top of page

Special Mention - Jarick Weldon

The Tenth Reindeer

By Jarick Weldon

Dear Editor,

I am writing to report the contents of a letter that recently came into my possession.
After reading this account, I hope you will be able to advise whether it is appropriate
to publicise this more widely, or not. There is a part of me that wonders if I should
have already shredded the item, but I am trusting in your good judgement and
reputation. I have kept the original document for the time-being.

By way of background, this Christmas morning, I had settled down in a
comfortable armchair with my usual glass of ‘warm up’ port, whilst my wife was
cooking lunch. I find it best to keep out of the way of her work, unless directly
instructed towards a specific task. This is an arrangement to which we have come
over many years and is a matter in which my wife has made it clear she is fully

I was intending to watch “Phil and Holly’s Festive Holly and Fillings.” If you
have not come across this programme, I can heartily recommend it on Catch-up.
Anyway, the television picture had gone off. We still watch TV through our aerial — I
know, so old fashioned! One of the local pigeons sits on the aerial and there must be
a dodgy connection. I’ll get it fixed sometime, but as a temporary measure I just go
out and shout: “Oi, fat pigeon!” and it flies away.

So — long story short — there was no pigeon, but there was a letter stuck in
the aerial. We live in a bungalow, so I was able to retrieve the letter without too much
danger. I needed ladders and used some garden bamboo cane to knock it down.
Technically, bamboo cane, and gardening in general, falls into my wife’s domain, so I
was careful to put everything back exactly where I found it.

The writing on the letter is very small, in a style I will describe as somewhere
between beautifully elaborate and messily scrawling. Anyway, it is difficult to read. I
had to retrieve my +3.0 glasses from the bureau drawer, whereas I can manage
most things with my usual +1.5’s. I have transcribed the contents of the letter below:

Hey Humans,

Look, I haven’t got much time and it’s not safe, so you’ll just have to put up with the
messy writing. This is only the third letter I’ve managed to get out in two hundred
years, so don’t go thinking it’s easy. Sworn to silence and all that; eyes are watching.
I’m an elf, but that’s all I’m telling. I need to warn you all about the tenth reindeer. I
won’t give his real name — I’ll call him Trouble.

So, you think Santa has nine reindeer? Well, you only know that because of
me. I got my first letter out in 1823. A professor guy picked it up and wrote about the
Eight. He tried to stay anonymous, but it came out. They finished him off in Rhode

Then, there’s the reindeer with the red nose. I got that letter through in 1939.
Smug reindeer — can’t say I’m a fan. That nose is dangerous as well. You know how
you can tell if planes are flying toward or away from you by the red and green lights
on their wings? Well, if you put another glowing, bulbous, red thing up in the sky it
can get messy pretty quicky, I’ll tell you that for free.

So, Trouble is the tenth reindeer, and you need to know about him. Do you
remember that 1979 event: the old woman, high on eggnog and off her meds;
trampled to death; nobody knew who did it? Someone wrote a song about it. Yep,
that was Trouble. Santa doesn’t know; even if I tell him, he’s just gonna keep
handing out those presents and do nothing about it.

Uh oh, someone’s coming. Gotta go, or this could be the last anyone will hear
from me. I’ll drop this letter off somewhere on the run — it may be a bit random.
Remember, eyes are watching...

So, that’s the letter. I must say, I found it a bit disconcerting. I’ve not mentioned it to
my wife. If you do publish, please keep me anonymous, or make up a pen name,

By the way, I’ve just watched “Claudia and Tess’s Winter Wondernesses” —
great fun and another one for your watch list if you missed it.

Yours faithfully,

bottom of page