The sky is too gray
to see a hint of the dawn
this Christmas morning.
Slush and snow and wind are here --
those three kings still visiting.
And, as usual on Christmas afternoon, I am bored.
So I've been reading various odds and ends, like an old Scottish folk story about a group of animals who all found that they were going to be killed during the yule season.
First, was a sheep. Hearing that it was due to be the Christmas mutton, it ran off and ran into a bull. The bull found out it was to be the Christmas beef. The two decided to head off together and found a goose, a dog, a cat and a rooster all equally fated to not see in the New Years.
They found a hut in the back country, deep in the snow, where a group of bandits had holed up to split their takings. Calling out all at once, they frightened the bandits out of the house. Going inside (for this was cast in a time where the barn and the house were actually under the same roof, the creatures all took up comfortable stations, the cat in the candlebox, the sheep in the middle of the room, the dog by the fire, the bull near the door, and so on.
One of the bandits snuck back in trying to find out what had happened, and reached for a candle, and got clawed by the cat, When he tried to light it, the dog dipped his tail into the water bucket and sprinkled water on it so it wouldn't light. He was harrassed by the bull, the sheep and the goose and rooster, too, and ran out into the snow to join his brothers in crime.
When they asked him what had happened, the bandit said, "Oh, it went badly. "when I went to the candlebox, there was a man there who thrust ten knives into my hand; and when I went to the fireside to light the candle, there was a big black man lying there, who was sprinkling water on it to put it out; and when I tried to go out, there was a big man in the middle of the floor, who gave me a shove; and another man behind the door who pushed me out; and there was a little brat on the loft calling out CUIR-ANEES-AN-SHAW-AY-S-FONI-MI-HAYN-DA--(what the crowing of the rooster sounded like to him in Gaelic, which means -Send him up here and I'll do for him); and there was a GREE-AS-ICH-E, shoemaker, out on the midden (the spot the goose chose), belabouring me about the shanks with his apron."
The bandits gave up, and went out to look for easier pickings, but the animals, counting up the loot, found they had a tidy sum of money, and were able to live comfortably to the end of their days, and they never ever had to be anybody's Christmas dinner.
May your day work out as well as those animals, and may all the bad guys who bug you today fair as poorly.