Grandma Aberquacky was a little concerned as she watched the leaves change colors and begin to fall off the trees this one extremely particular year in Duck Creek. It was time to be shutting up the house and workshop, and getting things tightened down against another brrrrry, northern winter.
Year after wintery year it had been the same routine without question; the day after Halloween all ducks who had any sense at all began the migration. More times than Grandma A. wanted to remember, though, Grandpa Aberquacky had threatened to cancel their annual vacation so he could continue working on his many, many, many inventions.
This particular year it was looking more and more like he was going to stall them for too long, and Grandma A. had every reason to be worried. The rest of the Aberquacky’s in Duck Creek were ready for take-off; pacing and grumbling and otherwise waiting very impatiently. Grandma Aberquacky quacked at him non-stop all morning to finish up so they could join the others, but all of her efforts were like water off the old duck’s back. It just didn’t sink in!
“Grandma, quit yer pestin’ me about it,” Grandpa quacked at her that final afternoon. “I’ve got me an invention here that will take care of that cold north wind comin’ through our house in the wintertime, and we are a gonna stay right here at Duck Creek!”
“Oh dear, oh dear”, muttered Granny as she waddled swiftly down the hall, her back tails swinging from side to side in a huff, “What has gotten into that old fool? He’s completely off his quacker! The children will have to quack some sense into him. I have a feeling that old Whackymacky and I will be staying here all by our freezing selves!” And off she hurried down the lane to deliver the bad news.
“You can’t be serious!” Kimmerwacky said preening her beautiful head of curly feathers. “Surely he knows how cold and hard the North Wind blows in the wintertime! Why would he give up palm trees and ocean breezes for that?”
“Are you sure he isn’t sick? He sounds a little quacked if you ask me,” said their other daughter, Angisnacky, batting her long, glittery eyelashes. “Maybe he should see a doctor.”
“I am sure he’s only kidding,” Warywappy added absently as he stood tall and raised his dumbbells high above his head in a determined effort to build up enough muscle for all the flapping he knew was ahead.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Grandma A. was right. Neither she nor Grandpa A. would be flying anywhere this year because while Grandma was busy talking to her children, Grandpa climbed up to the very top of their house to seal it with his newest invention against the bitterly cold wind. Well, of course, he lost his balance and blew right off the roof, and, of course, he didn’t want to drop his invention to flap his wings … so there they were … stuck at home for the winter. Thank goodness Grandma had a pantry full of seeds and grains … but how ever would they manage to stay warm through the blustery weather ahead?
The grandchildren stopped playing with the toys Grandpa had built for them and held a quick meeting. All of them, (Blabber, Clabber, Dabber, Flabber, Gabber, Jabber, Labber, Mabber, Nabber, Pabber, Quabber, Rabber, Slabber, Tabber, Vabber, Wabber, Zabber, and even little Freddy) decided they were NOT going to leave their grandpa and grandma alone for the winter. When they informed their parents, who were normally of sound mind, they were quickly given permission to stay behind after it was carefully pointed out by Jabberquacky that they would be able to swim beneath the warm southern sun without a bazillion goslings quacking at them day in and day out.
So it was that the grandchildren, under the careful tutelage and watchful eye of Grandpa and Grandma A., prepared their home for the frosty months ahead … using none other than Grandpa A’s fandiddleyastic newest invention. Soon enough, they were all safe and warm inside the house preparing for their very first Christmas in the north. Grandma A. was busy knitting new warm flippens for their flat, orange feet, and brightly colored caps for their round, little heads. The north wind blew its best, but not a draft or a breeze stirred inside the cozy Aberquacky home.
Oh how the wind blew in December! On Christmas Eve Jabber and Tabber Aberquacky slipped outside on a secret errand and returned with nothing else but a beautiful, mid-sized tumble weed. The goslings quickly painted it green and began to decorate it with pods, seeds, feathers, and string. Grandma roasted seeds and nuts over the fire and Grandpa sat smugly in his chair feeling warm and safe.
They were pretty certain that Santa wouldn’t be visiting them in Duck Creek … on account of the fact that every single year Duck Creek had not had a single creature stirring … not even a mouse! Everyone and their dogs left town for Christmas! But, just in case, they weren’t taking any silly chances either. Their old fattens were hanging carefully on the wall by the fireplace … and just in case of a scrumdillyisious Christmas miracle, they were being very, very, very good!
They were safe from the weather, playing together, when out in their yard there arose such a clatter they sprang to the door full of feathers and chatter. In my most grandocious of dreams you would not believe what met their eyes!
There, amid a tangle of reindeer hoofs, antlers, pieces of sleigh, scattered toys, and stupified elves was one very procifigated Santa Clause. Apparently the North Wind had gusted up under his sleigh as he was dozing and he over corrected the reindeer and then they had all rolled right out of the night sky into Grandpa Aberquacky’s back yard! Santa was walking around in a daze, picking up pieces of this and pieces of that, shaking his head and looking into his empty bag.
“This is bad. Not even my worst nightmare is this bad,” he mumbled. “There is no way in this life I will ever get the toys repaired and this sleigh fixed and back on the milky way in time to make my deliveries. The children will be so disappointed.”
Grandpa Aberquacky was out the door in a flash, hobbling along on his crutches and quacking so fast not a single duck or Santa Clause could understand a word he was saying.
“Now slow down there, Aberquacky,” Santa urged. “I’ve got me a real problem here and I don’t need you getting in the way and makin’ it worse!”
The scurrifying that followed was something you would have had to see to believe! Those little grand ducks looked like little furry elves running all over the place fixing this and fixing that, quacking and waddling here and there! Santa Clause sat back in amazement!
Soon, to his wondering eyes there appeared a beautiful multi-colored sleigh all hooked up to eight rather bewildered reindeer! Toys had been magically mended, packages had been re-wrapped, and all was ready once again for Santa!
“Ho Ho Ho,” said Santa with a new twinkle in his eye! “Come Dasher, Come Dancer, Come Comet and Blitzen … Come Donder & Cupid and … Fancy and Scooter! Off we go to deliver our toys! Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho!” And in the distance they heard him exclaim as he rode right out of sight … “Merry Christmas to the Aberquacky’s and have a good night!”
“Hooray for Grandpa A.” shouted the goslings! “Hooray for Grandpa’s invention! It saved Christmas!” They were jubilant and excited as they all turned to go back into the house. As one after another came waddling through the front door they stopped and tripped and stumbled over each other as thirty-eight excited little eyes took in the bulging fattens hanging in a row and the stack of presents with their names on them that were beneath a beautiful Christmas tree. “Now when did he do that?” asked Tabberquacky in wonderment.
Grandma Aberquacky was dreamafied as she looked lovingly at her quirky little dear. “My quacky little ducky” she marveled, “you did it!” (Who would ever have believed it, she wisely thought to herself?) Then she added, “And now, you silly old quackermeister, what are you going to name this magically formulated concoction of yours?”
Grandpa Aberquacky chuckled and ruffled his feathers a bit before answering, “Well, I was thinking of simply calling it Duck Tape.” And so he did.
This is a rewrite of a story from 2006. I hope you enjoyed it and I want to wish you all a very stupendillyisios Christmas. I plan to spend my time with family and friends and ponder the life of my Savior, Jesus Christ. For after all … he is the very reason for the season.