Many years ago, Candleman was the proprietor of the Candle Shop. This was a very important job because his candles provided light for all of the buildings throughout the North Pole. No one could have guessed that the days of candlelight were numbered, but electricity would soon make candle power unnecessary, if not obsolete.

            It was about that time that the North Pole’s Great Depression occurred. There was a war on Earth – not a little battle, but a huge war that involved everyone. It caused much sadness for all humankind. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of the North Pole, this resulted in a major decrease of positive ions available to the area.  Because these particles were greatly reduced, the helpers fell into deep despair.

            The North Pole had never used sophisticated technology, and no one realized that the integrity of the village was damaged until the Candle Shop disappeared. Candleman returned from a delivery trip only to learn that his establishment was gone.

            When Santa learned of the mishap, he summoned Orin and Yort, from the Northern Lights weather station. “I want to know exactly what happened!” That was over a hundred years ago, and that’s when the formal study of wuffle dust began.

            With the weather guessers busy with the task he had given them, Santa examined the needs of the North Pole Proper. He met with Candleman and told him, “There are ions out there in the atmosphere. I want you to harness that electrical power, and use it somehow to make this place brighter.  The Candle Shop is gone, and we can’t exist in darkness. Once you do that, I will have another job for you. First we need light.”

            Because of his concern about fires, and his great interest in light, Candleman had been intrigued by the idea of electrical power for awhile. “I think I can have some form of light very soon,” he told Santa.

            “Good!  We will run out of candles before long.”

            Candleman went to work, using a variety of devices, and finally captured electrical ions. After several days, he had perfected a string of colored lights which he presented to Santa.

            Santa was very pleased with Candleman’s creativity. “Christmas lights,” he chuckled, and he hung them inside the Workshop. The helpers thoroughly enjoyed working under these conditions. Happily, Santa asked Candleman to make more Christmas lights – enough to accommodate all of the shops in North Pole Proper. Within a week, helpers everywhere were basking in colored light, and loving it.

***

            Meanwhile, the weather guessers were using a scientific approach to determine the source of the problem. They set up a laboratory at the weather station and attempted to use the instruments to observe the non-weather related conditions at the North Pole. This proved to be ineffective, and so they went to work remodeling the existing equipment.

            They modified the devices until, at last, a system for more accurately monitoring the positive ion count had been created. The new scalometer consisted of a Trouble Scale and a Brilliance Gauge, and, of course, the PIN.  The Trouble Scale measured trouble at the North Pole, and since its implementation the PIN has not dropped. Now trouble could come in a variety of ways; anger, sadness, and disappointment were a few of the reasons that the TS might rise. Most of the time, the TS read ‘zero’ which was exactly what Orin and Yort liked to see. If the TS rose to 10, the PIN would drop. The other scale was the Brilliance Gauge (BG). This instrument measured the intensity with which the North Pole sparkled. It rarely changed and required minimal monitoring.

 

            Without the Candle Shop, Candleman felt helpless, so he approached Santa. “I want a job.”

            Santa's eyes twinkled. "Well, I've been thinking about a new shop."

            “What kind of shop?” Candleman wanted to know.

            “I want to create a peppermint place. I envision peppermint and sugar cane being used to form candy . . . yes, peppermint canes!”

            “Or candy canes!” Candleman shouted gleefully. “It will be a sweet change.”

            Santa tugged at his beard. “I believe I will call the new shop the Peppermint Twist. What do you think?”

            “I like it, sir.”

            “Good,” Santa said. “We cannot waste any time. Violet will dust a spot near the Reindeer Traffic Control Tower, and you will need to occupy it at once.  If you don’t, it will disappear, and I don’t want to lose any more shops.

            Candleman was grateful for the opportunity to work again. “That will be fine, Santa.”          

            So, Candleman opened the Peppermint Twist, and began producing candy. He found that he really liked making these confections. The villagers enjoyed the new treats so much that they began calling him Candyman. Candyman molded his candy into canes and disks and even ribbons. 

            On one particular afternoon, Santa visited the Peppermint Twist. “I love these candy canes, but I need some more electrical work.”

            “Then I guess I’m your elf,” Candyman sighed. “What other lighting do you need?”

            “First Street is very dark,” Santa commented.

            “Say no more, Santa. I will make street lamps.”

            “Thank you, Candyman.”

            Candyman went to work immediately.  He created red and white striped candy poles. He curved the top of each pole, thus forming peppermint sticks that resembled shepherds’ staffs. Then he carefully wired them and within a week, he had installed the lamps on First Street.

            The candy twist light poles were a huge hit. Santa was so pleased with the way Candyman had combined his talents that he changed the name of First Street to Candy Cane Lane. Then, Santa wanted a candy cane fence to surround the Big Tree. Candyman crafted his candy canes into fence posts, and then used bells and red cord to outline a square around the Big Tree. It wasn’t long before the helpers dubbed that section of Polar Park ‘Jingle Bell Square.’

            And so, Candyman gained the reputation of being a talented craftsman, as well as a gifted candy maker. Why, he even made Bob’s Bobber pole.

            Smitty peered at Phred, who had fallen asleep. “And that’s what happened, end,” he said quietly, spreading a blanket over his friend.


Untold Stories Archive