Twas the night before Christmas but our deer camp was shaken

Not a hunter was happy cause’ no deer had been taken.

Our deer tags were hung by the chimney with care

In hopes that some big bucks soon would be there.

We hunters all snoozed in our long johns of red

While visions of jerky swirled in our head.

Our snoring echoed like growling inside

And the air carried odors I shouldn’t describe

The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow

Made our junky old house trailer twinkle and glow

When out in the woods there arose such a clatter

I sprang from my bunk and fell down the ladder.

Lucky for me I lit’ on my head

But I horsed-up my back and busted the bed

I limped to the window and what did appear

But a miniature sleigh and eight TROPHY reindeer.

I yelled for the guys to bail out of bed

And they soon filled the windows to stare at the sled.

When they all saw the reindeer, a hush filled the room

As their huge antlers gleamed in the light of the moon.

Could this be St Nick and his magic reindeer?

And what in tarnation are they doin’ out here?

Each hunter had scattered to get to his gun;

I had to work fast before the shootin’ begun.

I grabbed my own rifle as I ran toward the sled

And fired several warning shots over their head.

"That should do it" I thought, "That should chase them away"

But it scared them so badly they tipped over the sleigh.

I fell to the ground and covered my head

Certain there’d be shootin’ and the deer would be dead.

But instead all my buddies stood quietly by

And pointed at something bright in the sky.

A star in the east shone so brightly that night

That we all stood there awestruck, solemn and quiet.

St Nick and the "boys" used this chance to vamoose

And streaked through the woods like an on-fire caboose

As for me and the guys, we slunk back inside

And nothing was hurt that night but our pride.

So just as the star on that first Christmas eve

Brought a savior to us for all who believe,

Its brilliance tonight once again lit the way

For St Nick to escape with his reindeer and sleigh.

And I heard him exclaim as they raced out of sight

Rudolph you blockhead, what were you thinking?

Of all the stupid places to land, in a deer hunting camp no less?

You nearly made this the last Christmas for all of us!

Seriously, if you try that again, I’ll personally hang your head in MY workshop

Bright red nose and all!

Merry Christmas from Steve and Joyce at Exploring Kansas Outdoors

Additionally, I have published a new book called "A Coon in my Coveralls."

Even as a kid growing up in Ohio, I discovered that every time I venture outdoors to hunt, fish or trap, something ridiculous happens or my best intentions go wrong.

"A Coon in My Coveralls" tells the stories of those adventures gone awry and offers side-splitting "what-if" scenarios for the few adventures that actually went right.

Books are $15 picked up or $18 postage paid.

Order from Amazon or from me at stevenrgilliland@gmail.com.