Tall Tails - Episodes 1 & 2

Christmas Poems:

The following was reported to have happened in the small town of Ingomar, Montana, population 14, on Christmas Eve, 2015. The Jersey Lilly was shutting down for the night. The town was pretty lit up with twinkling lights of every conceivable color… all the way from the Jersey, to the corrals and out on to the plains. Karen was visiting from Lewistown and Coleen and Pam had dropped in from Melstone. To this day, no one is sure how it all began, but it sure did.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Ingomar Style
OR The Ingomar Christmas Light Incident

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
Lights twinkled and blinkled. They were hung all around.
The ladies had done it, Coleen, Patty and June
On a snow-covered night by the light of the moon.

Karen, Mae and Alice jumped into the fray.
It wouldn’t be dark this fine night, by the way.
Owen Badgett had helped, even though he’s a Grinch;
He’d strung hundreds of lights by the foot and the inch.
He’d been talked into helping, or ordered by Patty.
By now all those ladies had driven him batty.

He snuck off with a headache, a reaction to lights,
And the town settled in, enjoying the night.
When out at the Jersey there arose such a clatter,
Ladies sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
When what to their wondering eyes should appear, but Santa’s red sleigh,
And a fine team of reindeer.

Dasher and Donner and Comet and Blitzen were tangled in lights,
And needed some fixin’
They were backwards and forwards. It was quite a wreck.
And Santa was stuck in his sleigh. ”What the heck?”
“The nice thing,” thought Karen, who was visiting the place,
“Is that you can probably see Santa all the way out in Space.”

It was quite a scene, a Christmas-time gaffe,
Alice couldn’t help it, she started to laugh.
She started to chuckle and just couldn’t stop.
Alice had taken it over the top.

Folks were stunned for a moment, as you can most likely guess,
Then Patty took over to sort out the mess.
June made the cider, heated up for the group,
And Mae took some light strings and built her a loop.
Mae gathered those reindeer like the teamster she was,
And Pam and Coleen started working on Claus.
They tugged him and pulled him and there was a pop.
Finally Santa was free and the gals didn’t stop.
They fed him some cider, and smoothed out his beard.
Christmas would happen, not as they’d feared.

They’d all learned a lesson as Santa took flight.
Lights should be a bit subtle on Christmas eve night.
A deep sigh was heard, as Santa went on his way.
The reindeer built to the night and carried that sleigh.

They heard Santa exclaim as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night.”
Ho, Ho, ho

(Alice laughs then fades out…)

Illustration by Andy Atkins

A Christmas Eve Tale
Ingomar Style, 2014

A Christmas Eve tale in which Ingomar’s cowboy poet, Owen Badgett, had a run in with the snow on Christmas Eve, and Santa saves the day.

Twas the night before Christmas and it was pretty darn cold
Ingomar’s winter had taken it’s hold
Smoke stacks were puffing and horses breath showed;
While Owen was swearing at his Bronco in the cold.
He’d gone down the road to grab him some wood,
But his vehicle quit him; quit him real good.

Now Owen was a horse guy or counted on mules,
And he figured that counting on trucks was for fools.
No matter, he was stuck, and that’s how it was,
And he’d better start hiking the few miles because,
He never used cell phones; he didn’t have his stuff,
He’d made Morris mad, if that wasn’t enough.

They’d argued about something, as neighbor’s will do.
And they’d finished the evening in quite a stew.
The townfolk were nestled in their bunks good and tight
They’d never hear him, if he yelled the whole night.

Owen didn’t like Christmas; he didn’t like gifts
He didn’t like much as he dragged through the snowdrifts.
When what to his wondering eye should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver so lively and quick
Even Owen could tell it had to be St. Nick.

Owen blinked his eyes twice to be sure what he saw
Admiring Santa’s team, and the reindeer he saw.
Santa hooked up the bronco with a towrope he found
And wiggled his nose, and they all left the ground.
They had deliveries to make, and that had to come first.
Owen would be home after circling the earth.

It was quite a trip as they went round the world
Leaving presents down chimneys; for boys and for girls.
Santa was a teamster that Owen admired,
And the reindeer kept flying – they never got tired.
Whizzing around being towed in the sky
Was almost as good as a buck on the dry.

Before dawn broke it’s light in Owen’s little town
Santa landed the sleigh and turned all around
He unhitched the bronco and checked all his lines
It had been quite a trip, but Owen was fine.
He was home, not sure how, had it been all a dream?
Eight reindeer and Santa, they made quite a team.
He opened his door, and the fire was aglow
Who had lighted that fire? He still didn’t know.
He saw a wrapped box and a small Christmas tree.
New tools for his Bronco. That he could see.

He went to thank Santa for a pretty good ride
But Santa was busy taking off just outside.
Owen heard him exclaim as they flew out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Goodnight”
Ho, ho, ho

In our little eastern Montana town of Ingomar, population 13, it was Christmas Eve. Owen Badgett, resident cowboy poet, had wrestled with his DVD player, and fallen asleep in the living room chair. Next door, Morris Ware, cowhand and horse team trainer/driver extraordinaire snored away after a cold winter’s day working cows. Morris’ wife Mae Ware, quite the team handler and wagon driver herself, sat by a small lamp reviewing her delivery orders, while in a house close by, Jersey Lilly owner June Nygren relaxed in an easy chair, looking forward to getting a well earned moment with a good book.

What followed was quite amazing. Maybe it would never have happened if postmistress Coleen Robinson hadn’t gotten all those letters to the North Pole. Who can say? But it did happen, at least here is how it was told to me.

Twas the Night Before Christmas, Ingomar 2013
When June Nygren and Mae Ware Saved the Day

By Linda Lou Crosby, Nov 2013
Narrated by Linda Lou Crosby as Fancy the Horse

Twas the night before Christmas, and Morris was snoring.
He was out like a light until probably late morning
Owen Badgett was sleeping, in a chair by the fire,
With DVD cords, surrounded by wires.
The stars they were twinkling for all they were worth,
While June Nygren sat back on this great day on earth.
June was all settled in, with a book in her chair.
She grabbed a hot chocolate and let down her hair.
When the flash of a “something” caught her eye through the glass.
She shook it all off and went back to her task.
Then out at the Lilly there arose such a clatter,
June sprang from her chair to see what was the matter.
And what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
The Jersey Lilly was closed, even for Santa.
But she’d left cookies and milk like she always planned it.
The noise got her thinking, and she grabbed a warm robe,
And over to the Lilly, she went to explore.
It was Santa all right, amazing enough,
But the night he was having looked a little bit tough.
He’d tripped on the walkway and fell on his nose,
And knocked himself out, you know how that goes.
The reindeer were standing, led by Rudolph’s red nose.
They were late taking presents and anxious to go.
June stood for a moment almost in awe,
And ran to get Mae to tell what she saw.
“That little old driver so lively and quick,
Has knocked himself out. We gotta help St. Nick!”
Mae looked in amazement at the scene on the snow,
While the moon gave a luster to the objects she saw.
“Mae, you’ve gotta get driving, taking Santa and all,
He won’t be much good as he’s taken a fall.”
What June said had merit, of that Mae was sure.
But driving the reindeer, should it really be her?
“Everyone’s sleeping and you are awake.
Get going Mae Ware, it is getting quite late.”
June was insistent so Mae took the lines.
They dumped Santa in back, ’cause there wasn’t much time.
The Reindeer were ready, they knew where to go.
Mae picked up the lines and called out, “Ho, Ho, Ho.”
Off they flew to their task, Mae and the team.
June went back home to bed, “Had this all been a dream?”
Santa got better as they circled the earth,
Delivering presents for all they were worth.
Mae landed in Ingomar just before dawn.
In a twinkling of an eye, Santa was gone.
But, Mae heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Ho, ho, ho (trails off)

Twas the Night Before Christmas
Camp IOU
December 2012
Copyright Linda Lou Crosby Sept. 2012

Twas the Night before Christmas, and all was a mess
Ingomar residents were pretty perplexed
The Christmas parade for the kids was prepared
But would Santa, his sleigh, and the reindeer be there?

Owen Badgett was Santa, his sleigh was a cart
But Morris Ware stole his outfit, which wasn’t too smart
Owen in long johns, red ones to boot
Was a sight no one wanted, there was a search for his suit

Owen and Christmas, it was Scrooge at his best
But he’d lost that bet to Morris, so he’d better get dressed
He was grumpy and growly, and cranky and mad
And his long johns were itching, boy, had he been had

His teams would wear antlers, bells on their harness
He snuck out to get them, in his red long john best
The kids were excited, Santa would be there
They’d have sleigh rides – hot chocolate, with Christmas in the air

Their dreams were of reindeer, their thoughts were of hope
While Owen thought of Morris, at the end of a rope.
He was a man of his word, and wished that untrue
But he had given his word, so what could he do

The horses were nickering, when they came to his call
He looked kinda strange, but he was their driver after all
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to the objects Owen saw

And what to Owen’s wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
Owen knew he was dreaming, it could not be Saint Nick

Owen was unraveled, but his teams they were tame
Santa landed so softly and called him by name.
Owen Badgett here’s your present, your gift, it’s a Santa suit.
Tell Morris shame on him, and he gets a lump of coal to boot.

Santa spoke no more words, but went straight to his work
When Owen looked like Santa, he turned with a jerk
And laying a finger aside of his nose
Santa gave his team a nod, and into the sky they rose.

Owen would be Santa, his outfit was perfect
The kids would have a Christmas parade, it wasn’t a wreck
Owen got Ghengis, Attila, and Brownie and Zack.
He hooked up Buck and Little Doc, and then he went back

There was Alec and Dunkin, there was Ghost and then Buster
They were there, they were ready, they were headed for muster
Had Owen gone batty, had Santa been there?
There was a real team of reindeer flying through the air.

And Owen heard Santa exclaim as he flew out of sight
Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas and to all a goodnight.