—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

541 773-3373

Santa in Australia

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On the Second Day of Santa’s Christmas Tour, he chose Australia. Not just Australia, but the Australian Outback. He coulda gone to Sydney or Melbourne or even Alice Springs, but he wanted to wear his Outback costume, so the outback it was.

He arrived with Rudy again leading the reindeer. And since there was not a barn in sight, he let the reindeer fly, telling them to be back to pick him up an hour after sundown. Usually, he liked knowing just where his transportation was, incase he wanted to get on his way early, but sometimes he had no choice.

He got outta his sleigh, carrying two small Christmas trees with extra ornaments in his bag, thinking he’d like to met a nice family or two and set them up with a tree. He was a people person, after all.

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After a couple hours walking with the sun at his back, he came across a young woman with a dog, leading a trio of camels.

“Out for a walk?” She said.

“I could ask the same of you,” he answered back.

“I’m walking across the desert,” she said. “It’s an adventure.”

“Me too, kinda,” Santa said. “But mostly I’m looking for a pub and a Corona.”

“Keep heading the way you’re going and you’ll find the pub. I don’t know about the Corona.”

“They have one left,” Santa said.

A look of surprise, then recognition passed over the girl’s face. “You’re him, aren’t you?” She giggled. “You’re really him.”

“Don’t tell anyone.” He winked.

“You know what I’m getting for Christmas?”

“I do,” Santa said. “The young female in back. She’s going to deliver on Christmas Day. It’ll be a girl.”

“I’m so glad. I don’t let her carry anything, because of her condition.”

“Name her after me and I’ll be extra kind to you next year. If you’re good, that is.” He winked again. Sometimes he just couldn’t help himself.

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After saying goodbye to the girl, her camel and her dog, he continued on his way. He was thirsty and the pub was only thirty minutes away. Almost three hours walking in the hot desert with his sheepherder’s coat and those Christmas trees in his arms. But he was in shape and, like the girl’s camels, he could go a very long time without water.

Getting to close to town, he slowed to rest, when an Australian Cockatoo landed on his shoulder.

“Pleased to make your acquaintance,” Santa said.

“How are you?” the bird said.

“Fine,” Santa said.

“How are you? the bird said?”

Realizing that was probably all the bird knew how to say, he started to move on, when a kangaroo, carrying a joey in her pouch, hopped on over.

“A new friend.” Santa scratched the kangaroo between her ears.

“How are you?” the cockatoo said.

“If you’re going to hang out with me today,” Santa told the kangaroo, “you have to look the part.” He set his trees down, went into his bag, pulled out a Santa hat and bells and Christmasfied the kangaroo.

“Now we can go.” But just as he was about to pick up the trees, a koala cub scampered right up to him and jumped into his arms.

“Okay, one tree.” Santa hated being a litter bug, but he happened to know a young family in need of a tree would be by shortly, so he went to his bag and left some presents and a card addressed to them. He was Santa, after all. So he could do stuff like that.

Then, with his entourage in tow, he headed for the pub.

When he got there, he paused at the petrol pumps to get his breath. He was in shape, but even Santa has to slow down a bit sometimes.

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Outside, the pub, still taking it easy, he took a few slow breaths, calmed himself, then said, “Okay, Crew, let’s go get a beer.”

But the Cockatoo, shouted out, “How are you?” and took flight, landing on the pub’s tin roof.

“See you when I get out,” Santa said.

Then a young boy shouted out, “Hey mister, is that your kangaroo?”

“Not anymore,” Santa said.

“Gee thanks.” The boy pet the kangaroo and started off with the animal on his heels.

“I guess it’s just you and me,” Santa said to the koala cub and he entered the pub.

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Inside, Santa talked to a young girl sitting at the bar. She seemed lost and forlorn, when he sat next to her.

“What’s your koala’s name?” the girl said.

“What’s yours? Santa said.


“She’s called Rosie too,” Santa said. “I just decided.”

“That’s nice,” Rosie said, just when a rough looking man came into the pub, walking toward Santa and Rosie like he meant business.

“You open your mouth and I’ll strike you dead,” Santa said.

The man stopped in his tracks, was about to say something, but the look in Santa’s eyes kept him quiet.

“The bus to Sydney is leaving town in two hours. If you’re not on it, I’ll find you. You wouldn’t want that.”

He started to speak.

“Don’t, I meant what I said.” He turned his eyes into lasers. “Your mother misses you. Now go!”

The man spun around and left.

Santa turned to Rosie, “He’ll never bother you again.” He smiled and the girl fell into his arms. “But just to be sure, I’ll hang around and make sure he’s on the bus, though I’ll bet he’s on it, because usually bullies are cowards and besides, nobody ever defies me when I get cross.

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The cockatoo landed back on Santa’s shoulder when he and Rosie, the koala cub, left the pub for the bus station. The man was indeed on the bus and after it was well out of town, the trio headed back into the desert.

Mrs, C was going to get two new pets for her ever expanding menagerie. At the last homestead before the desert loneliness, Santa stopped and reflected as he stared into the setting sun.

Not a bad day, he thought. He met a girl in the desert and took up five minutes of her time. Had he not done that, she’d’ve crossed a road an hour later, tripped over a running wallaby, hit her head on the pavement and been killed by a speeding road train. But she was five minutes late, missing both the wallaby and he road train.

The boy who took the kangaroo home, put a smile on his mother’s face. And she hadn’t smiled in a long while. She’d decided on taking the pills today, to end it all, but seeing the joey in that pouch, put more joy in her heart than she’d had in a long time.

And when she lifted it out, she found an envelope with ten thousand dollars in it and a note from a Mr. S. Claus, telling her everything was going to be all right and that there was a job waiting for her at the market in town, because one of the clerks had all of a sudden decided to go and live with his mother in Sydney.

“Not a bad day,” he said aloud.

“Not a bad day at all,” the cockatoo echoed.

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Then he turned away from the setting sun and started back to where he was to meet his reindeer and his sleigh ride home.


About the girl in the photograph with the camels. She is Robyn Davidson who walked 1,700 miles across the Australian Outback with her dog. You can learn a little about her by checking out this book by clicking on the following link: Inside Tracks: Robyn Davidson's Solo Journey Across the Outback.

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