PARAPHRASED BY KAREN REYNOLDS (C) 1979
Twas the night before Christmas when all through the coop,
Not a creature was stirring 'cause they were all in a group.
The stockings were hung by the nest box with care
In hopes that Saint Chickolas soon would be there.
The chicks were nesteled all snug in their straw,
while visions of sugar-corn danced in their craw,
And Ma Hen in her kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out in the run there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my roost to see what was the matter.
Away to the door I flew like a flash,
Tore open the hatch and fell with a crash.
The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow
Gave a luster of eggs whites to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a teeny sleigh and eight Banty Brabanteer.
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moult it must be St. Chick!
More rapid than chicken hawks his coursers they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Now Scratcher! Now Cackler! Now Crower and Gritzen!
On Crummet! On Coopid! On Duster and Pipzin!
To the top of the perch, to the top of the wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
As dry straw before the wild hurricane fly,
When it meets with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the coop top the coursers they flew.
With a sleigh full of toys and St. Chickolas, too.
And then in a twinkling I heard on the peak
The clucking and crowing of each little beak
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the hole in the roof St. Chick came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur from his beak to his spur
His clothes were all tarnished, very dirty they were.
A bag of toys he had slung on his back,
And he looked like a feed man just opening his sack.
His eyes how they twinkled! His wattles how merry!
His ear lobes like roses, his comb like a cherry!
And the feathers on his chin were as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his beak
And the smoke it encircled his head like a leek.
He had a broad face and a round little belly
That shook when he hopped, that Silky was silly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a flap of his wing
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to sing.
He clucked not a word but went straight to his work,
And filled all the chicks socks; and then turned with a jerk,
And laying a feather aside of his beak
And giving a nod up he went like a streak.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a click
And away they all flew like the down of a chick.
But I heard him crow as they drove into the sky,
"If you believe this you'll believe any old lie!"