Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Matthew Lock

Tonight’s the Night!

The ripples broke up the reflection of the moon as the frosty gentle breeze blew across the lake.
Branches creaked and snow fell off the branches, landing silently on the white ground. Treading through the glistening snow, was the soft patter of hundreds of paws, hooves, feet and claws as they moved toward the arena, the palpable excitement barely contained in their whispering voices. For tonight is the night! Tonight everybody would be friends and the world can forget all its troubles for man was not to be seen.
Cats purred next to the dogs, foxes licked the rabbits and the blackbirds returned the items they had stolen. Everyone was there, hedgehogs waddled out from their sleep, fish swam near to the surface, insects (always being slightly mistrusting), stayed near to the protective cover of the benches and the trees appeared to move, their branches bristling with an assortment of birds with all the sizes and feathers you could imagine. The red carpet was laid out and Mr Snoutpacker the badger, the Head of the Park, waited expectantly on the island of ice in the middle of the lake.
It couldn’t be long now. The arena fell silent as everyone looked towards the owls, who were listening carefully. The teenage frogs croaked in their excitement, silenced immediately by the stare of the swans. Above in the sky, the stars continued to twinkle.
Suddenly, the owls hooted and all the animals began their orchestra of song to greet their special guest. Birds tweeted, crickets cricketed, dogs barked and the mice squealed. In the distance, the jingle of bells echoed louder and louder and after what seemed like forever, Santa’s sledge dived in across the top of the trees, swooping in under the mermaids and landing on the ice platform.
Instantly, a Winter Wonderland was formed, bulbs opened out, trees blossomed and spirits of the forest rose up. The mermaids came to life and jumped playfully in and out of the water around the lake to celebrate. Pixies and fairies came out of hiding, timing their flight to make their golden trail of flight appear like fireworks. Dragons weaved the clear night sky, breathing fire to add to the show and the elves welcomed all the ancient ghosts and spirits, re-united with their ancestors this one special night.
“Welcome to Alexandra Park once again Father Christmas”, announced Mr Snoutpacker.
“We are honoured that once again, you have done us the privilege of having us as your final visit after delivering all your presents across the world”.
“My fellow companions,” said Father Christmas, “I wish I could be with you longer but as you know, I have to prepare for next Christmas straight away. Thank you for all you do to keep our world the beautiful place it is. Live in peace and be good.”
With a crack of the whip, the reindeer began to run along the ice and rose effortlessly into the sky. All the gathering cheered, singing Christmas songs and waved towards Santa’s sledge as it flew into the distance, with only the vapour trail from the condensing breath of the reindeers being visible.
Mermaids returned to their frozen positions and everyone said goodbye, after collecting their little gift left behind from Father Christmas. As the first ray of light came over the horizon, Alexandra Park returned to silence.
In the corner, a rustle came from the compost heap. The drunken man crawled out, looking at his bottle, trying to explain what he had just seen. But no-one would believe him, would they?

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