So, one Christmas eve he made his Christmas wish. “Santa bring me some fun and a smile to my face,” he said.
Then he sat at the bottom of the driveway and waited for Santa.
He waited and waited.
“Look at those dirty patches all over your body. Santa doesn’t want to see a messy garden gnome,” said the crow.
So, Jack had a wash in the birdbath. And waited again.
“You’ve got a dint on your head,” said the frog. “Santa doesn’t want to see a gnome with a dint.”
So, Jack put a pebble on his head. And waited some more.
“Gnomes are supposed to have pointy ears,” said the magpie. “Santa doesn’t want to see a gnome with sad, droopy ears.”
So, Jack wrapped some ivy around his ears. And sat down again to wait for Santa to arrive.
It was now dark. The moon rose high in the sky and Christmas lights lit up the street. His eyes became heavier and heavier. He yawned and felt sleepy. Soon he was fast asleep and dreaming. He dreamt that Santa Claus had stopped by and picked him up at last.
“Come on, young elf. Let’s get you back in the sleigh,” said Santa, as he put Jack in his sleigh.
“But Santa, I’m not your elf,” said Jack. “You’ve made a mistake. I’m a garden gnome.”
Poor old Santa couldn’t hear him with all the noise of the bells jingling on the sleigh.
After they delivered all the presents to children everywhere, they finally arrived at Santa’s cottage in the North Pole. There were lots of Santa’s elves all around the table, eating, drinking and having fun. Jack had never known such fun and joy. It lasted all night.
When Jack woke up on Christmas morning, he was back in his garden patch.
“It must have all been a dream,” he thought sadly.
His garden friends were surprised to see him.
“You look different,” said the crow, “And it’s not your new fancy green elf suit.”
“You look different,” cried the frog, “And it’s not that Santa helper’s hat on your head!”
‘You sure look different. And it can’t be that tinsel around your ears,” said the magpie.
“I saw what happened,” said the snail. “Santa came and took Jack on his sleigh.”
Jack remembered the sleigh, the laughter, the pudding and the presents. It wasn’t a dream at all.
“Now we know why you look different,” they all cried out. “You have a smile on your face.”
He touched the deep curly smile that was now carved on his rosy cheeks. “I got my Christmas wish,” cried Jack happily. “You can call me Happy Jack.”
And Happy Jack was never Serious Jack ever again.
©Rose Inserra 2011, image credit
Bedtime Stories downloadable tales for children are an AWO initiative, run in support of the National Year of Reading 2012. We encourage you to print and read these stories with your kids, and revel in the joy a wonderful story can bring. All stories are original and have been penned by established and emerging Australian authors. Every month, we will publish four stories running to a central theme, each on a Monday morning. See here for more.