So I was watching my morning news, The Good Morning Today Show , and drinking my peppermint double mocha latte frapperschnitze, when Pakli burst through the door shouting at me to turn on that other North Pole morning show, Wolves and Friends.
“They are giving some breaking news,” he exclaimed out of breath.
I flipped channels to see Katie Cucumber Elf and Tom Brokejaw Elf looking very tense on my SugarCrystal flat screen tv. Something was definitely up. They cut to footage of Gina, the Dog Sled trainer, in her silver and white team parka.
“I can officially announce that I have been asked to leave my precious pooches behind to come and lead some reindeer games at Camp Hoof.” She sniffed daintily and picked up a Siberian husky puppy. It also gave a delicate snuffle of sadness.
“Can you tell us when you received the call to come up to the big leagues?” the announcer continued oblivious to the possible oncoming torrent of tears.
Gina’s blue eyes so similar to the pale blue eyes of her canine friend brimmed over with the afore mentioned tears. “ I found out yesterday. I can’t bear to leave my dogs behind but I understand that Winter training is underway the reindeer have expressed some dissatisfaction with their current training games.”
“Well, you are the 6 time Idita-Elf Dog Sled Champion. You were the obvious choice.”
“So true, but how can I leave all of this?” She gestured to a yard full of fluffy dogs in brightly colored doggie parkas with matching booties. “I was about to start my training runs to prepare for this year’s race.”
“I guess you’ll be guiding the training runs for our other four footed friends now.”
“The reindeer take training runs, too?” Gina brightened visibly.
“Sure. You must be aware of the summer training loop starting down the coast of North America in New York, then Atlanta, Rio de Janiero, Acapulco, and then up the west coast with an intensive session over Hollywood before returning to the North Pole.” The news-elf looked surprised that Gina hadn’t heard of the summer loop. It was essential training in order to keep the reindeer in tip top condition.
“Hollywood? Did you say Hollywood as in California?” Gina blinked away her tears. “Movie stars? Swimming pools! Rodeo Drive and an empty sleigh for my shopping bags!!” Gina Elf cleared her throat. “It’s my duty to help Santa with the reindeer this year. I know those poor dears need me to liven up their training. I must make whatever sacrifices are necessary to take on this important task.”
She bent down and placed the puppy from her arms on the ground and gave it a scoot, “ Go back to your mama, little guy. This mama’s going to Hollywood!”
Reindeer Training Fodder
Reindeer love this special version of training oats. Even though I make it for the reindeer, I have been known to snatch a spoonful to put over my vanilla yogurt or my ice snow-cream, but don’t tell anyone.
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups nuts (pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds)
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix together the oatmeal, brown sugar, nuts, and coconut. In a separate bowl stir together the butter and oil; pour over oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle water over all and stir to moisten. Place mixture on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes stirring frequently.