by lillian Morpork
‘Tis the night after Christmas, and all through the house,
Everyone was a-stirring, except my dear spouse.
The gifts were all opened, the feasting all done,
And stomachs were groaning, oh yes, every one!
I scurry around cleaning up many messes
From children upchucking on pjs and night dresses.
Down stairs a great clatter, a crash and a snap
Tell me something has wakened the cat from her nap.
‘Oh, no!” I did wail as I rushed off to see
What other messes were waiting for me.
I flew to the stairway, and saw in a flash
Fluffy chasing a mouse. Then I heard a loud crash.
Down I went to the kitchen, and saw in the moon’s light
What had happened to Fluffy - ‘twas a terrible sight.
In a puddle of syrup, she was just sitting there
With syrup and popcorn stuck all through her hair.
A little grey mouse peeped ‘round the door,
Where he’d hidden when racing away ‘cross the floor.
As I moved toward Fluffy, mousey skittered away,
And I felt ‘twas a problem for some other day.
“Now Fluffy,” I whispered, “it’s time to clean you.
Fluffy looked at me sadly, and gave a weak ‘mew.’
I went to the cupboard and brought out some towels,
Filled the sink, and bathed Fluffy in spite of her howls.
She slipped from my hands, and flew from the room,
From the sounds, she was thinking she’s sure met her doom.
The children, much better, had come down to see
And joined in the chase with the greatest of glee.
It took a long time, but at last we had won,
And with all the help, Fluffy’s bath time was done.
“Now back to the kitchen,” I said, “there is still
A mess there!” All the children happily set to with a will,
And ‘twas not long before it was sparkling and clean.
The floor shimmered and shone in the moon’s dying gleam.
We went ‘round the house and tidied away
What Fluffy and mousey’d knocked down in their play.
Some of the trimming was knocked from the tree,
And, naughty things, from the creche they’d kicked the baby.
From the fireplace mantle the cards were all scattered,
Strewn ‘cross the floor, they were all wrinkled and battered.
When we’d got it all tidied, we sat down to rest,
And then started saying what each one liked best
About Christmas; the food, and the gifts, the carols we sing,
Christmas Eve Mass - there was not just one thing,
It seemed it was all of the joys of that day
That lightened our hearts, and made everything gay.
“I like the angel on top of the tree,” said wee little Sue,
“She shines so, and she seems to be always smiling at you.”
“That’s true,” I responded. “And of course you all know
Your Guardian Angel stays near you, wherever you go.”
“We know,” they all chorused. “Now, off back to bed,
And thanks for your help. I love you,” I said.
“We love you too, mama,” they smiled as they went.
I followed them up, and then, thoroughly spent,
Went back to my bed. As I snuggled close my hubby so dear,
I thought I’m so glad Christmas comes only once every year.