Nick’s Christmas Special!

by pjmcbride

I heard a splintering crash, and looked out my front door to see Nick with a fully-decorated Christmas tree in his teeth, shaking it back and forth savagely.

“What are you doing?” I demanded. “And why?”

He dropped it, and stared at me with baleful green eyes. “Waging war on Christmas, obviously.”

“Where did you get that?”

“From my living room.”

“Does your owner know?”

“Obviously not. She’s at work. But She’ll be back soon. That’s why I flew over here.”

“You’ll be in trouble when She finds out.”

“I think not. She always runs out of switches by this time of year. Of course, Santa will bring more on Thursday. But I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it. Or I would, if you’d let me breathe fire.” He glared at me. “Why are you looking at me like that? Next you’ll be telling me Santa isn’t real.”

I decided not to tell him that the police department actually issues the annual supply of switches at the end of the year.

“I wish Santa would bring me lumps of coal instead. Those would be nice and crunchy.” His eyes narrowed. “I should go after Santa, too. But the North Pole is too far away to fly to. I’ll just have to wait..” He grabs hold of the Christmas tree trunk and clamps down, crunching the trunk as if it were, well, a chunk of coal.

“Would you mind telling me what this is all about?”

“Would I mind? Hmm, I’m not sure…”

“Just tell me.” (It always works better if I don’t give him options.)

He sat up. A strand of tinsel was dangling from his ear, making him look less solemn than he doubtless intended. “OK. She was at work, and I finally got tired of looking in the mirror, so I went to look at the TV–” {his owner leaves it on for him while she’s gone, so he’s less likely to get bored and shred the toilet paper, etc.} “–and there was this documentary on about how the Grinch stole Christmas.”

“I’m familiar with it, yes.”

“You are? Then why did you never warn me? You’re supposed to protect me!!” He was getting squeaky-voiced, as he does under stress.

“Well, I last saw it years ago, so you’ll have to tell me.”

He lays his ears back, causing the tinsel to slide off. “The dispatcher training budget leaves something to be desired.”

“As I said, you’ll have to tell me.”

“OK, OK. Now this Grinch had some good ideas. I’ll vote for him if he runs for office–unless Smaug decides to run, of course. But do you remember what they ended up doing in Whoville? What they had for Christmas dinner??” He was getting squeaky-voiced again. I knew better than to mention that beasts don’t have the right to vote.

“They had…”

“Roast beast!! A barbaric custom!! Don’t they know that we’re almost as smart as a human, and have feelings and stuff, and feel pain just like–”

“Shh, shh…” He was trembling violently. Against my better judgement, I reached out and gently ruffled his topknot–the fur was surprisingly fine and soft–and his eyes slowly closed.

“Let me think. I seem to remember someone else who tried roast beast–” he flinched at the very words–“and it didn’t work out well for them. Hmm..I remember! Have you ever heard of ‘Hotel California’?”

“Hm, I don’t think I’ve ever stayed there…Is it in flying distance?”

“No, but I thought you might have seen the documentary on YouTube.”

“No, She won’t let me watch YouTube without supervision.”

“Well, it said, ‘They stabbed it with their steely knives, but they could not kill the beast’! There! They couldn’t kill it! You have nothing to worry about!”

“That sounds good–but, but what about the steely knives?”

“No! You’re covered with scales! The knives would slide right off!”

“That’s true! Except…I had those loose scales last year at this time–” He curved his long neck around to look at his belly, down near–well, near the area that makes it obvious that this particular beast is a male. “No, it looks like they reattached those nice and snug.” He beams. “This is the best Christmas ever! You improved my morale!”

“Excellent. Now fly away home. She’ll be home from work soon.”

“OK. Oh–do you have a Christmas tree I could borrow? Mine is, you know…”

“Sorry, no. You’ll just have to take responsibility for your actions.”

“I’m so tired of hearing that. The next sentence is always something about actions having consequences. I don’t like consequences.”

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you there.”

“You’ll think of something.” He crouches down, springs into the air, and gracefully flies away. Leaving a shredded evergreen in my yard.

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