Zann knocked on the door at Elves' Quarters, North.  "I'm here to walk with Sheeny."

            "So, it's the big day," Elmer said, grinning.

            Zann nodded.  "One of them. So, where is she?"

            "I'll be right down," Sheeny called.

            "What's the plan?" Elmer asked.

            "The usual.  We'll have a pot luck, and make the dresses, and gossip.  It's the gals' night." Zann tapped her foot impatiently.

            Sheeny slid down the banister.  "I'm ready.  Let's go."

            "Wait!" It was Covski.  She and Tessie ran down the stairs.  "We'll walk with you."

            Zann looked at Tessie and Covski.  "Did you remember your thread?"

            "Yes," Tessie said, "And I have popcorn from Coy's."

            “Green, too? Zann quizzed.

            "Yes, green and red and I brought chocolate swirl marshmallow fudge, and some raspberry wrinkle." Covski buttoned up tight.  She operated the Nuts, Crackers, and Sweets shop, so her snacks were always yummy.

***

            The joining party was being held at the train depot, at Frosty Corners.  Ria threw the door open and greeted the new arrivals. "Here you are.  Sheeny, you're wearing a red dress, right?"

            "Yes," Sheeny said, smiling.

            "See, I have my thread." Ria held up a spool of red and another of green. "I got the right colors.  Green is new."  She turned toward Beblee, who was arranging the table. "Green is new, right?"

            "Well, it's certainly different." Violet glided toward Ria and placed her hand on her shoulder.  "Can you help me with these snacks?"

            "Here's the popcorn." Tessie handed the dish to Ria.

            All the gals were gabbing, and Sheeny, Tessie and Covski joined in. "Yakity yak yak . . ."

            The chatter was interrupted by a knock on the door.

            "Someone answer the door, and don't let any guys in," Violet said.

            "Santa, what a surprise! You can't come in, though. Where's Mrs. Claus?" Beblee blocked the doorframe.

            "Oh, she's coming. Um, can I speak to Dulcie?"

            Dulcie came forward and steered Santa away from the door. "What can I do for you?"

            "I have an assignment for you. I want to give you my flamingos to care for."

            "Flamingos?"

            Santa smiled hopefully. "Yes, you remember; Lydia brought them."

            "Gosh, Santa, how can I operate the doll shop with the flamingos everywhere?"

            "Well, Dulcie, if anyone can control them, it's you. Besides, Ted says he can help you," Santa said lamely. "The missus says they can't stay at the Workshop any longer. They're a little unruly, but they're quite entertaining."

            "Okay, Santa. It's my honor to take the flamingos off your hands. It sounds like a real challenge. So, where is Mrs. Claus?"

            "She's in the cart, waiting, with the flamingos. We were hoping to turn them over to you tonight."

            Dulcie rolled her eyes.  "Okay, tell her to bring them in.  I guess there's no time like the present."

            "Ah, yes, the Christmas present! Thanks, Dulcie.  I love those pink buzzards, but Mama says they're aggravating."

            Santa went to get Mrs. Claus, and Dulcie returned to the party. "We have more guests," she stated.

            "Santa can't come!" Sheeny and Holly said in unison.

            "It's not Santa." Dulcie chuckled. "It's Mrs. Claus, and Santa's flamingos!"

            "Those big pink birds?" Beblee gasped.

            "Yes, they're now my charges."

            Mrs. Claus entered the room, with four tethered flamingos. "Here you go," she said, handing Dulcie the leads. "I'm sorry to dump these birds on you, but they are too energetic for me. I don't have the stamina to chase after them."

            The flamingos were very lovely to look at. Dulcie took the tethers from Mrs. Claus. "They're beautiful, and I willingly accept the  responsibility for their care." She unleashed the birds and allowed them to join the party. As she gazed about the room, she thought the pink blended nicely with the red and green and white decorations. Perhaps I'll be able to train them.

***

            Finally, Rose flew above the crowd; everyone looked in her direction.  "We have two dresses to sew, this year.  The pot luck buffet is ready" Her wings rainbowed.  "As usual, just eat when you're ready.  In the meantime, gals, get your threads, and let's get started." 

            "Should we divide up?" Rissy asked.

            "Great suggestion," Rose said, "And after a bit we can switch, so that everyone works on both gowns."

            The gals began their work in earnest, as they had two joining gowns to create.  Still, it was a party, and they chatted enthusiastically as they labored. When someone needed a little taste of something, she took a break and then went to the other gown.  Gradually, they rotated, so that everyone worked on both dresses. And so they talked and worked into the night.

            ***

            Meanwhile, Dandy had rounded up anyone who was willing to play a joke on the gals.  He was new in town, so the elders were reluctant to participate; but lots of the elves and elfalescents were game.

            "C'mon," Dandy urged.  "It will be fun."

            "I dunno." Jackson said, rubbing his chin. "Sheeny might not like it, and then it won't be fun, not for me, anyway."

            "It's just a little prank," the snow fairy of delight sniggered.

            "I'm in." Donovan was always ready for shenanigans . "So what's the plan?"

            "We make a half circle around the front of the building, and Boog, you knock on the door, and ask to talk to Holly.  Then we'll hammer them with snowballs." Dandy's dragonfly-like wings were vibrating.

            "I'm staying out of this one," Ticky said.

            Duck nodded.  "Way out."

            "South Pole out," Tubbs chimed in.

            "Party poopers. I like de jokes. I be in." Pole Kat's tail glided from side to side.

            "So that's it it." Smitty was nodding his head. "That doesn't seem too bad bad -- throwing a couple of snowballs balls."

            All the helpers headed for Frosty Corners.  Those who weren't participating planned to go to Coy's, so they could watch.

            "When we get close, we gotta be quiet," Yort said.

            "Ya scared, Boog?" Donovan asked.

            "Nah, I'm no wuss." He grinned at Jackson.  

            "Did anybody bring wuffle dust dust?"

            Nobby held up his pouch. "Right here."

            "I have some, too," Yort said.

            "We're set, then." Dandy patted his pockets.  "I'm fully loaded."

            "Why do we need dust?" Jackson asked.

            Dandy grinned. "Ya never know what's gonna happen."

            "Well, I have flizzen juice," Jimbo said. "If they get mad, we'll give them some."

            They all chuckled.  Flizzen juice made everyone grin until their faces nearly cracked.

            "Shhhhh." Boog held his finger to his lips and whispered, "Quiet."

            The elders crept away from the group and made for Coy's.

            Pole Kat giggled nervously.

            "Kat!" Jackson whispered loudly.

            Pole Kat nodded his head, and quieted down.

            Dandy started making snowballs, and the others followed suit. When the pile of snowballs was huge, Dandy said, "Okay, Boog, go!"

            Boog gave a 'thumbs up' and knocked on the door.

            Beblee opened it.  "What are you doing here?"

            "I need to talk to Holly."

            The gals gathered at the door.  They didn't see the other guys, who were hiding.

            "Holly can't come.  She's trying on her dress.  I'll give her a message, though," Violet said.

            "That's okay.  I need to speak to her."

            "I'll be there in a minute," Holly called.

            Rose's eyes flashed.  "This better be good."

            Holly pushed through the gals, and they followed her.  "What is it?"

            "Just this," Boog said.

            Dandy jumped up and fired the first snowball. The others followed his lead.

            SPLAT SMACK WHAM

            Indignant at first, the gals protested.  Dandy flew over them and doused them with wuffle dust, and the fight was on. The gals hurled snowballs as fast as they could make them. The guys unloaded their entire supply.

            Dandy found Jimbo.  "Where's that flizzen juice?"

            Jimbo held out the bottle.

            "Gimme," Dandy said.  He mixed some juice in his dust and flew over the crowd againand everyone started smiling.

            Grinning broadly, the gals started chasing Dandy.  He flew to where they couldn't reach him, but Bluebelle, the snow fairy of dreams, raced behind him and caught his arm. 

            She led him back to the crowd and said, "Everyone, meet Dandy Lion, the snow fairy of delight. He is the newest fairy, and a guy!"

            "Just call me Dandy."

            "Oh, I read about you in the 'Herald'." Beblee was grinning from ear to ear.

            "The dresses are finished and put away." Rose said, with rainbow wings.  "Please join us for some snacks and hot cocoa."

            "Just Dandy? Or all of us?" Jackson asked.

            "Everybody," the gals chorused.

            “That will be just dandy!”And that's how Dandy was introduced to the community and how things began to happen in the new old-fashioned way.

           

           

           

           

 


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