I was going to send out my usual Christmas card - a picture of me at one of the many charitable events I attend. You know the sort of thing - me surrounded by young dwarfs from the orphanage or poor homeless beavers. All smiling up at me, full of warm and friendly feelings toward their benefactor. But I do find all this gratitude somewhat overwhelming and embarrassing.
I am so pleased with the photos taken at last nights performance of my annual Christmas Play that I have decided to use one of them instead.
For this year's play I decided to do my own version of "It's a Wonderful Life" based on my own humble beginnings.
It is the story of a poor student elephant cast into despair one Christmas Eve. He has been falsely accused of stealing and crushing a bicycle that, in reality, he only borrowed.
He is about to throw himself into the river when a punt passes beneath him carrying an angel. The angel looks fearful at the thought of being crushed. He turns out to be the elephant's guardian angel who attempts to dissuade him from taking his own life by showing him what will happen in the world if it is not blessed by his presence.
Firstly he sees a sad monkey scavenging for scraps amongst the trees - his full potential never realised. Then he is shown a poor white cat, working for a pittance, wrapping up parcels for Wizard Blenkinsop. Next he sees visions of a detective fox reduced to working on divorce cases, and a fine engineer having to fix vending machines for a living.
The Guardian Angel also shows him a mangy beaver, once a well respected King, lying in a gutter. Deposed by his subjects for his poor financial management.
The final nightmarish prophecy is the worst. Wizard Blenkinsop is forced to sell the great Castle of Homeward to a disreputable looking character called Beaver Hateman.
It soon becomes a debauched house of sin, where every night is party night. Before long this, once glorious, stately home is a shambling run-down shanty town.
The Guardian Angel has made the young elephant realise that he will touch many people in a positive way and that his life will be truly wonderful.
He decides not to jump - determined, once more, that he will rise from his humble beginnings and make a difference to the world !
On returning to his student digs he discovers that all the other students have rallied around to pay for the broken bicycle. He gives them all I.O.U.'s.
We are then transported to the future where Uncle (for it is he that is revealed to be the poor student) is surrounded by his grateful followers and the many beneficiaries of his largesse.
As you can imagine - there was not a dry eye in the theatre.
I dread to think what kind of propaganda Beaver Hateman is promulgating with his Christmas Card this year.