Sunday, December 26, 2004


Deep into Christmas eve, about 3 am if you must know, I was sound asleep, with visions of sugarplums - whatever they are - dancing in my head, when I was awakened by a sound outside. A large sound.

Not on the roof, but beside the house. A large animal, after blundering through the thicket in the dark, had come out into the cleared area and begun plowing slowly through the thick layer of leaves there, occasionally stopping to snap off a soft twig of hedge/Biwa/fig tree and chew it up. Rumination is very loud on a silent night.

The air was cold and I was warm and sleepy; nevertheless, in the spirit of Christmas I rushed to the window to see what was the matter, but of course it was as dark as it had been at my pillow. I went to get a flashlight, opened the window slowly and shined the light out into the dark: about 20 meters away I saw a big white heart: Blitzen was mooning me.

It definitely wasn't Rudolph; I'm not sure if it was really Blitzen or Donder or one of the others, but Santa was missing at least one reindeer. Actually, more likely they're all on vacation when they get to in Japan, since the Japanese don't have chimneys and Christmas here is 100% commercial. Kaya and the twins, on the other hand, have a genuine Yule experience at our house and enjoy the story of the deer on vacation.

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