Friday, 19 December 2014

A Christmas Gift

The holly and the ivy, when they were both full-grown, of all the trees that were in the woods, the holly bears the crown.

Mr Toad smiled to himself.  Another year was almost upon him, and he knew that, finally, he could forget the somewhat unfortunate series of calamities that he came across throughout the year, and focus on the rest of his life. You see, Mr Toad knew that the rest of his life was destined to be better than anything he’d ever experienced before, and the year ahead was one year closer to this reality.

He knew it.
And he was determined not to falter.

Mr Toad had always been somewhat of a realist, and knew that even though his lifestyle was not one regularly associated with this of his species, he did not care.

He was his own person, and knew it.
And nobody could change that.

“Mr Toad?”
The voice echoed through the reed-filled land; soaking the peacefulness in a river of disruption.

“Mr Toad?”
It came again. Every year, something – or someone – caused him havoc; hassle.

Last year, the tax man; the year before a Time Lord…
He sighed inwardly.  Was there ever time to relax?
Not that he needed to relax; he wasn’t lazy – he wasn’t.  

He didn’t enjoy Christmas; never found the point of it. Too much hassle for his liking.

Mother Toad used to enjoy it, however.  She always made a huge fuss, every year, and told him to stop moaning and enjoy himself. 
“It’s only one day, [she remarked] and then it’s all over for another year.”

 But that one day did not care for the rest of the year.  It was stubborn, was Christmas.  Too stubborn for his liking.

And this strange voice was no different.

Disrupting his peacefulness, just because of Christmas.

 The little girl appeared from the bushes, a smile glistening upon her angelic self. 
  She approached Mr Toad cautiously, yet did not look afraid.

He sighed and questioned:
“What are you doing here, disturbing my afternoon?!”

Her reply:
"I’m here to spread the Christmas spirit to each and all!”

He grumbled.  Christmas again.
He thought of all the selfish humans splurging money on unnecessary gifts and replied, monotonously, a single syllable:

The little girl's eyes began to fill with tears at this creature’s disgust, and asked, silently, as though not to disturb his negative thoughts – in case they escaped his mind and hurt her:
“Please, kind sir, you don’t believe in the Christmas spirit?”

His reply:
“Christmas?! No. I do not. What made you ask that ridiculous question?”

“I’m sorry, Sir. I did not realise… Please, accept my dearest apologies…”

He paused for a moment, before answering:
"Well, I do accept, but please do not bother me again, you are not welcome here, child.”

“Please, take this gift as an apology…”
The little girl's arms suddenly outstretched, revealing a neatly-wrapped parcel of intriguing shape.

“A gift?! [he exclaimed] Gifts are the curse of Christmas!”

She sobbed.  “But, sir, this is a special gift. Please, accept it?”

He groaned deeply, and with a nod, took the gift from the girl, and unwrapped it; slowly.

There, in his arms, lay the most beautiful thing he had ever set eyes on in his life.

He smiled.

Maybe, just maybe, Christmas wasn’t so bad after all…



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