Holiday Miracles

Rudy | Shark Tank

Rudy has one job. One night. Every 365 days. He’s had to improvise with odd jobs the other 354 days. Santa lets him pose for commercials [which, as we observed on 7 December’s post] doesn’t come with a paycheck.

If you had a red light shining in your eyes as soon as you rested your weary head on a pillow every night, you’d bee an insomnia too. When his nose wasn’t keeping him awake, his thoughts were.

“Ideas multiply all day, up in my antlers, then sprinkle down at night, like-time released jolts of electricity,” he told his therapist during a particularly trying session.

“Try to capture your thoughts,” the therapist told him

Rudy set traps for his thoughts, but they all slithered through the cracks. Until one night. Rudy had attended a late afternoon wake for an old trainer who had been blindsided.

That’s deer chatter for deer in the headlights, the tenth victim the season. In fact, more deer had been killed by headlights than drilled though by hunters.

Was there something that would save deer lives?

[Insert non-disclosure signature here. Big Sis is watching. Steal this idea and Rudy will know where it came from.]

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Rudy | “I am NOT a duck, mermaid or naked emperor!””

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts. This is #11. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.


The Hans Christian Anderson storybook was planted on the bottom shelf of the bookcase in his room. Rudy would wake up at 3 am, startled by the chartreuse glow pulsating from the tome’s spine, not by the red light on his snout.

Whenever his mother caught wind of a bullying incident, she would have Rudy pull the book off the shelf, so that she could read an inspiring story from its pages.

Mr. Anderson was a prolific writer. The thing weighed 20 pounds.

“Twenty pounds of inspirational stories should be enough to make him accept himself.” His mother’s guilt hung throughout the house like the aroma of truffles. What would have happened if she had not been dancing so close to the cranberry bog when she was six months pregnant, and slipped?

Would Rudy feel better knowing about a girl fish, the naked emperor, a princess with the sensitive skin, the singing bird, girl with matched, or the switched-at-birth swan? Rudy pretended to listen, playing a La-La-La-La mantra inside his head while his mother read to him.

One day, he found a little book someone had dropped on the path to the ice pond. It was all about rabbits that were different. One told of a rabbit with HUGE feet. Uncomfortable childhood and all that, until it came time to escape from the lone wolf ghost. Another was about a rabbit with a shamrock embossed on the bottom of his paw. He could never get away with a prank, as his prints gave him away.

Until his prints led the way to a pot of gold. From then on, they called him “Lucky.”

Rudy placed the slim book under his pillow.

Rudy | Light Up This 5th Night


The Fifth Day of Chanukah is special, filled with Greeks, Maccabees, assimilation vs religious purity, and tainted oil. The saga spans thousands of years and millions of personal stories, stories of the power of light over the darkest of times.

Even the saying “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” is subject to controversy. Was is Romans 13:11, John F. Kennedy, or Eleanor Roosevelt?

It was K’ung Fu-tzu, Confucius, who uttered it sometime between 
551 – 479 B.C.E.

Rudy | Moveable Beasts

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts containing random insights into the seasonal saga. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.



Rudy’s second cousins in Wyoming do not posses the gift of flight, so each year they travel on hoof, 150 miles across public and private lands.

Amazing, considering the herd’s geographical route is part of their DNA passed from doe to fawn. They settled in the Leucite Hills in Wyoming’s Red Desert, long before humans followed, crossing the Bering land bridge and setting foot on the eastern portion of Beringia, now known as the tippy top of Alaska.

Humans built ranches, fences, Interstate highways, gated communities and recently, Dillie’s bedroom, in their path. The deer – given the unbecoming name of ‘Mule’ – have continued to move from summer fields to winter habitats in spite of obstacles. Click here for National Geographic’s stirring account.

Except for Rudy’s cousin Ralph’s digression into Dillie’s bedroom, their migration went undetected until 2011, when biologist, Hall Sawyer, placed tracking collars on deer that signed non-disclosure documents. National Geographic photographers got into the act. Watch the wonder.

Rudy | Monkey Ward*

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly. December 8 is dear to my heart, as I was an adman [ad woman just doesn’t cut it] for 35 years. Truth be told, advertising is the world’s oldest profession.

It was 1939. The drums of war were drowning out the songs of hope that Happy Days Are Here Again. The strong leader that Germans had wished for had turned out to be a nasty guy. In Chicago, a manager at Montgomery Ward needed a hook for the holidays. He asked Robert L. May, a copywriter, to write a children’s story.


May’s career did not match up to his writer’s dream – to pen the Great American Novel. Now, his boss wanted a product that would endear customers to the department store.

May submitted the draft. The boss reacted in typical creative vs. suits fashion: “Can’t you come up with something better?”

May wouldn’t give up. He got an art director to illustrate the draft and the rest is history – the history of how advertising shapes our world.

Rudolph’s story and song and cartoons are heart-warming additions to the US holidays.

Our Rudy will not be 100 years old in 2039. He reached that milestone before the invention of time.

*Monkey Ward is the now-defunct department store’s nickname.
Thanks to National Public Radio for the perfect link. Listen to the story, know more about May’s tragic life.


Rudy | Labor Bullying

Author’s note. Rudy | The Unofficial Novella is comprised of notes found stuffed in a stainless steel shoe box that floated up from what used to be frozen tundra. There will be 25 posts. This is #7. They are not in order, but will be when pigs fly.


Bullying rears its ugly head in subtle ways. Direct hits hurt, such as prancing and chanting “Rudy Rud-ee, Rude as he can be . . . “ in circles around a fellow trying to get through the snow.

Or, “Can we use your nose to read after lights out?” at boarding school.

As an adult, Rudy hoped that the tyranny would cease. Not so. The contemplative image of Reindeer and Tree appears innocent to humans, but is a stinging example of unfair practice.

The photo shoot took ten hours. Rudy’s fee and royalty check from Getty Images is not and never will be ‘in the mail.’

Rudy | The “Fly Agaric”


No Rudy saga is complete with the science behind how reindeer overcome gravity.

Media truth is hard to come by these days. Today’s content will rely on the world’s renowned purveyor of fact, the British Broadcasting Company, aka the BBC. *

Discover how Rudy and his species take flight, often with humans in tow.

*Hoof-Note: The BBC’s reputation for sticking to news that ‘has legs’ survived the sullen skeptics who denounced “Spaghetti-Harvest in Ticino” as Italian/Swiss propaganda. Did you notice the use of the hyphen?

Rudy | The Family Antler


Throughout millennia, fawn, stag and doe have gazed at their reflections in still water ponds and wondered, “Who am I?”

“Why are my eyes crossed?” “Where did that beard come from?” “Why is my left front hoof shaped like a heart? “Whose nose decided to turn crimson and pulsate after sundown?”

Many of these questions can be answered by referencing the Deer Family Antler. While humans expose their Family Trees to the public through the massive Mormon enterprise’s, family Cervidae records hang on racks in the most sacred Hall of Secrets, only accessible to the eldest of the herd.

Occasionally, a tribal elder will take pity on a youngster suffering from indignity and bullying. Such was the case for Rudy.


“You should be proud of your relatives. Your great great great . . . oh heck, I’m not going to list the exact number of greats. The point is that your ancient relatives crossed the pond on the DecemberFlower. The little ship arrived five months after the human-bearing Mayflower because your G-Mother suffered from an advanced case of seasickness, which spread to the humans.”

The elder continued. “The little band of migrants pulled into the first port they spotted. They remained moored on the leeward side, safe from storms and the perils of tropical life.”

Rudy loved geography. He had the highest grade in his class, one of the reasons his classmates bullied him. He had to know. “Where is this island?”

“In the Caribou-ean Sea.”


Rudy | The Unofficial Novella


Chapter One | Resignation

“I quit.”

The words were printed on a brown paper bag. The letters were crude, scratched from what appeared to be the mud from just outside the barn. A tiny, debossed stamp of a deer’s hoof served as the signature. The bag sat on the Claus’s kitchen table, surrounded by two-dozen salt lick angel cookies and a wilting bouquet of mistletoe. It was the day after the day after Christmas, 2017.

Chapter Two | Rudy | Making Hay

Nobody knows the exact second on the atomic clock when Rudy weakened. Or what form that final straw took.

Theories flooded in from the usual subterranean provinces as well as the ethereal. One farmer reported that it was not one, but thousands of organic missiles snatched up from wheat fields that hadn’t been bailed.

The winds of that tornado would hold the title of ‘storm of the century’ for ten days, until a bigger one scraped across the earth.

There was no last straw. Rudy’s noble soul was pierced by a byproduct of cereal.

He was hit by the hay.

Chapter Three | Ancestry Matters

Rudy comes from a long line of loyal and true steeds, a fact first noted by none other than Charles Darwin, who made a clandestine journey to Lapland in the winter of 1835. Following his Indian summer voyage of discovery to the Galapagos, there was such a brew-ha-ha about the idea that the sweet red-breasted robin’s Jurassic ancestor could have been a Velociraptor, that Chuck hesitated to tell anyone what he was up to at the tippy top of the planet.

His intention was to test his aerodynamic mammal theory as it applied to the Norse and Germanic mythology. He hid copious notes in the flyleaf of his red-leather journal, which he placed in a secret drawer of his roll top desk. His wife [and first cousin] Emma donated the desk to a museum and nobody opened the drawer until 2016.

thor-mjolnir-hammer-chariot-goats-norse-mythology-godsNow we know that Darwin had surmised that Rudy’s ancestors were massive, horned beasts that pulled Thor, the mighty god of Thunder across the sky in a chariot on freezing winter nights. This suited Santa, who acknowledged a fondness for the thunder god’s bellowing “Ho Ho Ho”. However, amateur Norwegian rune translators had mistakenly dubbed the beasts ‘goats’ not reindeer – a tragic example of semantic disaster. Darwin tried to correct the mistake, but he didn’t have access to DNA analysis.

Rudy did. He sent his sample to Soon after he received the results, left his resignation on Santa’s kitchen table.


to be continued . . .