Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Paddler’s “Night Before Christmas”

T’was the night before Christmas, and out on the water,
Not a creature was stirring, not even an otter.

The dry bags were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would drop paddling stuff there.

The boaters were nestled all snug in their beds,
With visions of paddling gear dancing in their heads.

And Mama in her pogies, and I in my cap,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the river there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the water looked the whiteness of snow,
It shone like mid-day on the river below.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a big red canoe without a single reindeer.

With a little old paddler, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Off the river and into the air he did fly,
In a beautiful silhouette against the night sky.

More rapid than eagles to the housetop he flew,
The canoe full of toys and St. Nicholas too.

And then from the roof-top there came a great sound,
The sound of a canoe running aground.

As I grimaced at the noise thinking there must be a hole,
Down the chimney came St. Nick and he snapped up with a roll.

He was dressed in a drysuit from his head to his foot,
And the gortex was tarnished with ashes and soot.

A drybag of gear he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a paddler as he opened his pack.

But his eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
As he stopped for a swig of his Sailor Jerry.

He was a happy old paddler, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
After filling the drybags he turned with a jerk.

Then laying a finger aside of his nose,
A brace he did do, and up the chimney he rose.

He sprang into his canoe and with a blow of his whistle,
He shot off the roof like water-borne missile.

But I heard him exclaim, as he paddled out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night”. 

Based on a Kayaker's Night Before Christmas by Terry Gowler, Mount Vernon, WA

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You actually saw him and got a photo. Cool!