You know that Santa Claus brings lots of nice things to all the good boys
and girls in America.
He comes with a big sleigh with presents. Nine reindeer pull his sleigh through the air
over houses and trees when he visits the children in the night between December 24th and
December 25th. Here is a story that all children in America like very much. It's about
Santa and his reindeer.
Santa Claus lives near the North Pole in an area called Toyland. There Santa has a big
toy factory, where all the big toys for the children are made. Of course, Santa can't make all
the toys himself: he has got many little helpers who are called elves. So he tells them
what sort of presents he needs for every boy and girl. Outside Toyland there live many reindeer.
They are strong animals with tall antlers on their heads.
But one of the reindeer often looks very unhappy. He isn't strong like the other reindeer
and he only has little stubs on his head. And, worst of all, he has a bright red nose that
shines in the dark like a red lamp.
Poor Rudolf is so ashamed of himself that he often cries. Very often the other reindeer kick
snow into his face, laugh at him and shout, Go and play with the rabbits, Rudolf! or
Ha, ha, ha! Look, here comes Rudolf, the red-nosed reindeer!
Every year in December, when all the toys are finished, two elves put up a poster at the gate
to Toyland. It reads:
Santa Claus is choosing reindeer for his sleigh this afternoon at 3 o'clock
It is a great honor for a reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh. Soon they stand in a long
line at the gate of Toyland.
But one reindeer doesn't join the queue like all the others. It is poor Rudolf, of course.
He thinks Santa will certainly laugh at me, too, because of my big red nose. And with
tears in his eyes he hides behind Santa's house.
Santa only takes the strongest, the fastest and the most handsome reindeer. The reindeer who
are chosen by Santa are very proud. But Santa can see how disappointed the others are and gives
them little jobs to do in the toy factory. So he says to them, Please, come and test all the dolls
and cars and sleighs that I'm taking to the children tonight.
As soon as the reindeer have tested the toys, some elves get Santa's beautiful big sleigh ready
and start putting all the presents on top of it.
But suddenly the weather gets worse and worse. Soon there is such a thick fog that the elves can't
see their hands in front of their eyes.
Santa sees this and gets very worried, Oh, look at that fog. All the children are waiting
for us and we can't see a thing. I can't even find the list with all the names of the good
boys and girls any more.
But at that moment Santa sees a red light all around him. He even finds his list again - it is sticking out of one
of his big pockets in his red coat. What's happened, he says. What's this red light? Where is it
coming from? We need this light on our trip to the children tonight!
It is Rudolf's nose, of course. Rudolf walks up to Santa and says, This isn't a lamp, it's my nose.
It glows in the fog.
Well, that's wonderful, how lucky we are! says Santa.
You must go in front of all the other reindeer and light the way for them. Now we can still make it to all the
children. You are the best reindeer in the world.
Now Rudolf is very proud. There are no tears in his eyes any more. He smiles for the first time in many years. He even
holds his head a bit higher than usual. Soon the other reindeer are standing around him, but
they don't call him funny names now. They shout, Your nose is wonderful, Rudolf. Now the children can get
their presents in time. Yes, you must lead the sleigh tonight.
Soon Santa is on his way to the children. Nine reindeer pull his sleigh through the dark sky, through clouds
and through fog. They can all see the way very well because Rudolf, the red-nosed reindeer, is leading the sleigh tonight.
His nose shines brighter than ever before because he is so proud and excited.
Santa Claus is so delighted with Rudolf that he says, Ho, ho, ho, Rudolf! From now on you
must lead my sleigh every Christmas Eve. This is really a safe journey tonight and we'll
get to all the children in time!
That is why many children in America look up to the sky on Christmas Eve. When they see a red glow in the sky they
know that Santa Claus can't be far away.