- an exclusive by Noella Designs -
The snowflakes floated gracefully to earth covering Christmas Town with its magical white crystals. It was mid-evening on Christmas Eve at the North Pole and most youngsters awaiting a visit from Santa Claus were asleep in their beds.
But outside in the snow, three little bunnies named Fancy, Fuzzy and Fizzle were too excited to sleep. Quietly squealing with delight, they jumped high in the air and chased each other's fluffy bunny tail. They ran around and around leaving a trail of bunny prints in the freshly fallen snow.
Fancy chased Fuzzy and Fuzzy chased Fizzle in and out through the brush. Then suddenly Fizzle ran head first into something big and lumpy hidden beneath a holly branch.
"Ouch!" Fizzle shouted.
Then Fuzzy ran into Fizzle. "Ouch!" he yelled.
And Fancy ran into Fuzzy. "Ouch! Ouch!" he screamed as all three bunnies collided into one another.
"What is it?" Fuzzy asked while rubbing the lump forming on his head.
"Yes, what is it?" Fizzle asked while rubbing his head too.
"I don't know," Fancy told them. "Let's find out."
Fancy brushed some of the snow off of the lumpy gray bundle to see what was written across it. "What does it say? What does it say?" Fancy's two younger brothers asked excitedly.
"It says, SANTA'S MAIL," Fancy explained as he pointed to each word.
"But how did it get here?" Fizzle asked.
"I don't know," Fancy replied.
Fuzzy's eyes widened. "If this is one of Santa's, that means it's filled with letters from all over the world. Gosh, I hope our letters aren't in there...'cause that would mean Santa never got them and he won't know what to bring us for Christmas."
"Santa won't know what to bring any of these children for Christmas," Fancy added.
"No toys on Christmas morning? That's awful!" Fizzle exclaimed.
Fizzle suddenly whistled through his teeth, held his bunny paw up in the air, waved it back and forth and shifted from foot to foot in excitement. Then he shouted, "I've got it! I've got it!"
"I'm almost afraid to ask, but...you've got what?" Fancy hesitantly asked.
"We can take these letters to Santa before he leaves tonight," Fizzle explained.
"We're supposed to be asleep in bed right now. Do you know what Mom would do to us if she knew we were out here, let alone taking a trip the Christmas Castle?" Fancy refreshed their memories.
"She'll never know if YOU don't tell her," Fuzzy said to Fancy with a grin on his face.
"But we can't get there in time. It feels like it's getting really close to midnight now," Fancy stated logically.
"We can if we use the sled Mom's getting us for Christmas that she hid in the shed that we're not supposed to know about," Fizzle told Fancy.
"Mom told you not to go snooping in the shed," Fancy scolded his youngest brother.
"He's right," Fuzzy agreed.
"But as soon as she told me NOT to go into the shed, I just had to find out what was in there," Fizzle explained.
Fancy looked at Fizzle and shook his head. "But you know what they say about curiosity and the cat."
"But Fancy, I'm a bunny! So it doesn't apply to me," Fizzle coyly pointed out.
"Bunny or not, the next time Mom tells you not to do something, you should listen to her. Mom is usually telling you for your own good," Fancy said with love.
"Okay, Fancy, next time," Fizzle agreed. Then he raised his little bunny eyebrow and puzzled for a moment. "But Fancy...if we're supposed to do everything Mom tells us to, how come we're not in bed asleep?"
Fancy grinned from bunny ear to bunny ear. "Let's just get the sled so we can get that mailbag to Santa in time."
Fizzle looked at Fuzzy searching for the answer. Fuzzy wrapped his bunny arm around Fizzle and said, "We'll explain that one to you when we have more time."
So Fancy, Fuzzy and Fizzle sneaked into the shed and carried the sled outside. Together, the three little bunnies grabbed the lost mailbag, placed it onto the sled and pulled the sled to the top of Peppermint Hill. One by one they took their places on top.
Fancy was the oldest, so it was up to him to steer. He sat in the front. Fizzle was the youngest and needed protection so he sat in the middle. Fuzzy was strong and could give the sled a good push so he sat in the back.
They very carefully positioned the sled at just the perfect angle to put them on the best path to Christmas Castle.
He looked at his brothers with concern. With a nod of their heads, off they went! They hurled down the hill as fast as the sled would carry them. They swished, they swooped, they bounced in the air.
Then they came to the edge of the forest. Mom told them to never, ever, ever go into the forest alone. There were dangers beyond the tree line too terrible to describe and unforeseen dangers are always much worse with the cover of night. But the mailbag had to be delivered. And it was up to them. The three little bunnies stared at the approaching darkness as they mustered their courage. "We could go around," Fizzle shouted. Fancy shook his head from side to side. "We'd never get the mailbag to Santa in time. It takes two hours to get around the forest. There's only one thing to do." Fancy nodded at Fuzzy and they all held onto each other tightly, crouched down and headed into the dark forest.
The path through the forest was curvy and narrow. They veered to one side and then the other. They could almost see their bunny lives flash before them as they just barely missed one tree after the other. Then a sound filled the forest. It was a horrible, terrifying sound. "What was that?" Fizzle asked Fancy. "I don't know and I don't want to find out. Just keep going. I can see the gum drop lights of the Christmas Castle in the distance. We're almost there!"
The terrible sound was getting closer. "We've got to go faster!" Fancy hollered as he gave the sled another push.
The sound was almost upon them now. But in the darkness of the forest, they couldn't see anything but shadows behind them.
Just as they all prepared for the worst to happen, the sled flew out onto the open meadows of Christmas Castle.
"We're gonna make it!" Fuzzy shouted as he jumped up and down with excitement. They all looked around to see what had been following them, but only a shadow moved back into the trees.
Every door, window and tree at Christmas Castle was trimmed with big bright red ribbons, green holly wreaths and twinkling lights. Christmas carolers circled the grounds singing holiday songs as happy elves rushed past them with their arms stuffed full of decorations and last minute presents.
The three little bunnies approached the castle and were greeted by the Head Elf, Dyllon. After showing the lost mailbag to him, they were escorted to Santa's Chambers where they described their harrowing experience to Santa himself. "Well, we are all very grateful to you." Santa told them. He cleared his throat to get the attention of one of the Data Entry Elves. "Make sure these names are included on tonight's list for delivery. We don't want to disappoint even one child on Christmas morning."
Then Santa's face became very stern. "As for the three of you...even though you did a very good deed by bringing the lost mailbag to us, you also disobeyed your mother and that is very bad. You must promise never to do that again."
Fancy stepped forward. "You have our word, sir. It will never happen again." Fuzzy and Fizzle nodded their heads in agreement.
"Good. Well, we'd best get you home. I'll be heading to your part of town...I have a few deliveries to make tonight." They all giggled. "I don't suppose you'd allow me to escort you in the sleigh?"
The three little bunnies jumped and leaped with joy. "We're getting a ride in Santa's sleigh! Yippee! Yippee!"
In no time at all, in the blink of an eye, the sleigh set down in the bunnies yard. The bunnies jumped out and in a whoosh, Santa and the sleigh disappeared from sight. Fancy, Fuzzy and Fizzle ran inside the hutch, excited to tell Mom what had happened. They searched one room and then the next. But she wasn't there.
"I'm afraid she's gone looking for the three of you." Their neighbor, Mrs. Raccoon sadly stated. "She said something about the forest...oh I hope nothing's happened to her."
The three little bunnies started to cry. "We should have listened to her." Fancy moaned. "But we were just helping Santa for Christmas." Fizzle added. "Christmas," Fuzzy began, "I'd give up Christmas forever just so Mom's okay."
"Me too," Fancy agreed.
"Me three," Fizzle added.
Fancy regained his strength. "I've got to go look for her!"
Mrs. Raccoon put her paw to his chest and stopped him from leaving. "No, Fancy, you've got to be here to take care of your brothers."
Suddenly, they could hear the jingling of bells getting closer. They all ran to the window and looked outside. It was Santa again. "Didn't think I'd see you boys so soon, but I appear to have a very special delivery for you that just won't wait."
"You can keep your stupid presents." Santa's eyebrow raised with surprise at Fancy's attitude.
Then Mother Rabbit stepped from behind Santa. "Where are your manners mister? And where in the world have you three been?"
Fancy stepped forward. "We're sorry, Mom. It won't happen again." Fuzzy and Fizzle nodded their heads in agreement.
Mother Rabbit outstretched her arms and smiled. Fancy, Fuzzy and Fizzle ran to her and squeezed her tightly. "This is the best Christmas present I could ever get," she said with tears filling her eyes.
"Well, I'm afraid that since no one actually wants a present from Christmas Castle this year, the Elves and I may have been a bit rash in what we just did with your hutch to show our appreciation for your heroic deed." With a whoosh, Santa and the sleigh were once again gone.
There was a puzzled look on each and every bunny face as Mother Rabbit opened the door to their hutch. A glow of light like you've never seen poured through the doorway and spilled onto the surrounding meadows. Every wall within was decorated and lit. A feast of incomparable glory awaited them on the table and a pile of wrapped and bowed presents reached to the ceiling.
"Maybe we'll give up Christmas next year," Mother Rabbit said with a giggle as she dove into the presents.
But they never did. They celebrated even more with every single year and never forgot that the most important presents are the people you love.