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Christmas means different things to different people:  to nurses and doctors, for example, it is a busy period for hospital admissions.  Over-indulgence has its price.

Life in the transport business can become particularly fraught.  People rushing to and from shops and parties, visiting relatives, or, bizarrely, delivering presents towing a guy in a red suit….

Let’s call him Dasher:  it’s about the most inappropriate name possible because he has never really dashed anywhere; but if legends must….Dasher, you see, is a reindeer.

A twenty-first century lust for sensation has decreed that Dasher’s diary is full these days – from late October right through the holiday season.  The guy in the red suit needs him, apparently, for deliveries, although for some reason he doesn’t seem to do chimneys anymore, nor does he do much in the way of night visits.

In fact there are many things haven’t worked out the way Dasher was promised.   Seven mates, for example; he gets to do the towing on his own.  And one night’s work a year has turned into eight weeks of hard labour.

The trouble is, Dasher doesn’t have a work ethic.  Before he was incarcerated in a crate and brought from his Nordic home across an extremely irritable North Sea, he had never seen a cart in his life, let alone pulled one. So his regular routine, travelling in a horsebox, being harnessed to a weighty sleigh then towing the red bloke along a street of screaming kids is not exactly attractive to him.  Dasher doesn’t actually like people. 

He is not happy in his work.Image

While he is standing outside the mall having his nose swiped at by dozens of curious children he may well be pining for his sub-arctic Lapland home.  He will certainly be stressed.  He may not be aware that he owes his predicament to a poem: if he was, I am certain he would express some strong opinions on the subject.   And if he could ever meet with Clement Moore, I’m sure he would find a constructive use for those antlers…..

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