Few things are as quiet as a forest in winter. Most of the birds have flown south; many of the animals are hibernating. So the sound of strong legs pushing skis through the deep snow carried a long way.
As did the sound of a small elf crashing into yet another tree, as well as the sound of another bough full of snow landing plop! onto a small elf head a moment later.
Santa sighed, and once again pulled his Elf companion out of a snow bank. "I would think that with those sharp eyes of yours, you'd be able to see these trees a bit better," said Santa. "I thought you said you were a good skier."
"I am an excellent skier" said Holly Elf. "An excellent water skier. This may surprise you, but there were very few snow-covered pine trees on Lake Tahoe."
"Ho, ho, ho! I hadn't thought of that," said Santa. "Well, Holly, we won't make good time having to stop and pull you out of a snowbank every five minutes, so I think it's time for Plan B."
"What's Plan B?" asked Holly.
"I pick you up and carry you on my shoulders," said Santa, doing just that.
"Whoa! Careful!" yelped Holly, fighting for balance. "Will you be able to carry me?"
"Have you seen the size of the sack I take down a chimney?" asked Santa. "If I can carry that, I can carry you."
Within a few minutes, Holly got used to Santa's shoulders, and even discovered it was easier to follow the large footprints in the snow. After a few minutes, Holly relaxed.
"If anyone had told me that I would be spending this Christmas season sitting on Santa's shoulders, tracking a yeti who had taken two reindeer..."
"And Waldo Elf" added Santa.
"and Waldo Elf," continued Holly, "I would have told them to stop drinking the eggnog. What about you, Santa?"
"I don't drink eggnog," said Santa.
"No--I mean.." Holly stopped, and stared straight ahead. "Look!"
Santa schussed to a halt. "Ho, ho ho!" he said. "Just as I thought."
What did Santa and Holly see? Are the deer all right? Keep reading The North Pole Times to find out!