Twas the Hunt Before Christmas

‘Twas a month before Christmas
And I grabbed my gun,
To hunt the wiley wapiti,
Hoping to get a big one.

I chanced upon a big elk track
Pressed deep in the snow,
The tips of its cloven hoofs
Pointed the way I should go.

The track was a bit strange,
Just different, somehow.
But they were big and deep,
Likely a bull and not a cow.

I finally got a glimpse
Of a grayish-colored hide,
Gray?…elk are usually black on the neck
And reddish tan on the side.

There! The tip of an antler!
Positively a bull!
I raised my gun to shoot,
And felt for the trigger to pull.

Suddenly I was interrupted
In my quest for some meat.
A huge hand grabbed my collar
And lifted me off my feet.

His other hand grabbed my rifle
And set it aside,
Then he put me down and I looked,
And my eyes opened wide.

This huge man was also a hunter,
For he was dressed all in red,
With black shiny boots on his feet
And a floppy red hat on his head.

His beard was all white,
And so was his hair,
His mustache was frosty,
From the cold morning air.

In a booming voice he declared,
“That critter belongs to me.”
“That’s your elk?” I croaked.
In Wyoming, wildlife can’t be property.

“Yes, he’s mine.”
He laughed in a jolly sort of way.
“Kind of strayed a bit
And I spent many a day,

Tracking him down,
And I got here just in time.
Now we got a long way to go,
To be late would be a crime.”

“You see, this guy gets to loaf
Most of the year,
But on December 25th
He’s one of Santa’s reindeer.”

I stood there gawking,
My mouth open wide,
As he put a halter on the weird-looking elk,
And headed north with a long stride.

“Come on, Blitzen,” he urged.
“We’ve got a long way to go,
To get you home to the stable,
And back to the North Pole.”

And I said to myself
As they strode out of sight,
“No more egg nog for you, Jonesy.
No egg nog tonight.”

About Jonesy

Born and raised in Arizona. I've lived in Wyoming since 1983, currently in Jackson Hole. A lifetime of working with horses, taking tourists on trails in the high mountains, including scenic summer trips and fall hunting. I owned a gun shop for 5 years. I owned numerous other businesses over the decades. Active in conservative politics. So my "Cowboy Common Sense" draws on a LOT of life experiences.

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