Dolores Flemspackle burst into Santa's office. Santa, Gizmo, and Bernard were sharing cookies and eggnog with Dolores' son, Phil, and the Yeti, who was burping out eggnog-scented reindeer names. (No, it's not polite, but are you going to tell a Yeti that?-ed.)
"Mother, the elves have been telling me about Ha'penny Elf...I mean, Grandpa Hap," said Phil, "and Gizmo has an idea about how Flemspackle Industries can cut down on pollution!"
"It's actually an idea your Grandfather gave me, many years ago," said Gizmo Elf.
"Bbbbllllitzzzzennnn" rumbled the Yeti, happily.
"That's nice, dear," said Dolores, distractedly, "but I think it's time we said our goodbyes and let these people get on with their Christmas-y things."
Phil looked confused. "But I thought the reason for our trip was to find some 'green' technology. We didn't find any of that, but 'white' technology might be what we need."
"Prrrrrrancerrrrp!" expelled the Yeti.
"Yes, well, it didn't work out, so we need to move on. Lovely to have met you all," she said, grabbing her son by the elbow and heading for the door.
"Did you find your ring?" asked Bernard.
"My what?" asked Dolores.
"Your ring," said Gizmo. "You said you lost a ring at the stable."
"Oh! My ring. Right," said Dolores, and she thought for a minute. "Turns out I wasn't wearing one after all!"
"Oh for pity's sake, will you cut that out!" Dolores snarled at the Yeti.
"Oops. Ho, ho--that one was me," said Santa. "Sorry about that. I haven't burped Reindeer names in years."
"Wait...lady going away?" asked the Yeti, dismayed.
"Seems that way," said Bernard.
"That makes me sad," said the giant creature, and he sniffed back a tear.
"Oh, get over it, you big furball," said Dolores. "Maybe I'll send Santa another letter someday." Then she stopped, and smiled. "Actually, I think I misjudged you," she said, in a silky-smooth voice. "Would you like to be our escort?"
"What's a skort?" asked the yeti.
"It's a pair of shorts that look like a skirt," said Gizmo Elf.
"What? No--escort" said Dolores. "Would you come with us when we leave?"
The Yeti grinned happily, "Oh yes, please-and-thank-you!"
The Flemspackles and the Yeti bid a rather hasty good-bye to all the elves, and things quickly returned to normal.
Until later that evening, when Timbo Elf ran into the main square, ringing a bell, and shouting: "EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! WE'RE MISSING TWO REINDEER!"
Which reindeer are missing, and why? Keep reading the North Pole Times to find out!
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