If you haven’t seen the previous parts of the story please go back and read them. If you have then you know the routine…
Sit back, relax, make yourself comfortable and I shall begin….
I then thought, Yes, I would read him the story about how I met Yodule and how he so much wanted to be part of a family. This story will make Jim realise what he is missing I thought.
So I began –
“OK… Jim let me tell you the story of how I met Yodule Elf. It all happened long ago after taking Snowy for a walk one day. We would always walk along the same path every morning, and sometimes I would see huge footprints in the snow. I often wondered if it could be the footprints of a Yeti, but then I would tell myself that it could not possibly be because here in the North Pole, where everything is magical and nice, we do not have such monsters.
The more I thought about these footprints, the more I wanted to find out who they belonged to so one day, with Snowy by my side, I decided to follow them. We followed them for many miles when, all of a sudden, the weather began to change. The once blue sky suddenly turned dark and stormy and it began to snow very heavily indeed. I realised we were lost! “Snowy” I said, with a little tremor in my voice, “I think I will have to call Rudolph, and ask him to come and rescue us!” I reached into my pocket and got out my mobile phone, but when I dialled the number, to my dismay, I could not get a signal. A storm was brewing, and all communications were temporarily lost!
Oh dear, what was I to do? It had become so cold, and the snow blizzard made it impossible to see anything around me! “I’m so sorry Snowy,” I said shivering, “we are lost, and the only thing to do is to wait until the storm blows over!” Snowy and I lay down in the snow, and huddled together for warmth. Would the storm pass soon, would we survive the night I thought? Although I was afraid and shivering from the cold, I soon fell asleep with Snowy by my side.
When I woke up, to my surprise, I found that we were no longer outside in the snow, but under a big, fluffy blanket beside a huge roaring fire and on the hearth stood two cups of steaming hot chocolate. Thankfully, someone very kind had found us, and saved our lives. But who could it be, and how did we get here?
Just then, a big cheerful looking monster appeared before us and said, “Good morning Santa, I am Yodule,” He had saved our lives I thought to myself. He told me that he lived by himself and he did not have a family of his own. I felt so sorry for him, he must be so lonely when suddenly Snowy ran over to him and started to lick him with affection. “He’s made of ice cream,” Snowy barked, his tail wagging with excitement! Imagine my surprise!
Before I could ask him why he lived alone, Yodule told me he was the little boy that Santa forgot because every year he never gets a present from Santa. Oh how ashamed I felt because, until now I did not even know who Yodule was! I told Yodule that this year, I would not forget him, and on Christmas Eve, I would bring him a very special present.
I looked up into the sky, the storm had passed and I could see Rudolph who had come for us. Yodule became scared and ran away before we could thank him. Rudolph landed, and both Snowy and I climbed onto the sleigh with a sigh, before flying home safely back to the North Pole. All the way home I kept thinking of Yodule, so when we landed, I went straight over to head elf and whispered in his ear what I would like him to make for Yodule.
Christmas Eve arrived, and after delivering all of the other presents I then flew off to see Yodule. As I flew over the ice cap, I could see Yodule sitting down there all alone. As I landed I said, “Merry Christmas Yodule!” “Oh Santa, where is my present? Your sleigh is empty, have you forgotten me again?” he said so sadly.
“Yodule, I told you that you would have a very special present this year, but it is too big to carry on the sleigh, so jump on board, and I will take you to see it!”
When we landed in the North Pole, Head Elf ran over to greet us. “Yodule’s present is finished!” he exclaimed excitedly! “Come and see.” We followed him around a corner, and there it was, an ICE CASTLE for Yodule to live in! He would never be alone again. He would become part of our family in Santa‘s village.
Yodule started to cry with happiness. “Oh Santa, I am so happy, I have always wanted to be part of a family.” “You now have a family my dear friend,” I assured him, “and from this day on you will be known as Yodule Elf.”
From that day, it has been wonderful to have Yodule around, especially for the elves that visit his ice castle every day, and tuck into a kind of ice cream that only Yodule can make! It is called Yodule Elf Treat.”
When I finished reading, there was silence I waited in anticipation for a reaction from Jim. He then spoke
“Nick that was a good story a real happy ending, that big guy got what he wanted.”
“Yes Jim, he’s a great boy, he’s like a son to me. I miss him, I wish he was here.”
“Nick It’s just a Story. An Ice Cream Elf. Nick you are off this planet?”
“Well Jim” I replied “He’s my family, Have you a family?”
Jim looked over at me; I could see tears welling in his eyes. He spoke slowly and softly.
“I had everything and look at me now. I’m the guy who Springsteen wrote about in Glory Days. I was the top man. I was Captain of the Football Team. Had a great family I didn’t appreciate. All I thought about was my self. I wish I had the chance to go back and put it all right. I lost my job; I wasn’t close to my family. I was the big shot with big friends having great times thinking about number one. Where are my friends now?”
Jim insisted we should head for the bar; I gave him some money but told him that I would have to have an early night. As we parted Jim turned to me and said, “Nick I loved that story, it made me want to cry.” I then knew I was winning but time was running out.
As Jim went into the bar to see his drinking buddies I heard him say “that guy is like a father to me” Then he joked “Yeah Father Christmas”, his buddies laughed but I could tell, this was not the place he wanted to be and under the veiled humour I could tell he was warming to me. I waved good-bye and he waved back. Yes Jim was definitely fond of me but he was hiding his emotions. He was a joker a great guy to be with and the words of the Christmas letter kept passing through my head
“he’s the greatest daddy in the world” Through a child’s eyes I could understand the pain that this little girl was going through. I was determined that this present will be delivered. This guy had hit rock bottom and there was only one way to go and that was up. I was now more determined than ever to return this lovely man to his family. As I told Harry the Snowman, there comes a point in everyone life when they want to run away that is not the answer. Jim has a loving family who don’t care if he’s successful or not. They just love him for what he is; he thinks he’s a failure, how wrong he is.
I had another idea. I would send a letter to Alley’s School and invite the Children to see Santa. I left to find Patrick the Pigeon Post and as I passed Stancer I caught Yodule getting out of the trunk of the car. The fun started but I had to forgive Yodule. He went running down the Street looking in shop windows. The people were terrified they had never seen an ice cream elf before. I had to rescue Yodule.
“Yodule,” I enquired “Are you Ok my boy? You are melting come with me.”
Yodule looked a little worried he knew he was meant to be safe at home.
“Are you annoyed with me Santa?”
“No! of course not I’m more worried about you, quickly get into the fridge.”
“But Santa, I was only trying to help.”
“I know that Yodule and I know you meant well, but I what I have to do here in the city, is not as simple as making a toy in Santa’s Village, then delivering the present to the child. This letter is asking for a present so precious, something we take for granted and never appreciate, until it’s gone – a family” I continued.
“Yodule I get millions of letters from Children every year that make me smile but this one makes Santa so sad. I must deliver on my promise to Alley and return her daddy”
“Anyway don’t worry Yodule it’s Santa’s problem, we’ll be going home tomorrow, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, Promise me you will not leave this fridge.”
“Awww but Santa I can still help.”
“Yodule! please, leave it to me, I have a plan and I will deliver as always on Christmas Eve.”
How will Santa save the day – watch this space for the next instalment!