The Homestead carrot crop could not be defined as robust at this point in time. Despite the tops being green, lush and full of promise, there’s not a lot of substance under the earth and what is there we weren’t keen to share with that carrot glutton, Rudolf.
“But,” Farm Girl’s voice quivered as she looked up from pouring Santa’s obligatory shot glass of Geraldine milk, “we HAVE to leave a carrot for the reindeer; they EXPECT it!”
Who can blame us for getting a tad inventive in the face of such logic and in the interests of future carrot cake? Actually, there’s a large number of folk would. Dishonest, they call it; lying to your children. Our thoughts? There’s a fine line between magic and deception and at the end of the day it all comes down to intent. That and the belief that life would be pretty boring without a bit of pixie dust.
But, back to the story. Some of us were all for uprooting a dozen or so infant carrots in the interests of sleigh power, one eulogised the reindeer’s hitherto unknown delight in the courgette (our current glut crop), and another was doing that eye-rolling, sighing thing that has been known to lead to brutally truthful outbursts…Danger! Danger! Code Red-and-Green!
A collective, “Huh?”
“Hay! Reindeer eat it. In fact, it’s probably just what they’d fancy after a night of guzzling carrots. And there’s room in the paddock for them to have a bit of a rest and stuff…umm…if that’s okay with Geraldine, Leia and Ruby…”
That was all that was needed. Farm Girl fled down the path to ask our goat-girls permission to invite nine (as far as we could recall) flying reindeer to a midnight feast and before we knew it, the advisory letter had been written, extra hay had been crammed into the feeder, and the logistics of bringing the sleigh in over the gates to land in the driveway without damage to livestock, the Homestead Mobiles or Santa himself pondered.
In the morning, there was a very odd gift under the Homestead tree: a raggedy slice of ribbon bedecked hay. The accompanying card thanked us all very much for allowing the reindeer a bit of well-earned time out and some tasty hay (much easier on their digestive systems and thus much appreciated by Santa) in the company of our lovely goats (Rudolf was particularly enamoured with Leia). By happy coincidence, the Homestead is well sited for present distribution so Santa took advantage of the secure off-road parking and stretched his legs for a bit.
The moment the last present was opened, Farm Girl was belting down the path again, in pjs and gumboots, to report in with the goats while the rest of us shared a goofy grin.
Lying? Pah! The carrots get to reach maturity, a bit of last minute secret Santa time was bought, the goats got some extra rations, and Leia is feeling pretty good about herself.
We call that the magic of Christmas.