Two days before Christmas, while stuffing his sack,
Santa Claus found himself craving a snack.
"Candy cane? Fudge?" suggested the elves.
"Cocoa and cookies are here on the shelves."
"I’ll gobble the goodies tomorrow night.
Right now I’m longing for something that’s light.
Here is the list, you know what to pack."
He slipped outside, promising, "I’ll be right back."
Santa summoned the reindeer, hitched up his sleigh,
and in less than no time they were up and away.
They sped south-southeast for an hour or more,
‘til they saw the bright lights of a grocery store.
The reindeer touched down with a brisk trit-trot,
claiming five spaces in the parking lot.
Santa joined shoppers in holiday mood,
filling their carts with festive food.
Turkey and ham, fruitcake and pie...
Not for today, Santa thought with a sigh.
Turning the corner, he started to smile.
He found his desire in the produce aisle.
Iceberg lettuce will fit in at home.
Romaine reminds me of summer in Rome.
Though it’s not part of my regular diet,
good children eat spinach – I guess I should try it!
Radishes, carrots, tomatoes, and scallions,
a nice tangy dressing, too – maybe Italian.
He skipped to the check-out with cart piled high,
stacked the bags in the sleigh, and flew north through the sky.
As he chopped up his veggies and gave them a toss,
an elf bustled in to report to the boss.
"The presents are wrapped, and we’re ready to roll – "
Then he stopped short at the sight of the bowl.
"I’m sorry, sir, I don’t mean to be rude,
but you went all that way for reindeer food?"
"It’s a salad," said Santa. "Come, pull up a chair.
It’s zesty and crisp, and I’m happy to share!"
"No, thanks," he replied. "You know what we say:
‘A bonbon a day keeps the gray hairs away.’"
"Where’s your sense of adventure?" The elf would not budge.
Santa dismissed him. "Go back to your fudge."
The balky elf backed out through the door.
Santa just smiled as he scooped up some more.
With a chuckle he thought, Now I understand why
elves may live forever, but reindeer can fly!
What I liked best: The idea that Santa eats salad. There are some health nuts in my extended family who would love a picture book like this.
Publication ready: Very close. A couple of lines need some tweaking, but overall, I liked it!