David M. Raley
It used to be that the best thing about Christmas was getting presents. Then the best thing about it was giving presents. (NOTE: It has been proven to my satisfaction that Jesus was very probably born at another time so I celebrate Him every day to make sure I get it right.) Now the best thing about this day is that a lot of people close down and leave you alone. Being spared a ringing telephone and being able to beg out of invitations to eat somewhere I got to thinking about things past. One thing that always pops to the top is the first thing that I remember wanting for Christmas. It was a rhinoceros. That may seem like a strange thing to want but I had seen a picture of one in National Geographic and wanted one. A fellow down the road had a goat and wagon and I figured if I had the rhino I would have him beat. Not only that, the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor and there was talk of a mainland invasion. Should that happen the animal would come in handy. Fortunately the landing never took place because I never got the rhinoceros. The excuse was, as I recall, Santa couldn't get it in the sack. It seemed to me that he could ride the beast as far as my house. Strange that I still think about it.
Now, don't go out and get me one, here's why: The other day I read that one of those bodacious space probes has found a new asteroid, a quarter mile wide and two miles long. It may someday hit the Earth. On the facing page was a record advertisement containing a picture of Michael Jackson with a panther. I got to thinking; if a man had that rock in the front yard and could sit on top of it with that cat, he wouldn't even need a rhinoceros.
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