Best Wishes for the Season and coming New Year.
From David and Frances, XXX
I’ve called this card ‘Freedom is… flying through the snow with the gratest of ease!
Remember ‘Freedom’ is a value which few of us attain!
I hear there is the possiblity of a white Christmas; or so the weather pundits say! Perhaps I should put a bet on a wet Christmas!
Have a Great time with your friends –
Best Wishes from David and Frances XXX
PS. Don’t forget the lad! XXX
Sends a purrrrr!
The Eye of the Taiga
Inspired by the Fitton Collection
Aka The Blixem Blizzard Collection
"‘I thought I might find you here.’
Rudyard watched his offspring prancing about in the snow tossing white in the air with his snout. Reddy ran a figure of eight between Rudyard’s legs at the sight of his father. ‘Mr Harald told me about the mighty bears stalking the woods and the castles covered in lichen.’
Rudyard let out a sigh and took a look at Mr Harald. ‘Did he now!’
The snowman reached up to his top hat with arms made of twig and lifted it ever so slightly. ‘Rudyard, good to see you; you look younger without your antlers.’
‘Ranger,’ Rudyard dipped his head. ‘I see you’ve been filling my boys head with stories again.’
Reddy sprinted off and dived into a mound of snow as though it were the first time he’d seen it. Harald sucked on the mouthpiece of his pipe until the bowl glowed orange.
‘There is nothing wrong with a good story. A good story is what keeps the furnace lit upstairs.’ The snowman tapped the stem of his pipe against his head. ‘It is a big old world out there, too big for one set of eyes to take everything in.’
Reddy shot past spraying his father in snow as he went. ‘Watch out for the bear dad!’
Rudyard took a step back. ‘There aren’t any bears, they are all in hibernation. Anyway…wait. What have I…’ Reddy darted diagonally across his bow.
Rudyard grunted, watching the white patch of his son’s backside hurdle a log and disappear. Moments later Reddy reappeared and made another pass; this time Rudyard brought him to a skidding halt with a strategically placed hoof. ‘What have I told you about straying this far from the enclosure?’ He twisted his neck to gaze at the distant chimney smoke. ‘You can barely see the elves workshop from here.’
Reddy rose on his hind legs to get closer to his father’s face, swaying from side to side in an unstable manner.
‘I wanted to see if I could find the green wolf.’
Rudyard glared at Harald; the Ranger took another drag on his pipe. It was difficult to tell the emotions of a snowman from an expression formed of carrot and coal.
‘There is no green wolf Reddy.’
‘There is dad, he lives in the trees.’
‘No there i…’ Reddy rushed off again. Rudyard called after him. ‘That excuse isn’t going to wash with your mother.’
Harald adjusted his scarf. ‘He’s a strapping calf. He’s been up and down this channel all day.’
Rudyard observed the grooves in the snow his son had left on the forest floor. ‘Reddy has too much energy for my liking. It’ll get him in trouble one day, mark my words.’
Harald gesticulated with his pipe. ‘He’ll be fine. They’ll put that energy to good use on the Sleigh Squad.’ A worried expression must have crossed Rudyard’s face to prompt the snowman’s next question. ‘You do want him to join don’t you?’
‘Of course; it’s a great honour among the herd, but he’s a long way from that.’
‘He’ll make it; he’s got Blixem’s blood flowing through his veins.’
Rudyard snapped his head in the snowman’s direction.
‘So do I and it didn’t do me any good.’
Harald shook his head so hard he almost dislodged part of his mouth.
‘The kid’s different. You never had any imagination.’
They both watched Reddy rolling in the snow battling with some invisible enemy. Rudyard collapsed his legs beneath him and slumped down at the foot of the snowman. ‘What has imagination got to do with anything?’
‘Everything, imagination is freedom. You could be trapped in a box and never see anything again, but if you can imagine what it is like outside of the box. You are free.’
‘What has that got to do with pulling the sleigh?’ asked Rudyard.
‘Why do you think only young reindeer can fly? It is because they are free.’
‘So are we.’
‘No. You’re not. Nowhere near. Maturity brings experience and experience breeds fear and doubt. The youthful mind is a blank canvas, a sponge sucking everything in with little idea of what is safe and what is dangerous. They have no concept of what is possible and what is impossible. If you tell Reddy he can fly, he’ll believe you.’
Rudyard grunted. ‘It sounds like hokum to me.’
‘Having an imagination gives you a freedom that allows you to try things without fear, to tread impossible paths with abandon.’ Harald waited for a response from Rudyard who just raised a solitary eyebrow. ‘Trust me. When it comes to flying, I know what I am talking about.’
Rudyard cackled at the thought.
‘You are not still pedalling that myth are you? It doesn’t even make sense. You’re a ranger; you are built to tend to the woodland. It doesn’t make any sense that a snowman would be able to fly.’
Harald’s twig hands clamped to his sides.
‘As I said, someone with no imagination is a captive to his fears, doubts and insecurities.’
Rudyard stood up.
‘If anyone is a captive it is you. You just stay in the same spot all the time. I’ve never seen you move position once in my whole life and I have migrated through these forests for over a decade!’
Harald rested a hand on the reindeers shoulder.
‘I understand it’s tough. The impossible to you is an insurmountable brick wall. A challenge you think you can never conquer.’ Harald pointed towards Reddy. ‘Don’t think everyone is the same as you. To your son, to me, to Blixem, to Santa Claus himself; the impossible is an adventurous puzzle that gets us to where we need to be.’
‘Well, you wanted to know why you couldn’t fly. I’ve told you.’
‘No, what I wanted to know was why my son always seems to have his head in the clouds and I’m beginning to understand now.’
Harald flailed his wooden appendages. ‘You say it as though it is a bad thing.’
‘It is,’ snapped Rudyard. ‘He should be busy working at the enclosure.’
‘Would you accuse an eagle of wasting its time if it had its “head in the clouds”?’
‘He’s not an eagle.’
‘Not if you clip his wings before their even developed.’
Rudyard stomped off. ‘There is no talking to you sometimes Ranger.’
Reddy must have sensed some sort of tension between his father and Mr Harald because he stopped playing in the snow and watched them. Rudyard noticed this, stopped, lowered his voice and softened his tone. He looked back at Harald. ‘Coincidence isn’t a good foundation for a factual argument.’
It was the snowman’s turn to shake his head.
‘You’re building that wall again.’
A jet of hot air puffed out of Rudyard’s nose.
‘Well, it’s been a pleasure seeing you again Ranger. I’m sure I’ll see you again tomorrow as my son seems infatuated with your fables. Let’s try and keep the talk of bears to a minimum eh? You are not the one who has to get him to sleep of a night.’
Harald’s pipe pulsated orange again.
‘As you wish Rudyard, as you wish.’
Rudyard beckoned to his son with his head.
‘Come on Reddy, we are going back to the enclosure.’
Reddy ran towards his father. ‘But I haven’t found the green wolf yet.’
‘It’s late; your mother will be worried.’
Reddy turned full circle and began trotting backwards. ‘Goodbye Mr Harald.’
The snowman waved.
Rudyard let out another long drawn out sigh.
‘If your mother asks where you have been, don’t mention bears or wolfs.’
‘What about castles?’
‘Definitely not castles.’
‘I’m going to catch that wolf.’
‘Not tonight you’re not.’
Reddy ran up to the front. ‘I’ll lead the way dad. I’m not scared of the bears.’
Rudyard was about to explain to his son about winter lairs when a snowball exploded against the back of his neck. Rudyard came to an abrupt halt and turned his head to look back into the forest clearing. He was about to lambast the ranger when he stopped. Reddy poked his head out between his father’s hind legs. ‘What’s wrong dad?’
Rudyard frowned and concentrated but couldn’t see Harald anywhere. He smelt the air for his pipe. Nothing, the snowman was gone. Rudyard stood there with his jaw slack.
Reddy bounced from side to side. ‘Where has Mr Harald gone?’
Rudyard slowly peered up into the star lit sky, scared of what he might find.
‘That is an excellent question.’"