PART 12, December 12
"How are you going to do that!" everyone cried.
"I don't know yet, but I'll think of a way to unrascal that Rascal," replied Hickory Hog. With that he roared off into his barn and set to work.
All day long strange sounds came from the barn, but there was such a frenzy and singlemindedness about them that no one dared to look in and see what was going on. It just didn't seem like the thing to do.
Finally evening began to come on and the light went out in the barn and the door was locked. Hickory Hog came back to his friends for the evening.
"What did you do out there?" asked Whizzer Worm. "We sat here all day wondering about it."
Very quietly Hickory looked all over the room. He looked out the window. Nothing was there. He stoked up the fire in the fireplace. Nothing could possibly be there. He checked the walls and the floors and the ceiling. Nothing seemed to be there. You never could tell, though. The Christmas Rascal had been known to plant rascalbugs in people's homes just to hear their plots against him. He proudly boasted that nothing could be done about him. He claimed that whatever people were thinking he knew before they even thought of it. However, being only a rascal he couldn't be everywhere or know everything at any one time, but he liked people to think that he could. In that respect he was like certain other rascals of a definitely more malignant nature.
This time there were no listening devices, but still Hickory spoke in a very quiet voice. It actually seemed strange to hear such a small sound coming out of such a large Hog, "I have done something to catch that rascal," he said in a whisper.
"What?" whispered back the little old man.
"There's nothing the Christmas Rascal finds more irresistible than destroying people's Christmas joy, so I built something in the barn that he'll be bound to want to destroy."
There was a pause as Hickory checked windows again. "I built a manger scene for my front yard. I»m going to set it out tomorrow night, but some of the paint and glue has to dry, so I've left it in the barn overnight."
Hickory Hog was strangely quiet after that. "But what good will that do?" asked the little bird.
"I also left a trap to catch him when he comes to try and destroy my beautiful work."
© 1989 Kevin Don Levellie
3 years ago