There's No Time To Waste

            Santa didn't waste any time attending to the operations at the North Pole. He started his midyear rounds super early. Happiness was the key, and that's what he found. All the helpers were in high spirits as they labored over their tasks.

            He whistled as he went from shop to shop, greeting everyone.  His last stop was the Wuffle Dust Well.  "Time to expand," he said to Violet, with a twinkle in his eye.

            Violet clapped her hands. "What and where?"

            "In the Tin Man's space, Dandy Lion's Lagniappe and Loot," Santa said.

`           Violet frowned. "What about the Tin Man?"

            "Not needed.  Dirden faded years ago, and no one has worked there permanently since." Santa thought for a bit. "Besides, there's not a lot of demand for tin soldiers these days."

            "Dandy will be thrilled to have a shop, already."

            "Yep, a shop just for stocking stuffers.  That's what's needed! It will be great to have packages that are just the right size." Santa adjusted his hat. "Dust it this afternoon.  Now, where can I find Dandy?"

            "Hmmm, that's a tough one," said Violet. "Check at the radio station.  He likes to hang out with Elfman, or maybe Kat's place."

***

                        “It’s W-KLD, twelve 25 on your dial.  Elfman Jack, here, broadcasting from the North Pole, just north of EVERYWHERE.  Gonna spin you a little holiday tune to keep your days merry and bright.”  Strains of White Christmas wafted through the air.  Elfman rocked back in his chair and put his feet up on the desk, arms behind his head.

            “Goodness gracious!” Eflman Jack sat up with a start, just as the song ended.  “I do believe I see a walrus outside.  Have a listen to Jingle Bells, while I check it out.”

            He discarded his headphones, and pulled on his woollies.  By the time he made it outside, several helpers from Candy Cane Lane had assembled. 

            “It is a walrus,” Elmer said.  “Didn’t think they ventured up this far.”

            “Hey you,” Ticky said.  “Can you talk?”

            The walrus just snorted and waddled toward the radio station.

            “Wait just a minute,” Elfman Jack yelled.  “You can’t go in there.  Hey, grab that animule.”

            The helpers dove on the walrus.  Suddenly it started giggling.

            “Nadie!” Ticky yelled.  “Does Boog know you’re here?”

            “Naughty’s more like it,” Elfman Jack groused. 

            “I can be a walwuth,” Nadie said, laughing.

            “And a penguin,” Elmer added.

            "And a pish!"

            "A pish!" It was Santa.

            "Helwo, Santa," Nadie squealed.

            "Hello, there, Nadie." Santa picked him up and swung him high.

            Nadie shrieked in delight.

            Santa lowered Nadie to the ground. "Has anyone seen Dandy?"

            "He was here a little bit ago," Elfman Jack said. "He said he's coming back. Said he needed a snack."        

            "Mind if I wait?"

            Elfman shrugged and looked at Ticky and Elmer. No one was used to Santa sticking around long. "Uh, no sir. C'mon inside."      

            Nadie trotted behind Santa, who followed Elfman into the radio station.

            "We have a special visitor," Elfman announced. "Say 'hello' Santa."

            "Ho Ho hello," Santa said.

            "How 'bout me. I pecial."

            "Go ahead, Nadie, and say hello." Elfman selected another song to play.

            "Helwo, helwo, wadio wand!"

            Santa whispered, "Say, Dandy Lion, if you're listening, come to the radio station."

            Nadie giggled. "Dandy Wion, if you wistenin' come to de wadio pwace."

            "You did fine." Santa hugged Nadie. "Now what's this about you being a fish?"

            Silver Bells streamed from the station.

            "Oh I wike dis one." Nadie hummed a little.

            "The fish?" Santa asked.

            "Oh yes, I be a pish, and a penguin, and a wawruth!"

            "That's walrus," Santa said.

            "Dat's not what Wolwymon say.  He be a wawruth."

            Santa laughed. "Wollymon has a lisp."

            "How you say it?"

            "Walrus."

            "Wawus."

            "Much better," Santa said, chuckling.

            Dandy pushed through the door. "Did someone ask for me."

            "Santa's looking for ya." Elfman nodded his head toward Santa and Nadie.

            "Nadie, was that you on the radio?" Dandy said, grinning.

            "Yesss!" Nadie shrieked.

            Dandy extended his hand. "What can I do for you Santa?"

            Santa grasped Dandy's hand. "I'm giving you a shop.  It will be on Second St. 'Dandy Lion's Lagniappe and Loot'."

            "Yikes! A shop! Woot woot!" Dandy was excited. "Uh, what's lagniappe?"

            "Stocking stuffers," Santa said. "I thought you'd be just the guy for the job."

            ". . .and the name is Dandy Lion's Lagniappe and Loot." Elfman Jack was already spreading the news.


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