playing. And, do you know what I saw the other day - some 'childers' dressing up as pop-stars getting ready for a talent show. They were marvellous, too. I stayed an' watched them through the window of their school. Still, most of the 'childers' are good - most of the time.
It's only some times, when I see a Mummy or Daddy look cross, that I know someone has been a bit bad - a bit naughty. Then I have to have a really good think about whether they should get their present or not. But, d'you know, most 'childers' don't stay being bad for long, so it's hard to make my mind up what present they've deserved.'
You say 'a' present, do you mean just one? I thought children got lots of presents.
'Ah! Yes, so they do, but only one is the special one from Santa Claus. Upon my soul, I couldn't buy all the presents the children want. No, I collect them up from friends and family and decide if the 'childers' can have them all or not. Then I add one special present from their parents and

Inside this issue:

me. Then all the sproggetts and elves wrap them up and put them in great big sacks. On Christmas Eve we load the sleighs with all the sacks. I gets into the front seat and whisper some magic words into the reindeers ears, and then, quick as a flash we charge round the world delivering all the presents to each of the 'childers'. And we get home safely in time to have our Christmas dinner.'
You said
you collected them up and that you drove the sleigh? Who are you then?
'Sorry dear, didn't I say? The old Mr Nicholas got too tired to do the job, so I've been doing it for him for the past two hundred years. Oh! No! I'm not a sproggett any more. People round here, who've know me since they were 'childers' themselves and I was a sproggett, call me Father

It's been nice talking to you, dear, but I've got to go on with my work. Let's see I've got to call on Max, Evie, Emily, Grace, Katherine, Victoria, Kaela, Declan, Adam, Matthew, Lewis, Jasmine, Chelsea, Cai, Christina, Kay, Nathan, Rebecca, Rebekah, Rachel, Ryan, Louis, Aiden, Lisa, Lissa, Ellinor, Amber, Kitty, Paddy, George, Georgie, Joshua, Paul, John, Finlay, Jessica, James, Thomas, Billie, Zoe, Andrew, Sophie………………………………..'
and he carried on listing all the local children's names as he walked off and up Methwold Road.
Just before he disappeared out of sight he turned round and shouted, 'Merry Christmas everyone. Ho! Ho! Ho!'.

Toni Arthur-Hay