flying all by yourself, and I’ll be the first female reindeer on the A-Team. Sweet!”
Randy’s smile widened. He liked it. He liked it very much.
“But then, what about next year?”
Jingle was prepared for his question. “By then, more girls might want to try out for the team. I know for a fact that Venus, Sparkle and Trixie would like a shot at it.”
Randy perked up. “Yeah, and I’ll bet Gypsy would too. With both of us on the team, we can go ahead and get married. Jingle, if we hurry, we can find Dad before it’s time to take off.”
The twins gave each other a good luck hug and Jingle said, “It’ll work, Randy, and you want to know why? Because it’s a perfect plan.”

Chapter 8

And so it was. Rudolph’s first reaction to a female on the A-Team was not immediately positive, but he warmed to the idea the longer the twins talked. By the time they had finished explaining to their father how they felt about things, Rudolph was ashamed to have been blind to his son’s discomfort. He had always been proud of his daughter, her good grades in school and her remarkable navigational skills. Now he could be doubly proud.
“Both a son and a daughter following in my footsteps,” he said with pride. “How great is that?”
Rudolph gave the twins a fierce hug. “I think,” he suggested, “we had better go right now and speak to The Big Guy. Time's a wasting.”

Chapter 9

A surprised, but eventually agreeable Santa, hitched not eight, but ten reindeer to his sleigh that memorable Christmas Eve night. How fortunate that was since the expected fog became unexpected mushroom soup. With two Rednoses pulling the Santa sleigh, however, it was as Randy later described it, ‘A piece of cake!’
Randy’s brilliant red nose entirely lit up one side of the sleigh while Jingle’s spread a warm pink luminescence that spread for miles around on the opposite side of the toy-filled sleigh.
When the A-Team took off on their annual trek to deliver toys to all the good little girls and boys throughout the world, the sun had still been high in the sky. Rudolph stood proudly next to Ruby as they waved goodbye to their offspring. Ruby wiped tears from her eyes but Rudolph pretended not to notice. Jingle would finally realize her dream of flying all over the world and Ruby was very proud of her daughter.
She had made it a point to speak to Rudolph about their son’s passion for cooking and his desire to attend the North Pole Culinary Institute. It made perfect sense. He would only need to fly one night a year, plus the required monthly training. That wouldn't be a problem for a strong, young buck like Randy to handle. The rest of his time he could devote to being the best chef in the entire Northern Hemisphere.
After the wedding, of course.

Just before the moment of takeoff, Sadie Claus, while waving to Santa and the elves, noticed that Jingle was gazing directly at her. Their eyes met and fastened tightly on one another.
Sadie Claus grinned a wide, toothy grin and then gave Jingle a big thumbs up. “You go, girl,” shouted Sadie. And GO is exactly what Jingle Rednose did. 

So now you know the story of why ten happy male and female reindeer line up to pull Santa's sleigh every Christmas Eve night.

~ The End ~

© 2013 Cappy Hall Rearick

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