Mr Brumbals Christmas Wishes
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"I hate Christmas," grumbled Mr Brumbals, "it is always so bright and noisy".
"It is always so busy, everyone looks so happy, and I never get enough presents." he sulked under his breath.
The truth was he never got any presents and Christmas was a week away.
Mr Brumbals was a small round goblin who lived in a garden, and he looked a little like an egg walking on matchsticks.
He had rather a nice little cottage at the base of a tree but he lived alone, and he grumbled about everything.
The birds sang too loudly, the wind blew his hat off, the sun was too bright or not bright enough and the rain was always too wet.
It was winter time at the moment, and now the snow was too white.
Nothing ever seemed to make Mr Brumbals happy.
He shared the garden with a Gnome family and naturally he did not like any of them either.
The garden was part of the Cherry family home where Mr and Mrs Cherry lived with their children Dale and Laura.
The Cherry children often played in the garden and were currently enjoying a snowball fight; Mr Brumbals liked these noisy, active children the least of all.
What Mr Brumbals did not know was that the company Mr Cherry worked for had recently closed down and Mr Cherry was out of work.
This meant there would be no Christmas for the Cherry family this year.
Mr Brumbals was far too busy with his own thoughts. "I will have to wrap myself up in a brown leaf and hide myself away until all this Christmas nonsense has passed over," he sighed to himself.
Just then he caught sight of a beautiful lady with delicate wings.
He stopped, amazed.
Mr Brumbals had never seen a fairy before; he had read about them naturally but had never dared to hope that they were real.
"Are you a f f fairy?" he stammered."
The lady nodded.
Mr Brumbals brightened up immediately but the fairy looked stern (serious and unsmiling) and she was tapping her foot impatiently.
"What are you doing here?" he asked her.
"I am your Fairy godmother." she replied curtly (short and sharp).
Mr Brumbals could not believe his rather large ears, and for the first time in years he smiled and did a funny little dance of joy.
The fairy looked unimpressed.
"I know why you are here," said Mr Brumbals excitedly, "you are here to grant me a Christmas wish," he paused and went on dramatically, "and my first wish is to have 3 wishes."
Mr Brumbals had heard somewhere that the maximum wishes that magical folk can grant at any one time were three, and if he asked for more he might run into the risk of getting nothing.
Confident that he had not broken any magical rules he announced, "With those 3 wishes I want a rocking chair, some warm fluffy winter pyjamas and a real Christmas jersey."
"NO!" said the little fairy sharply, her arms were folded and her expression remained stern.
Mr Brumbals looked annoyed and confused.
"Isn't it your job to grant my wish?" he wanted to know, "from what I have read, it seems that Fairy godmothers grant wishes and do what's best for their godchildren." He went on feeling sure he was making a persuasive (winning and convincing) argument, "I've read Cinderella you know, and that is what her Fairy godmother did for her!"
The fairy pressed her lips together and narrowed her eyes. "Well, that is because Cinderella was nice," she hissed back at him between clenched teeth.
Mr Brumbals started to panic, he could feel his wishes slipping away and he did not like the way that felt.
"If you really are my Fairy godmother," he cried despairingly, "you HAVE to grant my wishes, those are the rules aren't they?"
The little fairy sighed,
"You are right to some degree," she said, and gave Mr Brumbals a long thoughtful look, "You may have your 3 wishes but you will have to find them first, and this may not be easy for you.
I can give you only one clue," she paused and said, "Pay attention to what is going on around you." and with that she disappeared.
Mr Brumbals was heartbroken.
"Come back," he pleaded, "please tell me more, I, I don't know what you mean, and I don't know what to do."
He began to wail, "I need you to help me."
Mr Brumbals felt incredibly sorry for himself and he waited and waited for her to come back, but alas there was no sign of his Fairy godmother.
After a few days of moping around he thought back on his Fairy godmother's clue of paying attention to what was going on around him.
"Hmmmm, maybe the wishes are hidden somewhere in the garden." he wondered to himself.
So Mr Brumbals decided to explore the garden properly.
He could not remember when last he had taken interest in anything happening in the garden.
He explored the trees and found Robin and Sparrow fluffing out their feathers trying to make the best of a very cold winter.
When he explored the burrows he found Mrs Fieldmouse reading a story to her young ones. They all looked thinner than they should, and he noticed that their
burrow was also very chilly.
"Hmmm" thought Mr Brumbals to himself, "I have quite a lot of extra hay and seed in my storage. The hay will help to keep Robin, Sparrow and Mrs Fieldmouse's family warm and I am sure that they could all do with some extra food."
So he got this for them and included a few books for the Fieldmice children.
He then continued his search.
A little later he came across Mrs Gnome chopping wood outside their cottage.
She stopped for a moment to catch her breath.
"Why are you chopping the wood?" asked Mr Brumbals.
From a distance he had only ever seen Mr Gnome chop wood, but he had never bothered to speak to any of the Gnome family before.
Mrs Gnome looked sad and a little worried.
"Mr Gnome had a terrible accident at the end of summer and hurt his back," she said, "the doctor says he will be alright by next summer, but in the meantime I have to take care of everything."
Mr Brumbals noticed her tired expression and offered to cut the rest of the wood for her, and then helped her to take it indoors.
Inside the children were eating a very thin watery soup.
Mrs Gnome saw the expression on Mr Brumbals face and explained that because her husband could not work they had not been able to collect enough food to last them properly through the winter, so they needed to be very careful about how much they ate.
She then thanked Mr Brumbals for his help and offered him a hot cup of tea, with honey, which tasted wonderful to Mr Brumbals.
He realised that this was given to him even though the Gnomes had very little for themselves and he wished that Mr Gnome would feel better soon.
Still, there was no time to dwell on such things, he had his own wishes he needed to find and so he said goodbye and continued his search.
Mr Brumbals found nothing in the garden and decided to search the main house where the Cherry family lived.
This he could do quite easily because he was very small and not easily seen by humans.
While looking around he came across Mr Cherry telling Mrs Cherry that they could no longer afford to stay in the house.
This is how Mr Brumbals found out that Mr Cherry did not have his job anymore.
He watched Mrs Cherry cry because she did not know how to tell the children that there would be no Christmas this year.
Mr Brumbals had never seen a human cry before, and it made him feel very sad.
Mr Brumbals supposed it would be hard for children to understand that there would be no Christmas dinner or presents.
He wondered if Father Christmas would bring them presents, but the Cherry children got up to a lot of mischief and so he was not altogether sure they had made it onto Father Christmas's "good list".
Mr Brumbals knew how hard it was to not get presents and so he wished that the children would somehow be able to have a Christmas that would make them happy.
Mr Brumbals also realised that he really did not want the Cherry family leaving. They had not been bad and had kept the garden beautiful.
He had watched Dale and Laura grow from the time they were babies and supposed that children are maybe meant to be noisy and active and so he wished that they could stay.
But of course Mr Brumbals was a very busy goblin and had his own magic wishes he still needed to find.
While Mr Brumbals was on the windowsill peeking from behind the curtains, the Cherry's telephone began to ring and Mr Cherry answered it.
His face went very red and when he put the phone down he swung Mrs Cherry around and told her that he had got the new job that he had applied for and he would start in the New Year.
Mrs Cherry said that it was a wonderful Christmas present, a real Christmas miracle actually and that although they still did not have money to celebrate this Christmas the children would surely understand because it meant they could keep staying in their cottage.
Mr Brumbals felt very pleased when he heard this and continued his search for his hidden wishes.
Each day he searched but found nothing and by the time it was Christmas Eve he felt quite sure that his wishes would never be found.
He started to feel very sorry for himself, but then he thought about the Gnome family having only thin soup to eat for Christmas and Mr Brumbals realised that in many ways he was actually very lucky.
"I wish that I was a good cook," he thought to himself, "then I could make a big fancy Christmas dinner and invite all my neighbours."
In a flash his Fairy godmother appeared.
"Done," she said, and before Mr Brumbals knew what was happening he was flying around his kitchen, baking, cooking and roasting wonderful Christmas food, cakes, and puddings.
When he finished he went out into the garden and slipped an invitation under the doors of all the inhabitants of the garden to come to him for Christmas lunch the next day.
Just before getting home to bed he spotted Father Christmas disappearing down the chimney of the Cherry's house.
"Ah, so they made it onto his "good list" after all," he mumbled happily to himself before going to sleep.
When Mr Brumbals awoke on Christmas morning he wondered if it had all been a dream; but sure enough, his home was filled with the wonderful food he had made the night before.
In the corner of the room stood a very fine Christmas tree twinkling with lights, that had not been there the night before and standing next to it was his Fairy godmother. She smiled at Mr Brumbals and wished him Merry Christmas.
"Just before we get everything ready for your guests," she said, "there is something I want you to see."
Fairy godmother took Mr Brumbals up a tree near the gate.
From where they were sitting Mr Brumbals saw the human neighbours of the Cherry family carrying plates of delicious looking food, Christmas pudding and Christmas crackers as well as Christmas presents as they moved towards the Cherry home.
"Do you know what you are looking at," Fairy godmother asked Mr Brumbals.
"No not really," he replied.
"You are looking at real magic!" Fairy godmother said excitedly, "You are watching your wish coming true."
"I don't understand," Mr Brumbals said confused.
"You wished for a happy Christmas for the Cherry family and their neighbours are going to make quite sure they get one," said the fairy proudly.
"Well, I am glad," said Mr Brumbals uncertainly, "although I did not realise I was using one of my wishes" he thought for a bit, "that does not seem to be magic to me. I thought wishes were more... well more, magical."
There was no time to think much more about it.
There was a great feast to get ready and it was not long before all the garden inhabitants started to arrive.
When Mrs Fieldmouse arrived she gave Mr Brumbals a wrapped present.
"I made it myself," she said shyly.
Inside was a red and green Christmas jersey with a picture of Father Christmas knitted on the front.
Mr Brumbals went pink with joy, "I have always wanted one of these," he said happily.
When the Gnome family arrived Mr Brumbals was pleased to see that Mr Gnome was looking a lot stronger.
The Gnome children grabbed some cookies and rushed off to play hide and seek with all the Fieldmice kids.
Mr Gnome cleared his throat. "I always thought you were a bit of a strange one," he said, "but you have been very thoughtful to me and my Mrs of late and I want to thank you for that."
He shuffled his feet a bit and Mrs Gnome brought in a very beautiful old rocking chair.
"I want you to have this," said Mrs Gnome, "we don't really use it and it has just been standing around in our attic. We are sorry we can't buy you something new for Christmas."
Mr Brumbals eyes filled with tears.
"It is absolutely beautiful," he said, "it is better than anything I could have even imagined."
The Christmas feast was a great success.
Carols were sung, crackers were pulled and everyone wore their Christmas hats. They ate until they were almost too full to walk and there was still enough left over to take home for the next day.
Later that evening after everyone had gone home, and he and Fairy godmother were alone he noticed an un-opened parcel under the tree.
He picked it up and read that it was from his Fairy godmother.
Inside he found the softest, warmest, fluffiest pyjamas and slippers he had ever seen, he was overjoyed.
"Well, it seems I found my 3 wishes after all," he said smiling to himself. "Other things I wished for also came true but most of it didn't have anything to do with magic really... well except when you turned me into a good cook. That could only be explained by real magic!"
"Well, yes of course, that was some of my best work," said Fairy godmother, "but really it was all magic," she explained, "there are different types of magic. There is the type of magic of fairies and witches but the best magic is always to be found inside all of us if we will just allow it to come out."
Mr Brumbals was amazed.
Fairy godmother went on, "Christmas is the best time for reminding us to share some of our magic with those who may really need some of it in their lives.
The humans call it "good will" and it is our kind wishes and actions towards others." Fairy godmother smiled kindly at Mr Brumbals. "I am proud of you for finding some of that magic in yourself this Christmas."
Mr Brumbals rocked happily in front of the fire.
This was the best Christmas that that he had ever had and it wasn't just because he got presents; sharing it with others had made it really special.
Mr Brumbals thanked Fairy godmother for his wonderful Christmas, and he asked her to grant just one more wish.
Now, I don't know for sure, but I think she may grant it.
Mr Brumbals wish was as follows:
"I wish and wish and wish that all the boys and girls all over the world will have a very Merry Christmas."
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