PART 24, December 24
It was Christmas eve. Not a speck of snow was anywhere to be seen. The friends waited outside the lair while the Christmas Rascal was being reasoned with by Hickory Hog.
Finally the door opened and out came the Christmas Rascal, unshackled, followed by Hickory. The rascal was saying, "It's really quite simple. All you have to do is take out the body of the rocket and fire it backwards up there. That should reverse the process."
"Are you sure?" asked Hickory.
"Well, I think so. I hope so."
All the friends followed this unlikely pair back out to the rocket launching site. There everything was as they had left it a short time before. No one hindered the Christmas Rascal and he went right to work. He looked up at the sky and the moon. He saw the clouds. It was getting close to midnight. Soon it would not be Christmas eve any more. It would be Christmas day. Still the snow had not come. At last everything was done.
I sent up four rockets," explained the Christmas Rascal, "There are six left. The first four should be able to counteract the four already up there. The two left over should start the snow."
"But it's only ten minutes to midnight," said the little old man consulting his watch.
"They're all ready to go," said the rascal. "Stand back, now."
He fired off the first four rockets. WHOOOSH! WHOOOSH! WHOOOSH! WHOOOSH! Then he paused a few moments. Nothing seemed to change. There was no snow yet, but somehow you could feel that it might be in the air.
Then he sent up the next one WHOOOSH! Nothing happened. Then same the final WHOOOSH! There were five minutes left. The minutes began to come along. Four, three, two, one. There was fifteen seconds left to go when the first snowflake came down out of the sky. Then came another and then a whole horde of them.
In town the church bells began to ring. Christmas had come. The five friends walked back to Hickory Hog's shack in a curtain of snow.
© 1989 Kevin Don Levellie
4 years ago