Gaucho, one of my reindeer herders, had finished his lunch, when Hanna came by with a platter of cookies. “Would you like to try these?”
“Of course. I couldn’t be a North Pole Elf if I didn’t like cookies,” he responded and took one from the platter. “These look a bit different. What’s the green stuff?”
“Since Ms. Claus always talks about how great it would be if cookies could be a healthy snack,” she explained, “I made these with broccoli so that she wouldn’t have to worry about Santa eating too many.”
A sour look came over Gaucho’s face, and he slid the cookie back onto the platter.
“What’s wrong?” Hanna asked. “You like broccoli, so why not in a cookie? Just give it a try.”
The reindeer herder hesitated, picked up a cookie, and took a small nibble. Not wanting to hurt Hanna’s feelings, Gaucho nodded. “You’re right. They aren’t as bad as I thought.”
“See I told you. Please, take some back to the reindeer barns and share with the other herders. I made too many.”
Still not wanting to hurt Hanna’s feelings, Gaucho agreed to take the extra cookies, and went back to work. When he arrived at the barn, it was time for Fireball and Cletus to be fed.
While getting their oats and grains, the elf wondered if the reindeer would eat the cookies if he crumbled them up in their feed. He checked to see if anyone was watching and then added the cookies. When he set the buckets down in the stall, the reindeer gobbled up the new concoction.
“Wow! You two are either hungry or like those cookies. Better that you eat them than me,” chuckled Gaucho as he hand fed them the remaining ones.
When Gaucho heard footsteps in the barn, he turned to see Bernard strolling in his direction. “Have you fed these two?”
“Just finished,” Gaucho responded, relieved that Bernard had not seen what he had done.
“Good. Santa and Ms. Claus have decided to go for a ride, so I need you to harness Fireball and Cletus up to Ms. Claus’s sleigh, the Dulcet.”
“No problem, I’ll get right on it.” Twenty minutes later, the elf had the Dulcet ready just as Ms. Claus and Santa arrived.
“Good afternoon, Gaucho. Are we all set for a ride?” Rubbing my hands together, I smiled. “Can’t wait to get this sleigh in the air. We have been looking forward to this day trip.”
“Absolutely Santa,” the elf responded as he offered his hand to help Ms. Claus into the sleigh.
“Tell Bernard we should be back before dinner,” I informed him as I grabbed the reins.
While the reindeer and sleigh rose into the sky, Anya pulled a blanket over our laps and placed her head on my shoulder. “I love it when we get to take a ride like this.”
“I could not agree more. Should we fly over Elfkoti to see what the Elves are up to?”
“I’d love that. Korvatuntori Mountain should be beautiful this time of year.”
The ride was delightful but short-lived when the sound of a loud “braaap” was heard.
Anya was quick to give me a little shove. “Santa, really?!”
“What? That wasn’t me.”
No sooner had I said that than another, louder “braaap” blasted the air.
“I’m serious Anya. I’m not farting!”
When a disgusting smell overtook Ms. Claus and I, we pinched our noses. “I think it’s the reindeer,” I hollered.
The farts became louder and longer as if the reindeer were competing against one another.
Before the last “braaaaaaap” ended, Anya pleaded, “We need to go back! The smell is too much.”
Without responding, I pulled on the left rein to turn the team around and headed back to the North Pole village.
When we landed, Bernard came running out, “Is something wrong? I didn’t expect you back for hours.”
Both Ms. Claus and I scrambled to get out of the sleigh as quickly as possible.
Bernard reached it just as Cletus and Fireball let out loud, long farts at the same time. “Whoa!!!” he screamed. “What is that horrible smell?”
“It’s the reindeer!” I exclaimed. “What did the herders feed them?”
Bernard didn’t know what to say. Seeing Gaucho standing by the barn door, he motioned for him.
With his head down, the elf wandered toward the group. “Yes,” he mumbled sheepishly.
“I know you fed these reindeer before you hitched them up,” Bernard began. When Fireball and Cletus let out more farts, Bernard backed away. “Holy cow, what did you feed them?”
“Well, I ah . . .” Gaucho began and shuffled his feet.
“I think you need to tell us everything you fed the reindeer,” I commanded and watched the elf continue to avoid looking at us.
“I’m sorry,” Gaucho whined, “but Hanna had these broccoli . . .”
“Don’t tell me you fed them broccoli?!” I interrupted in a loud voice.
“Um …. not exactly.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bernard demanded.
“They were broccoli cookies that Hanna gave me.”
“WHAT?” the three of us exclaimed together.
Bernard shook his finger at the elf. “You have been doing this long enough to know that broccoli gives the reindeer gas!”
“I thought that since it was in a cookie, it wouldn’t be the same,” Gaucho tried to explain. “Besides, isn’t broccoli supposed to be good for you?”
“It is good for you, just not reindeer,” Anya explained and clapped her hands. “I love, however, what Hanna tried to do. Hmmm, broccoli might not work, but I wonder if she tried to create carrot or pumpkin spice cookies.”
“Now you’re going to put me on a diet of healthy cookies. I’m not sure I like that idea,” I grumbled.
“If that’s the way you will eat more vegetables, then I think that’s a great solution. How about you, Bernard?” Anya grinned and turned to my head elf for support.
“I’ve been around too long and know that when it comes to Santa and cookies, I stay out of it. After all, I want to keep my job,” he laughed.
“Smart answer,” I announced and patted him on the back. “Always knew you were a wise elf.”
Notes From Santa
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. Stories are posted on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, except December. Santa’s next story will be posted on Saturday August 5, 2023. If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until the next time . . .
To read more about Santa’s reindeer please check out
How Rudolph Got His Red Nose – September 2, 2019
Dasher Becomes Part of Santas Team – October 28, 2019
Reiney Meets Cupid – February 10, 2020
Virus Threatens Santa’s Reindeer – March 30, 2020
Reindeer vs Technology – June 1, 2020
Blitzen Loses Race – August 31, 2020
False Alarm – July 15, 2022
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Image from Dishin’ Nutrition