Every villager in Woodland liked Christmas a lot…
But the Demon, who lived east of Woodland, Did NOT!
Haute hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be his head was filled with green mold.
It could be, perhaps, that his lair was too cold.
But I think that the reason most precise
May have been that his heart was as hard as black ice.
But, whatever the reason, his heart or the cold,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, and started to scold.
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Haughty frown
at the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every villager in the forest beneath
Was busy now, hanging a “mistlefoe” wreath.
“And they’re hanging their scabbards!” he snarled with a sneer,
“Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!”
Then he growled, with his shady fingers nervously drumming,
“I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!”
For, tomorrow, he knew… All the good girls and boys would wake bright and early.
They’d rush for their toys! And then!
Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That’s one thing he hated!
The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
Then the shire, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they’d feast!
And they’d feast!
And they’d FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!
They would feast on Shay Bread, and fresh caught roast beast
Which was something the Demon couldn’t stand in the least!
And THEN they’d do something he liked least of all!
Every villager in Woodland, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.
They’d stand hand-in-hand and then they’d start singing!
And they’d sing!
And they’d SING! SING! SING! SING!
And the more Haute thought of the Shire caroling
The more the Demon thought I must stop this whole thing!
Why, for twenty long years I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! But HOW?
Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
HAUTE GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
“I know just what to do!” Haute laughed without fail
And he made a quick wyvern mask and a tail.
And he chuckled, and clucked, “What a great Hautey thrill.
With this mask and this tail, I look just like old Syl!!”
“All I need are some wings…” Haute looked around.
But, since angels are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old fiend…? No! Haute simply said,
“If I can’t find some wings, I’ll make some instead!”
So he rushed in the darkness. Then found a large bat.
And he cut off its wings and slipped them on stat.
THEN he loaded some bags and some old empty crates
On a ramshackle cart, and he opened his gates.
Then Haute said “Humbug!” And the cart started down
toward the homes where the people lay a-snooze in their town.
All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the villagers dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first little house on the square.
“This is stop number one,” The old Demon Syl hissed.
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.
Then he slid down the chimney. A rather tight route.
But, if Sylvanus could do it then so could Haute.
He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue.
Where the little black scabbards all hung in a row.
“These scabbards” he grinned, “are the first things to go!”
Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!
Cloaks! And daggers! Apples! Drums!
Quarto boards! Scarves! Scalemail! And Rums!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then Haute, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimney!
Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the whole feast!
He took the Shay bread! He took the roast beast!
He cleaned out that icebox so swift and quick.
Why, that Haute even took their last rat-on-a-stick!
Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
“And NOW!” grinned the Demon, “I will stuff up the tree!”
And Haute grabbed the tree, and he started to shove
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and there in his view
Stood little Chloe Diacus who was not more than two.
The Demon had been caught by Sedos’ daughter
Who’d got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at Haute and said, “Sylvanus, why?
Why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?”
But, you know, that old Haute was so smart and so slick.
He thought up a lie, he thought it up quick!
“Why, my sweet little tot” the fake wyvern lied,
“There’s a light on this tree that won’t light on one side.
“So I’m taking it home to my mountain, my dear.
I’ll fix it up there. Then I’ll bring it back here.”
And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
and he got her a drink and he sent her to bed.
And when Chloe Diacus went to bed with her cup,
HE went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!
Then the last thing he took was the log for their fire!
Then he went up the chimney, himself, the old liar.
On their walls he left nothing but hooks and some wire.
And the one speck of food that he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.
Then he did the same thing to the other wood houses
Leaving crumbs much too small for the other field mouses!
It was quarter past dawn… He was ready to depart
All the fools, still a-snooze when he packed up his cart.
Packed it up with their presents! The wrappings!
The gear! And the weapons! The feastings! The trappings!
Three thousand feet up! Back home towards the east
He rode with his load and grinned like a beast.
Pooh-Pooh Terrasylvans! he was haute-ish-ly humming
They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
then the villagers in Woodland will all cry Boo-Hoo!
“That’s a noise” grinned the Demon, “That I simply MUST hear!”
So he paused. And then Haute put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow…
But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry!
He stared down at Woodland! And Haute popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every villager in Woodland, the tall and the small,
was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And then Haute, with his haute-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling… How could it be so?
It came without presents! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then Haute thought of something he hadn’t before!
Maybe Christmas he thought doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
And what happened then…? Well…in Woodland they say
that the Demon’s hard heart refused to see reason that day.
And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
He shrugged off the feeling with an excess of spite.
And he threw down the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he…HE HIMSELF…! The Demon Haute ate the roast beast!
If you liked this year’s story, check out last years, ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.