Hmmm, what do you know... there were four shepherds?
<knock knock> <long pause>
where was I? Ah yes, hello dear reader, and welcome to our Holiday
edition of the Book Again Folklore Column, decking your proverbial
halls now for well over 20 years!
about the interruption there -- as many of you know, I am the
father of a just-turned-three year old girl, and you know what
that can be like! The kid simply will not leave me alone long
enough to think, much less to type out a column!
<knock knock> <another
as I said, you will have to forgive me -- it seems that lately
every 60 seconds or so it's "Daddy Daddy" this or "Daddy"
that -- a guy can't find time to collect his thoughts long enough
I digress. Yes, it seems that "The First Noel" originally
sang of four "poor shepherds" whose names were Misael,
Achael, Cyriacus and Stephanus, and that the very mention of their
names could cure snakebite.
<knock knock> <still
another long pause>
is getting ridiculous... My wife has Clara out in the living room
coloring scenes from "Sleepy Hollow" (the kid just couldn't
get enough of Halloween this year), but she feels compelled to
scamper back in here every minute or so to inform me of her progress:
("Daddy, I colored his hair black!" "Daddy, I made
the dress pink!" etc)
enough, I suppose, but I have a column to finish and this is most
assuredly not helping --
what do you know... It seems that the custom of tinsel owes its
origin to a poor old German peasant woman. One Christmas Eve,
<knock knock> <yet another
ridiculously and unnecessarily long pause>
sorry -- that girl is going to drive me crazy! She is constantly
demanding to be picked up, begging for a horsy ride, wanting to
involve me in every last little detail of everything she's doing
back to my tale -- One Christmas Eve, it seems, our German peasant
woman had brought a tree in to surprise her family. Late in the
night, when everyone was asleep, some rather festive spiders decided
to help decorate the tree by covering it with cobwebs.
Kringle (or Santa Claus, or possibly an angel or two) saw what
had happened, and, not wanting to spoil the poor family's Christmas,
turned all the spider webs into shiny strands of silver...
no, excuse me -- I think I hear footseps...
<knock knock knock> <you
know the drill>
am so sorry, and I really must apologize to my mother and brother
who have been waiting for this overdue Christmas column.
just that I really wanted to make this column good for once --
to try and convey some of the magic and joy of this most special
time of year, and instead I'm afraid I've fallen rather short,
interrupted as I've been by this child who has this absurd desire
to share every minute detail of her life with me -- this tyrannical
tot, this -- this --
most wonderful of gifts, this extraordinary girl who has let me
see the world anew through her eyes, who brings me more joy with
every new delightful interruption...
what do you know...
have a column.