Welcome back from the holidays !!!
This is your good pal Cool Elf and I’m back with an after-Christmas story just for you.
Did you all get your Christmas presents this year?
Well, whether you wanna thank Santa or complain to him, there’s only one group you should find: Santa’s team of nine magical reindeer. These flying reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh across the night sky on Christmas Eve. They help deliver the presents all over the world.
Talk about express delivery !!
Santa has 9 trusty reindeer in all. And did you know? Each of them has a name.
According to an 1823 poem by Clement Moore, the names of Santa’s reindeer are:
- Donner (= this originally means "thunder")
- Blitzen (= this originally means "lightning")
Cool names, huh? Perhaps cool enough to use for our pet puppies?
But wait! We said only 8 names! How about the 9th reindeer?
Well, the 9th reindeer is Rudoph. And he joined the group a bit late.
(Actually, he was introduced more than 100 years late through a children’s book by Robert May, and then through the popular Christmas song that's familiar to most of us.)
Interestingly, even in the lyrics of the popular Christmas song, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Rudolph wasn’t easily allowed to join the group.
In fact, he was bullied by the rest of the reindeer. (Very much like the “Mean Girls.”)
This happened because of one physical deformity that Rudolph had: His nose that’s as shiny as a light bulb.
You can read the whole story in a part of the song:
All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.
But because of an emergency, Rudolph was able to prove that his unique characteristic was useful:
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"
In fact, after this, Rudolph became the natural leader of all the reindeer !
Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee*,
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history**!
*glee = happiness
** go down in history = be famous
Now, the moral lesson of our story can be either:
- Uniqueness and originality is a gift and not a curse. You should be proud of your individuality because it makes you special (not weird). Most of the great people in the history of the world, the born leaders, were also different from the crowd.
(Of course also including some bad apples)
- Unkindness can be naturally expected. It can come in many forms and all places – even among Santa’s elite team of reindeer. (Actually even among the angels of God.)
But I’d like to prove neither the first nor the second point. What I wanna say here is that there’s a lot of story behind every book, a lot of story behind every scene or movie.
For each main story, there are a hundred side stories, so to speak.
Man’s knowledge/ consciousness is like an old tree with so many roots and so many branches – sometimes it’s just impossible to trace.
And especially in the field of history, it gets pretty hard when you wanna tell which one is factual and which one is just a myth.
In the field of fairytales and entertainment, everybody knows it’s all just imagination. But still man’s boundless creativity doesn’t stop creating: the stories of man are like one endless river - story after story after story.
He passes them on by mouth, in books, in poems, in movies, on the Net… then other people add their own ideas, and still other people add more and more till, finally, it flows into the ocean of humanity’s wealth of ideas.
Your final goal as a non-native speaker of English is to dip into this river of stories, and perhaps add your own original thoughts. Someday.
I look forward to hearing your own voices and ideas in the future.
P.S. I’ve realized the value of our Christmas song series. So, very soon I’m planning to start a new part of this Blog: “SING AND LEARN.”
In this part, I’ll try to explain the meaning of the lyrics of popular and recent songs.
And you can make your own special request to the lyrics dee-jay Cool Elf ANYTIME!
I’ll probably start it this week. So stay tuned!!