A Wonderful Winter Adventure
With the sun shining high in the sky, glittering off the white blanket of snow, Kelsey and Dana strap on their snowshoes, heading out for a sightseeing adventure.
They trod along, making their own path through the forest, Kelsey leading the way, even though she has no clue where they are headed. As Kelsey surveys the landscape, Dana comes alongside her and points in front of them.
"Look at that!" she says, pointing to a squirrel happily balancing on a branch.
He watches Dana and Kelsey suspicious of what they are doing in his forest. The girls watch the squirrel as he chitters at them, warming them to keep their distance.
Suddenly he turns and runs away.
"That was cool!", Kelsey quietly exclaims to Dana. "I hope we see some more animals."
Dana begins walking, "Me too!"
They walk through the leafless forest, silent, listening for sounds from animals, but they only hear the swishing of their own snowshoes on the snow. They still enjoy the beautiful scenery, the fresh air, and the bright sun.
In the distance, Kelsey sees a massive hill, with boulders of ice surrounding the base. She heads towards it with Dana following close behind.
"Do you think we can make it up there?" she asks Dana, taking out her binoculars and surveying the hill.
Dana looks towards the top of the hill, as well as the boulder-laden way to the top, "Uhhh...I don't think so." She finally responds to Kelsey.
"Here," Kelsey says, handing Dana the binoculars "Do you see anything? Any animals? Or just the boulders?"
"Just the boulders." Dana pauses, then looks at Kelsey and continues, "But it's pretty cool looking."
Kelsey nods takes a couple more looks at the hill, then starts on her way again. Not far beyond the hill, Kelsey freezes in her tracks.
She motions to Dana. A tiny gray rabbit is sitting in the snow, looking around for something to eat.
Out of the woods hops another rabbit, this one brown with big white ears. The two rabbits look at each other, their noses wiggling, as though that is how they communicate.
Kelsey and Dana stand there for what seems like hours, watching the two rabbits, until finally, they hop away into the forest.
Kelsey and Dana start to head back home. Dana again stops quickly. "Look over there!" Dana exclaims, pointing towards some tall grass and reeds.
"I don't see what you're looking at," Kelsey complains.
"Over there behind the reeds...." says Dana, waiting for Kelsey to find what she is looking at. "It's a deer!"
"Oh my gosh!" exclaims Kelsey as she sees the deer through her binoculars. The two marvel at the deer. With no warning, the deer jumps up and scampers through the grass.
"Come on, let's follow it!" Dana suggests, starting off through the grass before giving Kelsey time to respond. They follow the tracks through the grass, catching a glimpse of the deer before it bounds away again.
Approaching a large patch of grass the deer jumps over it and disappears. Dana runs as fast as she can in her snowshoes to the patch of grass and gasps as she gets there.
Concerned, Kelsey asks, "What? What is it?" But Dana just looks with wide eyes without responding. Kelsey comes up behind Dana and gasps too.
A man dressed all in red is petting the deer and putting a harness on him. Two more deer are harnessed behind the lead deer and behind that is a sleigh with a huge sack in it.
Kelsey leans forward, breaking some of the grass, making a cracking sound.
"What's that?", the man in red says, turning towards Dana and Kelsey. "Well, well...come out here," he says waving them closer. Kelsey and Dana hesitantly come forward.
"Don't be afraid Kelsey. Come on Dana." he pleads. The girls inch forward hesitantly, trying to figure out how this man knows them and what is going on.
"How...how do you know our names?" Kelsey sputters out.
"Now Kelsey, you know how I know your name." he chuckles. "I know all the nice children's names. But nevermind that. Come see my deer. You were chasing after Prancer here." He pats the first deer on the snout. "Come on Dana. I know you love animals!"
Dana's face lights up, her eyes as wide as saucers. "Can I really pet him?"
"You sure may." turning to Kelsey the man says, "Kelsey, this is Dasher, and that is Vixen."
Both Kelsey and Dana pet the snouts of the deer, barely comprehending what is going on.
"Well girls." the man starts, "I must be on my way." He says as he climbs into the sleigh and takes the reins.
"We have to complete our training. These guys are getting ready for the big day in a few weeks. We just stopped for a rest."
Dana and Kelsey just nod, still shocked at the reality that they find themselves in. "Off we go!" He hollers as the deer start to prance, then runs. Dana and Kelsey step back.
"Bye Santa!" Kelsey yells as she waves frantically. Dana stands beside her waiving slowly, still not able to grasp what is happening.
The sleigh glides along the snow, gaining speed, until finally, Prancer jumps into the air, followed by Dasher and Vixen, and finally, the sleigh holding Santa and the sack.
"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas" he bellows as the sleigh lifts above the trees.
Dana and Kelsey look into the sky to watch Santa and his reindeer. They soon lose track of him in the bright sun.
"Did that just happen?" Dana asks, turning to Kelsey.
With an expression of pure exultation, Kelsey exclaims "YES IT DID!"
The girls giggle and snowshoe home, talking the whole way about their encounter and the amazingness of their day.
Hope you all have an awe-inspiring Christmas!