Okay so there’s still 3 days to go till December, but close enough.
Back when I was in high school taking typing and computer courses, we didn’t have ‘Word’, we used WordPerfect. Which, between me and everyone, I liked that program a lot better. But that’s not relevant to the story. As always happens around this time of year in English classes across the nation (and the odd typing class) we had to write a holiday letter to our family.
I’ve never been a letter writer. I apparently lack the knack for non-fiction writing, but whatever, it was a school assignment so no getting out of it. But far be it from me to actually do the assignment as expected. Instead I decided to write a holiday letter *my* way.
For context, I had recently gotten it in my mind to memorize the entirety of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. (and probably not un-inspired by The Simpson’s episode) Just because it seemed like the thing to do at the time, I suppose. So all that was fresh in my mind, and being forced to write a holiday letter (which I hate doing) and being somewhat more poetic in high school than I tend to be now, all these things came together to produce the following. Written sometime in the neighborhood of December, 1994.
Once Upon a Christmas Raven
Once upon a midnight Christmas, while I pondered, weak and listless
Over many quaint and curious packages, wrapped and tied and new;
As I pondered, nearly peaking, suddenly I heard a squeaking
As if someone stealth’ly sneaking, sneaking down my chimney flu.
‘Tis Santa Claus,’ I muttered, ‘sneaking down my chimney flu,
With packages, wrapped and tied and new.’
Ah distinctly, I recall It was winter, long past fall
And each reindeer he did call as he flew on through the night.
Eagerly I sought to see them, milk and cookies out to greet them,
Underneath my tree he’ll leave them, presents all marked just for me –
Many rare and radiant presents that are all marked just for me,
He’ll leave them underneath my tree.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each festive curtain
Filled me with fantastic joys that Santa Claus would soon be here.
Down into the bright room came he, with a red hat, fat and jolly,
And a little twig of holly tight tightly gripped between his… claw?
Some stupid bird with a bit of holly in between his claw?
I couldn’t believe what then I saw!
‘Twas not Santa Claus who came in, but a fat and pitch black raven!
I knew it was food he was cravin’ as he stood and stared at me.
Not a sound then did he utter, but with many feathers fluttered
Flew up to the heavenly angel perched upon the Christmas tree –
To the heav’nly angel Gabriel perched upon the Christmas tree.
Quoth the raven, ‘Feed me.’
(and I’ve the sudden desire to add to it…