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The Villages
Friday, March 24, 2023

Ludlow’s Christmas

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

For those who have read the words that I present each week for some time know that Christmas is when Ludlow the yellow rubber ducky really tries to make his biggest wish come true.  That wish is that he can become red or green so that he can fit in the Christmas spirit.  He doesn’t think that yellow is the proper color for such an important season.  Over the years, he has succeeded in temporarily achieving his goal.  The trouble is that his change is usually noted by the mother of the little girl who owns him.  She always grabs him and cleans him back to his normal yellow color.  He has been to the North Pole where even Santa tells him that rubber duckies are supposed to be yellow and he should get used to it.

Ludlow sits on a shelf and sighs as he realizes that another Christmas is here and he still has not figured out how to change color. In fact, the entire family is now in bed.  The mother did give him a once over to make certain that he was still yellow.  He is suddenly startled when he hears a big clamor on the roof.  It is a wonder that it hasn’t awaken the family.  It sounds like sloppy driving by Santa. Perhaps, he is finally starting to show his age, Ludlow thought.  Ludlow watched the fireplace carefully as he knew that is where Santa usually entered.  Then he got worried as he knew that the little girl’s father had bricked up the chimney and they had a small gas fireplace now.  Heavens, how was Santa going to get in now!

Ludlow did not need to worry as Santa has magical means, and the front door opened quietly and a figure in red appeared.  “Gracious”, thought Ludlow “that’s not Santa Claus”.  True he was dressed the same way, but he was obviously much younger.  The figure looked up and saw Ludlow. He gestured and Ludlow floated down to his hand.  The figure gave a hearty laugh and exclaimed, “You must be Ludlow. Rudolph’s son told me of your adventures with his dad. Rudolph says that you want to be red or green.  Why for heaven’s sake, everybody knows that rubber duckies are supposed to be yellow and you should get used to it.”

Ludlow frowned (as much as a rubber ducky can), and asked “Who are you?”

“Why, I am Santa Claus, Jr” was the reply. There are getting to be too many people in this world and even Dad can’t keep up, so I am helping him for the first time.” Well, I am glad that you are helping him, but you need some practice on landing reindeer on a roof,” replied Ludlow.  “In my defense, part of that,” replied Junior “is the fact that that Rudolph’s son’s nose is not very bright.  Rudolph married Rebecca who comes from a very dull nosed family and was raised in Lapland. Rudolph met her one Christmas Eve while helping my dad deliver presents in Lapland.  The rest as they say is history.”        

Ludlow drew himself up and said to Jr, “You asked why I wanted to be green or red.  The reason is that I want to enter into the Christmas spirit, but since I am yellow nobody will pay any attention to me and I can’t really feel the spirit of the day.”  Junior who was wise for one so young (50 last March 2) pointed out to Ludlow that it is how you feel inside not how you look outside.  The color does not matter. However, since you have been wishing this for so long, I will make you a glorious red with green twinkling eyes.” And he did! Ludlow could see himself in the mirror on the opposite wall and was gloriously happy.

“However,” warned Junior, “If my Dad finds out what I did, he will switch you back quicker than you would believe.” Ludlow, was so happy that he told Junior that he would be happy as long as it lasted – and beyond. Just then, the door quietly opened and Junior was gone. Unfortunately, Junior made even more noise getting the sled off the roof than he did landing.  The noise woke the entire family, and since all the kids could see the presents, it was decided to open them then and there. The presents were rapidly opened and as a calm ensued, the little blond girl looked up and exclaimed. “Look, Ludlow is Red!”  The mother quickly reached for him when “zap” Ludlow was yellow again.  The mother exclaimed, “Dear, it must have been the Christmas lights as Ludlow is still yellow.”

Ludlow smiled as only a yellow rubber ducky can!

Barry Evans is a columnist for Villages-News.com

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