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Rudolph's Cold

by Molly Gottschalk, age 12, from US

Snuggled under warm quilted covers in his bed, Rudolph lapped-up a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup. "Aaachoooo!" he cried, grabbing for a box of tissues on his bedside table. How could this have happened?, Rudolph thought. Santa will surely fire me if he finds out that I caught a cold on the day before Christmas Eve. I will never be able to guide the way to all of the houses in the world with this fever, but how will Santa find a replacement so soon that can perform the job as well as I can?

"Hooves!" Rudolph called to his only son, "Come here!"

"Yes Father?" Hooves asked, while entering the bedroom. "What is it Dad?" he asked.

"I have a problem, so listen closely. Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve and I have come down with a dreadful cold. I cannot let Santa know that though, so when he stops by today to visit and to give me the map for tomorrow night, cover for me, understand? Don't let him know. He'd fire me for sure."

"Sure, Dad, whatever you say," Hooves replied, trotting off into the other room.

I am glad that I have such a well behaved son, Rudolph thought, then returned to his bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Knock, Knock! The sound of a man's fist pounded against the door of Rudolph's house.

"I'll get it!" Hooves yelled, prancing to the door.

"Why, hello there, Hooves!" Santa spoke, in a loud cheerful voice. "Could I please see your father for a moment?"

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