Summary: The boys have some childish fun in a poem that borrows from the original.
Rating: K (430 words)
The Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Washoe,
Not a cowboy was stirring, not there near Lake Tahoe.
The garland was hung ’round the ranch house with care,
Across all the rafters, and adorning the stairs.
The brothers were nestled all snug in their beds
With sweet Christmas visions alive in their heads.
But Ben tossed and turned; he just couldn’t nap,
So he started downstairs for a tiny nightcap,
When out in the kitchen arose such a clatter,
He raced ‘cross the house to see what was the matter.
Through the back door someone flew in a flash.
Ben followed behind and then heard a great crash!
Hoss hollered, “Dadburnit!” and slipped in the snow,
As he chased after Adam, who chased after Joe.
“What is all this nonsense?” Ben called to all three;
And Hop Sing, awakened, stepped closer to see.
But none gave an answer. Each laughed without shame,
Until Ben in his anger called to each by name.
“Come, Joseph! Come, Adam! Come, Hoss, and explain!
The root of these antics, the cause of this playing!”
“Come on, Pa!” Joe shouted. “It’s Christmas Eve night!”
He whooped and he laughed and he dashed out of sight,
With Adam behind him and Hoss closing in,
Each armed with a snowball; each aiming to win.
But someone threw widely and hit Ben instead,
Hop Sing started laughing at Ben’s face, glowing red.
“Now who threw that snowball?” Ben shouted in rage.
“You’re acting like children! Start acting your age!”
When his eyes found his youngest, Joe pointed to Hoss,
Who pointed to Adam, who shrugged, at a loss.
“We just got nostalgic,” he started to say.
“We came down for cookies, and got carried away.”
“Cookies?” cried Hop Sing. “Those for tomorrow!”
The rest came in Chinese, to everyone’s sorrow,
Until a stray snowball caught him in the nose.
It silenced his tirade, then everyone froze.
“I get you for that!” Hop Sing shouted in fury.
He reached for some snow and he started to scurry.
Moving quick as can be, like some warrior ghost,
He caught every Cartwright—yes, even his host.
The great Mr. Cartwright, the head of the house,
Just couldn’t help laughing, despite how he’d groused.
It soon became legend, that great snowball fight
On Ben’s Ponderosa, that Christmas Eve night!
Other Stories by this Author
- Slings and Arrows…and Snowballs (by freyakendra)
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel (by freyakendra)
- QiXi: The Seventh Night of the Seventh Moon (by freyakendra)
- The Razor’s Edge [aka A Close Shave] (by freyakendra)
- Wolf in the Wind (by freyakendra)