Page 18 - The Kerry News 2019
P. 18

It’s A Small World After All
people living there.
Said Santa, sadly, “the whole world is on the move and the displaced peoples are carrying their houses on their back. It is so difficult to find the little children and to deliver their presents. ” But as Rudolph used to
say “Santa is some man for one man.” The reindeers were travelling at their fastest, hurrying to get to
O’ Sullivans and a big feed of hay.
Blitzen ,who was another
of Santa’s reindeers ,was always hungry even when he was full, but this time his stomach was so empty there was a loud rumble that was louder than thunder. “Fasten seat belts”, shouted Santa. “There’s a plane coming towards us. Watch out. It’s big and loud.”
The reindeers laughed. “No need to worry Santa, it’s only Blitzen’s empty tummy gurgling.”
The reindeers and Santa landed in Kerry at the farm owned by the O’ Sullivan family and there before them in the hay shed was
a feast that gladdened
their hearts. The reindeers tucked in to the sweet hay and there wasn’t a word out of them as they ate.
Mikey O’ Sullivan looked on contentedly. He and Santa were old friends. Santa took off his boots and tucked
in to a plate of bacon and cabbage with floury spuds. This was the last stop and the plan was the reindeers would get some rest before heading back home to the North Pole.
Mary was Mikey’s wife.
She and Mikey cooked the dinner for Santa. Santa brought her the usual present. It was a bag of dried reindeer poo, which was placed carefully in a
tea pot of boiling water
and Mary swore it was the nicest, finest tea she ever drank. “Waste not want not is what I always say” said Santa. “I think people call it “sustainability” nowadays” replied Mary.
Santa yawned and he almost fell asleep while he was eating. “Oh” said Santa, “I’m dozing off, but we had some terrible places to call to this year”. One family were locked up inside a lorry that was sealed tight. There were kids inside with their mams and dads. They could barely breathe. We had to get the elves to open up the lorry with their toy making equipment. The
by Billy Keane
Santa stirred himself from his deep sleep. And if his Mom and Dad were crying earlier, it was Joe’s turn now. He told his story and by now all the reindeers were listening in. Joe would not get home for Christmas. He loved Molly, Mikey Og and little Mary with all of his big heart.
  The reindeers loved Irish silage but their favourite food of all
kids got their presents and they are in a safe place now where they can get plenty of fresh air and sleep. I do hope they are allowed to stay on in Ireland” sighed Santa.
was Kerry hay.
Every year, without fail, Santa would land the
sled and reindeers at the same farm in Kerry. The
O’ Sullivan’s who owned
the farm would cut the green grass in the summer and dry it out in the fine weather. The hay was then stored for the reindeers at Christmas time.
The sweet mountain flowers and the use of natural fertilisers made the hay so tasty.
For Rudolph, the head reindeer, this stopover at the small farm in the foothills of Ireland’s tallest mountain was the highlight of the annual Christmas Eve presents run.
“There is no hay like the Kerry hay” said Santa. “Indeed”, said the reindeers in unison.
And altogether they sang “yum, yum in my tum tum. Hey hey hey, Kerry hay.” Christmases come and Christmases go and now
it was Christmas time yet again. There’s a saying that goes” it’s a small world”
but as Rudolph often says “the world isn’t that small
if you’re carrying all the presents for all the kids
who live in the world.” The reindeers were starving. It was agreed by all, including Santa himself, that this was the toughest Christmas ever. Never before had the reindeers been so exhausted. Never before had Santa been so exhausted.
“The people of the world are on the move”, Santa said. “Millions of kids and their mammies and daddies left their homes for a safer and better place.”
The sounds of the reindeers munching was like walking on a thousand bags of crisps. They were enjoying every bite. Mikey and Mary’s son Joe lives in New York. He came home to help out his Mam and Dad with the reindeer hay and he filled huge buckets of water for the thirsty Christmas heroes.
The reindeers went off to the far corner of the hay shed for a chat. They were back in seconds.
 Joe hit for Shannon airport early on Christmas Eve. His Mom and Dad cried after their son and they
Santa said “Joe will be the last present we deliver this Christmas”.
“But you must be exhausted”, said Joe. “I’m afraid I cannot accept your kind offer, it’s just too much.”
so hoped he would get in
to America without any bother.
Joe’s kids and his wife Molly were waiting for him in New York. Joe went to America a few years back when there was no work at home. He knew his Mom and Dad were getting on
“Not a bother at all” said Santa. “The reindeers are only barely run in. Jump up there on the sled but first
in years and would not be able for the heavy lifting
of the hay. Joe wouldn’t
let Santa and the reindeers go hungry. Only the O’ Sullivan’s knew of Santa’s secret visit. If the word got out Santa would be besieged by thousands of people looking for selfies and batteries.
of all, throw a few bales of hay up there. The reindeers will have a hay snack out over the Azores. There is no better fodder fuel for flying.”
Rudolph spoke for all the reindeers. “Santa”, he said “we are feeling full of energy after the big feed Kerry hay and the snorey sleep in the snug hay shed. Let’s take Joe to New York.”
Like Father...Like Son...
 But safer and better are usually very far away and many of the safer and better places didn’t want to take in the families who left their own countries in search of a better life.
Mikey asked the question we would all ask Santa if
we met him.“How do you manage to get presents to all the kids Santa?”
The reasons for moving could be because of a war, or the kids could have been hungry and poor with little chance of education. Families who had lived in the same house all of their lives were forced to change address, and many of those on the move had no address because they had nowhere to live.
The people who were trying to find a better place were sometimes kept in big camps with thousands of
Santa finished chewing the last tasty piece of bacon and cabbage and he replied “Mikey, my great friend, it’s called the miracle of Christmas.”
“We delivered lovely presents to your two grandchildren just a few hours ago in New York, including the two from the two of you. Your son wasn’t there. I suppose he was flying home at the time.” “Ah thanks so much Santa”, said Mary.
Joe reluctantly agreed to take up Santa’s kind offer of a drive to New York.
Off they went, and a good bit later, the exhausted reindeers pulled in on to the driveway of a small house in a place called The Bronx. Little Mary and Joe Junior were the first to wake. Molly and the kids ran through the snow to greet Joe.
Santa gave out the traditional Ho, Ho, Ho
and stayed for pecan pie, which is a great favourite in America.
It was getting bright and Rudolph advised Santa, who would stay talking for hours, that they should be on her way back home. “Thank you so much
Santa and the reindeers
for bringing daddy home”, said Mikey Og. Rudolph was limping and Little Mary kissed his bruised
foot better. She looked up at Rudolph and said in a tiny voice. “Thanks Rudolph
for making this the best Christmas ever.”
“No bother at all”, said Rudolph. “ Sure it’s a small world” and he winked at Santa who smiled.
Santa and the reindeers fell fast asleep. They needed
the rest before the long trip home to the North Pole. They were wakened by a car driving in to the
O’ Sullivan’s yard.
It was Joe. He was turned back at the American emigration desk at Shannon Airport. Joe was not allowed back in to the
U.S. because the American authorities said he wasn’t living there legally
Author and Journalist Billy Keane who has published his new book ‘The Very Best of BILLY KEANE’ and is available in all good bookshops for Christmas.
Mary made sandwiches for Santa from the rest of the bacon and steaming hot reindeer poo tea was poured in to a flask.
Great stories are heard in the pub !
Photos: Don MacMonagle
Christmas Club Now Open : Gift Vouchers Available
                                                                                      New Street, Killarney T: 064 662 69227 Out Now - available in all good bookshops

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