‘Twas The Orioles Night Before Christmas…

Clement C. Moore likes the cartoon bird.

Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday. Oh, and Christmas, too. I’m so exhausted from doing all of my holiday preparations that I don’t even know what day of the week it is anymore.

So without further ado, let’s settle down and have story time.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the Yard
Not a pitcher was stirring, not even Bedard;
The prospects were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some other team soon would be there;
The fanbase was nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of victories danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her jersey, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long season’s nap —
When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the seats to see what was the matter.
Away to the front row I flew like a flash,
Jumped over the railing, and landed with a crash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively with pluck,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Buck.
More rapid than eagles his playersrs they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Palmer, now! Cal Jr., now! Brooksy and Robinson,
“On! Flanny, on! Weaver, on! Dempsey and Dobson;
“To the top of the stands! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the stadium-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of wins — and St. Showalter too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I climbed into the stands, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Showalter came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in orange, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with losses and soot;
A bundle of wins was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His once-furious mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the hair of his head was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he yell’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And sign’d all the players; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, through the stadium he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And to New York they ran, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy O’smas to all, and to all a good night.

– Clement Clark Moore, adapted by Steph Diorio

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