(Author: Daphne Doward Hogstrom)
Noni, could fly faster and farther than any other reindeer at The North Pole, but she was never allowed to pull Santa’s sleigh.
“You are too small,” Santa told her. “I need big, strong deer to haul my heavy load. You stay at home and guard the stable, day by day.”
But, it was lonely guarding the reindeer stable every day. Most of the time, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blitzen were off in the fields and forest,
running and jumping and getting ready for their Christmas Eve ride.
And, of course, on Christmas Eve itself, they flew through the sky with Santa’s sack.
“Surely, I can help Santa, too,” thought Noni, one specially lonely Christmas when even her friends, the stable mice, had left her to sleep together in the warm soft straw.
“If I cannot help pull Santa’s sleigh, then perhaps i can help fill it!” She tough. “I will fly to the farthest corners of the world and find new a wonderful toys for the girls and boys.”
“And, on the very first day after Christmas, true to her word, off she went to the four wide ends of the hearth!”
“Good!” Said santa, when Noni found a little wooden clown that turned and thumbed and stood upon his head in a hoop.
“Great!” Said Santa when she found a tiny China chicken that squalled and squawked and laid a china egg.
“Grand!” Said Santa, when she discovered a big silver robot -who walked and talked and stared with fiery eyes!
In the farthest nooks and crannies of the world, Noni found more and more wonderful toys.
“Marvellous!” Said Santa, when a Queen in a faraway castle gave a teddy bear that balanced on a string.
“Tremendous!” Said Santa, when a Prince in a far -distant Kingdom gave a calico cat that swung upon a swing.
“Terrific!” Cried Santa, when a King in a palace on a pinnate gave a painted horse that pranced around a ring.
All year long, Noni found more and more for Santa’s sack.
She found little tin trains that puffed and whistled.
She found little tin plane that flit and flew.
She found a fire engine with ever -ready water, and toys box with ninety five toys.
She found paints made with colours from the rainbow, and a book brushed with stardust and dew.
She found a flute that played tunes forever, and crystal ball that showed the sun and the moon.
Finally, on a faraway mountain in a meadow -she found a magician making dolls that dancing and sang!
“Perfect!” Cried Santa at last, on Christmas Eve. “But my sack is filled to overflowing, so I’ll need you help to guard my hevy load!”
And, almost faster than Noni could fly -he hitched her up behind his waiting sleigh!
“Please, watch out and warn for falling toys,” he called, as he climbed to his seat beside the sack,
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen flew happily at the front of Santa’s sleigh, steering they way trough the stars.
But Noni flew happily at the back of Santa’s sleigh, watching for dolls that might tumble through the darkness, of for clowns that might topple through the clouds.
“I’ll never be lonely again,” she said -thin King of all the toys she would find her next Christmas, too!