A non-seasonal Decamot inspired by the following Decamot items:
white bearded old man, north pole, present, red nose, turkey, sleigh, hanging stockings, mince, little helper, holly
by Lisa Eagles, Fumone, Italy
The white bearded old man was hanging his stockings out to dry. They weren’t really stockings but long johns, but they certainly looked like stockings from a distance to the young children who peered over the garden fence to catch a glimpse of the old turkey.
They had been watching him regularly since they saw him doing it for the first time a good few months ago. They were near the old man’s house one day the first time they spotted him, and now it had become a ritual. They had heard rumours about him and his magic long johns and had spent quite a long time trying to spot him. Now they knew exactly when he brought out the washing on a little wooden sleigh type contraption. It was always on a Tuesday. Always at exactly 12.00. Always accompanied by a little helper, a furry little cat that was black and white, or should we say white and black as the spots on her were black. She resembled a feline Dalmatian.
The cat would come out riding on top of the pile of washing as the old man pulled it in the sleigh. It looked as if he were off to the North Pole. He was all wrapped up so as not to catch his death and all you could see was his red nose. Once the old man started to hang the washing out the cat would wait until he hung out the long johns and then she would leap off the sleigh and, on two legs, she would do a little dance.
The children were amazed and couldn’t believe it. Every Tuesday for months she had done a different dance and looked as if dancing was her natural passion. She’d done everything from cha-cha-cha to hip hop, and from jive to ballet. The old man would put the music on from a little CD player incorporated in the sleigh and within seconds his spotty cat would break out into routines. It certainly could have taken part in “Strictly”, could make mincemeat of any of the contenders. The children now planned to kidnap the cat and take her to the BBC. This particular Tuesday the sun was shining and the old man was wearing his sun glasses to protect his eyes from the blaring midday sun. The children had a big mirror and positioned it in the holly bush so the sun shone right in his face and blinded him despite the glasses. While he couldn’t see, they crept up on him and grabbed the cat putting her in a sack and running off as fast as they could.
They went directly to the BBC begging the producers of the programme to give the special cat an audition. There was lots of commotion and interest as nobody had ever seen a real cat dance. They put on different kinds of music, but the cat wouldn’t dance. In fact, every time they played a tune the cat just lay there, and then it started to cry. It cried so much that the room filled up with tears and everybody got so wet they had to take off their clothing to dry. One of the people in the room had a pair of long johns on; when the cat saw them hanging up to dry, she suddenly jumped up on her two hind legs and started to dance. It was then that the children remembered when the cat had always danced: Whenever the old man had hung out his long johns.
All of a sudden a BBC news presenter rushed into to the studio holding the latest news fresh off the press. “White bearded old man’s little helper CATNAPPED” said the piece. There was an appeal to the kidnappers to get the cat back before the old man died. He had collapsed in the garden and had been rushed to hospital.
“Is this the cat?” he frantically asked, as it was a question of life and death. “At present the man is on a life support machine, but before taking a turn for the worse he managed to tell Doctors that he had seen a blinding light and then heard the voices of children and the rustle of a plastic sack. He had explained he feared the cat had been taken for its talent, and worse still that it might be forced to participate in Britain’s Got Talent but was hopeful this wasn’t possible without magic long John.”
Who was magic long John? Everybody in the room looked to the children for an explanation. The children glanced quickly at each other. The most astute took a step forward.
“We know exactly how to make the cat to perform. But, we want a written contract for the cat to be on Strictly Come Dancing and all the money for such appearances to be paid to the cat’s owner as he is extremely poor and doesn’t seem to have enough money to keep himself warm even in the hot sunshine.”
The BBC not wanting the cat to migrate to the competitor signed straight away.
And with that they quickly ran off with the cat, rushing to the hospital, to see the old man and to give the story a purr-fect ending.