"Matti, it is time to wake up!" Mika was trying for the third time but Matti just mumbled something and then went back to sleep. Mika had finished his morning wash, brushed his teeth and had even eaten a healthy breakfast of leaves and only half a cup of hot chocolate. Today was the exciting first flying practice with the sledge and other reindeer that Matti had been reminding everybody about for over a week.
"I cannot stay here anymore, Matti! You can’t miss your own scheduled flying practice!” Matti opened one of his eyes, looked at his friend and said slowly, "I'm the chief's assistant; I can sleep as much I want!" Mika just shook his head, “I’ll see you out there then… don’t be late, Matti! Don’t be late!”
The morning was cold but the sky looked clean and blue. It had been snowing all night and everything looked as though it had been painted white. To the side of the huge courtyard, close to the two gigantic Christmas trees decorated beautifully with hundreds of lights, were a large number of elves and dwarves ready to watch the first flying practice of the reindeer. Prancer was talking with Rudolf, whose nose was brighter than ever, and the other reindeer were having a last minute snack.
Mr. Posi had arrived first that morning and had been the one to ask Mika to find out where his assistant was hiding, "Did you find him, Mika? What is he doing?” Mika shook his head and didn’t know what to say – he didn’t want to lie and he also didn’t want to get Matti into trouble, “Matti, is, errr, a bit busy and is just finishing something but he joins us here… he will be here though!” Mr. Posi nodded, “Okay Mika. Thanks.” The head elf walked over to the reindeer and blew his whistle, “Positions, please!”
The sledge was moved into position, although there were no presents on board, and the reindeer, plus Mika, moved into their positions in front of the sledge. Three elves began to harness the animals together and ensured that everything was safe. "Ho! Ho! Ho!" came the familiar laugh filling the courtyard with increased laughter and excitement. Santa, dressed in a red jacket and trousers, walked up to the reindeer carrying a large mug filled with steaming hot chocolate.
He spoke softly to each one of reindeer and when he arrived at Mika he said, "Ready Mr. Moose? By the way, I haven't seen your friend this morning, isn't he going to join us? Or are his new responsibilities keeping him away from the job?" Before Mika could reply, he gave the moose a wink and jumped inside the sleigh, "Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! Let's go Rudolf, fly Mika Moose!"
And that was the signal, all of them began running together in one movement along the runway that headed towards the magnificent gates of the courtyard. The reindeer and sleigh took off quickly this time because it was carrying the heavy presents and flew over the gates and over the snowmen and then over the hills. Everybody on the ground never grew bored of this incredible sight and they were cheering and clapping as though it was really Christmas Eve: there was a huge cheer when Santa flew the sleigh just over their heads knocking the hats of a few of the elves!
A few minutes after the huge cheer, a small black figure came out from one of the buildings with a red scarf covering his eyes, "There is no respect in this place for an assistant, what's all this noise? I need rest! Does nobody understand that all this responsibility makes me tired?" Of course, it was the little magpie and he was not in a very good mood. "Please let me have a hot chocolate first and then you can start the shouting again!" he continued muttering while walking back to the main building.
"Well, well; look who's here! Sleeping beauty just woke up!" Matti was about to start shouting, but when he saw that the voice belonged to Mr. Posi he just blushed and didn’t say anything. Matti looked up into the sky and saw Santa was about to finish the flying practice, “Ohh, did I miss it?” Mr. Posi nodded, “I just hope you don’t miss the main one of Christmas Eve, Matti, or a lot of boys and girls might be upset.” Matti blushed even more and quickly walked back inside.
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