The Night Before Christmas, Pets VersionCarleen Coulter
The poem “Twas The Night Before Christmas” is typically credited as originating with Clement Clarke Moore, an Episcopal minister, who in 1822 wrote the piece for his daughters. It was originally entitled “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.” The poem is the source for the depiction of Santa Claus as a chubby icon and “jolly old elf,” and it helped solidify the story of Santa Claus flying his sleigh to leave gifts for children. In 1881, political cartoonist Thomas Nast used the poem to create the familiar image of Santa Claus that we see today and published it in Harper’s Weekly. You can learn more of this version of the history of the poem at History.com.
However, just yesterday, I read news that perhaps Moore was not the source of the poem. The decedents of New York poet Henry Livingston maintain that he is the actual source.
Regardless, the Night Before Christmas has been parodied many times and in many ways over the years. Here, I give you a pet’s version of the story.
Twas the night before petmas when all through the pack 1 of 14
Not an animal was stirring, not even for snacks
The stockings where chewed by the chimney with care
In hopes that Santapaws soon would be there
Photo Credit: Sadie Hart
The doggies were nestled all snug in their beds 2 of 14
While visions of rawhides danced in their heads
And the cat in the cat tree and I in a lap
Had just settled down for long winter's nap
Photo Credit: Ginny
When out on the lawm there arose such a clatter 3 of 14
I sprang, barked, and jumped to see what was the matter
Away to the window the cat flew with a flash
Hissed at the shutters and clawed up the sash
Photo Credit: Claire P.
The moonlight was bright on the new fallen snow 4 of 14
Lighting up cat eyes that watched from below
Then what to the wondering cat eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight dogs dressed like reindeer
Photo Credit: Katie Brady
With a funny man driver, who was breaking speed laws 5 of 14
I knew in a moment it must be Santapaws
More rapid than beagles, his coursers they came
And he whistled and barked, and he called them by name
Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen
On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen!
Photo Credit: Cordey
To the top of the cat tree that sits in the hall 6 of 14
Now dash away, dash away, snacks for you all!
As dry leaves that before wild squirrel chasers fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
Photo Credit: Julie Vazquez
So up to the dog house the coursers they flew 7 of 14
With the sleigh full of cat toys and boney chews too
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing, and it made me go "woof"
Photo Credit: Kelly Taylor
As I threw back my head and barked like a hound 8 of 14
Down the chimney Santapaws came with a bound
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his snoot
And his clothes were all tarnished with dog spit and soot
Photo Credit: An Iconoclast
A bundle of rawhides were flung on his back 9 of 14
And he looked like a dog walker opening his pack
His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples how merry
his cheeks were like dog biscuits, his nose like a berry
Photo Credit: Aoli
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow 10 of 14
And the cat played with his beard as white as the snow
The stump of a biscuit he held tight in his teeth
And the crumbs from it encircled his head like a wreath
Photo Credit: John Pemble
He had a broad face and a little round belly 11 of 14
That shook when he laughed like a dog dish of jelly
He was chubby and plump a right jolly old elf
And I barked when I saw him, in spite of myself
Photo Credit: Stephen Korecky
A wink of his eye and a pet on my head 12 of 14
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread
He spoke not a word, but straitened his fur
Filled up the pet stockings, then turned with a purr
Photo Credit: Steve Burke
And laying a paw pad aside of his nose 13 of 14
And giving a nod up the chimney he rose
He sprang to his sleigh, to his dogs gave a whistle
And away they all flew like the fur of a thistle
But I heard him exclaim as the cat played with the lights...
Photo Credit: Bill & Vicki T
Merry Petmas to all 14 of 14
And be good companions tonight!
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