The Christmas That Santa Arrived In A Submarine


Santa was only a hundred miles from home on his way back from his usual round – the – world trip, when in the sleigh, on his face, he suddenly felt a drip. He looked up into the sky – grey clouds overhead were passing by. On the quayside, it had started to rain. Santa heard the sleigh engine rattle, then stutter again and again. When Santa needed to get home for Christmas dinner, a hatchback wasn’t such a great idea, especially with a very tired, grumpy reindeer. Both of the travellers were hungry and thirsty – they were already late. It was past ten – thirty on Thursday (Santa had been away so long, he’d forgotten the date !). These days, Santa was getting old and he no longer could stand the Winter cold. This year, had been a particularly difficult journey. The road was bumpy and long and the wind blew the sleigh so incredibly strong, all the signposts pointed in a direction that was wrong. Santa longed to be anywhere, doing anything other than taking the reindeer for a ride (as well as getting lost worldwide). All he wanted was a nice, warm bath – not to slide all the way down the garden path. He dreamed of sitting by the fireside, getting merry, munching one of Mrs.Christmas’s mince pies and drinking sherry by the telly.Santa would have gone fishing, as other people do, in a boat, but it had no lifebelt to keep him a float. He would have taken a bus, but the rest of the trip was overseas, on water. “Atishoo !”, Santa sneezed, as into the sleigh jumped a fish. Santa caught her. A bike or a hike would have been so much more easy and wouldn’t have left Santa feeling so queasy. Santa regularly browsed through shop windows for a new, shiny car – perhaps if he was driving a porsche, then his round the globe trip wouldn’t seem so far. He could have taken a helicopter or a hand – glider, in fact, but there wasn’t likely to be enough room for all his Christmas sacks ! He could have taken a taxi, but the fare was probably far too much. He had bought a ticket for the train, but it had slipped out of his clutch. Santa thought again – an aeroplane ! But there wasn’t one handy – so he glanced down … and saw a drain !

Off the cliffs, puffins dived into the surf. Santa saw penguins fishing from the turf. Global warming and an awful of icy storming had raised the tide lots and lots. It was rather alarming how the waves lapped on the shoreside at a rate of twenty knots. Although Santa only had a short way to go, most of it was covered in thick ice and snow. To keep himself trim, Santa decided to swim. From the rockpools, he took a deep breath, then jumped in. In the high seas off the North Pole, Santa came up for air in Eskimo Mo’s fishing hole. “Ships ahoy !”, Santa cried out, dipping and diving, paddling and splashing about. Rudolph the red nose reindeer joined in, too, as above the pair, seagulls squawked and flew. But, Rudolph had never taken swimming classes so he couldn’t do back stroke or front crawl. The closest that he came deep sea diving, was drinking two glasses of lemonade, which left a puddle in the hall ! “Oh ! Christmas fiddlesticks !”, exclaimed Santa, asking the Christmas fairy to help clear up the fanta. What was really needed was a bit of her Christmas magic to make sure, like the dolphins, Santa would soon be performing back – flicks. This was the best way to finish the final part of his Christmas trip – with all the sharks, enjoying a dip.

Suddenly, on the horizon, something appeared, which flashed in the Sunlight and towards them careered. At first, Santa thought it was a whale … or perhaps a pirate’s ship, that off the Antarctic coast, had set sail on his tail. As the vessel came near, Santa recognised it was a submarine, (rather unusual at this time of year !). Through the periscope, the Captain viewed Santa, too, floating around in the waves, so blue. The crew flashed the submarine headlamps and the shipmates waved a flag – trying to rescue Santa (and, moreover, his toy – filled booty bag !). First, the deckhand threw in a buoy, but it POP – ped on landing and off floated a toy … so a raft was now their only seacraft. Santa felt daft – shipwrecked at sea, when everyone else in the world was enjoying Christmas at home with their family !

As around the headland the submarine toured, the crew hauled Santa aboard. They wrapped Santa in a blanket and put him in the warm. Then they all clung on tightly, as approached a storm. A glass of brandy was enough, to make him forget about the seas, so rough. Santa was still shivering from the snow and there was still a mile or so to go. Far away, they could just see the docks, yet the shipmate was still worried about navigating around the rocks. Once Santa was feeling much better, the sailors pointed out the odd letter. He handed each of the sailors a gift, as a thank – you for the lift. There was a new cage for the ship’s parrot and for the chef, a reindeer carrot. A map book for the Captain and a new compass, too, all would come in handy, when around the world, like Santa, they flew. Picking up Santa on the way, meant Christmas was much better than they’d ever expected. He made their dreams come true – what a fantastic treat for all the crew ! Mrs. Christmas, home baking mince pies, could hardly believe her eyes. Seeing Santa park outside the grotto in a submarine, was really quite a surprise !

© Jacqueline Richards 2008
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