© written by Tasha Guenther

Once upon a time, in a place we all know and love, lived a little reindeer. Now, this reindeer was named Rudolph and he was very special.

Rudolph the red-nose reindeer had a very shiny nose! This nose attracted attention from all over the North Pole; elves, snowmen, penguins (vacationing from the South Pole), and even relatives of Mrs. Claus would flock to see it. The elves would all gasp at the sight, saying, “My, it is very shiny!” and “Very shiny indeed!” The elves loved anything shiny ever since metallic toys became a thing…

One day a group of penguins were waddling past Santa’s workshop. Santa was tinkering away at a new toy invention, trying to curb the current elf enthusiasm for platinum. His new invention was a bicycle that trailed with fog; the faster a child could pedal, the more fog the bicycle created. Santa looked up from his workbench as he heard the group of penguins saying:

“And if you ever saw him…” said one.

“You would even say it GLOWS!” said another.

“Like a light bulb?” asked the last.

“Like a light bulb!” replied the first two.

Now, Rudolph did not particularly like all the immediate attention he was getting for his nose. Elves and snowmen would stare at him as he passed by, penguins dressed in Hawaiian shirts would snap pictures, and Mrs. Claus’ relatives would force him to try their baked goods. Worst of all, all of the other reindeer laughed and called him names—like Pinocchio!

Unfortunately, they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games. Now, it is important to add that reindeer games were and still are the most fun of any games in the entire world. Reindeer can play Monopoly, tag, freeze tag, toilet tag, bump tag, ball tag, soccer, and hide and seek, among others. What makes their games so fun is that they can fly so high into the sky that they are literally dancing on clouds. This means that a reindeer can use his or her “Get Out of Jail Free” card at an altitude of 40,000 feet!

Whenever Rudolph would come around with his shiny nose, all the reindeer would sigh and whisper, “Oh, great. Here comes Pinocchio!” and “It looks even brighter and redder and uglier today!”

Then, when Rudolph asked if he could join in, the reindeer, usually Prancer or Vixen, would say, “Sorry Pinocc—I mean, Rudolph… We are playing hide and seek again today. And with your nose… well, I just don’t think that’s possible.”

Rudolph, of course, understood why he couldn’t play hide and seek. His nose was far too bright to do any hiding or seeking. Before he left, however, he saw Blitzen with the monopoly board and soccer ball. That’s when he realized that he was being lied to.

He ran to his dear mother and sobbed. “Oh, mother! They just don’t want to play with me. I am no fun for them. I am no fun for anyone. I wish I was never given this stupid, stupid red nose!”

Meanwhile back at Santa’s workshop, a couple of elves were finishing up some last minute touches on Santa’s new fog-bike when they noticed the instructions sitting on Santa’s beloved workbench. As they read them over they realized what the fog-bike could actually do. They looked at each other and grinned their elvish grins. Then, they hopped on the bike, one pedaling on the left, the other on the right.

Again, it is important to add that when elves set their minds to things, they really follow through. So when they realized that the faster the bike pedaled, the more fog was made, they decided to make enough fog to fill the entire North Pole… and the world! They pedaled and pedaled and pedaled! One on the left pedal and one on the right. They jumped up and down, up and down on the pedals, making Santa’s fog-bike go faster and faster and faster! They pedaled this bike so fast that you could no longer see them – in part because they were going so fast, and in part because they had created so much fog that you couldn’t even see your hand if you held it in front of your face!

Santa awoke from his regular nap and set to getting dressed in his official Christmas suit – red pants, coat, hat and black boots. He brushed out his white beard and, with the help of Mrs. Claus, combed down his white head of hair. Excited for the evening ahead, Santa stepped out into the Christmas Eve night. As he walked outside he realized he couldn’t see his sleigh, he couldn’t see his reindeer, he couldn’t see anything!

He whistled to his reindeer: “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen; Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen! Where are you?”

“Here we are, Santa! Ready for a foggy night ahead!” they shouted together.

As they tried to take off, however, none of the reindeer could see where they were going!

“Oh, dear! We will crash into houses at this point,” shouted Santa.

Just then, he could hear the group of penguins talking.

“My pictures aren’t turning out in this weather!” shouted the one.

“Mine either!” cried the last two.

Then, Santa remembered the penguins’ conversation about the little reindeer with the red nose. Santa called out: “Rudolph! Rudolph!”

In the distance flickered a bright red light, brighter than anything you’ve ever seen. “Yes, Santa?” spoke Rudolph shyly.

The elves, the snowmen, the penguins, Mrs. Claus’ relatives, Mrs. Claus, and the reindeer gasped in delight. Santa smiled and said, “Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Rudolph was placed at the head of the sleigh, filled with happiness. His nose was important! He was important! He began to laugh and grow even happier as the reindeer behind him began to cheer. They lifted up high into the sky with the brightness and redness from Rudolph’s nose guiding them on their way.

“Ho, ho, ho!” Santa exclaimed.

“YIPEE!” cheered the reindeer.

When they returned home after a great Christmas Eve of delivering presents, all the reindeer began to open their own presents given to them from Santa. In Rudolph’s present was his very own Monopoly game. It was signed, “Love, Santa… and the reindeer.” He now knew that all those at the North Pole accepted him.

Every day Rudolph played with the other reindeer, feeling their love since he could guide their way through hide and seek if it ever got stormy or, if the elves ever got hold of Santa’s newly made fog-bikes (which they often did since their obsession for platinum had transformed into a strange obsession for fog).

Because of his beautiful nose, all the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee:

“Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!”

And every Christmas Eve, Santa would call out to his reindeer: “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen; Comet and Cupid and Donner, and Blitzen! And the most famous reindeer of all… Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer!”

And every time they took off, elves and snowmen would shout with joy, Mrs. Claus’ relatives would eat cookies, and the penguins would snap their pictures.

The End.