Zen’s Night before Christmas 2022

Zen’s 8th Annual

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, Teary causing a ruckus, she being the the smallest and youngest,

Rhey and Dennis, Limpy and Red, had all headed out to check out the Pit’s Christmas spread.

She wanted to go, that small coyote did, she too was part of the pack, no longer a kid

But Limpy has told her she had to stay home, she had her own young one that shouldn’t be left alone

Teary pouted and replied in a hurry; but mama’s home too, so there should be not a worry

Rhey looked to her smallest of sisters , a plan was a turning , she would come up with something just to twist papa’s knickers

Maybe Mama and Ringo should just come along , after all , she said, it is Christmas eve and there is Santa’s sled

All across Zen, the winds were chill and the snow fall was swirling

Quietly all the kids of the wild were making their way to the homestead, seems Everyone was a stirring

Ma at her wheel spinning and I had been tending the fire when we heard somewhere outside there came jingling and a glimpse of the reindeer fliers

A knocking and a “Hello the house” had me turn and roll my eyes at my spouse

The jolly ole elf was back once again , at this point I simply shrugged ,I spose I shouldn’t complain

Getting up from the floor, just in front of the fire, I stumbled just once spreading my arms like a man on a tightwire

Catching myself , I ran to the door, well, I made it to the table, clutching the handle of the drawer

Santa grinned and waved through the glass , I held up a finger, waving , one moment please, I’m trying to stay off my …..

Mr. Bowl full of Jelly let himself in, waving to Ma and tossed me a tin

Throwing out my arms I slid to the floor, being showered with chocolate covered liqueurs

Standing , and clearing my eyes I what should see; Santa trying on shawls, he and Ma chatting about spinning and knitting and their favorite teas

The old elf, he oohs and he ahhs over Ma’s fine spinning, just the ghosts of fibers he adjusted his glasses, he just stood there a grinning

Just outside I could hear shuffling and scratching , where I saw the coyote kids standing , once again there Dennis was lagging

Teary and Ringo pounced towards the door, overly excited their wet noses spread slobber and puppy snot galore

I look to the glass, covered in goo, raising one eyebrow, Rhey grin while mouthing ” Boo Hoo “

Quickly opening the door to scold that pup when the herd of furry carolers burst in knocking me back on my butt

Dennis, slowly padded in, he cocked his head, nodded and gave me a grin

To the stove and Santa they ran, they made such a clatter, tea cups went flying , landing with the obvious splatter

The jolly old elf so spry , nimble and quick, found himself on the floor ,just a big ole fuzzy pup lick

As quick as they came they left like a bolt of blue lightning, off to the sleigh the pack dashed, it was a little bit frightening

Comet stood calmly waiting, here the beasties flew toward him like the wind with a stamp of a hoof they all sat down quickly looking chagrinned

Our Girl fainted , another doe cooed, a few other does whistled , Rhey quietly booed .

Ringo looked out from a bag full of toys, he had snuck so softly all distracted by noise

Slipping under Santa’s sleigh’s seat, he curled up tightly and was soon fast asleep

Back inside Santa was trying on a mitten , Ma had spun and knitted them for the elf to keep his chubby fingers from getting frostbitten

Putting a finger aside of his nose, Santa nodded towards my office for yet another of our annual shows

He look to the Fender, Gibson and Gretsch choosing one he spread out his fingers , starting to stretch

I grab up my tele with care , the ole elf striking cords with that Kris Kringley flare

Rolling my eyes, and I smile, it’d be nice if he brought his own axe, every once in a while

It seem just a moment in time, we had play until the reindeer’s first chime

The jolly ole elf made his way to hug Ma, then wave one last time and parted the house to hear the outdoor Hurrah

Deer and elk, bear, coyote and wolves, cougar and bobcat as well as the owls, the cacas and all

All of the Zen kids gathered , quietly waiting, when Rudolf turned on the glow, now that was enlightening

Packages were passed around in anticipation and with care there were so many presents , even a box of mouses for Dennis to share

All too soon it was time for Santa to fly , it had been another fine Christmas, but it was time for good byes

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Christmas Eve party

The kids , all gathered, waved to Santa as he flew on the wind, several began to chatter with their friends about what wonderful new gifts they had received.

Dennis poked at his box full of mouses, giggling when he saw one little rodent poke his hand out of the slat, waving him closer. The mouse popped his hand back inside, motioning Dennis closer yet. His nose pressed to the box , his eye peering into the dark when a little fist sprang from the hole, smacking his nose and grabbed his whiskers and pulled. With a yelp, Dennis leap back, a confused look on his face, Rhey burst out laughing.

Teary, Mama and Red suddenly spin to one another, eyes wide open and jaws agape.

” Where did Ringo go off to?”

Rhey smirked,” Last I saw, he had crawled into Santa’s sleigh.”

” Wait, What?!?” Mama cried out. ” You didn’t tell anyone?”

” Ummm… That was me just now saying; ‘ Last I saw, he had crawled into Santa’s sleigh.’ ” Rhey murmured under her breath.

Limpy looked away and snorted. Mama coyote looked to him, her face stern.

” What? I didn’t know the little freak had gone off adventuring.” Limpy grumped.

” That little freak is your grandbaby.” Mama said, glaring.

” Hey!” Teary huffed.

” Seriously Little sister, your boy is destined to be another Dennis.” Rhey laughed. They all turn to watch Dennis arguing with his box.

Teary watched her older brother, then look to Red. Red shrugged, giving her sister a compassionate look.

” Ok..Fine…Maybe having Dennis babysit was ill advised .”

” Hey, I just said he was available , I never said I would leave my young with him, That boy is whacked.” Rhey chimed in.

” Not helpful Rhey. So what do we do now?” Teary sighed.

” It’s friggin Santa Teary. Either he will bring him back tomorrow or he’ll fit him for a wee cap and hammer and put the boy to work making toys.” Rhey grinned.

” You just don’t do comforting do you Rhey?” Red said, the corner of her mouth showing the signs of a grin.

Rhey shrugged , padding off to see what Dennis had against a cardboard box.

” Pardon me.” came a voice from behind Mama.

” Oh Hi Our Girl. What can we do for you?” Mama asked.

The few does as well as the pack all turn slowly when they heard Limpy licking his chops.

” Really? Really Limpy?” Mama asked

” What? It’s a compliment. She smell delicious. ” He replied

” How would you like me to refresh that limp for you ?” Our Girl asked, with a tight lipped smile.

” Yeah, ok, whatever. Freakin no one can take a compliment anymore. Everybody gets offended by every flipping thing anymore.” Limpy grumped as he walked off. ” It’s not PC to say ‘ nice hams’….whatever…. Back in my day..” his voice trailing off .

Mama and Our Girl looked at each other, suddenly bursting into laughter.

” So… I imagine Ringo must not have gotten back out of the sleigh. He had curled up under Santa’s seat. I am sure Santa will figure it out before long though Ringo will probably be helping deliver toys tonight. I am sure he’ll be back home in time for breakfast.”

Out of the distance they could hear Limpy’s reply,” Like to have you over for breakfast in the morning.”

” Don’t mind him. He’s just old and crotchety anymore.. ” Mama said

” Oh I don’t mind. I know he knows enough to behave around Ma’s house…..and I imagine he still has a nice tattoo on his hip from our last encounter.”

Mama grin softly.

Teary sighed. ” Well… I guess Santa’s babysitting unanticipated Girls night out!” she said with a giggle.

Rhey came back over. ” Party time?”

” Well, the kids are all tucked away, or on their way home to wait for tomorrow. The men folk have had all the festivity noise they can handle and are heading off to their own man caves…or thickets. We have more than enough of the older Aunties that would rather sit and watch Christmas movies to keep an eye on the kids…Yes, I think Girls Night out.” Our Girl said with a mischievous


All around the meadow the girls started coming in. The does, cows, bobcat kitty , a quiet young cougar, even one of the wolves slunk in to see what the girls were on about.

” I have a small stash of appules I have been hiding since Ma and Da did their last canning. They should have a pretty good kick to them by now.” Our Girl called over her shoulder as she walked off, the troop of wild gals following and grinning.

Final Thoughts

Well, we made it through our 8th Christmas Eve together once again.

I am sure pretty much everyone has some form of plans for the holiday.

Ma; my better half, and I are going to be having a quiet day, just the two of us, enjoying Ma’s first Christmas in a very long time that she wont be on the phone with horrible pathetic creatures complaining both about their problems and that they are talking to her on the holiday…Here’s an idea for them…” If you don’t want your holiday interrupted while you whine about how you broke your toy… DON”T freakin call on a holiday!!” Flippin morons…

We. like most of the US, had a few pretty darn cold days lately. We were well into the negatives with the wind chill up here. Worst I managed to see on our station up here was -47F the average for several days was -34F. We were just lucky that it wasn’t worse. We didn’t get the horrific snows on top of single digits , that would have sucked. I doubt my sami would have started and even if I could get the neighbor’s tractor up and going, I am pretty sure I would have been hating life on a tractor during that to clean all of both our long drives plus I would still be trying to clear the half mile of road to the next portion of our road.

We did get snow, but super fine and not a lot. I still have to go out and check the road but as it was backed up by freezing rain for the most part of yesterday and today so far, I figure there wouldn’t be a lot I could do about it.

We were sitting in the house working on this and that when the door bell rang….

I think that’s like the 4th time in thirty years other than me checking to see if it still worked from time to time.

We had a couple neighbors stop by, looking for some dogs. We didn’t see the pups but seems they came by at some point last night.

We did have a fairly short but great chat with them , probably would have been longer if we weren’t standing outside in 14F weather with a breeze. We all decided that now that we had ” broken the ice” we should chat more. Heck we hadn’t seen them before and they had been up here for years… So something to look forward to once things warm up a bit and we start walking.

During the first bit of the storm, we lost power in the middle of the night, and then lost water. Once we had power up and running, I turned up the furnace in the house, though it doesn’t work to actually warm the place, it does, however, warm the floors where the pipes are. I also put in a second heater in the pumphouse to try to warm the pipe coming in from the cistern . The ground had frozen deep enough to get to it. Eventually, the ice broke up enough that we had water dripping, once that happened it wasn’t long before we had water again. Suddenly the water coming from all of the taps was little more than dirt and grit…which freaked Ma out. What had most likely happened was that all the grit that is far too heavy to ride the lines in from the well had been laying along the pipes and when the slushy came barreling through, it cleaned up the pipes..It has been a good nine years since the last time we had any lines freeze, so there was a lot of grit in play.

We left the second heater running, I have it set at around 70F and I left the furnace set at 70F. We also turned up the drip quite a bit to try to get us the rest of the way through the cold. Though we had around 15 gallons of backup water, we filled all the containers we had set aside for water back in the day when we had to haul. So, hopefully, we wont lose power again and soon we should be back to normal freezing temps.

but then, I imagine , there is always something going on so it is pretty much

Just another day on Zen Mountain

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year to come,

Take care and have a Jolly day


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