Sniffing out reindeer

Christmas is coming, and I must admit, I’m having mixed feelings about it. I’m not really fond of intruders at the best of times, so possums and pigeons are subject to a tirade of barks if they come anywhere near the premises. As such, every Christmas I wait, canines exposed, ready to bite this fabled man and his strange, flying dogs. But again, and again my plans are thwarted. Sleep always seems to take me before these mystical beasts arrive.

It’s often accepted that we fear what we don’t understand, so I did some research, paying particular attention to these flying dogs.

And as it turns out, they aren’t dogs at all! They are reindeer. Originally, there were only eight. The ninth reindeer, Rudolph, was invented in a free children’s book distributed to kids around Christmas at a mall in Chicago.

And that, as they say, is where the plot thickens. Rudolph is a boy’s name. Now, reindeer are always pictured with antlers, but my husky friends tell me that while all reindeer grow antlers in the summer, the males drop theirs at the beginning of winter. Female (pregnant) reindeer retain theirs until after spring. Of course, up at the North Pole, they’re in the thick of winter during Christmas time.

That’s right. Not only are the reindeer not male, they’re all pregnant!

This revelation has eased my protective guard dog instincts. As tough as I look, I am not merciless. So, this Christmas I will be waiting, but with my canines hidden, and my tail wagging – to greet these magnificent reindeer and thank them for their service.