It was Christmas Eve and the all through the town,
Christmas cheer lit the faces of every How,
The people of How-ville decorated their houses,
They dressed up in fancy skirts and blouses,
The sweet smells of baking delightful treats,
Blended with the sounds of singing in the How-ville streets,
And up in the mountain overlooking the town,
The Gronch sat in his wheelchair with the dourest of frowns.
“Can you believe this, Bax?” The Gronch turned to his dog,
“Every year with this charade, the endless egg-nog,
The noise and the smell and excessively bright lights,
Carrying on too long, well into the night.”
Bax yawned widely and shook his fluffy ears,
He had heard the same speech just last year,
His service dog harness was catching the snow,
And kept him warm as the coldest of winds did blow.
The Gronch wheeled around and returned to his cave,
The only accessible home within his price range,
Inside it was sparce without so much as a spruce,
The DWP hadn’t believed he was telling the truth,
His benefits revoked had left him with nought,
Souring the mood further with miserable thoughts.
“I know what I’ll do”, The Gronch turned to Bax,
“I’ll ruin their Christmas! Here, pass me those sacks.”
Bax padded to a stack up against the wall,
And returned with the fabric clenched in his jaw.
The Gronch got to sewing, a difficult task,
With stiff joints it was quite an ask,
Bax was sent on multiple fetch quests,
Sitting at the Gronch’s feet in between to rest.
Eventually the Gronch made what he needed,
And turned his attention to Bax, whose eyes pleaded
Not to be involved in another one of these schemes,
But without Bax the Gronch had nothing; they were a team!
A few hours later as midnight approached,
Sleighbells were fixed onto Bax’s high-vis coat,
The final touch were some plastic antlers on his head,
And a small ball on his nose, coloured red.
With Bax’s aid the Gronch pulled on his new coat,
And a matching hat that made him gloat,
But he was not done, there was still more to do,
So Bax retrieved the cardboard and glue,
And moments later the wheelchair was hidden away,
Disguised as Santa’s very own sleigh,
And with that the Gronch ventured into the night,
A convincing Christmas figure even without the power of flight.
The Gronch made his way to the cable cars,
The steep slopes of the mountain were much too far,
For the Gronch to safely descend the hill,
Although the council argued it was but a matter of will.
As always, Bax had to help him cross the gap,
Between the mountain and car without a ramp,
Once in the cable car the descent was slow,
The Gronch watched as closer came the town’s glow.
Finally they arrived at the town of How-ville,
The late hour was quiet and the night was finally still,
But the Gronch had much work ahead of him,
So off he set, snow clinging to the wheel rims.
“Each and every home in this stinking village,
Is bloody listed,” the Gronch said as he pillaged.
There was no way for him to reach the chimneys so high,
So instead over doorsteps he had to climb.
Leaving his wheelchair out in the snow,
As he crawled through each and every home.
The Gronch pulled down every tree and stole every gift,
He raided the fridge of every item he could lift.
It took many hours but eventually all but one
Of the How-villes homes was completely done.
Into the last house the Gronch crawled with glee,
His first task of many was to attack the Christmas tree.
Some time passed when behind him he heard a voice call,
A voice so quiet and timid it must come from a child so small.
“Are you Santa?” the child asked, head tilted to one side,
“Why are you crawling?” her curiosity she was unable to hide.
“Santa was involved in an accident that wasn’t his fault,”
The Gronch replied, after calming from the initial jolt
Of surprise having suddenly heard a voice at his back,
While he was stuffing the last of the gifts in his sack.
“Where are you taking all of our things?
Our decorations and gifts, the leafy ring?”
“The wreath?” The Gronch asked what the child meant,
From the top of his sack he could see a big dent
In the leafy ring he had already placed
In the sack that hung from the belt on his waist.
“I’m taking them to my workshop for extensive repairs,
Don’t worry, when you wake up in the morning, they’ll be there.”
With that the Gronch ushered the child back to bed,
Before returning to his wheelchair disguised as a sled.
By the time the Gronch and Bax returned to the cable cars,
The light of dawn was erasing the stars,
It took quite an effort to haul their loot up the hill,
But when they were done the morning was still.
It took the How-villes a while to wake up,
But when they did there was quite the fuss.
“Where are the gifts? The food? The décor?
Why are their wheel tracks up to all of our doors?”
The Gronch sat on the mountain and strained his ears,
For the inevitable wailing of children’s tears,
But instead, much to his concern and surprise,
Another sound up the mountain did rise,
Quiet at first but growing loud,
Came the sound of voices singing proud,
Next came the sounds of laughter and joy,
As the children used the snow as a toy!
“Impossible,” the Gronch cried out in dismay,
Clutching at his chest he began to sway,
He slumped forward landing face-first in a drift,
And came to as teeth gently nipped his wrist.
Bax was trained how to respond to episodes,
A gentle nipping of fingers and toes,
To wake up the Gronch from these nasty spells,
That the doctor still could not explain well.
“No Bax, that’s not it this time,” the Gronch said,
Sitting upright and rubbing the side of his head,
“I think this is what my therapist claimed,
That I was depressed because I was maimed,
But now I’m used to it and it doesn’t feel so bad,
I think maybe I’m almost feeling glad,
Because I survived the ordeal and I’ve got you now,
The best friend I could wish for – oh no, oh wow,
What have I done?!” The Gronch yelled in despair,
Looking at the sacks of gifts still tied to his chair.
“I’ve got to return them, back to the cable car!
Maybe I can them get them back today, it isn’t far!”
It took much longer than the Gronch anticipated,
To return everything to town, as Bax spectated.
First he had to fix every scratch and dent,
Including the wreath he had earlier bent,
Then when that was done not everything could now fit,
In just one cable car with room for him to sit,
So the Gronch loaded the first car and wrote a note,
Which he stuck to the collar of Bax’s coat;
“I’m returning all of your Christmas things,
I’m sorry for the misery I wanted to bring.
I understand if your friendship I am denied,
But know that I’m sorry,” The Gronch signed.
Then off down the hill he sent his beloved dog,
Watching the cable car disappear into the fog
Before packing the next cab and rolling to the door,
Only to get stuck between the platform and cab floor.
“Why can’t they make these things flat?” The Gronch cried in frustration,
“A better job could be done by a bloody crustacean!”
It took immense effort to unhook his front wheels,
But eventually, he managed to work himself free.
As he descended the mountain darkness began to fall,
Until not much could be seen at all.
Eventually the cable car reached the ground,
When the cabin doors opened, what had Bax found?
Why, the little girl from the night before
Was waiting right outside the door!
She was playing with Bax in the falling snow,
Among the few lights that could but dimly glow.
“He’s here” she shouted to attract her friends,
Who came rushing to meet the Gronch at his journey’s end.
The cars were unloaded and the gifts passed around,
The food eaten and songs were sung, what a sound!
The How’s of How-ville showed the Gronch friendship and Christmas spirit,
And all of the joys to be experienced with it.
And that is how it came to be,
That the Gronch had the merriest Christmas you could ever see.