Here's a short TTA story (believe it or not) by Pepe K.

just for you on Christmas Eve. It contains some religious references in song, but as Linus Van Pelt said:

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Christmas Tails by Pepe K.

("I Wonder As I Wander" is played slowly and softly on a dulcimer)

T'was Christmas Eve in Acme Acres and the newly fallen snow lay white and perfect. The hour of twilight had fallen and all the land was bathed in pale blue moonlight and silence.

Also thoroughly blue was Furball Cat.

He wandered slowly through the dark and empty city streets. He could find none of his friends to celebrate Christmas with and felt terribly alone.

He'd gone to Buster's burrow... and found it hollow.

He'd gone to Babs' burrow... and found her flowers withered by the snow.

He'd gone across the ice-covered bridge on his chilly bare paws to Plucky's house in the swamp... and found no one but Plucky's parents sitting together arm in arm, watching their fireplace.

They didn't hear his scratch at their door.

He'd found Hamton's house ... but it was empty and dark except for an electric minorah in the window.

He'd gone to Shirley's haunted house... and found only the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. He interrupted their poker game and they scared the frightened cat away!

He'd found Arnold's gym all locked up and Dizzy's cave empty.

He'd gone to Fifi's pink Cadillac and found colored lights and a snowman-skunk... but no one was home.

Sadly, Furball began to trudge through the snow back to his rotting, wet cardboard box in the dirty alley. He tried hitching a ride with a big rubber thumb and a bigger grin...

but no one would pick him up. The cars drove right past him, showering him with the filthy cold slush from the gutter. Furball sat and wrung out his fur and looked up at the cold Christmas stars.

At least there was one simple thing that he could enjoy.

Suddenly a long car drove up and stopped next to him. Before he could open his mouth to meow - he'd been grabbed by the scruff of the neck by a snotty-looking man and thrown into the trunk! The trunk lid slammed shut and he was trapped! The car rushed off with him and he heard awful voices arguing from inside it!

Furball grew terrified - he'd heard stories of cats being kidnapped and sold.

The car stopped and the voices grew louder! They were coming to the trunk to get him! It was opened and hands grasped the frightened feline in a vise-like grip!

He fought as two figures dragged him towards a huge stone building with immense metal doors! Furball struggled bravely against them, but it was no use - he was dragged inside!

"What are you doing, You silly Kitty-witty Furball-head?!? Don't you wanna to go to the Christmas Service and sing pretty Christmas Carols??" asked Elmyra as he stopped fighting her grasp and looked up.

He was standing at the back of the congregation in Acme Acres Cathedral. All of his friends were there singing joyfully and they turned to wave to him!

"I'm sorry fuzzy Furball-kitty", continued Elmyra, "Monty-wonty had Grovely put you in the trunk , that mean ol' silly boyfriend-head!"

"Hey, I just had the limo detailed!" grouched Montana Max at her side, "I'm not gonna have 'Flea-ball" mess it all up again!"

"Say you're sorry, Monty", the precocious red-head said holding up Furball to Max's face, "Give Kitty-Witty a big kiss!"

"No Way! C'mon, let's sit down" grumped Max as he sat in the nearest seat.

Furball was happy to wave to the other toonsters and smile, and he purred as he sat with Elmyra.

Hamton sat with Fifi, feeling a bit uncomfortable as they were alone in their reserved row.

"How come you have yer own private pew, Fifi?"

Plucky leaned foward from his seat behind them and chuckled to Buster and Babs: "Should I tell him?"

The service was magnificent. The alter was surrounded by two 15 foot-tall, green Christmas trees. The robed choir sang, accompanied by trumpets, french horns and kettledrums.

The huge cathedral echoed deeply with beautiful music.

The introduction of a touching song began. Petunia Pig arose and sang softly:

"I wonder as I wander out under the sky

How Jesus the savior did come for to die

To save lowly people like you and like I

I wonder as I wander out under the sky...

When Jesus was born it was in a cow's stall

With shepherds and wise men and angels and all

The blessings of Christmas from heaven did fall

and the weary world woke to the savior's call."

The beautiful song brought smiles to many and even tears to a few. The evening continued with many a lovely carol and everyone felt the warmth of the holiday. After the last hymn was sung, even Monty was caught smiling by Elmyra, who then caught him with a kiss.

"Bah Humbug!" ,complained Max, "I wanted to party tonight!"

Suddenly, an amazing light appeared at the back of the stone hall and a huge grotesque face stuck through a huge rip in the air!

"Exactly what I was thinking, my little nimrod!" said Gogo Dodo's gigantic head with a grin! His giant green hands scooped up everyone and pulled them all through the hole in space and into Wackyland, where everyone was having a wild Christmas party!

"Well, when in Wackyland - Be Wacky!!!" proclaimed Babs!

The toonsters shrugged and began to dance and sing:

"I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!

Only a hippopotamus will do!

Don't want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy

I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy!

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!

I don't think Santa Claus will mind, do you?

He won't have to use our dirty chimney flue

Just bring him through the front door, that's the easy thing to do!

I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs!

Oh what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes

to see a hippo hero standing there!

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!

Only a hippopotamus will do!

No crocodiles, no rhinoceroses!

I only like hippopotamuses -

And hippopotamuses like me too!

Mom says the hippo would eat me up, but then

Teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian...

There's lots of room for him in our two-car garage!

I'd feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage!

I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs!

Oh what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes

to see a hippo hero standing there!

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas!

Only a hippopotamus will do!

No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses!

I only like hippopotamuseses -

And hippopotamuses like me too!"

Furball and the Toonsters sang and danced the night through and everyone lived wackily ever after!

Fin (The End)

Merry Christmas , Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you all!

Love, Pepe K.