The Aussie Christmas Tale (Part 2)
Jack Frost is in Arthur’s cab looking for “six white boomers” to pull Santa’s sleigh.
Please enjoy and share with all the children you can!
It’s our gift to you for Christmas!
Les and Trudi
Heartland Retreat, Queensland, Australia.
The days quickly sped by as they sought assistance throughout the Bush.
From Oodnadatta to Milparinga they met with stubborn refusal from kangaroo after kangaroo.
“I couldn’t work on a Public Holiday!”.
“I’d need triple time and a half, at least!”.
“My wife wouldn’t let me do it!”.
“Sorry, I’ve got RSI”.
“My religion forbids me to work that evening”.
“Oops, that’s my only day off!”.
“Has this been cleared with the Union?”.
“Don’t give me this! No-one believes in Santa Claus anymore!”.
Finally, the time was up: it was December 24. Jack was totally dejected. Arthur was dejected, too: he was worried about who was going to pay the amount on the meter!
“There’s nothing for it!” exclaimed Jack. “We’ll have to ferry Santa around in the cab!”.Arthur didn’t believe what he was hearing! But then he hadn’t believed any of the last eight days. He gripped the wheel apprehensively. Jack touched the top of his hat (the bit with the bell) with his two index fingertips and murmured a strange incantation……
”hrtg nert seme vig!”.
Suddenly, the taxi rose effortlessly into the air and swung toward the north! Arthur could feel the wind rushing through the vents as the vehicle sped noiselessly toward the Gulf of Carpentaria! Over the Alice, across Mt Isa……onward it swiftly flew! Seemingly, in no time at all it landed on the soft, white sands of the Cape.
Arthur sat rigid in the front seat, totally still, still in utter shock. Jack was out of the cab in the wink of an eye and was scanning the skies……
Slowly the sun sank and the vast canopy of stars blinked on, one after the other, in a glittering show of spectacular beauty that it had performed daily for aeons past.
The soft darkness of evening gently fell over northern Australia……
“Tinkle tinkle! Tinkle tinkle!”
Both Arthur and Jack heard the unmistakeable sounds of jangling bells in the distance. Gradually the sound rose louder and louder…… until a sweeping sleigh of lights could be seen flashing through the night sky!
Within seconds, Santa sat in his sleigh alongside the taxi, peering in the window with a benevolent smile on his face.
“No six white boomers, eh?” he asked Jack.
“Afraid not!” replied Jack, awkwardly.
“That’s it, guys!” screamed a very red-nosed Rudolph behind them.
“This is as far as we go, the end of the line! Reindeers’ unite!”.
The reindeer shuffled hesitatingly in the sand. Their embarrassment was obvious, even to Arthur. Still none of them were willing to break rank with Rudolph. Santa Claus and Jack transferred all the presents from the sleigh to the backseat and boot of Arthur’s cab. Amazingly, no matter how much was stowed inside the vehicle there was always room for more……and, finally, even for Santa himself!
Jack strapped himself into the front.
Arthur tried, without success, to get a grip on reality.
Silently the taxi rose into the tropical Queensland sky and gracefully swung its front bumper bar in the direction of Cairns……..
Soon it was heading toward Townsville, stopping at every homestead and dwelling to deliver the meaning of Christmas ……..then on the car swept……. Mackay……..Rockhampton……….Bundaberg………….Gympie ……….Brisbane……….Grafton………
It was between Brisbane and Grafton that a small red wallaby, looking up into the starlight, caught sight of Santa sitting in the backseat of Arthur’s cab.
“Santa!” cried the small wallaby “You’ve come without your sleigh!”.
“No-one would pull it for me!” cried Santa in reply.
“No-one asked ME!” replied the gallant little animal. “I’d have proudly done it!”. A tear came to Santa’s eyes.
“Please turn the car, Arthur!” whispered Santa “Let’s harness the kind little fellow to the bonnet!”.
And so it was done. Sleigh bells jangled as they once more took to the skies; and the small red wallaby proudly pounded the clouds as he pulled the taxi through the air. Soon the red wallaby was joined by a grey kangaroo……..then a Giant Red……….then an Emu……..then a platypus!!
“Make sure the red wallaby always leads, please Arthur!” smiled
Santa as Arthur would dutifully harness each new animal to the front of the cab.
Coffs Harbour……..Port Macquarie………Newcastle……….Sydney ………. Canberra………. Albury…….. Melbourne………. Bendigo……….. Launceston………..Hobart………….Adelaide……….. between each city and town the animals eagerly congregated, each awaiting their chance to join Santa’s entourage.
Soon the Sleigh Team stretched for kilometers in front of the taxi ……..troops of wallabies, divisions of kangaroos, phalanx of emus, companies of bilbys, garrisons of echidnas, small knots of platypus, large gatherings of possums, wild wanderings of wombats……..and out the front, always, the one small, proud red wallaby.
Leaving Mount Gambier the entourage had barely gotten clear of the ground when a single camel called out across the still night air……
“Let me join you Santa! I know the way across the desert!”.
“Oh dear!” replied Santa “We don’t really have time to stop!
There’s so many more presents to give , so many more places to visit!”.
But stop they did.
And that’s when it happened!
They had just harnessed up the camel and leapt back up into the sky when, without warning, the taxi lurched to the side, spun in the air a dozen times or more and then fell to the ground with a thundering crash!
It was the camel that had finally broken the taxi’s back!
Santa was distraught! So was Jack Frost! So was Arthur!
“Now we’ll never get to Perth!” sighed Santa as he surveyed the wreckage all around him. The desert was littered with presents and gifts. The taxi was a write-off.
Suddenly, they all heard it…….all looked up…….all watched with wonderment!
First: the sound……”Tinkle tinkle! Tinkle tinkle!”.
Then: the view…….. a thousand little lights weaving their way across the sky, shining and sparkling as they rapidly approached!
And then they were there: Santa’s reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh!
Blitzen was in the lead!
“We sacked our Union Leader!” explained Blitzen, proudly.
“The strike’s off! We’re back to work!”.
Within minutes all the presents had been gathered up, re-wrapped and packed back into the sleigh. Then Santa took his normal place with Jack right behind and Arthur in pride of place beside the grand Old Man.
All the animals were harnessed to the sleigh behind the reindeer – except for the small red wallaby. He proudly took the lead in front of Blitzen!
Majestically, the sleigh and its attendant flock of Aussie followers rose into the night sky and charted a course for Perth……….
It was late morning before Arthur woke up. The sun was blazing through the windows. And he’d had the strangest dream ever! But that was last night – today he had a cab to drive! Picking up his keys, he left the house and entered his garage….his beloved taxi was gone!
There, in its place, stood a shining new vehicle…….and next to it stood a very large, very red and very shiny sleigh!
Arthur edged over to the backdoor and peered nervously out into the yard. Nothing. Nothing that is except ………one very small, very red wallaby nibbling the grass. It stopped and gently looked at him…… and then it winked!