"A Wink And A Nod, Or A Shake And A Frown"
©2009, Andrea Faith Hilla / Ralph John Hilla, Jr.
Practice, Practice, Practice, Maybe Not All That Perfect
After that May visit by Mrs. Claus and Princess,
Mom's acquiring of musical instruments was almost a business.
Fortunately for us kids, it was the end of the school year,
Because our minds were still stuck, on Santa and his reindeer.
Mom kept telling us, there was a rapidly coming date that we had to make,
It was a meeting at Santa's pole, and we had to be there for love's sake.
For on that special day, Uncle was going to ask the Claus's for Princess's hand,
And we kids would be participating, by playing in a musical band.
Mom played the piano, to help us practice each musical piece,
And with a little bit of practice, they started to come with ease.
For the whole family, this was to be a new and special treat,
A public proposal to wed, and a request to forever keep.
However, the approval must be given by all,
With the place of course, at Santa's ballroom hall.
Not just one instrument, did each of us kids, learn how to play,
But, a multitude of instruments, we tried each and every day.
Experts we were not, on any one piece we did touch,
But, at least the sounds that did come out, gave a heart throbbing rush.
Mom assured us, that as soon as this event, was in the past,
Any decision to continue playing, was ours to make, but not too fast.
Dad kept saying "It is better to wear it out, than let it rust away,
Put your heart into it, and have fun while you learn to play".
Those instruments never got rusty, though most were made of wood,
As we practiced and practiced, we started to sound pretty good.
A Ride To The South Pole
It was bright and early, on a Tuesday, in the month of July,
When Santa's sleigh did appear as a small red dot, high up in the sky.
As that red dot came closer, we could see two familiar faces in the sleigh,
Princess was holding the reins, as Uncle was pointing our way.
Our bags and instruments and winter coats, were in a pile and ready to go,
Soon we would be in that sleigh, heading for snow at the southern pole.
There were already people, from all around world, coming from many lands,
Gathering at Santa's winter wonderland, for that occasion so grand.
Fun and love have no barriers, and language will never get in the way,
We kids would find many new friends, to share life with as we play.
Some of those kids have more experience, at playing instruments than we,
But, as a group, our mom told us, exceptional we would all be.
With hugs and kisses spread all around, and excitement filling the air,
Our items for the trip were placed in the sleigh, and soon we would all be there.
We made one special stop in a land, somewhere in the southern hemisphere,
To pick up a family going our way, ironically they had similar gear.
The kids were our ages, with instruments too, though a few quite different then ours,
We tried to explain, with our different words, that we had practiced, for so many hours.
Sometime actions are what really count, when words echo as in an empty room,
We kids picked up our instruments, and played some of our new found tunes.
We were surprised we all knew the same tunes, and all by heart,
This world actually is a small place, even though we live far apart.
This musical sleigh ride was being enjoyed by all, even the reindeer seemed to like,
And as we approached our destination, the skies were filled with southern lights.
It was Aurora Australis, who's lights filled that southern sky,
Then, the sleigh started doing barrel rolls, as some let out a gentle sigh.
Princess circled Aurora Australis, whether for sight or sound,
We kids just kept playing our instruments, as we flew around and around.
With each new tune, Princess and Uncle, glanced at each other with a grin,
They must have thought this sleigh ride rehearsal, was entirely for them!
Practice At Playing, This We Are Good At
Saturday evening was the day that Uncle was to propose to Princess,
And mom and dad kept telling us kids, that event was going to be priceless.
More people with kids, than just us, showed up on that Tuesday in July,
As they all unloaded instruments, our little minds started to wonder why.
The guests here at the South Pole, were coming from a multitude of lands,
While some of the music they were going to be listening to, would be from our own band.
Mom said to call us a band, was actually the wrong descriptive word,
With more kids, that orchestra, better describes the sounds to be heard.
Some instruments you blew into, while others had strings,
There were cymbals and drums, and even more musical things.
As we soon were to learn, something strange had occurred,
We kids had all been practicing the same songs, that shortly were to be heard.
With instruments in hand, the ballroom was the next place we kids all meet,
To practice those songs we were going to play, for Saturday nights' event.
Even our first song together, did not sound so terribly bad,
That built our confidence up, for which we were all pretty glad.
After our practice session, one of the kids, had an idea that sounded great,
So we all gathered up our instrument cases, and ran outside for a play date.
This we were all good at, and better yet, there was no beat to keep,
Those cases made pretty good sleds in the snow, for a mischievous treat.
Just as mom had told us, playing together would come naturally,
I just did not think that all of we kids, would be doing it so willingly.
A strange thing happens, when Aurora Australis appears during a heavy snow,
The snow flakes comes down in colors, depending on the color of Aurora's glow.
And, when you are sliding down that snowy rainbow, one more thing to keep in mind,
It tastes just as it looks, keeping your taste buds happily entwined.
The red snow tastes like cherries, while the blue is more like grapes,
The green has a mint flavor, and best of all, no kid has to take a sliding break.
One could ask, "Did we enjoy playing, and was it long and fun enough?",
You would have to define "playing", and the answer we would not push or rush.
Some of those instrument cases could not take the play, we pushed them a bit too hard,
Luckily for us, Santa had a repair shop, so you would hardly ever know they were marred.
We Kids Get To The Ballroom, None Too Early
On Saturday, we kids gathered in the ballroom just as the guests started to appear,
The decorating committee was just finishing up, as that magical hour drew near.
Scattered around the room, were boxes, marked "Love", "Crickets" and "Fireflies",
I suspected mom might have something in mind, together with a surprise.
There was a chair laced in white flowers, and a chair to each side,
All three chairs sat upon a small stage, out in the open where nobody could hide.
In addition, there were two painted milk pails, next to the flowered chair,
One vanilla, the other green, and I knew immediately who put them there.
There was seating for two orchestras, to the left and to the right,
One had chairs of blue, while the others were all white.
The soft glow from candles, in the chandeliers set a mood so warm,
While the candles burning on each table, resembled a sunrise of an early morn.
One by one, each table was filled, with people dressed in their festive gear,
Then slowly the room quieted down, until a whisper was all you could hear.
We kids, with our bright and cheery looks, sat down in the white chairs,
While the blue chairs were filled with older folks, that only gave blank stares.
From a distant door, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and Princess, entered the ballroom,
Under the direction of mom, we kids, struck up a short marching tune.
Uncles' First Try, A Shake And A Frown, Thumbs Down
Immediately after the Claus's took their chairs at the ballroom floor,
Uncle entered the room from a different door, and approached the one he adored.
He then knelt down on one knee, and put a hand over his heart,
Humbly he then proceeded to tell Princess why their lives should never part.
"I love you because your teeth are sort of white,
That is, of course, only in the dimmest of light!
I love you because your hair is longer then mine,
And that it looks more like rope, not measly twine!
I love you because your looks are, well...
Let us just say, your looks are sort of swell!
Will you accept this ring, I have carved from a stone,
I am sick and tired of doing my own wash, and eating alone."
We kids, upon hearing that, almost fell out of our chairs,
Our jaws fell open, as our eyes gave a wide, wide open stare!
I was pretty young, but felt I could have done better than him,
Uncle was sounding a bit disheartened, with his brain running mighty slim.
I was beginning to think, this might not work out, as everyone had planned,
Uncle will just be lucky, not to be forever banned from this land.
The crowd was unanimous, they gave a resounding thumbs down,
The Claus's turned to the other orchestra, and gave a nod for their song.
I could not believe what I was hearing, there was not a key that was on,
These guys were flatter than the pancakes, served at breakfast this dawn.
As if that were not enough, the tune they were playing, was "Three Blind Mice!",
How can anyone dance to that, these guys were really not nice.
What kind of a love tune is that, if I were Uncle, I would have turned and left,
Instead, he just stood up straight, and acted as if he had not flunked the test.
After an agonizing long time, the mice song was completed,
All eyes shifted back to the stage, to see if Uncle was defeated!
Uncles' Second Try, Another Shake And A Frown, Thumbs Down
Our Uncle is either quite dumb, or, he must have nerves of steel,
Again, he stood in front of Princess, and again he did kneel!
Without wavering, or showing any remorse, he put a hand over his heart,
And then again, he proceeded to tell Princess, why their lives should never part.
"I love you because, your ears are big,
And when you laugh, your nose wiggles, and you snort like a pig.
I love you because you never make me cry,
Even though you make, a horrible apple pie.
I love you because, you know how to milk a cow,
And when the moon is full, you sit out at night and howl.
I love you because, you know how to clean a fish,
And when you cook in the kitchen, you ruin every dish.
Will you accept this ring, I have carved from a stone,
I am sick and tired of doing my own wash, and eating alone."
Upon hearing those words, some of us kids, did fall out of our chairs,
We knew for certain, his head, was totally empty up stairs.
There was no doubt in my mind, I could have done better then him,
Everything that he said, made me gasp and my whole body cringe.
There was an outpouring of boos and hisses, my word, this crowd was vicious,
I was almost certain, Princess, was never going to be a misses!
The crowd was unanimous, they again gave a resounding thumbs down,
The Claus's, once more, gave a nod to the other orchestra for their song.
My word, again, "Three Blind Mice" had to be heard,
If only there was another song, they could have at least learned.
Nobody danced the last time, to this out-of-tune mess,
They should have been stopped immediately, and quit torturing the guests.
After an agonizing long time, the mice song was again complete,
Uncle lifted his head, and proudly stood on his feet.
This scene was going from bad, to really bad, maybe much worse,
If Uncle did not improve now, we might have to hire a hearse!
If there were any mice in this building, they would have left by now,
Then a mystical hush, over took this unruly crowd,
A Change Of Heart, A Wink And A Nod
Two people entered the room, with something on a draped cart,
The cloth was mostly white, decorated with a hundred red hearts.
They carefully lifted it upon the stage, so that it could be seen by all,
Then they gave a gentle bow, and left, as Uncle stood tall.
He approached the cart and lifted the cloth, and I could not believe my eyes,
There was a Christmas tree, made entirely of ice, for a wonderful surprise!
It gave off a rainbow of colors, from the candles in the room,
And in an instant, my heart knew, Uncle was soon to change his tune.
A loud and alarming gasp, filled the ballroom air,
If I would have been Princess, I would have said "Yes" right then and there.
In front of Princess, he knelt down on one knee, and put both hands above his heart,
Again, he humbly proceeded, to tell Princess, why their lives should never part.
"This tree I made, will slowly melt away, and soon be forgot,
But, as long as I live, my love for you...will not.
You are the foundation for me to build my life upon,
As our two hearts form their lasting bond.
And, as we go through life, never will I forget so much,
As that first time I felt your soft tender touch.
The memory of your laughter and love, can warm any heart,
Even if we should find ourselves, many miles apart.
My direction for life, before I met you, was on a floundering course,
But, your strength and understanding, gave me courage for which I have no remorse.
Our children will be raised with love and laughter, that we will both provide,
As we take them on a wonderful journey, of life's surprising ride.
I know I have little to offer, at this stage of my life,
Just a humble and caring heart, and hoping you will be my wife."
Then Uncle stood up and walked over to the tree,
He picked up a gold chain, that had a piece of ice, attached like a seed.
He then turned to face Princess, and in one hand holding the gold chain,
He knelt down on one knee, as his request was beginning to wane.
"Within this piece of ice, are two hearts attached to the chain,
They represent our lives together, in love's tender name.
Also, there is a pearl ring, locked within this ice so cold,
Will you wear it on your finger, as our lives together unfold.
I am asking you to have this dance with me, and place the ice between our hands,
We will melt the ice, and unlock these things, and tell the world to make wedding plans."
We kids could not believe our eyes and ears, she could never say no,
This was the Uncle I knew, and another one I am just starting to know.
There was a pause that actually lasted a moment, but felt like an hour or two,
Then across the room, the people at a table, leaned over their candles, and blew.
The room was filled with utter silence, as that table took a commanding lead,
And except for the beating of my young heart, you could have heard a butterfly breathe.
On the other side of the room, another table, a few moments apart,
Followed suite with its candles, and the room got a little more dark.
Slowly, ever so slowly, one by one, another table followed that lead,
You could tell there was something they were saying, and they all agreed.
With all of the candles, on all of the tables, showing a new silenced glow,
The only light, were the chandeliers flickers, now dimmed so low.
Rainbows dancing from the ice tree, filled the room with a colorful light,
Even us kid's young minds, knew that this was a unique sight.
The Waltz For Two, And Quite A Few
Uncle took Princess's hand, as they walked down the stairs together,
By now, everyone knew, their lives would be entwined forever.
The Claus's gave a wink and a nod, as they looked our way,
And we kids knew, it was officially our turn to play.
We had something much better in store, it would be no "mice" song for us,
It was called "Flower Waltz", by "Tchaikovsky", and it was no fuss.
As we struck up the tune, they joined hands, with the ice in their firm grasp,
We kids were hoping the ice would melt, before our music had passed.
Not every note squeaked out clean, but it was the best music this crowd had heard,
The music that the other orchestra played, was absolutely absurd!
Without noticing, the boxes with "crickets" and "fireflies" were unlatched,
The crickets joined in with us, while the fireflies and dancers were attached.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw mom scampering about,
She opened the boxes marked "love", and butterflies flew out.
When the music and dancing stopped, all eyes were on the pair,
Princess's hand was open, with something dangling there.
Uncle lifted the two hearts by the chain, and placed it around her neck,
A gentle sigh could be heard from the crowd, as their two lips met.
Then, from her hand, he lifted the pearl ring, and on her finger it was placed,
With his hands around her waist, they kissed again, and lovingly embraced.
This scene was more like a minuet of sorts, with no other dancers in sight,
It only seemed right this night, that only these two should be in the spot light.
There was a shower from the crowd of red and white flowers, twisted with mistletoe,
Obviously, no silhouettes were in this crowd, and everyone was in the front row.
The Conductor For The Two Orchestras Signals a Duet
The conductor of the orchestras, told us to be ready for a new song soon,
Some music called "Spring", by a composer named "Vivaldi", was to be the tune.
We had been told a duet of orchestras might happen this eve,
So when the conductor told us it was to happen now, we happily agreed.
As the conductor instructed us to play, this next lively song,
We were very surprised to hear the other orchestra, play right along.
No missed beats, or off key notes, these other guys could play,
Actually, they were better than us, even we kids would say.
Except for fireflies and butterflies, Princess and Uncle owned the floor,
This first dance, as being engaged, was meant for them, and no more.
As we later found out, mom had her finger in this pot for a little stir,
This request to get married, was mostly orchestrated by her!
The Sleigh Ride Home
The sleigh ride home, seemed way too quick, and entirely brief,
We were laughing and reminiscing about the night before treat.
We kids played some musical tunes, that had not been heard,
But, when we played the "Wedding March", nobody spoke a single word.
Next anthology "Sleighs, Hay, Gifts For Trade-N-Pay"
Thank you, Love Andrea, Tony, Ellen, Ralph (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Andrea Faith Hilla email@example.com