The True Story Of Rudolph

The small village called Reindeer Grove was far from anyone and snowed year round. The unusual name was earned by the friendly reindeer that roamed around the village and was soon known as Rudolph to the villagers. In Reindeer Grove, there was one brick street that ran through the houses and shops that made up the village. The first building on the street was Walter Kraft’s barn. He and his granddaughter, Ona, lived there. The next building was the village clock tower with a small gazebo planted beside it. An antique shop, owned by Jacob Miles, sat beside the gazebo. On the opposite side of the street was a red brick house that was home to Tina, James, and Baby Ruby Onder. Jacob Miles’s blue house sat next to the Onder family’s house and was home to Jacob and his two sons, Oliver and Harry. The village church was alongside the Miles’s house and was the meeting place for the villagers on Sundays. The Harness Making shop was next on the street, owned by, and the home to Marc Woods and his daughter Hazel. The only General Store, as well as restaurant in the village, was the Gamekeepers Pub. At times, Mr. Kraft managed the pub along with his barn. The last building on the street was the school house and library run by Mrs. Onder. Mrs. Onder taught the few children in Reindeer Grove and helped the other villagers check out their books from the limited supply the library held. Beyond Reindeer Grove there was a hill, atop the hill was a church. The Church on the Hill was another meeting place for the villagers for the most important of events, such as Christmas.

It was Christmas Eve and the villagers of Reindeer Grove were all out on the street. Little Ona was putting the last Christmas letter in the mail slot while Henry left the school house with his arms full of books he left behind the day before. Mr. Kraft was repairing his wagon and lifting the wheel back into its place. Mr. Woods was sitting in front of his shop, cutting wood for the fire with Mr. Onder on the street, checking the clock tower with his own watch. Near the gazebo, Oliver and Hazel were bringing new antiques to Mr. Miles’s shop while talking. On the street, Mr. Miles stopped to say hello to Mrs. Onder and Baby Ruby as they strolled down the street, Ruby in her blue walking carriage. Behind Mr. Kraft’s barn was Rudolph, grazing on the frozen grass.

Suddenly, Rudolph’s ears perked up and his head lifted, the distinct sound of sleigh bells could be heard as well as a jolly voice bellowing, “Get out of the way! Coming through!”

Everyone except curious Ona leapt off the street. Mr. Kraft pulled Ona off the street as sixteen hooves pounded on the street along with a red sleigh that seemed to be empty. The landing was not graceful and the reins on the reindeer snapped. Stomping their hooves and blowing hot air out of their noses, the reindeer nervously pranced in place. The sleigh had a big sack in the back and a large man in a red suit emerged out of the sleigh.

Ona watched in wonder as the man proceeded in stroking the reindeer’s fur. The jolly man beckoned Ona to come to him.

“Are you Santa?” Ona looked up into Santa’s twinkling eyes.

“I am, and I take it you are Ona?” Santa asked.

Ona nodded, hopeful for an early Christmas present.

“Well Ona, I do have something for you.” Santa went to the sack and pulled out a stuffed bear and gave it to Ona who held it tightly. The other villagers stepped to the sleigh and Santa began to hand out presents to everyone.

Once the presents were distributed, Ona was the first to speak. “Santa? Why did you stop here?”

“Well, that is the thing Ona, I have been having problems with this old sleigh.” Santa replied sadly. “If I don’t fix this, I won’t be able to deliver the rest of the toys!”

“We can help you, right Papa?” Ona looked to her grandfather.

“Well I suppose I could try.” Mr. Kraft stepped closer to the sleigh to examine it. “Looks like your landing gear is broken, correct?”

“That’s right, but without it I won’t be able to land on the houses.” Santa explained.

“I believe it will be easy to fix, let me just get my tools.” Mr. Kraft replied, eager to help.

“I can help fix the reins.” Mr. Woods stepped forward to offer his services and the others followed his example, offering food and supplies for the journey.

“Well, I should stop here more often!” Santa joked as the villagers went to get supplies from their shops and houses.

Finally, Santa was ready to leave Reindeer Grove, his sleigh laden with toys and food. Santa’s large belly was also full of cookies of all kinds. Santa shouted and whistled to the reindeer. “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!”

The reindeer lept into the air, yet the sleigh stayed on the brick street. “We don’t have enough reindeer power!” Santa’s reindeer landed back on the street. Santa was looking dismal as he climbed out of the sleigh, his hat in his hands. “You have all been such a help to me, but I am not sure if I will make it in time for Christmas morning.”

Murmurs started through the villagers and Rudolph appeared on the street. He pranced in front of the other reindeer and seemed to beg to be apart of Santa’s crew.

“Well it seems this young fellow would like to help!” Santa bellowed. “Ona, will you let him come with me?”

Ona was startled and nervously answered, “He is my friend, but I will let him if he really wants to I guess.”

“Thank you Ona, and one last thing, would you like anything else for Christmas?” Santa let Ona climb in the sleigh and whisper her wish into his ear. “I will see what I can do.”

Mr. Kraft helped Ona off the sleigh and the villagers cleared the street after Rudolph was added on the team of reindeer. Once again, Santa bellowed the names of his reindeer along with Rudolph's name and the reindeer lifted off the street with the sleigh and Santa cried, “Merry Christmas and to all a good night!”

Ona whispered her goodbyes and headed to bed along with the rest of the villagers. In the morning, Mr. Kraft and Ona opened their presents and Ona’s last present was a letter that lead her to the front door with its words. Outside was all the reindeer along with Santa. Santa had made Ona’s last wish come true. Rudolph let Ona stroke his head and Ona let Santa come inside to the fire. The morning was filled with cookies, laughter, and snow before Santa and the reindeer left for the North Pole.

That is the true story of Rudolph, without the shining nose and the teasing, but of a little girl who gave up her friend so he could do something more for the world in return for her wish to come true. Ona’s wish was to see Rudolph each year on Christmas and Santa made this journey to Reindeer Grove many more times, keeping his promise to Ona for years and years to come. So if you find that Santa was a bit late, you can imagine he was with Ona and Rudolph in Reindeer Grove.

(Editor's Note: The author is an 8th Grade student at Swan River Middle School and a new Beagle Student Correspondent. Merry Christmas!)


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