Thursday, December 24, 2009

Over the Hills and Through the Woods

On Christmas Eve morning, the Kittens have their breakfast while their Mother, Beauty, inspects the 'sleigh' that will take them to 'Grandmother's House'. For those who do not recognise the allusions, it is an old Yuletide song:
'Over the hills and through the Woods
To Grandmother's House we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the Sleigh
Through the white and drifted snow...'

It is pure fantasy, of course. I am not about to send the Kittens or my darling Beauty and Ash outside, snow or no snow... Father Christmas, however, will leave their Gifts in the red waggon when he visits and they will be able to explore it and them to their heart's content on Christmas Morning.

Returning to the fantasy journey:
Meanwhile, both Beauty and Ashleigh inspected the 'sleigh' in preparation for the trip to Grandmother's House. What fun it would be for the Kittens to have their first glimpse of snow and feel the occasional snowflake kiss their upturned faces! They are filled with the spirit of discovery now, questing ever further each day from the security of their Mother's warmth to gaze, sniff and listen to every aspect of their new world.

Later, when I attach real sleigh bells to the handle of the waggon, I daresay that will interest Beauty and Ash as well as the babies. In the initial moments of inspection, Beauty promptly bit the handle of the waggon while Ashleigh gingerly and carefully prowled over to the other side to sniff at it. The kittens were too busy nursing to notice it, but once they have filled their tummies, they probably will explore the area beneath the waggon as their little legs are too short to allow them to climb into it unaided.

Later I will place all four inside the waggon and try to take a photograph before they have a chance to scatter. The red waggon is a doll-sized reproduction of the classical Radio Flyer waggon known to generations of children. It was sent as a gift a number of years ago by a very dear family friend and has been used each year for the milkshake and shortbread that are left for Father Christmas, aka Santa with a note and a couple of carrots for the Reindeer. He always remarks upon the excellence of the milkshake (a peculiar family tradition, not generally observed in ANY country), which is made from eggnog and vanilla ice cream and often leaves an ornament for the Tree. The ornaments invariably are of himself in one guise or another. I do not know if he will leave another this year as the tree now groans with the collection he has bestowed over the years... The reindeer never finish THEIR offering, but leave a half-bitten carrot in the waggon and often a few grains of snow and pine needles. They are messy creatures but at least it serves as proof that they were here.

There are some wonderful books about Cats at Christmas incidentally. I shall have to take photographs of a few for this site.

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