‘Twas the night before Christmas, the forest lay white
covered in snow and bathed in light
from the stars and the moon, and there under the trees
a gnome and a witch skied with lightness and ease.
They slid down the slopes on the silky soft snow
and stopped by the hard frozen river below.
The gnome put his sack down and took out a pot
“Let’s have a quick break here and eat something hot!”
Soon a wonderful smell filled the woodlands around
A hare came closer and sniffed without sound.
Over the treetops a black raven flew
The witch sighed contently and waited for her stew.
Under a tree lay a peaceful wolf snoring.
The gnome whistled gently and soon he was pouring
stew into bowls, to the witch’s delight
– but before she could eat a howl shattered the night!
The sound woke the wolf and frightened the hare.
The witch dropped her bowl and then shouted “Who dare
make me spill my dinner on my best dress?
When I find the culprit he’ll be sorry for this mess!”
The witch crossed the river with vengeance in mind.
The gnome followed scared and protesting behind.
“Whoever made that sound must be fearsome to behold!”
“Oh no!” growled the witch, “I will have you told –
-“That I am the most fearsome creature around!
Now pluck up your courage, let’s follow the sound!”
They strode through the trees and soon they came by
a sad-looking werewolf howling at the sky.
With a frown on her brow the witch did approach
the werewolf, who under her stare seemed to crouch
like a melancholic dog. Then he muttered “Let me be
I am simply trying to drink my hot tea!
My throat is so sore and I’m shivering with cold.
I would drink my tea and go to sleep, but behold:
from behind those blue trees and a little above
that abominable snowman is pelting me with snow!”
Over the treetops the witch could now see
the snowman in question grinning with glee
as he made yet another snowball to aim
at the pitiful werewolf sobbing with shame.
In fury she shouted “Stop this nonsense, Mr. Snow!”
The snowman grimaced and answered “No!
I have a right to defend my honour!”
he hollered and looked defiantly on her.
“You see, when I woke from my afternoon slumber
I felt a rage I could not encumber.
There was a smell, impossible to miss –
My feet were covered in werewolf piss!”
Quite shocked the witch turned to the wolf again
who blushed and mumbled, “please let me explain!
I am so sorry, but I could not withold
because I was sneezing from this blasted cold!
I thought I relieved myself on a snow hill!
Oh Please, Mr. Snow, I do hope you will
forgive an old werewolf this insolence
caused by sneezing and incontinence!”
An embarrassed silence fell on the crowd
Then the gnome cleared his throat and said, quite loud:
“Esme, please give your wand a shake
And clean Mr. Snow, for goodness’ sake!
I will bring Mr. Werewolf over to our fire
and give him a brew for his cold to retire
Then let us all have a meal and be warmed
and forget this misdoing was ever performed.”
Soon they all gathered, as the gnome had proclaimed.
The werewolf was clearly still quite ashamed.
But the snowman patted him friendly on the back
and whispered “Don’t worry, I’ll give you some slack.
I myself have experienced the pain
of involuntary thawing now and again.
Let’s shake hands and make amends
and start this Christmas among new friends!”
They sat down together and shared the hot stew.
The gnome, the witch and two friends who were new.
Warm and at peace they stared into the light
of their small campfire in the silent night.