One of the tallest towers in Homeward is the Clock Tower. On every side of it there is a different clock face. The one facing my bedroom has an image of myself gilded with gold. Its trunk measures the minutes and an upraised arm measures the hours. A team of dwarves keep the clock in working order - but on Christmas Eve they had all been out celebrating and were fast asleep amidst a warm glow of light.
As the clock struck twelve, and Christmas Eve turned into Christmas Morning, Beaver Hateman and I stared up at the Big Tree and the twinkling stars beyond.
"I got to admit Unc - your adaptation of 'A Christmas Carol' went down a storm!" laughed Hateman.
"We muddled through," I replied "I must admit, although it pains me to say so, your various ad-libs did have the audience in fits of laughter - even if it did turn my drama into more of a pantomime!"
Although sworn enemies, Beaver and I always have a truce at Christmas. This year in particular we even have kindred emotions. For, Beaver's brother Sigismund is off on a trip faraway in search of new Scob Fish grounds and my brother Rudolph has gone - on another mystical expedition I know not where.
In the distance we could hear the inhabitants of Homeward and Badfort singing carols.
"Long may they sing on under the stars!" I remarked.
"On that we can agree, Unc" countered Beaver as the strains of his ain folk singing "The Red Flag', to the tune of the carol "O Tannenbaum", could be heard on the wind.
As we stared up into the night sky, we could see thousands of stars shimmering in the firmament.
"It never ends, the universe just keeps going, and so must we, light and darkness poised in eternal balance." I mused.
"No, not forever, one day the light of socialism will surely vanquish the darkness of capitalism!" laughed Beaver - deliberately misconstruing my meaning.
I raised my glass for a toast "To absent friends” I declared.
"Yes, Unc - to absent friends!"
"Merry Christmas, Rudolph, Merry Christmas, wherever you are." I murmured.
I thought of the Happy Christmases we had had together. An elephant and his memories on, Christmas day.