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The Night the Mules Saved Christmas

Not many years have passed since Santa did come, high o’er the plains of Saskatchewan
Crossed from Alberta and into the States—when a nor’easter caught him in a whirl of snowflakes.

The air pressure dropped and the sleigh it did plunge—crashed midst the wilds of the Shining Mountains.
The reindeer spiraled and gallantry strove, lifting the sleigh from the wreckage they dove
Down to the valley from the storm to find shelter, but poor Santa was left with the gifts helter-skelter.

He rose on shaky legs peering about, and in the white darkness confronted the snout
Of a tawny fat mule fit to be tied by this red fluffy elf man stroking his hide.
The creature bellowed and whistled and clattered ‘till cussing, the boss came to see what was the matter.

Quickly deducing the sad situation, he kindly invited Clause in for a ration
Of cowboy coffee and cornbread off the stove. “I’d lend you ma’ truck, but the transmissions’ froze…”
He pondered, “seems the fastest way to get you below is to take my saddle horse n’ mules.” and so

They gathered the presents and packed ‘em up good while the mules in tandem quietly stood.
Content to cooperate on this special night, they wheezed and warbled and crooned their delight.

The mule skinner grinned as he saddled old Ted, “my canaries, now, they’ll make up fer yer sled.”
“When ya catch up to yer outfit, just let the stock go. They’ll find there way back- then again, maybe no.”
The Old-timer winked and slapped the lead rump, and Santa was off with a lurch and a bump.

Careful, steady, surefooted their descent. Cross the Bob Marshall, down the Swan Range they went.
St. Nick he held tightly the lantern and saddle, and gave Ted his head and his trust for the battle.

Sure enough, by the lights of Big Fork they found the sleigh with the reindeer nosing the ground
For the last of the birdseed they’d knocked from the feeders on the manicured lawns of the condos. Now readers,

If you believe this, you’re in good company along with the Mayor who called up to see
Who in tarnation these mules belonged to, who’d torn up the town, and who they should sue.
But the Old-timer laughed as this story he related, “The Mules save Christmas—they should be Celebrated!”

© 2013, Molly E. Wilson, All Rights Reserved
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's  permission.


© 2013, Molly E. Wilson; please request permission for reproduction


   About Molly E. Wilson
provided 2013

Molly Wilson lives in Highwood, Montana, with her wonderful husband Peter and 3 children, Tobias, Hosanna, and Salem. She loves being a mother and wife, and is committed to the art of home-making. Molly is also a fiddle player and singer, and has a small flock of milk goats.

Visit the family website/blog at



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