Don’t Mention That Invention (Bonus Story)

Written by B.C.R. Fegan

Every Christmas morning
Till every Christmas night,
When the air is crystal
And everything is white;

A jolly man is hard at work
A bit like Clause himself
Good ol’ Grandpa Gilderberry
And me – his perfect elf.

He loves to build his presents
And he lets me lend a hand
With copper, steam and eyes agleam
He makes each Christmas grand.

And when the dark has fallen,
He looks at me and grins.
Then silence falls upon his shop
And Christmas night begins

Every present I recall
Has worked to his intention.
Except, I’m told at one year old
“Don’t mention that invention!”

On my second Christmas
He revealed a copper dome
That blew air like the strongest wind;
He placed it near our home.

And into it he threw our meal;
Turkey, sides and pie.
And on that night we ate as one
A mile in the sky.

On my third Christmas
He said he’d do the cooking.
Then he set upon our floor
A pot – all crazy looking.

He asked us all to each in turn
Articulate a dish.
Then with a whir, up from the pot
Arose our very wish!

On my fourth Christmas
He worked outside for days,
And built a structure tall as trees –
A jolly Christmas maze.

But every wall and floor and roof
Was like a trampoline.
And all of us just bounced around
like it was Halloween.

On my fifth Christmas
He built a metal wonder
That moved around, right underground
And made a noise like thunder.

Then mom and dad and gramps and I
All piled in the beast.
And as we rode a magma stream
We ate our Christmas feast.

On my sixth Christmas
He made a small device.
It told you any secret
If you asked it really nice.

Now mom can bake the perfect cake
And dad located treasure,
But what I really wanted
Was a different kind of pleasure.

I took the thing into my room
And spoke with apprehension.
With grandpa out of earshot
I asked of his invention.

And when I realised what it was
It quickly gave me pause,
Before I shouted in surprise
“We went to Santa Clause?”

“Aha!” Said Grandpa Gilderberry.
“Oh no!” I heard dad sigh.
My voice had travelled to their ears
And mom began to cry.

“I’m sorry.” I re-joined them all,
“I didn’t mean to yell.”
“But did we really see him?
Oh please, I pray do tell.”

Dad just fell into a chair
And mom, she shook her head
But good ol’ Grandpa Gilderberry
Grinned at me and said,

“It’s been so long since you were one,
You just made me remember
Of a most ambitious gift
I built one cold December.

“It was teleporting ray
With just a hint of magic
Turns out something went quite wrong
Your parents thought it tragic.

“Instead of going north you see
We went the other way
It was quite cold I must confess,
But only for a day.

“Your parents never spoke again
Of my a small mistake
I’m not sure why, it’s not like I
Had given you a snake.

“But I suppose in their defence
They were so both dismayed
They never got to Santa’s house
When my invention strayed

Grandpa stopped and looked at mom
He wiped away her tear.
“Don’t you worry anymore
I’ll get us there next year!”

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