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The Not So Wise Owl
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Santa was in his secret workshop in the North Pole making toys with all his elves.
Outside the compound the media lurked, the fearless paparazzi trying to get a glimpse of the most famous man on earth, Santa Claus.
Even the reindeer had signed a confidentiality agreement, especially Rudolph, with his big, bright, tell all nose.
He was too easy to spot, a dead give-away for Santa.
They had to knit a cap for his nose, just to keep it under wraps.
Oliver worked for an agency called Omega.
He was one of the best spies around.
He could spot a celebrity from a mile away, whether they were out getting coffee or emblazoned in a passionate kiss.
He could snap it and sell it as fast as a blink of an eye.
This year he was on a mission to get the inside story on Christmas.
No one said it was going to be easy.
Oliver waited patiently outside Santa's fortress for hours for any sign of movement.
He waited and waited and waited.
It was cold, his nose was freezing and his toes were icy cold, he longed for a nice, hot cup of chocolate.
Just then an elf appeared at the gate, it was Slacker, the lazy elf.
He was wearing a green and red striped uniform with pointed elf shoes and he spoke in a high-pitched voice.
"My, my, my, what have we here, a paparazzi?"
"Excuse me, do you happen to know if Santa is lurking about?"
"And who, exactly are you, good sir?"
"Oliver. Omega Agency, Los Angeles at your service."
He handed the elf a card.
"Omega Agency eh? Don't you take racy pictures of unsuspecting celebrities and all that jazz?"
"You could say so, we have been known to publish some rather candid photos."
"Well, I can tell you right now that at precisely 1:00pm Santa trains the reindeer under the tall pine trees. If you walk about a half mile over there in that field you might get a shot or two for your magazine."
"Thanks for the tip, mate."
"No problem good sir."
Oliver picked up his backpack with his camera gear in it and headed over to the field.
The sky was overcast and the wind was howling.
He did not see any sign of Santa or any reindeer so he got out his telephoto lens.
Just then he heard the jingle jangle of some bells.
Eight reindeer appeared in the field and Santa was behind them, wearing blue overalls and a large lumber jacket.
His beard was thick and he laughed a hearty laugh.
"Dasher and dancer, stay to the right, Comet and Blitzen keep straight ahead."
The reindeer went through their paces.
Oliver hid behind a tree and snapped some pictures, this was great!
He would send some of these to the agency once he downloaded them to his computer.
Then, Santa spied him. "Hey, you over there!!!!"
Oliver ran out of the field.
Santa ran after him but was too fat and couldn't keep up.
He threw up his arms in exasperation.
Oliver walked about a mile or two and found a little café and sat down by the fire.
He opened up his laptop and began to download the pictures, they were wonderful.
This would show Santa's' private life, a scene from the North Pole.
After all, Santa was more famous than any celebrity, now wasn't he?
That night Oliver slept in a little hotel in a nice, soft featherbed and warmed his toes by the fire.
The next day he got up and had a big, hearty breakfast, he devoured some pancakes, eggs, and coffee, it was good and filling.
After breakfast he headed over to town where he hoped he could scope out Mrs. Claus.
He went into a local department store, Dither & Dither.
A woman approached him, "Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, I'm doing a story on Mrs. Claus,I was wondering if she shopped here?"
"Oh yes, she certainly does."
"Really, what does she like to buy?" he pulled out a flip notebook from his back pocket.
"Well, one day she was in and bought 32 pairs of socks."
"Really, do you think she was buying them for the reindeer?"
"It's possible, Oh, and then the other day she came in and bought some long underwear for Mr. Claus, red of course."
"Naturally." said Oliver.
He took notes.
"Do you think she might stop in today?"
"Well, it is a possibility, being Saturday and Sunday is Christmas."
"Of course, mind if I wait around a bit?"
"Not at all sonny."
Oliver lurked about the store, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Claus.
He checked his cell phone for messages.
Then he spied a tiny, perky woman covered in a white down coat come through the door.
Everyone seemed to know her and he was sure it was Mrs. Claus.
Mrs. Claus was quite the sensation in the North Pole, she was mobbed everywhere she went.
She handled fame quite well because to her, it was just her husbands' job to make people happy. She quite enjoyed her position as the first lady of the North Pole.
He snapped a few pictures of her.
She was smiling and her cheeks were dimpled, her white hair perfectly coiffed.
She was very attractive, in a homey, friendly sort of way.
A few kids came up to her and gave her their letters to Santa.
"I will make sure that Santa gets them," she said kindly.
It wasn't easy being married to one of the most famous men in the world, not to mention one of the most intriguing.
Oliver checked the photos, they were good.
He was really getting the scoop here in the North Pole, even Santa was fair game for the media.
Omega confirmed receipt of the pictures but wanted more.
The demand for Santa was so great that it was mind bending.
Oliver emailed them that he would do his best to get some more shots of the jolly man.
Tonight was Christmas Eve.
The snow was falling outside and there were thousands of sparkling stars in the night sky.
Oliver climbed up to the roof and found the sleigh.
He climbed inside it and hid under a woollen blanket, he hoped that he wouldn't get caught.
Tonight he planned on using his special night vision camera to capture some pictures of Santa's night flight around the world.
The elves loaded up the sleigh with all kinds of toys, bicycles, and games, even pets.
Oliver hid himself, buried deep in the depths of the stuff inside.
He had a sliver of light to shoot with.
He hoped that the pictures would be clear and not blurry or grainy.
Santa came out after dinner.
The reindeer appeared excited and agile, ready for the long night flight.
Oliver snapped away.
Mrs. Claus came out with a thermos of coffee for Santa.
He kissed her goodbye and jumped in the sleigh.
"Onward!" cried Santa.
The reindeer magically flew up into the sky, moving in unison and they flew higher and higher.
Santa sat back and checked some emails on his cell phone.
Oliver managed to snap a few pictures and could hear Santa's breathing, he was that close to the man himself.
He tried to stay as hidden as possible, this was a gamble and he hoped it would pay off at The Agency.
"First stop Toronto," said Santa Claus. "We have kids in the west end, the east end and across the pond."
He took a swig of coffee.
"I've map quested every address so it shouldn't take long. The first stop of the night is to a little girl named Natasha. She wants a doll, but I also learned she knows how to play music so she's getting a keyboard as well. Ho ho ho."
The reindeer landed on the roof of Natasha's house.
It was quiet and cold.
Her dog was up waiting for Santa, he knew him from the years before.
Santa gave him a dog treat and petted him.
He put the doll and the keyboard under the Christmas tree and grabbed some cookies and milk that were laid out for him.
Natasha was done and soon all of Toronto was done.
Oliver snapped pictures of Santa sliding down chimneys.
This was going to make for some great headlines tomorrow!
It was the stuff that dreams were made of.
Santa had a lot of stamina, he was jolly all night long; it was obvious that he really loved his job.
Oliver emailed the pictures back to the agency.
They travelled to Russia, China, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, all over the world.
The reindeer were staring to get a little tired and hungry.
"I need a snack." Rudolph said.
"Soon, Ruddy, I promise you." said Santa.
Santa worked and worked until each child that believed in him had a toy.
Finally the night as over and they were on the descent to home.
Oliver was getting cramped in his hiding place.
He had pulled it off.
Soon the photos of Santa would be splashed on the newspaper pages of the world.
Then, he sneezed, it wasn't just a little tiny sneeze, it was a loud, aaaarrrrrrraaaaa ccchhhoooooooo!!!
Santa jumped to the back of the wooden sleigh.
He was caught, Oliver cringed.
Santa pulled the blanket from over his head.
"Well, well, well, I see we have a visitor here," said Santa.
"Oliver sir, Omega Agency." Oliver said softly.
"Oliver, I must say this is a surprise, I wasn't expecting any visitors, in fact, there has never been a visitor ever on my flight."
"Yes sir, I'm on an assignment you see."
"I see.." said Santa
"I don't mean any harm Santa, sir." Oliver stammered.
"What I do here is somewhat sacred, it's trust.
It's a bond between me and my kids, and to all the people that believe I Santa Claus."
"I'm very sorry sir."
"Yes, well, we'll have to have a chat with Mrs. Claus about this, and no more pictures."
The sleigh landed at the North Pole.
The reindeer were hungry so Santa let the elves feed them.
"You did a great job fellas!" said Santa
"I'm mighty proud of you."
He wiped a tear from his eyes.
Mrs. Claus came out to greet Santa.
"Hello Pappa Claus, how was the trip this year?"
She hugged him.
"It was good, terrific, except for that," he pointed to Oliver.
"Oliver, from Omega Ma'am, nice to meet you."
"Who is he? " asked Mrs. Claus.
"He is a photographer, he snuck aboard the sleigh and took pictures of me working all night long." said Santa quietly.
"Oh my! this is really serious Pappa."
"Well, it certainly is, but the damage has been done.
But I will tell you one thing, this will put all the doubters to shame."
"That's an angle, so we're going to let him go?"
"After we've had some milk and cookies."
"Alight precious..." she hugged Santa
"Oliver, come here young man." said Santa
Oliver was nervous.
He felt really bad for invading the Claus's privacy.
"Mrs. Claus says it's alright, but it can never happen again."
"Please join us for some refreshments."
"Yes sir!" said Oliver
Oliver sat down and showed the Claus's all of the pictures from his trip.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus were impressed.
Oliver ate a few cookies and felt that he would never forget this experience.
"Thanks Santa for being cool."
"I guess I am just a cool, old dude. Merry Christmas Oliver"
Santa handed him a gift.
"What's this for?" asked Oliver.
"It's the toy you wanted in 1989, I forgot to bring it, that's why maybe you stopped believing in me."
"Thanks Santa, you rock."
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!!"
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