Saturday, December 19, 2009


PART 19, December 19

That night they had a huge dinner in honor of Hickory Hog's at least partial success. Somehow the whole thing fell flat. It was a hollow victory, almost more in the nature of a defeat. Hadn't the Christmas Rascal really guided him to his lair after all? What could he do about him on his own? Absolutely nothing.

The friends sat around and discussed the matter some more. They looked at the latest edition of the Potatotown Press, but there were no clued in there as to the wherabouts of the Christmas Rascal. All they knew was that he was up to his usual activities. Two more days passed, drawing ever closer to Christmas. It was on the third day that something unusual happened, or maybe we should say it DIDN'T happen.

Hickory had just about made up his mind to forget the whole business and do the best that he could to make a nice Christmas for himself and his friends and go on from there. Morning brought the Potatotown Press to his doorstep. There on the front page was the headline: "JOY RETURNS?" Below was the article:

"Watchers of the infamous Christmas Rascal
have noted a pattern of inactivity in the past
48 hours. Absolutely nothing has been stolen
or disturbed? in the entire metropolitan area
of Potatotown, None of the other surrounding
burgs have reported any activity either.

"All of this leads this reporter to wonder
if it could not be that the Christmas Rascal
has left the area. Since he began his reign
of joy thievery not a day has gone by without
at least five people's joy being taken away.
Now in the last forty-eight hours there has
been absolutely no activity from him at all,

"Plans for special Christmas activities
are again under way. It seems that nothing
will hold the people back. The only
question lingering in the air is this:
Will it snow by Christmas eve?"

Immediately Hickory was galvanized into action. This was what he had been waiting for. The Christmas Rascal was retreating to his final stand. He was going to keep his word and stop it from snowing, and Hickory knew that he would have to catch him then. He had to start out right away to capture him, for he knew where he would be.

© 1989 Kevin Don Levellie

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