The fright before Christmas

Hunting, Fishing and Other Grounds for Divorce, by Jacki Michels, for the Redoubt Reporter

’Twas mere days until Christmas, and I gasped at the house!

There were droppings all over, then, eeeeeek! I spied the mouse!

I know it is Christmas, but I didn’t wanna share

my house with a mouse! Oh I know it ain’t fair.


But I set out a trapline, and baited with care,

In hopes that one little rodent soon would be (trapped) there.

The dog was nestled all snug in her bed,

And when mousey ran by she barely turned her tired head.

The hub was a’snoozing, Worthless the cat, on his lap.

When’s my turn to lie down for my long winter’s nap?


When out on the porch there arose such a clatter.

I sprang from my tasks to see what was the matter.

First was a bark, then a big crash!

To the front door I flew like a flash.


Was greeted with paws and a big wet tongue — splash!

’Twas our neighbor dog, Hunter, a big old Lab fellow.

He was dressed all in wet fur, so damp and so yellow.

To the food bowl he ran, his teeth they did gnash!

Then he sniffed at my pockets, as if looking for cash.

When, what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But that miniature rat and my heart shrank with fear!


I knew in a moment he was up to some trick.

Then, more rapid than beagles, those big doggies they came.

And I whistled, and shouted, and called them odd names.


“Now, Beggar! Now, Shedder! Now, Stroke hound and Woofie!

On, Slobber! On Dog Breath! On, Flatulent and Fluffy!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

They chased not after mousey, but after that stinky old ball.


Then, as moms do before things hit the fan and do fly,

I looked all about, and I started to cry.

“Christmas is coming and there’s too much to do!”

I sobbed while wiping dog poo off my shoe.


And then, in a twinkling, I started to scream.

“I’m done with this whole holiday-ho-ho-ho scheme!

“Forget the festivities and all the Yuletide traditions!

“Skip the whole nonsense; I wanna go fishing!”


Phone the family down in the Lower 48.

Tell ’em forget it! Their gifts will be late!

In fact, tell ’em Christmas is canceled all together,

since Santa’s elves were experiencing another power outage, due to bad weather!


I starting feeling right guilty, like a grouchy, Grinchy, Christmastime thief.

So I turned myself around and dug out the old wreath.

Set out the savior, the wise men, the camels and hay,

and I smiled at the thought of celebrating the day.


As I admired the quaint scene on my china hutch shelf,

Gasp! Out popped ol’ mousey!

And I screamed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

Across the floor he did race, a frightened look on his poor little mouse face.


You see, I’d terribly frightened the little guy.

Now he was hiding, so scared and so shy.

So I fluffed up the hay where Jesus laid his sweet head.

Thus making for mousey, a soft little bed.

I then called out to my friend, so little and furry,

“There’s room at the inn, so no need to worry.”


As I stoked the wood stove and turned out the light

I quietly whispered, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a warm night!”


Grounds for Divorce No. 7,437: Uttering something unflattering about the wife’s garlic chicken while under the mistletoe.

Jacki Michels is a freelance writer, a wife and a mom.


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