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Santa's New Sleigh © ~ A Chuckles & Buckley Adventure continues . . .

  When the celebration was over, the elves boarded their sledge and headed back to the North Pole. Now that the king had been satisfied, Chuckles and Buckley could start the search for the missing pieces and were now guaranteed Golly’s cooperation. They all returned to the North Pole in high spirits and everyone was anxious to get on with making Christmas happen.    

     Santa stood in the door of the workshop and waved goodbye to the sleigh recovery team as they climbed back aboard the sledge. Santa had decided that the sledge would be best in the recovery effort because of the size of the sleigh pieces that were missing. The team was made up of Chuckles, Buckley, and Golly Gremlin while Tyler and Tulley stayed behind for North Pole communications and preparation for the return of the sleigh.
   
    All the passengers were up front where the locator had been installed. All they had to do to find the pieces was to follow the locators lead until they were at the location of each piece. Then it was Golly, who attuned to the presence of the spruce, would actually lead them to the piece of wood. This is how it was supposed to work at least, but there were no guarantees and they knew it.

    The elves gave the command to go and the sledge jerked forward, picking up speed. Buckley watched the locator intently along with Golly Gremlin.   At the speed they were going it didn’t take long for the locator to find the first spot. Below them, they could see tree covered hills and valleys full of neatly laid out patch work fields. In most places, harvest was almost complete, but in other places, crops were still growing lush and rich green. It was obvious where the stinky goop had fallen.

  The arrow indicated west and Chuckles turned the sledge that way. The recovery team flew over the eastern United States following the trail of green made by the stinky glops. Up ahead, they could see a city skyline and a great silver arch. It could only be St. Louis, Missouri and they were right, it was. The locator arrow guided them right under the arch which suited Chuckles sense of adventure although Buckley kept up a running commentary about reckless flying.

 The sledge bumped to a halt on the roof of an apartment building in a quiet neighborhood. The four stepped out of the sledge and stood looking around. The other runner had to be nearby, but they couldn’t see it. What they saw instead was that the roof was a lush garden and veggies grew in boxes on half of the roof.

     Somebody had found some of the stinky goop up here as well and put it to good use. The odd thing was that one container held a spruce tree that was fifteen feet high. The elves and Golly walked over to the garden and stood before the spruce. Apparently, when the second runner fell off, it had landed here right in this box and taken root. The stinky stuff had caused it to live again. They decided that it would be best to leave the tree in place and go on.

       The sledge streaked west heading back out over the Pacific Ocean. The locator arrow aimed them toward China and sure enough they were soon over Beijing, the capital of China. The piece of the sleigh they were to find there couldn’t be found and even though they searched as carefully as they could, the piece was just gone. They left China in hoping that they would have better luck at the next place.

     The locator led them to Nepal, high up in the Himalayan Mountains. Again, if the piece had been there it wasn’t there now so they followed the arrow south into India. They flew over Agra, India, home of the Taj Mahal. The trail of stinky glops was evident because they could see workers down there cleaning out the reflecting pool. Again, they had no luck and time was getting shorter. Finally after one last try in Italy, just outside of Rome, they called Santa on the N.P.C.C. candy cane communicator. Buckley was chosen as the spokesman and he took the candy cane, turned the stripes around backward and spoke into it.

    “Buckley to Santa, over.” There was a long pause and he tried again. “Buckley to Santa, come in please, over.”
    Suddenly Santa was on the line. “Go ahead, you got the big guy. What’s up Buck, over?”

    “Santa, I’m afraid that our mission has mostly failed. Most of the pieces have just plain disappeared. What do we do, over?” There was silence on the other end for a while. Everybody in the sledge was tense, waiting for the answer.

    “I kind of thought that might be the case,” said Santa, “We have been getting various reports from our ‘naughty or nice’ agents around the globe that pieces of wood from the sky have been the cause of instant happiness and other amazing events around the world. It seems that since the pieces radiate Joy, people all over have been overcome with it and are becoming happier. I think the best course is to leave things as they are. Why don’t you all head home and we will have a conference when you get here.”

This last suggestion was met with immense relief and the locator was reset for the North Pole.


      

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