White Christmas Blues

Posted on December 21, 2010

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Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. I stop suddenly. It wasn’t like that last night. Last night I came in here, walking on nice, hard but normal ground. I cast a glance up at the sky – grey, dreary and threatening. Well fuck that for a game of soldiers I think, as a single solitary snowflake falls on my nose. I shake it away in disgust. You would think it knew. You’d actually think it knew I was going to venture outdoors, expecting to see everything the same as it was last night but no. Oh no. Sometimes Mammy Nature really gives me the hump.

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And what about those idiots in the big house down there? Where are they when the going gets tough? Nowhere to be seen, that’s where! Tucked up in their big beds with their central heating and electric blankets and snoring. Happy Christmas indeed!

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Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. I might as well soldier on, see what’s to be seen a little further afield. Everything’s white. Everything, everywhere, white. What an utterly depressing colour. A car lies abandoned on its roof by the side of the road. There are a couple of orange cones around it. Harrumph! Christmas – a time for cheer, beer and dearest warmth to all. But apparently not the time for clearing scrap metal off the road. Or feeding those in need for that matter. A fat robin lands on my shoulder as I walk and twitters in my ear. But I’m not in the mood for listening so I swish him away. What’s his problem? Theoretically, could he not fly off someplace a bit warmer?

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As I amble along on my way, down closer and closer to the big house, it starts to snow again. Bah bloody humbug. And just as I think maybe I’ll turn back, there, out of the corner of my eye – the good corner – I see her. She’s known to me only as ‘Overcoat and hat girl’ who carries a bucket and talks to me as if I’m a proper human being. And sure enough, she has her overcoat and hat. And a bucket. And…is that a new scarf? Christmas present, well isn’t that nice? Where’s my Christmas present I wonder?

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She saunters along what is normally a tarmac yard but is now covered with three inches of snow. I pick up my pace a little and as she reaches me, she holds the bucket back a moment.

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“Oi!” I say rather indignantly. It’s the game we always play with one another.

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“Hello Coco. Happy Christmas.” She reaches for me but I’m having none of that emotional blackmail malarkey. I back away a bit, looking at the bucket.

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“Oi!” I say again, shaking my head towards it.

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“Oh alright,” she says wearily, “You’re so impatient.” I nod my head in agreement as finally she drops the bucket at her feet and I nose-dive. I stop just as I’m about to hit gold. On top of the food, the lovely molasses covered oats that would melt the heart of a poor hungry horse, there are apples and carrots. And while I’m not much for languages, even I can figure this one out.

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M – E – R – R –Y        C – H – R – I – S – T – M – A – S      C – O – C – O

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I snort as I take my first bite and look back up at her.

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“Sap.” I say, and dig back in.

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*          *                      *          *                      *          *                      *          *

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Anna Hayes

21st December 2010

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Just a wee Christmas story for the season that’s in it. Coco, for anyone who doesn’t know, was my first pony that I got at about 12 and who died a couple of years ago. She was a pet and, if she could have talked would probably have said most of what she says above!

Happy Christmas everybody!

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