Christmas Short Story Winner – Paul Anthony!
A Very Strange Viking
by Paul Anthony
(The Longest Christmas Cracker Joke in the World)
Eggnog the Great was the finest Viking warrior of his day but his name has never gone down in the annals of Norse history simply because, well, he was an embarrassment to one and all. Although he led many war parties and had a ninety six percent success rate with some of the finest pillaging, plundering and raping known to man, when he landed in a new place, he preferred to jump off his boat then go to collect wild flowers and chase butterflies.
And while the other Vikings were pagans, Eggnog believed in God. They worshipped Odin who rode a massive eight legged horse called Sleipnir* across the sky but Eggnog believed in Santa who also rode across the sky on reindeer to the sound of sleigh bells. Eggnog’s mates thought he was a little strange.
Every Yuletide, before they went to bed, other Viking children would leave their little boots by the fireplace and fill them with sugar and hay so that Sleipnir would have something to eat on his return from the journey of the Wild Hunt. They would also leave a jug of beer for Odin, just in case he was thirsty. In return Odin would leave treats in their boots for them to find the next morning.
Eggnog’s children hung up little stockings which he had knitted for them. They too left out some hay for the reindeer but Eggnog insisted that they leave out some non alcoholic elderberry wine for Santa as he did not approve of alcohol. Eggnog’s kids, like his mates, also thought that he was a little strange. Well not all of them. The baby Jesus, whom he named after God, was too young to have an opinion.
Every year, Eggnog wrote out his little list for Santa asking for a goldfish but he never got one. Just the usual apple, orange, gold coins and a wooden toy, the same he had been getting since he was a child. So in a fit of medium dudgeon, he stopped putting up his decorations and tree.
One year his neighbour Geldof, Maker of Music, called to see him and noticed the bare walls. He sadly shook his head and said to himself
“Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?”
He rounded up some nearly famous singers, sang a catchy little tune, collected lots of money and bought a goldfish with some of it and left it at Eggnog’s door.
Eggnog was overjoyed but soon the fish began to act strangely so he went to Vladivar the Vet.
“Doctor, Doctor, I think my goldfish has epilepsy!”
“Why do you think that?” said Vladivar.
“Well”, he said, “Every time I take it out of the water, it flaps around on the floor.”
He unwrapped his hankie and produced the still form of the little fish.
The Vet examined it but noted that the goldfish had been dead for a while. As Eggnog left, Vladivar also thought that he was a little strange.
* Google it!
Blackstaff Press Christmas Short Story Winner – Paul Anthony
This competition ran on the Blackstaff Press writers’ forum SkyPen.co.uk
Image: By Monro S. Orr [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons