Mrs. Claus’ Red Necklace

One lovely Fall afternoon, Santa Claus and his wife took a walk outdoors. Mrs. Claus loved strolling through the colourful fields and forests during this time of year. The brisk autumn air hinted that winter was approaching, like a secret being whispered in the wind. As they walked, the couple reminisced about Christmas.

“Do you remember the year the Holhoojas elves decided to invent a new Christmas carol that rhymed?” asked Santa Claus.

“Ah yes, I remember very well,” answered Mrs. Claus.  “Those poor elves could never remembered the words—”

“and all sang a different rhyme!” Santa said chuckling. Mrs. Claus joined in the laughter and then reached to touch her necklace, as she so often did when revisiting fond memories.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed.

“What’s wrong?” asked Santa Claus.

“I lost my necklace. The pretty necklace with red pearls that you gave me.”

“Are you sure you were wearing it?”

“Yes.” Mrs. Claus’ voice shook. “I put it on when I got dressed this morning.” Santa Claus put his hand on her shoulder to comfort her.

“Don’t worry. We’ll find it. We just need to retrace our steps.”

He took his wife’s hand and together, they turned back around. They walked slowly, their eyes scanning the ground, straining to detect a glimpse of red in the grey and green landscape.

But there was no sign of the necklace. As they made their way through a field of tall weeds as tall a Lanky the elf, Mrs. Claus started to get discouraged.

“The grass is high here. We’ll never be able to find my necklace.”

“Of course we will. We just need a bit of luck. Have some faith,” Santa reassured her.

They resumed walking, every step becoming heavier than the last. After a moment, Santa Claus’ attention was drawn to something red hidden in the foliage.

“Oh, look!”

He bent over to pick up the object, but it flew away with a flap of its wings. It wasn’t the necklace (though that would’ve been quite something). It was a lovely red bird nestled in the grass, with feathers as bright as Sanoma’s cheeks on Valentine’s Day . Excited, the bird flew around Santa Claus’ head, flapping his wings wildly.

“Ho, ho, ho! I’m sorry little bird! I thought you were a necklace.”

“Oh, it’s you, Santa Claus! You scared me,” said the red bird. Santa Claus stretched out his arm and the bird came to rest gently on his hand.

“Necklace, huh? That’s a funny name, but it sure isn’t mine.” said the bird. “I’m Kiki. Why does Mrs. Claus look so sad?”

“While we were walking, I lost the necklace Santa Claus gave me. It’s a souvenir from a wonderful trip we took together. It meant a lot to me.”

“What a shame,” said Kiki.  “What did this special necklace look like?”

“It was made of pearls the same colour as your lovely feathers, my dear bird.”

“Can I help you look for it?” asked Kiki.

“How kind of you!” answered Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus at the same time.

The trio set off to look for the necklace. The couple spread the grass apart at their feet to examine the ground. Above their heads, the bird flew over the field in great big circles to try to find the piece of jewelry.

They looked and looked and looked some more…

“I think it’s better to just give up,” said Mrs. Claus. “ The day is almost over, and it’s starting to get too dark to see anything.”

“You look so sad,” said Kiki. “I would have really liked to find this necklace for you.”

“It’s only a necklace, after all,” said Mrs. Claus. “I don’t want to make a big fuss.”

Not wanting Mrs. Claus to give up, Santa Claus suggested they take up their search again the next day along with a few elves. The couple said goodbye to Kiki, and then headed home.

After a hearty meal and some comforting hot cocoa, Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus went off to bed. Mrs. Claus had a strange dream about a flock of birds wearing red necklaces and dancing around a cloud shaped like a chimney.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Mrs. Claus woke with a start. “What is that noise?”

Knock. Knock. Knock.

“It sounds like it’s coming from the window,” said Santa Claus through a loud yawn (which sounded a lot like “ho ho ho”). He squinted as the morning sun poured in through the crack of the curtain.

Mrs. Claus got up and pulled back the curtain. She marvelled at the sight. “Ooooh!”

Kiki, the little red bird, was at the window tapping his beak against the glass. Behind him, Mrs. Claus saw red feathers everywhere. Santa Claus came up beside her.

“How lovely!”

The ground, the trees, and all the rooftops of the village houses were covered with little red birds. The effect was magnificent!

Santa Claus opened the window and Kiki spoke:

“Hello! I’m sorry to wake you, but my friends and I have some good news…”

Two red birds landed on the windowsill. They were each holding one end of the red necklace in their beaks.

Mrs. Claus beamed. “How wonderful! How on earth did you find it?”

“I was heartbroken to see you so sad,” said the little bird.  “So I got all my friends together. We flew over the entire area and after looking for a very, very, very, very long time, we finally found the necklace. It was stuck in a pine branch.”

“I must have gotten too close to a tree as I was trying to avoid a puddle,” she Mrs. Claus as the birds placed the necklace in her palm. “I’m so grateful to you, my little friends!”

All the birds starting chirping happily.

“How can we ever thank you?” asked Santa Claus.

“After everything you do for millions of children all over the world, this is the least we can do for you!”

With those words, the bird flew away, followed by all his friends. For a moment, the sky above them was covered by a red cloud, and then gradually, the blue peeked through again on the horizon.

“We should really find a way to thank them,” said Santa Claus as he wrapped the necklace delicately around her neck and clasped it shut.

“I have an idea…” said Mrs. Claus with a sparkle in her eyes.

The next day, when the red birds flew over the village looking for bread crumbs, a surprise was waiting for them: On the ground of the village square, the words “THANK YOU” were spelled out in massive letters made of thousands and thousands of red seeds. The birds devoured this delicious snack, chirping endlessly with joy.

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