Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

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RE: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby cloro » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:34 am


I always get asked if the song got it right. Dangit, I hate that song with a passion, but the general story is right. And since I hear that there are several of us reindeer doing interviews about it, (because we are at that age - the age of the memoir), I figure I ought to at least answer the question publicly.

And I have heard Blitzen’s story, and frankly, he’s just jealous.

I mean, technically, he is right. Rudy hasn’t endeared himself to any of the team. The partying, the bragging, the songs written about him, … he basically hasn’t been buying his own drinks at Dancer’s Pole Bar since that night. The does, they are drawn to him; young bucks want to be like him.

And Rudy is just arrogant. But really...who can blame him?

Backstory: We are the rockstars of the reindeer world. In the offseason, we have a strict training regimen: Constant strength and agility training, a special diet to maintain lean physiques. And a five-year worklife – retirement is mandatory after running the Midwinter Marathon (as it is known among those in the business). A lifetime of training, and five years of hard work on the job.

And if we, among all the reindeer, were standoffish, who could blame us? We were bred and trained for this. We listened all our lives to the stories of previous teams, with Fred talking about the night Coach Nick escaped the house fire, Sammy about the night of the missile launch…. We had lived to be able to tell those stories ourselves.

Every year we took the next crop of plebes with us. Our Christmas Eve always starts with a trial run to Rick’s – a furtrapper’s place in Yukon. We run our warm-up with the plebes.

None of them even stand a chance of staying with the first team for even that short flight. But they always try.
And there was this one plebe back in ‘53…. an undersized benchwarmer. And the acne…. mercy. Doctors later identified it as bioluminescence: a recessive trait, like albinism. To us, he was just a freak whose nose, and other parts, well… glowed.

And I joined in. Yeah, the nice one – ‘kind’ Donner. I wasn't the worst, but I sure did my part to make his life hell.

“Hey, Spotlight!”

“Strobie, C'mere!”


By the time he came of age, he had been run off from the herd.

See, it still comes down to the fact that we are prey animals. Bioluminescence? That is a mutation that we don't tolerate well. So we chased him off.

"Then one foggy Christmas Eve...." We were ready; we had trained. The lightest on the front. Dancer - because of his moves. Dasher - pure speed. They were in their fifth year, and they co-led the team. Us linebackers in the back. Our workouts had put us in fighting shape. We were strong, and we were quick.
But the blizzard of ‘54 was just too much. I couldn't see the haunch in front of me (that was the first decade the does were allowed to fly - bucks had resisted that for a long time, but I have to say that it was a nice haunch....).

We finally convinced Nick that we were ready. We made it to Rick's, but it took everything we had. Without Rick’s beacon we never would have made it. I have been through weather, but nothing like that. No light. Whiteout. And by the end of the run, you could see it in the demeanor of the team. Slumped shoulders. Bowed heads. We were beat.

Rick saved us. Mind you, he got his payout - he gets royalties from the danged song he wrote. But he spoke to Nick and hauled a scrawny, mangy buck out from behind the shed, where he had been housing him waiting for the carnival to come through.

The kid looked like he was going to blow away.

But Nick’s the coach, and Nick put him in. And the hell of it was, even though he was not even pulling his own weight, he did what he needed to. Even without the training. To our surprise, he just kept up.

When we got back, the kid passed out, and slept for a week. Missed the whole drunken bash afterwards.

So that is how we went from an octet to a nontet. And now you know Rudy as the reindeer rock star among us all.

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RE: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby ladybluerb » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:04 pm

The Year Santa's Reindeer Rebelled

"You are nothing but a low down overstuffed rat!" shouted Blitzen.

"I don't know why Santa put you in charge anyway."

"But Blitzen, Santa needs us. Christmas Eve is the only time that he asks anything from us." Rudolph replied.

His nose glowed bright red as he paced back and forth. Trying to convince the other reindeer to pull Santa's

sleigh was not going to be easy.

"It's only one night out of the whole year, Blitzen. We need you."

Rudolph looked at the other reindeer for help. They had their heads down pretending to eat the hay in front of them.

Come on, Blitzen. Don't let us down, they thought.

"Why don't you really want to help? What's the real reason?" Rudolph asked.

"It's not that I don't want to help. It's that I'm not going to help! Period! Have you seen the weather report for

Christmas Eve?" Blitzen stamped his hooves hard on the already frozen ground.

"Snow wouldn't be a problem. Even with your shiny nose, we could make it. But sleet and ice are another thing

altogether. The sleet sticks to my eyelids. They get so heavy I can't see a thing. My antlers become heavy with

all those ice cycles hanging from them.

No, Rudolph. Santa will have to do without me this year."

With that, Blitzen turned and stomped out of the stable, head held high and his nose in the air. The other

reindeer followed him, heads down and looking away from Rudolph.

One shy female deer hiding in the shadows, came forward.

"I could do it, Rudolph. I could help pull Santa's sleigh,"she said as she nudged him with her shoulder.

"Oh, Lily. I know you would like to help, but does aren't strong enough. It takes us bucks to pull that heavy


Lily continued to nudge Rudolph. Her nose found his cheek. Her lips found his lips.

"Alright. I will talk to Santa. But I can't promise anything,"he said as he pulled away.

So Christmas Eve arrived. The sleet and ice hung heavy in the air.

Santa's sleigh was loaded and ready to go.

With their holiday harnesses attached and their bells tinkling, eight reindeer were hitched to Santa's sleigh.

Rudolph went to the front of the line, his head held high. He was proud to be leading this band of rebels.

Wrapped all in velvet and fur, Santa climbed into the sleigh. He took up the reins and gave them a twitch.

As the reindeer rose to the sky, they heard Santa exclaim.

"On Lily, on Rosy, on Susy and Kalen! On Snowbell, on Evie, on Molly and Galen! To the top of the mountain

with all of your might!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

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Re: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby ladybluerb » Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:43 pm

I realize this story isn't exactly what the prompt called for. I started out with the prompt. Then found myself in a different direction. So I went with it.

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Re: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby ebersocats » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:52 pm

Oh well, I think this is more to get us writing and going with the flow as far as I know is still getting you writing. I could be wrong. Anyone else here have comments?

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RE: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby Aramis360 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:22 pm

Rudolph was special from the day he was born. He had a shiny red nose, and none of us had ever seen anything like it before. His nose attracted so much attention, he soon became the most famous reindeer in the world. Snowmen and snowwomen, elves, and polar bears would come far and wide just to get a glimpse of Rudolph and his nose. It was spectacular. But, as time passed and as Rudolph got older, well, the other reindeer weren't so nice to him anymore. You could even say they were down right mean to him. It was such a shame. They would laugh and call him names. Poor Rudolph. Why, they didnt even let him join in any reindeer games.

But one Christmas Eve, while we gathered in the barn, we noticed Santa walking with a heavy heart. Our sleigh was ready and our destinations were set, but Santa stood quietly in the snow, and looked out into the stars. We all gathered in silence, watching Santa breathe heavy, white breaths. Our heads lowered a bit in sadness, and we remained quiet and watchful. He turned and walked towards us silently, with only the sound of the snow crushing beneath his feet. We stood at attention.

"Tonight my heart is burdened with sadness" Santa said, " Even in our beloved North Pole do we find bitterness and jealousy, and this I can not stand for. We are the messengers of love, and symbols of hope, each of us. Tonight, we will make it known that Christmas is for us all, every one."

Santa lined us up and checked our harnesses. He gave a long hug to Mrs. Clause, and after a quick kiss, he walked to the sleigh and hopped aboard. We had one stop before launch.

We pulled up to a cottage not far from ours and Santa stepped away and walked towards the barn. A red glow filled the room, and danced along the walls. After a few moments, Santa and Rudolph made their way back to the sled.

Rudolph had grown since the last time I saw him. Santa strapped him pilot, and Rudolph stood tall and erect in front. We waited. In the silence, the wind jingled our bells, and Santa took his seat. I looked over at Dancer, who looked sternly forward. This was it.

Santa then shouted our orders, and we lunged forward. Rudolph's pull was felt, his strength was remarkable. We ran faster and faster, and I saw Rudolph rise straight up! We launched steeply into the air. We rose and rose and charged violently high above the clouds. Faster and faster, the wind deafening in our ears. "Ho Ho Ho!" Santa yelled, "Tonight we make history!".

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Re: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby binnminntale » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:27 pm

I love how the glowing red light stuck on some newbie’s nose instantly seduces people. Yeah, the dang elves basked in the glow, and Mrs. Claus was overjoyed to find a new method to baking her cookies. Santa’s rosy cheeks were no longer caused by the cold, but by a really bad sunburn. Oh yeah, that kid’s nose is ultra-violet.
So I’m like, what, if I get a decked out nose I’ll redeem myself with the big man?
Yeah, I’m Comet. Santa and I were like this (FYI, I’m crossing my hooves). We were tight. I was his right-hand reindeer, his bud, leader of the pack. So when Rudolph just came flouncing in with some glow-in-the-dark tomato on his snout it was so not cool! Once again Santa got seduced my some magic and I’m knocked back down to size. I used to be on the frontline, but since some clowns jacked up with phosphorous oxide or nitrate or whatever mutated this kid, I’m in the second row.
Okay let’s face it. We called him names because we were jealous that Rudolph made Santa an even bigger softie than when he overdosed on chocolate-chipper cookies (I’m telling you, that guy is pa-lushy!). I’m sorry but calling him names was the best we could do to keep ourselves from playing dirty! Until Rudolph’s second Christmas, that is…
I didn’t mean for it to go that far. Nix that, I did.
It was Christmas night, and I stole some of those red-hot cookies Mrs. Claus whips up whenever things get ‘steamy’ between her and Santa (I was his BFF, I know these things!).
Rudolph is so amazingly naïve, I could’ve basically convinced him to do a belly flop into the coal pile out back and he so would’ve done it! So I casually clopped in to the stable where Rudolph was sorting his fan mail alone (he’s not a very popular).
See, as reindeer, we have much more sensitive olfactory glands than you humans. So while red-hot cookies are a little ‘boost’ for the Big Man and his wife, they’re like swallowing a bunch of hot chili peppers for us hoofed fellas.
What you might not have known about Rudolph is that he gets a lot of face time, so he is very wrapped up in his image (see, I thought pride was a sin, so he should be getting a bunch of sacks of coal! Just sayin!). He’s constantly on the search for new cosmetic injections and enhancements that were not tested by animals. Yes, I know.
“Yo Rudy, try these!” Rudy wasn’t that chummy with the Big Man yet, he still didn’t know about the true power of the red-hots.
“I’m so glad they got my good side in that movie last week! Let me tell you Commy, I was stressin’!”
“Okay, great now try the hotties.”
“They’re sure to make you look fly.” I winked for an added effect. That was more than enough for Rudolph to inhale the red-hots like nobody’s business. He was out like the light that masked his over-sized snout. Sorry Rudy, you have no good side.
So I stole a red clown nose and a red Christmas tree light from one of the Rudolph groupies. I was set. My cover story: Comet ran off with some new babe- it’s mating season, after all. It was time for me to regain my spotlight, even if I had to be disguised as a nuisance.
Too bad I forgot to take several things into account. Like the fact that I’m several thousands times more buff than Rudy. My leg muscles are as thick as Christmas tree trunks. Okay, maybe I’m just as vain as Rudolph. But hey, at least I’ve got something to show for it!
“Comet, where’s Rudolph?” Santa inquired, not fooled by my gag one bit. “And what’s with the nose?”
“I’m just honoring the guy, especially since he’s MIA,” I said. Unfortunately I was scraping my hoof on the ground like how I always do when I’m nervous. Santa, being my ex-BFF, knew that.
“Where is he?”
“I just wanted to lead the sled team again!” I exclaimed. Santa blew up, steam from the hot chocolate still broiling at the pit of his stomach now bursting out of his ears.
“Let me lead again or I’ll tell Mrs. Claus that you kissing that random mommy chick wasn’t just because you had to live out that cheesy song!”
And that’s how I dethroned Rudy.

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Re: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby sns3guppy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:08 pm

You know Dasher, and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. You probably think you know Comet, and Cupid, and Donner, too. But you don’t know Blitzen. That’s me. Number eight on the seniority list for North Airways, and back of the pack.

Do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? From humble beginnings, he figured he was destined for greatness, though we never let him join in any games. All of us took potshots at him, calling him names. I’d like to say we felt bad about it, but he brought most of it on himself. At first he couldn’t help it, with the spindly legs and that goofy, glow-in-the-dark nose. He made the whole herd candidates for a polar-bear attack any time he came around, and he smelled like candy. Canes, to be precise, though some of us thought that perhaps he was into schnapps and it did account for the red nose.

Visibility went down one Christmas Eve, far below takeoff minimums, and Santa was out of his mind. I mean, stark, raving bonkers. With a year of work riding on this one night, and good visibility three hundred sixty four days of the year, who could blame him for being ticked that on the one night we had a scheduled departure the weather caved-in? I questioned his judgment, but he’s the captain. I just work here.

I have to stop and say that Rudolf is far down on the seniority list. He will be lucky to make a sleigh team in this lifetime, let alone get a lead position. He’s been on probation twice, and recently busted a urinalysis. When Santa came to Rudolph and asked him “Won’t you guide my sleight tonight,” Rudolph was three sheets to the wind, and vomited on Santa’s boots. Santa shouted out with glee, “You’re going down, Rudolf!”

Oh, how the reindeer loved him. Any one of us would have given two days hay to do that. The old man has been grinding our backsides into the ground lately, and some of us think he’s going senile. That power yawn on his boots was icing on the cake, though there’s been talk of a strike. The elves are pissed off, the pixie section has started taking things off the assembly line to sell online for themselves, and Mrs. Claus is rumored to be taking sleeping pills.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t too thrilled when Santa came to me as a backup to guide the sleigh that night. What am I, a navigator? I’m a fully qualified engine, a freaking magic reindeer. Flying venison, if you will. I told him “nothing doing, and I’m no second choice.” Santa tried every swinging tail in the harness, and no takers. In the end he had to put Rudolph up front, and no matter what you hear, it had nothing to do with his nose.

When Rudolph ran us into a mountainside near Mt. Rushmore in the third hour, Santa was fit to be tied. We were stranded, and Rudolph rode as far as Brooklyn in the back of the sleigh by the spare runners. I took the lead, and did a fair job, though it won’t be my career choice in the future. Too many bugs in my teeth. I don't want to start a rumor, but the sleigh isn't close to being operated under its max takeoff gross weight, and we could use at least four more reindeer, plus another two for in-flight-relief duty. Lord help us if we ever have to reject a takeoff, because whoever is at the back of the harness is using that sleigh for an enema. Santa was a prophet when he told Rudolph he was going down.

It's not for me to say if the Cagliano family in Brooklyn, the ones who run the nice Italian restaurant, were naughty or nice. The venison they served up on New Year for the Blue Plate Special was extra, it wasn't on their list, and I know for a fact that the big red thing on the side wasn't a maraschino cherry.

Like I said, my name is Blitzen, and you don't know me.

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Re: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby Murphette17 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:50 pm

(This is my first post/attempt as well. Thanks for reading.)

“Pssssssst.” My eyelashes fluttered. Dasher, again. “Psssssssst. Dancer. Dancer, you awake?”

I only opened my right eye to glance at the stall across the way. Dasher was leaning with hooves up over his gate. The elves must’ve been asleep already. They never let us stand like that.

I sighed. “No. I’m not awake.”

Dasher paused. “But, you answered me,” he muttered. And he wondered why Santa kept us in the back of the pack.

“What do you want, Dash?”

“What do you thinks going on out there?” Dasher looked down the center of the barn. Begrudgingly, I pulled myself out of my warm hay and stretched my neck out. The elves were bustling around the empty stall at the end, near the barn door. Well, most of the elves. Tipsy was keeping watch, though Tipsy never kept watch of anything aside from his jug of Mrs. Claus’s eggnog.

“Maybe Donner’s snoring again. You know how bossy Blizten can be when he’s upset.”

“I don’t think that’s it, Dance.”

“And I am not bossy!” Blizten bellowed from two stalls over. Next to me, I heard Comet snort.

The elves noticed us stirring and quickly approached out stalls, carrots in hand. They didn’t need to convince me; I was exhausted. I quickly nestled down in my bed and tried to fall back to sleep. Of course, my seven teammates didn’t have the same agenda.

“Woah! Look at him!” I heard Cupid say, “What’s wrong with his face?”

“It’s not his face, it’s his nose,” Comet corrected.

“Dancer, get up, you’ve got to see this!” Dasher cheered.

I turned toward the wooden fence between my stall and Prancer’s. “Hey, Prance?”

“Mmphmmm.” He mumbled, mouth full of carrots. That was the thing about Prancer. He’d act up just to get extra carrots from the elves.

“Do I really need to get up to see what’s going on?”

I heard him chomp down a few more times, swallow a huge gulp, and sigh. “There’s a new guy.”

“A NEW GUY?” Beside my better judgment, I was back on my feet with the rest of them, peering down the center of the barn towards the open door.
Standing out in the snow, I saw our boss. Contrary to popular belief, ole’ Kris doesn’t wear red all the time (we’re the only ones who call him Kris. Short for Kris Kringle, of course. But for those of you not from around here, yes, I’m talking about Santa Claus). Tonight, he was in a green wool coat and dark brown wool trousers. His beard had a red tint to it, courtesy of the reindeer standing next to him.

The reindeer was a bit smaller than the rest of the team. His ears twitched nervously as Kris talked to two of the elves. He had large brown eyes and a beautiful coat. Of course, none of that was noticed. None of that mattered. All anyone could see was his nose - his bright red glowing nose.

Vixen finally peered out. “Ha!” she snorted, “His nose looks like Tipsy’s!”

Tipsy heard her and smiled.

Kris and the new guy made their way into the barn. Try as I might, I couldn’t take my eyes off the kid’s nose. I kept staring and staring until finally the kid looked right at me and I had to look away.

“Team,” Kris bellowed. Of all the stories about him, his deep jolly voice is the one almost everyone actually gets right. “This here’s Rudolph. He’s going to be joining out team this year.”

The barn went into a flurry. The elves, armed with apples and sugar cubes, approached each gate. Blitzen was pissed. Dasher was thrilled. Vixen was bored. Prancer was pawing at the ground just to get food first. Comet wasn’t surprised. Cupid was confused. Donner was asleep again, already snoring.

And me? I was delighted. I knew from the second I saw the kid that he was going to be an asset to us. Kris had a bit of night-blindness that he’d been battling for the past century or so, and I was getting tired of accidentally landing on convenience stores and national monuments. Last year Kris had tried strapping headlamps to our antlers, but those failed since he’d forgotten the spare batteries and we lost the light somewhere over the Atlantic.

On December 24, Kris put us in order. From the back of the pack, I smiled up at the new kid. I knew Rudolph was about to change everything…

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RE: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby Ott » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:43 pm

     My name is Ned. I’m a reindeer, working for Santa, Inc. as a trainer. I have two assistants; Mike and Effie, elves who do stuff that are easy for folks with hands, not so easy for hooves.
     My job is training reindeer for the annual sleigh pull. It’s a high visibility job. These guys have to be quick, have a lot of stamina, and look good for the press. Every year, we get about forty or fifty of the herd that want to go on the Big Trip. We have tryouts, pick twenty and train for the next trip. Injuries usually sideline four or five, and I have the job of not only training them, but deciding on the final team come Christmas Eve. It takes guts to look someone in the eye and tell him that after ten months of arduous work, they aren’t going. I have to do that a dozen times over. The bucks usually take it ok, the does sometimes cry a bit, but they know there’s always next year. And the ones that go this time don’t always make the cut next time.
     I choose for attitude, strength, personality, team playing, agility, and an intangible star quality. SI has the world’s best PR, and the owner isn’t taking any chances with it. This team has to be good. Every year Mike and Effie ride me out to the sleigh strip for the big sendoff and spend all night in the ground control shack, listening to the progress reports, weather, and air traffic. Then we’re back at the strip with a big urn of hot chocolate and the whole population giving them a hero’s welcome. They have earned it.
     One year, Mike came to me after we had our preliminary team and asked why I had chosen this little unknown runt. He wasn’t very strong, and didn’t fly very well. I told him why.
     “Mike, you watched them all during the preliminaries. You groomed, harnessed, and petted them. What did you feel when you worked with Rudolph?”
     “Well, boss, I felt the kid had little potential, no real talent. He has a great attitude, a very shiny nose, and a great personality.”
     “Well Mike, that’s it. He has one thing this team needs. The kid’s got heart. If he works at it and stays healthy, he’ll make it. And think how that’ll help the rest of the herd. Some just don’t try. If they see that Rudy can do it, others might start thinking about it.”
     So we started. Ever see a reindeer sweat? In the arctic? These did. For ten months. Twenty reindeer trying for eight positions. Competition was fierce, and I had to balance that with working as a team. We did team drills, switched harness mates, and had group “gripe” sessions, everything to weld a team. Rudy had it tougher than most. The others teased him about his size, his nose, even his cuteness. He was an outcast, shunned by them; even walking away from the trough when he came to eat. Through it all, he worked hard and never lost his cheerful disposition, never once tried to retaliate.
     Then the day came. Effie brought me the final evaluations. It didn’t look good for Rudy. His flying ability was ok, but not spectacular. His load carrying was minimal. I did the math. If he was in the harness, the flight time would extend by two hours over the next slowest candidate. Unacceptable.
     “Effie, looks like Rudy isn’t going. As bad as I want him, he just can’t do it.”
     “Boss, I think everyone knows it. It’s a shame, because he’s been so good and encouraging to the team. He’s like a beacon to the others.”
     Beacon! Brainstorm!
     I went to the owner with the idea. He bought it and personally went to Rudy.
And that’s how the little guy became the figurehead of the airship Santa Sleigh. The others, not worried anymore about their chances, loved it; Santa got an upgrade in the navigation lights (and got the FAA off his back about it!); the herd got a big lift in morale; Hollywood loved it; Rudy got his dream shot; and I got a bonus. Oh, and the royalties from the song, the movies, and the merchandising made Santa Inc. very happy too.

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RE: Rewriting Rudolph - 12/14

Postby theSkilled » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:49 pm

*its Donder not Donner.


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