With the sick helpers safely on their way, Santa turned to the burdensome task at hand – that of reorganizing the remaining help at the North Pole.  “Get the word out, Phil.  I’m calling an emergency meeting, and everyone except the quarantined elves must attend.”

            North Pole Phil nodded and started to leave.

            “We’ll meet at the Archives,” Santa called after him. Santa shook his head. “Mama, we’re going to have to close the Cabin until the helpers return.”

            “Yes, Papa, but we have a long time before the High Days, so we should be able to make up for the lost time.” Mrs. Claus said.

            Verde and Rojo took them to the Archives, where a crowd was already assembled. When Santa called an emergency meeting, everyone dropped everything.

            The mood was solemn as Santa asked for everyone's attention. “You have probably heard that the North Pole has been struck with a highly contagious disease,” he began.  “It’s called elfalantitis.”

            The crowd groaned.  Most of them had never even heard of elfalantitis, but it sure sounded bad.

            Santa shushed the crowd. “Everything is under control as far as the disease is concerned. Is Doc here?”

            Doc stood and raised his hand high.

            “Doc, will you tell us about elfalantitis, please, and what we’ve done to control it?”

            Doc cleared his throat and addressed the crowd, explaining the symptoms of elfalantitis, and reassuring the villagers that within a short time, it would be history, once again.  “We don’t know why the Forest elves caught the illness, but everyone who could possibly be infected is either on their way to Miami or quarantined at the Dispensary,” he said, sitting down.

            “Thank you, Doc,” Santa said.  “As you can see, things are under control as far as the disease is concerned.  We still have quite a problem so, in order to maintain efficiency, you will have to work harder.  As Doc already said, Ted E. Bear went with the sick ones to Miami, so Kat, I’m asking you to ensure that bear production doesn’t waver.”

            Kat nodded in agreement.

            “I need someone to manage the Smithy,” Santa said. “Any volunteers?”

            Duck jumped to his feet. “If Ria can handle things, and I'm confident she can, I will go out there.”

            “Thank you,” Santa said.  He tugged at his beard. “I’m closing the Forest Cabin until further notice.”

            “Oh no,” the crowd chorused.

            “I have no choice.  Violet, please go to the Cabin and dust it heavily.  Also dust the entire Christmas Tree Forest. The desired effect is disinfection. Then dust the Village Smithy and the Elves’ Quarters.  Duck, you wait until Violet’s finished dusting the Smithy before you report there.”

            “Santa,” Violet said. “Is that Elves’ Quarters North, or North, Too?”

            “North.  And Violet, please report anything new you learn about the dust to Yort.  Now where’s Brubaker?”

             Brubaker jumped to his feet.

            “I need an elf, close to graduation, to take over the Jingle Bell Fix It Shop,” Santa stated.

            “That would be Rissy.  She’s finished her training and has a little experience with bells.”

            “Good,” said Santa.  “Rissy, you will manage the Fix It Shop. Jackson, can you take over the Box 'n Ale shop for Jimbo?”

            “If Tubbs can do without me, I’d love to.”

            “Well, I reckon it will be okay, as long as it’s not too long,” Tubbs said.

            “Hey! Who’s gonna bring de goodies?” Pole Kat asked.

            “We will all have to make sacrifices,” Mrs. Claus said.      

            “Well, that settles things. Are there any questions?” Santa asked.

            Shyly, Rissy raised her hand.

            “Yes, Rissy?”

            “Well, sir, that sounds like an awfully big job for me. I mean, I’ve never even helped out in a shop before,” Rissy stammered.

            “Right. Rissy, you will run the Jingle Bell Fix It Shop, and Ticky can check on you from time to time.”  Santa made the adjustment.

            Rissy sighed heavily. 

            “That’s okay,” Ticky said.  I’ll help you.”

            Following a brief discussion period, Santa dismissed the crowd, and he and Mrs. Claus returned to the Workshop.

            Ticky walked with Rissy to the Jingle Bell Fix-It Shop. “I’m not too sure about this,” Rissy said.

            “It’s easy,” Ticky said. “You don’t even have to open the shop until after the mid meal.  I doubt that Santa expects you to do any serious repair work.  You did learn how to repair bells, didn’t you?”

            “Well, I’ve studied Bell Repair, but I didn’t really major in it, and I’ve certainly never done it before,” Rissy said. “It’s probably different from the textbook.”

            “Maybe a little, but you’ll get the hang of it.” Ticky opened the door to the Jingle Bell Fix It Shop. “Here you are,” he said. “I need to re-open the Tack and Bridle Wares.” He left Rissy to fend for herself. 


Untold Stories Archive