Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings and such lay on the floor in a mess,
In hopes that it would surely not block our egress;
The children were playing all snug in their room,
While visions of new games danced in their heads I presume;
And momma in her finest, and I in my finer,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap in my recliner,
When out in the den there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the recliner to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway I flew in a rush,
Tore open the doors and stood with a blush.
The light on the breast of the new-fallen tree
Gave the lustre of calamity to the objects I see,
When, what to my wondering eyes should materialize,
But 7 cats from the branches, "What am I to surmise?"
With a mischievous leader, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Mister and his sidekicks.
More rapid than eagles his cohorts in crime came,
And I fussed and I yelled, and called them by name;
"Now, Liv! now, Denver! now, Lucky and Rush!
On, Mister! on Rory! and now Bristow, you hush!
To the top of the chair! To the end of the hall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild tornado fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, they jump to the sky,
So to the end of the hallway the cohorts they flew,
With an ornament of catnip, and a candy cane too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard Grandma quite clear,
She was scolding each cat, each scofflaw that was near.
As I drew up my hand, and was turning around,
Down the hallway Mister came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his tail,
It was all tarnished with the pine needles that fell;
A bundle of toys he had in his mouth,
As he looked like a tramp, beginning to head south.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His tail was so comic!
His nose started to twitch as his whiskers he did flick!
His curious eyes were drawn down the hall,
He squinted and stared at his apparent downfall;
The bundle of toys he held tight in his teeth,
By my feet he stopped and left them beneath;
As if to leave an offering of peace,
An apology for being so caprice.
He stood regal and erect, a right stately old cat,
And I laughed when I saw him, as away he did scat;
A twinkle in his eye and a twist of his tail,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to bewail;
He made not a sound, but went straight to our room,
And started to refresh; and also to groom,
And laying himself down upon the furniture,
He gave us all a nod, and started for to purr;
He opened his eyes, to his cohorts gave a mew,
And away they all flew with barely an adieu.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he nodded off contrite,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."
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