Nosing Around

Nosing Around

Ms. Claus and I were out for a stroll in the new fallen snow, when we heard a loud roar. “That sounded like a scared polar bear!”

“What could possibly scare a Polar Bear?” asked Anya.

As soon as Ms. Claus finished her question, Polar Pete came running around a big mound of snow. Stopping suddenly, Pete took a deep breath. “Ms. Claus, Santa, I’m glad I found you! It’s Nippy! I just saw him down by the ice pond and he just stood there. I tried talking to him, but it was as if I wasn’t even there.”

“Santa, we need to do something!” Anya exclaimed. “Pete, can you take us to him.”

Pete quickly walked in the direction where he came from, and the two of us followed. Ms. Claus grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. I gave it a little shake to let her know it would all be okay. When we came to the crest of a hill, the large polar bear stood on his hind legs and pointed in the direction of the ice pond. “See! He hasn’t moved since I saw him before.”

At the bottom of the hill, the snowman stood with his back to us. I could tell it was Nippy because of his red plaid hat with ear flaps hanging down on the side of his head. The hockey stick rejects from my sports shop, which served as his arms, were lifeless.

“Come on, let’s get down there and help him,” Anya urged.

“Nippy! Hey NIPPY!” we yelled while walking toward him.

The three of us heard nothing nor noticed any movement. When we finally reached the snowman, I looked into Nippy’s face and was shocked.

“What is it, Santa? What’s wrong?” Anya shouted.

I straightened up and stepped away from the water. “I know what the problem is. Nippy has lost his nose.”

Ms. Claus and Polar Pete shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders.

I smiled. “Let me explain. Both of you know that Nippy’s cousin, Frosty, got his life from his old silk top hat, right?” As they nodded, I continued, “Well, Nippy’s yellow squash nose that turns down to the ground like a parrot’s beak is what gives him life, but that’s missing.”

My wife and favorite polar bear gasped and started searching for the squash.

“I don’t think you’re going to find it,” I said sadly. “Since Nippy is standing so close to the pond, I fear it fell off and floated away.”

“Well, hello. What brings the four of you out here on this snowy day?”

Surprised at the sound of a voice without a body, we watched as Onni, the Artic Fox, got up from his resting place. His white fur had hidden him from view.

“Our friend Nippy seems to have lost his nose, which is where he gets his life,” Pete explained. “We’re afraid it may have floated away.”

“That is a definite problem,” Onni replied. “How can I help?”

Without hesitating, I gave everyone an area to search. “Pete, you’re a good swimmer, check the pond. Anya, you and I will go in the opposite direction from one another around the pond to see if Nippy’s nose washed up on the bank. Onni, search around the area where Nippy is standing.”

Pete dove into the pond and began swimming every inch of the water. Anya walked to the left of Nippy, and I headed in the opposite direction scouring the bank as we went.

Onni watched as the search began. “If Nippy’s nose didn’t fall into the water,” he murmured to himself, “how could it possibly fall anywhere but right in front of him.” Then he suddenly scampered away to begin his hunt.

When Ms. Claus and I met up on the opposite side of the pond, we both looked at each other’s empty hands. I put my arm around Anya to comfort her. “I’m sure Pete will find it.”

Soon, Polar Pete climbed out of the pond. Shaking his entire body to get as much water off as he could, I couldn’t help but notice he didn’t have the lost nose. “No squash?”

“I’m sorry Santa,” Pete answered hanging his head in disappointment.

“Let’s hope that Onni found it.”

The three of us hiked slowly back to where Nippy was standing, feeling like we had let him down, when voices in the distance surprised us.  “Who could that be?” I asked my partners.

“Call me crazy,” Polar Pete began, “but I think that sounds like Nippy.”

“I agree!” Anya exclaimed. “Come on let’s hurry.”

Approaching the voices, we stopped dead in our tracks. “I don’t believe it!”

Seeing Nippy and Onni standing there talking to each other, we raced over to give them both hugs.

“How did you find Nippy’s nose?” I asked.

“After all of you left, I got to thinking,” the Arctic Fox began. “Nippy’s nose had to either be in the pond or on the ground right in front of him. While watching Pete, I noticed an Artic Hare, scramble across the snow.”

Impatient, Pete slammed his paw down. “We want to know how you found his nose, not about some hare!”

“Can everyone just settle down and let Onni tell his story,” Ms. Claus said in a calm voice. “Go on Onni.”

“Thanks Ms. Claus. You see, I wondered if the hare might have seen the nose and carted it off for food. So, I followed him to his burrow and . . .”

“You found my nose? Thank you so much!” Nippy shouted.

“I’ll be!” I exclaimed. “I guess there is something to that phrase ‘Crazy Like a Fox.’”

“I know I’m just a polar bear, Santa, but I don’t understand what you mean.”

“What Onni did, seemed to be nonsensical to us, but was actually very clever.”

Pete reached over and patted Onni on the back. “My friend, you can be crazy any time you want if it always produces good results like this.”

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 June 15, 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 friends please check out

Santa’s Newest Friends – July 8 2019
Wiggle and Waddle Meet Polar Pete – July 15, 2019
A Visit From Jack Frost – January 20, 2020
The Lost Elves – February 3, 2020
Homesick Penguins – June 8, 2020
Nippy Falls Apart – March 8, 2021
Wiggle and Waddle Go Home – May 31, 2021
Missing Friends – July 1, 2022
Pete’s New Friend – April 15, 2023

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Illustration by FireMane Studio

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