The Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas and I couldn’t sleep
though the whole house was calm. No one making a peep.
The gifts were piled, big and small, under the tree
for my boyfriend, his companion, the English and me.
Every 10 or so minutes I would wake from my napping
to wonder anew what was under the wrapping.
When suddenly—overhead—I heard a board creak.
And I thought: hold the hoe. But I didn’t dare speak.
So I crept up the steps to the kitchen to see
‘round the corner toward the gifts that were waiting for me.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear
but a sly Christmas thief with spots on his rear.
The English! First burrowing under the pine,
then tearing through wrapping on gifts that were mine!
They should have been hidden up on a high shelf.
But they weren’t. And I thumped in spite of myself.
He heard me. I chased him. The next part’s a blur.
There were ornaments broken. Pine needles in fur.
And then all at once there arose such a clatter
we both stopped in our tracks to see what was the matter.
Our roommate! Banging a lid with a spoon.
We braked our wild chase not a moment too soon.
Her cheeks were like peppers. Her hair wild on her head.
She spoke first to the English: “Get back upstairs to bed.”
Of all nights to deal with my roommate’s disdain.
She was too mad to give me a chance to explain.
It’s not as though trashing the house is my habit.
I behave myself since I became a spokesrabbit.
Also—trouble I’m in once the workday is through
should not be a part of my performance review.
These were my thoughts as she looked at the tree,
at the torn wrapping paper, then finally at me.
“Belinda,” she said. “What on earth was I thinking?
Wrapped-up treats on the floor!” She stood there, not blinking.
Then St. Nick must have flown past. I say this because
she burst into laughter. She became Santa Claus.
“Go to bed, you bad bunny,” she said, no longer miffed.
My roommate forgave me—and that was my best gift.
She left the room. Climbed the stairs. Turned off the light.
And I tried but I couldn’t sleep. Pacing all night.
“Wrapped-up treats” as she put it. Treats under the tree.
That means healthy snackers. Very tempting to me.
She gives me one and no matter how much I nag
that’s it for the day. I could eat the whole bag.
So while “go to bed” was less a “good night” than a warning,
I was found asleep under the tree the next morning.
Spokesrabbit, Small Pet Select