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It was high noon in the middle of the night. Graveyards were yawning for all they were worth. The little ones had been sent to bed, and were all fast asleep—in our mind. Pa and ma had told them that if they were very, very good old Santa Claus would remember them. The stockings had been hung up by the chimney, and wafted an aroma of forgotten feet about the room.

Tommy, and Mikey, and Little Peter, and Daisy, and Eflße Louisa, and Freddy, and Emilino, and Maggie, and the baby, and Robby were lying spoon-fashion, and were holding each other in bed to prevent themselves from falling overboard. Ever and anon a sound was heard, and ten little pairs of eyes would open, and ten little tongues would ejaculate, “What’s that.” Then all was quiet.

“ Ouch ! ” “ What’s that ? ” “ Santa Claus is coming.” “No he isn’t, either Effie stuck a pin in me,” yelled Robby. Then ma came in, and with the pan-cake-turner, made Robby think that Santa Claus had only brought a slipper, and he was getting the whole of it. “ If you don’t go to sleep immediately,” said pa, “he won’t come at all.” “ I heard him on the roof a little while while ago,” said ma. “ It was the cat,” said Freddy. “ Kin we all sleep together every night, ma ? ” asked Effie. “ I won’t sleep with you again unless you leave your feet out,” protested Erneline. “Ma ! ” yelled Maggie, “Robby’s biting my toe. ” Pa and ma gave each little one in turn a dose of the pancake-turner, and withdrew.

Soon they were again all asleep, their tired parents thought. The clock struck one —real hard. Pa and ma loaded themselves with the presents. There were drums, and horns, and whistles, and dolls, and sets of knives and forks, a whole lot of pretty little things. They snoke into the bedroom. Their faces were as happy as an undertaker’s in a yellow fever district. They loaded several stockings up to the muzzle, when little Tommy whispered to Mikey—- “ Santa Claus is got his wife with him.” This startled pa, and he jumped. When he came down he sat on a tack with his bare foot. The tack was standon its head doing a circus act. Then pa did a circus act, and stood on his head. He flew through the air with the greatest of ease. He went through the door like a bullet through cheese. In his fight he tripped ma up, and she landed on the bed and squeezed all the air out of Tommy, and Mikey, and little Peter, and Daisy, and Effie Lousia, and Freddy, and Emeline, and Maggie, and the baby and Robby. It took ten pairs of bellows to make them as good as now.

All th-j pretty toys looked like the inside of a mince pio, and the children had to stay in the house and belt tin pans the next day to make the neighbors’ children think they had all got drums for presents.

Moral—Don’t lie to the little ones about Santa Claus.

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Bibliographic details

A CHRISTMAS TALE FOR LITLLE AND BIG., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 518, 26 December 1881

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A CHRISTMAS TALE FOR LITLLE AND BIG. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 518, 26 December 1881

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