Woods Gleaming in the Snow

The Night Before Christmas and Not a Leaf Was Stirring…

Pippa and Ellie Christmas Leave a Comment

Woods Gleaming in the SnowOne day Stumpy stayed with his friends a little too long as they were all excited about Christmas and it was that most magical of nights: Christmas Eve.

The dusk began to entwine around his tired eyes and he began to worry about getting home safely through the dark…Stumpy had never been in the forest after dark and his eyes were not accustomed to the inky cloak of the oncoming night and it all seemed very murky and he could not see clearly at all; then on this cold dank night the fog began to creep in to make things worse and the little horse could not see at all…in fact Christmas Eve was turning out not to be magical at all…

He panicked and began to trot faster, completely forgetting in his fear that his mother had always told him not to show fear at night lest it take over his mind and cause him to lose his way. Trotting through the shadowy trees which seemed most unfriendly, unlike their daylight guise, and over snaking branches, through deep puddles and slippery leaves, he went through the approaching dusk which was becoming more gloomy by the moment.

The little white horse by now was now not all white, he was very muddy, very dirty, very tired and very cross with himself but worse was to come…the more irritated he became the more sounds he thought he heard, the more scared he felt, the more shadows he saw, the more terrified he was, the more rustlings and sounds he heard of the unseen, and even, unsung people in the forest…and the owls, the bats, the fireflies, the wolves, the badgers, the fox and then… to make everything even worse, it began to snow.

Now, what you don’t know, and I haven’t told you is that there was one thing more than anything the little horse didn’t like, even more than the black inky dark which enveloped him and shrouded his eyes from seeing, and that was SNOW…Stumpy hated…snow, it was cold, it stopped him seeing, it was slippery and it was even worse than fog and NOW he could not see for all the snowflakes twirling down around him and wolves howling and the wind picking up and the slip, slip, slip beneath his hooves and he began to run through the trees without any direction or even any thought of where he was headed…

Birds and Mistletoe in a Christmas TreeWhich was straight for a tree, bang, with his head, and Stumpy subsided to an undignified halt with stars appearing in front of his eyes, or was it snowflakes, he really wasn’t able to tell any more and the extraordinary thing was that the little horse wasn’t grey anymore, nor even mud-coloured nor dappled grey, but pure white as he was covered with snow from head to tail. And as the snow ceased to swirl, and fell more and more gently until at last it glided to a graceful halt, he suddenly saw an entirely new and magical landscape…

The moon lit up the white ground alive with the white glow of the snow, the birch bark gleamed under its light, the stars glittered high up above in the dark, midnight blue sky, almost silver in their shimmer and casting their ethereal light throughout the wild wood. And the tree he had bumped into shone brightly with tiny lights and golden shells and was garlanded with mistletoe and ivy and lit the ground all around it… and the whole tree was alive with twittering golden birds which flew in and out of its green branches…suddenly Stumpy felt very happy and excited about Christmas Day, which I shall tell you about another time…

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