top of page


ONCE she had held the top position. Everyone looked up to her. Her appearances were anticipated, year after year. But then she disappeared. Covid was blamed. Or was there foul play? Certainly, by the end of 2020, she could not be found. It was a strange time with social distancing and gatherings limited to very small numbers. Maybe in the following year, a more thorough investigation would reveal her whereabouts. For a time she was forgotten until an inquisitive young woman began asking questions.

UPON her shoulders lay the task of solving the mystery. Could the clues be in the house by the river? The house had four floors and she patiently started her search at ground level. Her disappearance at the end of 2020 was masked by fears of the pandemic, but now at the end of 2021, her adoring admirers were clamouring to see her again. By the time the young sleuth had gone through three floors, time was running out. There was only the top attic left for any trace of the beloved beauty. Maybe a quick solution would be to find a stand-in, a double, a proxy?

A stand-in was found at short notice. With lowered lighting, nobody seemed to notice the blond hair was coarser, her dress not fine silk, but synthetic nylon. Only the blue eyes were alike. Another year passed and the same stand-in fulfilled the annual duty at the end of 2022.

TIME passed. It was December 2023 and the young woman had not given up on finding out the truth. She returned to the house by the river and wearily climbed the many flights of stairs to the top floor. She nervously opened chests, cupboards, black plastic bags, musty suitcases with old fur coats. Moths flew around and then disappeared. Small black specks led to the furthest corner cupboard which had an odd odour. She then found THE  BODY.

The sleeping dormouse lay very still beside the missing Christmas Angel. The angel’s china face was as delicate as ever, the silk dress yellowed with age, and her gauzy silver wings needed straightening. It would be a pleasure to gently brush the tangled golden hair to restore her. Alas, the stand-in cheap plastic fairy had been gnawed by the hungry mouse and would go into the recycling bin.

ONCE UPON A TIME, King Charles the Third warned us of global warming. Maybe in the future the Hazel Dormouse will stay in the garden and my great grandchildren will hang the Christmas Angel on a living tree. For now, the Christmas postage stamps show the king’s head for the first time with the words O HEAR THE ANGEL VOICES. This angel has dark hair and the wings are red!

Christmas 2023.

151 views3 comments
bottom of page