‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse … catcher.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that some ribbies would soon be in there;
The kitties were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of tuna treats danced in their heads;
And Jeff in his kerchief, and Aubrey his cap,
We’d just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
Howard sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains (almost!) and stood up on the sash.
The lights on the tree and the carefully placed snow
Gave the lustre of “can’t wait” to the presents below,
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and just four (!) tiny reindeer,
With a little cute driver, so lively and blue,
We knew in a moment it must be Little Huw.
More rapid than kitties his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
Now, Bulldog! now, Kitty! now, Poly and Lora!
It seems for next Christmas, more kitties are in order!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now Aubrey! Dear Aubrey! Oh my, you are tall!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the kitties they flew,
With the sleigh full of ribbies, and little Huw too.
And then, in a twinkling, we heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of that cute little woof.
As Howard drew in his head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney little Huw came with a bound.
He was dressed all in blue fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all perfect, no ashes and soot (… it is Huw, after all);
A bundle of ribbies he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! His curls, oh so merry!
His cheek curls like roses, his nose a blackberry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a ribbie he held tight in his teeth,
And the crumbs they encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
Not chubby or plump, but a right jolly old elf,
And we laughed when we saw him, up there on the shelf;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his paw aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a bark,
And away they all flew like a campfire’s spark.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”
With love from all of us to all of you, wishing you all a very merry Christmas!
Be That Dog!