A Night Before Yule Day

                       By Matrin Calderwood, Utah

 

Twas the night before Yule Day and all through the cave,

Every Troll child was doing their very best to behave.

The old socks were hung by the fire with great care,

In hopes Old Troll Father would soon enter their lair.

There was pudding and mutton and a hunk of old cheese,

Set out on the table for the Old Troll to please.

And each child was smiling and snoring with glee,

Pa winked at Ma Troll both as proud as could be.

The Winter outside seemed to swirl and to rush,

When suddenly my ears became aware of a hush.

And the soft crunch of snow was all I could hear,

As if some big boots were drawing quite near.

To my lair’s door I shuffled to peer into the night,

Excited and hoping I’d find everything right.

The full moon shown brightly through a broken cloud sky,

And I wondered if the Old Father was now drawing nigh.

I could feel my heart pounding in time with each step,

And I wondered how Old Father could move with such pep.

Then out of the shadows appeared a bearded old man,

He was carrying a large sack that looked battered and tan.

When he saw me he started and his eyes showed some fear,

But I motioned him forward and so he drew near.

A long woolen coat trimmed with sooty white fur,

Made him look like a peddler, not a Troll that’s for sure!

“My friend!” he said brightly, “The Old Father Troll,

has asked me to help him. Things were out of control!”

“So who are your Stranger?” I asked with a sneer.

“Why I’m the Yulenissen. Are there good children here?”

Behind me came giggles and snorts of great joy,

I knew in an instant t’was my girl and my boy.

They both gasped together, “We have heard of this one!”

“How he helps human children is really quite fun!”

“And if Old Father Troll trusts him here with this task,

Then we’ve both been good, for our toys we’ll now ask.”

With an ‘Ho!’ and a ‘Ha’ he reached into his sack,

and pulled out a horse that could rock front and back.

It was wood and troll-rough and much bigger than he

Yet the bag looked the same, it was easy to see!

For the girl he reached in and pulled out a wood doll

It was as big as she was and the bag seemed too small.

“And now for a treat!” said the Jolly Old One.

And he ate all the goodies, not leaving a crumb.

And then with a nod he picked up his old bag

and gave a deep bow to this Troll and my hag!

“I must now be going. I have far to go.”

He said as he hurried out into the snow.

But I heard him exclaim as he trudged out of sight:

“Blessed Yule time to All and to ALL a Good Night!”

 

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