A Runaway Christmas


12 Days of Cowboy Christmas


A Runaway Christmas

By Ken Hoff

I was feeding my horses
On a Christmas Eve night
When I saw in the distance
A dim glowing red light

This pale light kept coming
’Til I saw the cause
A sick looking reindeer
And old Santa Claus

He looked so dejected
Gone was his Ho! Ho! Ho!
If he asked for a favour
I wouldn’t say “no”

“I’ve got me big troubles,”
Said the not jolly old elf
“My team here is useless
With toys still on the shelf,”

“This here is Rudolph
He’s down with the flu
Dasher has foot-rot
And Dancer has too.”

Prancer has colic
He could even die
Vixen — arthritis
And Comet — pink eye.”

Cupid’s got problems
He just don’t look the same
’Cause he broke off an antler
In a rough reindeer game.”

“These gifts must be delivered
Within a few hours
And there’s poor old Donner
He’s got the scours.”

Blitzen looked listless
His hair all frost-coated
It was then that I noticed
That he must be bloated.

“I wish I could help you,”
I quite sadly said
“I don’t have any reindeer
Just these Thoroughbreds.”

His eyes lit with promise
His mind I could read
“The faster the better
They’re just what I need!”

I said, “They’ve never been harnessed
It’s a sure runaway,”
He said to me sternly,
“Hook them up to the sleigh.”

He climbed up on the seat
Now his safety he’s gamblin’
’Cause this was a wreck
Just waitin’ to happen

They took off like lightning
His choice he’ll regret
’Cause this ride for old Santa
He won’t soon forget

The last thing I saw
Was a swift cloud of snow
And Santa up shouting
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!”

As for the toys
I’m not sure where they went
But I know they got scattered
Broken and bent

Some say he passed Steep Rock
Flying quite low
As he yelled, “Merry Christmas!
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!”

So that is my story
And I’m sticking to it
But I’m hoping that next year
His reindeer can do it.

Ken Hoff is a rancher who, along with his family, has a big outfit (Tri Bar Ranch) covering Peonan Point on Lake Manitoba. Since the flood of 2011, Ken and his wife moved across the lake to Steep Rock, (“It was either that or raise our house by eight feet,” he said.) But even from there it’s still 20 miles to the nearest post office, and we’re sure glad he made the drive to mail us his poem. Merry Christmas, everyone!