The Christmas That Santa’s Reindeer Ran Away


Santa’s reindeer was as sick as a parrot – he’d only meant to be going out for an afternoon stroll with Gerome the gnome and ended up on the trail of a juicy carrot ! He popped out into the snow to see if he could find one or not, but didn’t find an awful lot (and anyway, he preferred carrots served hot !). The pair wandered towards town and the biggest supermarket, wondering if there was enough room in the boot of the sleigh (and could he find a place to park it !). In the fruit and vegetable stall, Gerome the gnome did find some succulent parnsips and tasty looking turnips, apricots but no carrots. He only wished he’d brought another elf – to check for carrots on the highest shelf ! There were grapefruits and ginger roots … gherkins and pumpkins … beetroot and passion fruit … melons and damsons … berries and cherries … nectarines and french beans .. aubergines as well as some of the biggest tangerines ever seen … pots and pots of potatoes … oranges right upto the gnome’s nose. There were apples and pears, grapes and peaches in pairs – but no carrots whatsoever ! He asked the supermarket manager if they were expecting another cargo supply – he replied it probably would be never ! (and to come back on Saturday). Although he stretched as high as he could, it was still no good – he was five inches too small and the trolley was at least three feet tall. He’d have to buy a lettuce, instead !

None of the wonderful things to eat were on Gerome the gnome’s list of shopping (as well as shaving foam !). Anyway, he probably couldn’t remember them all without stopping ! Gerome the gnome did juggle one or two, but had little success without a few of them dropping. Some of the supermarket cleaners cheered and applauded as they were mopping ! On top of the gnome’s trolley, there was a peach he couldn’t reach (though he tried to knock it with his brolley, there wasn’t one each). “Golly gosh !”, by now Santa’s reindeer really needed some nosh ! “It’s time to go home”, said Gerome the gnome (still without a carrot for the reindeer to take home as a souvenir of their roam).

Suddenly, a huff of icy, North wind puffed and supermarket trolley sped off ! Just in case they accidentally began to alight, “Hang on tight!”, cried Gerome the gnome, thinking this would be a much quicker way to get home ! The supermarket trolley carrying them headed off towards the wood – so all that Santa could see when he came to look for them were footpints in the mud. When Mrs. Christmas looked out of the windowsill, she could only just about see a reindeer tail as it ran over the hill. All the way, it was plain sailing, downhill. The trolley made it around the bend without the engine failing. Leaving a route of squashed strawberries behind them trailing, the supermarket trolley narrowly missed hitting the railing ! The reindeer ran so fast, it had reached the other side of town by ten – past. A passer – by told them that the Frosty the snowman’s farm had cheap carrots – and neither of them wanted to be last ! (luckily a gust gave the trolley another supersonic blast !). Speedier than an aeroplane, the supermarket trolley cut across the fields just like a railway train ! (needless to say, the reindeer was feeling hungry again !).

At the nearby farm, carrots were being sold with a ten per cent discount. So Santa’s gnome, Gerome rummaged in his booty bag for his wallet and they decided to dismount ! In one bag alone, there were more carrots than Rudolph could count. What a surprise ! Santa’s reindeer couldn’t believe his eyes – so many carrots he could hardly see the skies ! In the farmyard, carrots were piled up high in a heap – all of them incredibly cheap ! There were long ones and short ones … fat and one like a cricket bat … thin and thick … Rudolph gave one a lick, then ate so many he was sick ! They bought as many sacks as they could carry – and asked if the farmer had a tractor that they could borrow. Then they added another two sacks, that Gerome the gnome said they’d pick up tomorrow ! Just to remind them, they dropped a trail of carrots behind them. Luckily the robin redbreast showed the pair the way back to the farm house because, of course, the next day, the carrots had disappeared, just as they feared (either that or the supermarket trolley had been wrongly steered !).


© Jacqueline Richards 2008


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