Ginny, Jade and Santa
“Truth resides in what, while learning comes from why.”
It was snowing heavily that night at North Pole. Santa had once again braved the weather and arrived back at his home after delivering all the Christmas presents world over. But something was amiss. Elf Victor knew it the very instant Santa disembarked from his sleigh, entrusting his tired but still vibrant reindeer in the hands of his trusted stable manager. But he didn’t ask the elderly saint a question, and just bowed his head and went along with his business of managing the stables. However, it didn’t take long for all the elves to figure out that something was bothering their beloved Santa, as days went by, but the frown on his face didn’t leave.
With almost a month having passed since Christmas, the senior most elf Gloria finally braved her inhibitions and asked Santa, “Dear Saint most noble, what has been bothering you all these days since Christmas?”
Santa heaved a huge sigh and then looked at Gloria, and with tears brimming up his eyes he exclaimed, “I just can’t face Ginny and Jade anymore.”
“But why?” a shocked Gloria asked the revered Saint.
“I fail them every time,” exclaimed an exasperated Santa, “They are the two most lovely kids in this world, who never tell a lie, who never hurt anyone, and who always listen to their elders, and love everybody true from their hearts, and yet I have failed to grant them their wish every Christmas for the last three times.”
“But why can’t you grant them their wish,” Gloria asked innocently, as she wasn’t aware of what Ginny and Jade’s wishes were, “What is it that you can’t provide to them in this whole world?”
“Ginny’s mother and Jade’s father,” Santa replied with tears rolling down his cheeks, “They both lost one of their parents’ when they were still very young, and every year they only ask for one thing that I cannot give them.”
A shocked Gloria covered her mouth with both her hands, “But you can’t grant them that wish, we all know that.” She then paced around the room a couple of times before asking, “So what are you going to do this Christmas?”
“I don’t know, but I am thinking,” Santa spoke stroking his beard, “I might make the trip.”
“To the pearly gates,” Gloria asked, a big frown growing up on her face.
“Only God can help me on this now,” Santa exclaimed throwing away his hands haplessly.
“But you can’t take that journey. It is just too dangerous,” Gloria insisted.
“I don’t have a choice,” Santa replied looking out of his window, glancing at his sleigh.
“But it takes a hundred days to and a hundred days back,” Gloria exclaimed.
“I’ll be right back in time for the next Christmas,” Santa exclaimed.
“But there’s a ferocious beast that guards the way,” the mere thought had terrified Gloria enough to make her grab Santa’s arms to dissuade him from taking the journey, “Please don’t go! They say he devours alive those who dare to make the journey, their souls going directly to the hell. Such ferocious are his eyes they petrify anyone that dares cast a glance upon him. His body grows with the growing fear of his impending victims, and his breath is deadlier that the most poisonous snake.”
“He’s no beast my dearest Elf Gloria, he’s a king cursed to be a werewolf for eternity, by a woman scorned, the one he turned out of his kingdom for witchery upon innocent civilians,” Santa explained to Gloria in reply.
“The evil Witch of the West,” Gloria exclaimed as she reminisced the story Santa had told her once before, “Didn’t she have three daughters with the king, all of whom turned into witches?”
“Yes she had, before the king found out her truth and cast her away as a punishment, the one that the evil Witch took to her heart and laid the spell on the king,” Santa reminded her the rest, “And now together with her three daughters, the Witches of the East, North and South, she controls the beast and patrols the path that stretches between the heaven and earth, along the milky way.”
“Oh dearest Santa, I beg of you, please don’t go on this journey,” Gloria pleaded with him once more.
“I’m afraid, I have no choice,” Santa exclaimed grabbing his coat, hat and bag in a jiffy, and marching out of the room, a crying Gloria pleading with him to change his mind. But he had already made up his mind, and nothing was going to stop him now.
“Where art thou my reindeers?” Santa called out loud as soon as he stepped outside his house, and in a flash came Prancer, Dancer, Donner, Blitzer, Dasher, Vixen, Commet, Cupid and Rudolph, hoping and dancing.
Elf Victor rushed out behind the nine, and was immediately at Santa’s disposal. Gloria immediately asked him to plead with Santa, to not go on the wretched journey, but nothing would deter Santa now that he had made up his mind.
“Oh holy Saint, if you have made your mind to not turn around your sleigh, then please take this magical moss with you,” Elf Victor exclaimed as he extended out a bag full of the reindeer feed, “Feed this to your nine companions once you reach the milky way. It will make their fur impervious to claws and teeth of any evil beast.”
“Thank you my dear friend,” Santa exclaimed as he got ready to take off for his next journey, “They say once a king ordered every man, woman and child in his land to pray only to him, and to no god. He banished the only innocent child who refused to obey his diktat, into the darkest dungeon, without food and water. The kid prayed to god, who spilled his jar of milk, for milk to flow all the way down to the dungeon, to feed the starving child. That milky river still flows out of the heaven, and to the house of that kid, who now lives in a world god made just for him. God asked him that day, if he would like him to take him out of the dungeon right away, but the child refused, saying if he left without the king having realized his mistake, no one will ever believe in God again. For thirty eight days the kid stayed in that dungeon, but the river never dried. So astonished and shaken was the king by the turn of the events, that he fell at the feet of the child, seeking forgiveness. But the kid said that who was he to forgive him, for it wasn’t him that the king had sinned against. And that is when god took the kid away from the dungeon, in a flash, while the king became a hermit to do penance for his sins.” And the Santa looked away and exclaimed as his sleigh took off, “Don’t worry about me, for God will take care of me.”
The nine companions of Santa galloped away as Santa took out his violin and started playing merry tunes, to make light of the journey. On the sixty eighth day they reached the milky river, and that’s when Santa asked his reindeers to stop in their stride.
“This is where the reign of the beast begins,” Santa exclaimed as he pulled out the magical moss from the bag to feed his reindeer, “Here, munch this magical moss for it will protect you from the evil that lurks along these milky river banks.”
A vile growl reverberated in the sky as Santa looked around to take stock of the surrounds. The nine reindeers trembled in fear, but only once. Santa patted them as he looked around before getting back on his sleigh, “Let’s go!”
But the moment the reindeer started to gallop, the beast sprung out of the milky river and straight behind them, growling out loud.
“God speed you,” exclaimed Santa as his reindeer galloped in unison. But the beast followed them, growling viciously. The reindeer looked back at the beast and the sight of his ferocious eyes scared them. Frightened, they sped up. But the more they got scared, the bigger the beast got, and faster he galloped, gaining on them. And the more the beast grew and gained on them, the more the reindeer got frightened. Santa looked back at the beast, and then at his reindeer.
“Do not fear the beast for he cannot harm you,” Santa yelled, but the fear of the beast had clouded their senses, and the reindeer didn’t pay head to a word Santa said.
Finally the beast pounced on the Santa on the sleigh, but the holy halo around the Santa immediately set the beast’s fur on fire, and he couldn’t even touch Santa. The burning beast immediately jumped into the milky river to douse his flames, and the reindeers heaved a sigh of relief. But their joy was short lived, as the beast sprung out of the river, more enraged than ever. His growl was louder and more ferocious, and scared the reindeer even more. The beast galloped to the front and pounced on Prancer, but neither his claws could scratch him, and nor could he sink his teeth into his fur. He then tried to bite Dancer, and then Rudolph, and then the others, but failed to scratch any of them. The reindeer finally started to gain their confidence. At this point Santa started playing a merry melody on his violin that cheered the reindeer up even further, until all their fear was lost and the beast was no bigger than the size of a small dog. Donner immediately picked the beast up on his horns, and threw him playfully up in the air towards the others, and the reindeers started a game play of catch and throw with the beast, as they marched along their way.
“Enough,” finally Santa exclaimed, and Rudolph tossed the beast towards Santa, who immediately opened the mouth of his bag, and the beast got sucked into it. The reindeer gave out a cry of victory as they galloped away.
But unknown to them, the four witches had witnessed the fate of their beast. The four immediately emerged out of shadows laughing hysterically, their evil laugh drowning away the melodies of Santa’s violin.
“You think you are too smart and strong,” the evil witch of the West exclaimed, “But none has ever gone past our way before, and so won’t you.” And with a loud war cry, she let out a magical beam from her wand straight at Santa. Santa however immediately grabbed his own shaft and defended the attack. Not impressed, the evil witch fired a salvo, but Santa defended it all. Seeing their mother fail in her mission enraged the three daughters, and they too joined their mother, and all four of them simultaneously attacked Santa, from four different directions.
Santa immediately closed his eyes and cast a spell that created a magical protection layer all around him, his sleigh and his companions. This layer negotiated all the attacks the four inflicted upon them, and Santa’s journey continued uninterrupted. Their unprecedented failure enraged the four witches as they gathered together to figure out a way to defeat the old man.
“He has got the power of truth and good protecting him. We can’t beat that,” said the wicked witch of the East.
“But such power does not work on innocent beings and inanimate objects,” the wicked witch of the South exclaimed.
“That is so true my sweetest and most evil daughter,” exclaimed the wicked witch of the West with a grin on her face, “And I think I’ve just got the plan to hurt him now. Follow me!”
And the four witches flew away as the mother lead them to an asteroid belt.
“Here lays the mine field that would destroy their train,” exclaimed the wicked witch of the West with a loud evil laugh, “Come; let’s rain meteors on the caravan.”
And the four witches immediately set on casting a spell on the rocks, changing their course to aim at the galloping caravan.
“To make this a success, we will have to be one with the rocks,” exclaimed the wicked Witch of the East, as the four laughed out hysterically, before turning into rocks, and then flying towards the Santa.
“Oh my god, that’s not the way the meteors should be coming,” exclaimed Santa as he saw the approaching meteorite shower.
But the spell cast on the meteors had made their approach so quick and hard, it gave no time to Santa to avoid them. His sleigh ran right into the middle of the rock shower, as pieces of rocks started hitting Santa and his reindeer mercilessly. His protection didn’t work on inanimate objects. He tried in vain to fend off as many as he could by swinging his shaft, but he had been caught unawares and unprepared.
“Quick! Into the milky river,” exclaimed Santa to his reindeer, and they immediately followed his command and galloped straight into the river.
“How do I find them hiding in rocks?” thought Santa to himself, as he caressed his wounds with the milk flowing around him. But tending to his wounds gave him the answer that he needed, “Real rocks don’t bleed!” In a flash he was back on his feet, “Out of the river now.” And the sleigh was back on the path, and the meteorite shower returned too. But this time Santa was ready. He swung his shaft so hard and fast, it started shattering each and every rock piece that dared come near his caravan. Didn’t take too long for him to have hit all four of the witches, who cried out in pain, and Santa found out the rocks that bled.
Santa immediately opened up his bag, and the four mighty rocks that were much bigger than the bag, got sucked into it one by one. And Santa immediately tied the mouth of the bag.
“Hey holy man, please let us go, we plead of you, we are sorry,” pleaded the four witches one by one, as they realized they were now caught.
“Why should I release you, the evil ones,” asked Santa in a roaring voice.
“Please forgive us for our sins you kind man, we promise never to repeat our mistakes again,” exclaimed the wicked witch of the West, “My daughters are bleeding, and so is my husband. Please have mercy on us.”
Santa thought for a moment and then said, “OK! Let me first heal your wounds first.” He then closed his eyes to say a spell, and then exclaimed, “Each one of you will now have a bowl in hand, full of magic porridge, that would heal your wounds.”
“Yes, kind man, yes indeed,” exclaimed the witch as she and her daughters and the beast could be heard eating porridge.
Once they had finished eating porridge, Santa continued, “Let me first release the beast, but not without undoing the wrong that had been done to him.” And then he cast another spell before opening up the bag, and the righteous king emerged out of it.
“Hey kind Saint, how can I ever repay you for your kindness,” the king exclaimed as he knelt down in front of Santa.
“Rise oh king,” exclaimed Santa, “I have not only removed the curse, but from now you will have the power to change into the beast form and back, at will. Continue to use your powers in the service of God, protecting the way to his abode from evil souls, but do not harass the noble that fly past from hence forth.”
“As you command my Saint,” the King exclaimed, once again bowing his head.
“Now let me release your wife and daughters too,” exclaimed Santa.
“What do they mean to me now holy Saint,” however exclaimed the king, “They are evil incarnate. What good will they do for humanity, and why should I forgive them?”
“You should forgive them for forgiving starts a new life, while reliving keeps the war alive,” Santa replied, “Besides; your wife had no choice. She is a fairy who was cursed by an evil witch. And fairies are your daughters too. Let me set them free, like I’ve set you.” And out came four beautiful fairies with magic wands and wings, the prettiest of them all, their mother.
“Hey holy man, how shall we ever repay you for your kindness,” asked the fairy mother with humility.
“Simple; keep doing your job of keeping the way safe for the noble souls,” exclaimed Santa.
All five of them bowed to Santa and flew away, while Santa’s reindeers galloped away towards the Pearly gates.
On the ninetieth day they arrived at the pearly gates, still ten days away from the god’s abode.
“Hey holy Santa, what brings you here?” asked the gatekeeper as he recognized the revered man.
“I need to see god,” replied Santa.
“Yes of course, please carry on,” exclaimed the gatekeeper as he let Santa’s sleigh carry on.
Finally Santa arrived in God’s court.
“Santa, my beloved child, what brings you to your father?” exclaimed God as he opened his arms to embrace his child. But Santa fell on his feet.
“I am not worthy of this honour father, but I am honoured to know that you hold me in such high regards,” exclaimed Santa as he sobbed.
“You are my sweetest,” God exclaimed, “Tell me, what brings you here.”
“I need your permission, to take Jade’s father and Ginny’s mother back to them,” Santa replied, wiping his tears.
“But I never stop anyone,” God exclaimed, “They are all free to leave whenever they want to, and yet no one leaves.”
“But why?” asked a surprised Santa.
“I don’t know,” exclaimed God, “Why don’t you go and ask the two people you came here for, and let them tell you why they don’t go back.”
“But where will I find them?” asked Santa.
“Back where you came from,” God replied with a smile, “They are always there, with Ginny and Jade, all the time.”
A surprised Santa got back on his feet, “Then how come none of us sees them.”
“Because they don’t want anyone to,” God answered, “But this time, I’ll ask them to show themselves to you, to reply to your queries.”
And Santa bowed to the God, and flew back.
On the two hundred day of his journey, Santa was finally back on earth, and at the playground where Jade was playing. And there by the side of the tree he was, Jade’s father, watching his every move. Santa walked beside him, but he didn’t notice. He was lost in watching his son.
“If you love him so much, why don’t you return to him?” Santa asked him, breaking his trance.
“Why should I?” replied Jade’s father, “Now I am there with him all the time, watching him grow, make friends, play, study and grow big and strong. If I go back, I will not be able to be with him even a fraction of this time. I will have to go to work, travel everywhere, and miss all his games, never pick him up from school, or sit by him. Life takes me away from him. But now I am here with him all the time. Why should I miss this beautiful chance of being with him all the time?”
“But what about him?” asked Santa.
“I know it is hard on him,” nodded Jade’s father in agreement, “But then it also makes him a stronger person. Knowing that I am not there makes him take care of himself. He is learning how to stand up for his friends, and how to make good friends. With me around, he will remain weak; something I don’t want to happen.”
And Santa finally realized why Jade’s father didn’t want to go back. He also knew what Ginny’s mother would say, but still went to Ginny’s piano lesson, to catch up with her mother.
“Isn’t she an angel sitting over there?” exclaimed Ginny’s mother to Santa, “Now imagine me at home, preparing dinner for the family; I will miss all this fun. And of course not to mention, with me around I will definitely be her best friend, and then she will never learn how to make good friends with other girls. Every time she wins a competition, I am there to watch her, but she thinks no one is there who feels proud of her. It makes her dissatisfied with her current success, and makes her yearn for bigger glory in search of satisfaction. She is growing up to be a champion. Why would I want to ruin that?”
And Santa wiped away his tears as he left the mother with her daughter. His heart was heavy, but he was satisfied. He now had a gift each to give to Jade and Ginny the upcoming Christmas; a personal letter from Jade’s father and Ginny’s mother.