It will be October at the weekend and I am already thinking about Christmas. I love Christmas. I asked the tall person how many days we have to wait and he said another 85. Hmm, that sounds like a very long time. He could see that I was disappointed and told me that he had just finished writing a Christmas story and asked if I would like him to read it to me. Would I? Of course I would!
I should mention that the tall person writes stories for children about the adventures that me and my friends have.
We sat down in the toy room and the tall person read this story to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Bassa Saves Christmas
Once upon a time in a beautiful country called Sakartvelo (the Republic of Georgia) there lived a Caucasian Shepherd dog called Bassa.
Bassa lived in the capital, Tbilisi, with a little person called Gigi, a tall person called the tall person and the little person’s mummy who was called De.
Bassa loved to play with Gigi and his best friends – a large iguana called Biggy, a rabbit called Rabbit and a teddy bear called Mike Bear.
Bassa, Gigi, Biggy, Rabbit and Mike Bear were very happy because they had lots of adventures and lots of fun.
This is the story of their best adventure.
It was the evening of Christmas Eve and snow was falling. Bassa was at Gigi’s grandmother’s house playing with Gigi, Biggy, Mike Bear and Rabbit.
They had hung their stockings on the fireplace and were playing a game to try and guess what gifts they would receive from Santa Claus. Gigi loved toy cars and knew what gift he would like.
“I have been a very good boy” he said proudly, “and I hope Santa Claus will bring me a toy sports car.”
Bassa, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit all agreed that a toy sports car would be a very good gift.
“I have been a very good dog,” said Bassa, “I would like a new collar.”
They all agreed that a new collar would look great on Bassa.
“I have been a very good teddy bear,” said Mike Bear, “I would like Santa Claus to bring me an iPod so that I can listen to my favourite music.”
Bassa, Gigi, Biggy and Rabbit all agreed that an iPod would be a fantastic gift.
“I have been a very good iguana,’ said Biggy, “I would like Santa to bring me a very warm coat so that I can play with you all in the snow without getting too cold.”
They all agreed that a warm coat would be an excellent and very practical gift for Biggy.
“I have been a very good rabbit,” said Rabbit, “and I would like Santa Claus to bring me a lovely carrot.”
Bassa, Gigi, Mike Bear and Biggy laughed.
“Is that all you want?” asked Bassa.
“Yes,” replied Rabbit, “but it must be a very big carrot that would last me until next Christmas.”
Bassa, Gigi, Biggy and Mike Bear laughed and agreed that it would be a very practical gift.
“Let’s play another game” suggested Bassa.
She jumped down from the bed and turned off the light. It was now very dark in grandmother’s bedroom.
“Let’s play ghosts!” she said and made scary ghost noises.
Rabbit did not like scary games and was about to protest and suggest another game when the room suddenly lit up with a strange red glow.
Rabbit yelled with surprise and dived beneath the bed covers to hide. Gigi, Mike Bear and Biggy looked at each other. The strange light made their faces red and very scary.
“Is this your ghost game?” Mike Bear asked Bassa.
Bassa shook her head.
“Look!” cried Biggy, “The light is coming from the window.”
They all turned to see where the strange red light was coming from.
In the centre of the window they saw a glowing red nose and behind it were two brown eyes and two large antlers.
Bassa, Gigi, Mike Bear and Biggy all looked at the red nose and then at each other.
“What is it?” asked Gigi.
Bassa took a deep breath and puffed out her chest so that she would appear bigger and slowly approached the window.
“Don’t be afraid,” said a deep voice from the other side of the window, “I am looking for Bassa the Caucasian Shepherd Dog.”
When she heard her name Bassa felt her heart beat faster but she knew she had to be brave so she went to the window to have a closer look. It was difficult to see anything because the red light was so bright.
“Please open the window” said the deep voice.
Bassa looked at Gigi, who nodded that she should do as the voice asked.
Bassa nudged open the window with her nose and stepped to one side just as a large head with antlers pushed through the open space into the bedroom.
The large head shook, shaking snow from its antlers, “Thank you kind dog. I am Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and I am looking for Bassa.”
The red light from Rudolf’s nose filled the room.
“What is happening?” cried Rabbit from beneath the bed covers.
“Don’t be afraid Rabbit” said Bassa, “One of Santa’s reindeer has come to see us.”
Rabbit cautiously stuck his head out of the covers and when he saw that Bassa, Biggy, Mike Bear and Gigi were not afraid he jumped down from the bed and joined his friends.
“Have you brought my carrot?” Rabbit asked Rudolf.
Rudolf frowned and shook his head, “No one will get Christmas gifts unless I can find Bassa. Santa Claus needs her help. Can you tell me where I can find her?”
Rabbit, Gigi, Mike Bear and Biggy all looked at Bassa.
Bassa was a little afraid but remembered that the tall person had told her that she must always be brave and always help people.
She took a deep breath and stepped forward, “I am Bassa. Tell me what has happened and what I must do to help Santa.”
Rudolf breathed a sigh of relief, filling the room with his steamy breath, “Thank goodness I’ve found you. Santa Claus was delivering gifts to the children in Tbilisi when he got stuck in a chimney. Unless we can rescue him Santa Claus will not be able to deliver any gifts to the children of Georgia.”
Bassa, Biggy, Gigi, Mike Bear and Rabbit were horrified.
“No gifts?” gasped Rabbit, “That means no carrot!”
“What can I do?” asked Bassa, determined to help.
Rudolf smiled, “I knew you and your brave friends would help Santa. I will take you to where Santa is stuck.”
Rudolf withdrew his head from the window and vanished.
Bassa put her paws on the window sill and looked outside.
“What can you see?” asked Gigi excitedly.
“Come and look!” cried Bassa.
Biggy, Gigi, Mike Bear and Rabbit rushed to the window and rubbed their eyes to check that they were not dreaming. Floating in the air outside the window was Santa’s sleigh and his reindeer.
The sleigh was piled high with gifts of all shapes and sizes, wrapped in shiny, colorful paper.
“Is this real?” asked Rabbit.
Rudolf laughed, “Of course. Don’t you believe in Santa Claus?”
“Yes! Yes we do,” barked Bassa excitedly, “and we are going to save him!”
She ran back into the room, “Hurry up Biggy, Gigi, Mike Bear and Rabbit, put on your coats.”
Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit put on their warmest coats and ran back to the window.
“Rabbit and Mike Bear climb into Gigi’s coat pockets” said Bassa. “Biggy, jump on my back and hold onto my fur.”
Rabbit climbed into one of Gigi’s pockets and Mike Bear climbed into the other. Biggy jumped onto Bassa’s back and clung on tight.
Snow was falling thickly.
“Be careful” warned Rudolf.
Gigi stepped through the window and onto the waiting sleigh. Bassa then jumped down and sat at the front where Santa would usually sit. She was very excited and her heart was beating fast.
“Well done,” said Rudolf, “Hold on tight!”
Bassa put her paws on the rail at the front of the sleigh and watched in amazement as the reindeer puffed and panted and began to slowly pull the sleigh into the air.
Gigi looked down and watched his grandmother’s house get smaller and smaller as the reindeer pulled the sleigh high into the evening sky.
Soon, all of the snow covered houses and roads of Tbilisi were far below them. Mike Bear and Rabbit looked out from Gigi’s pockets.
“This is amazing” said Mike Bear.
“This is scary” said Rabbit, trembling.
Biggy held on tight to the back of Bassa’s thick fur. He did not like the cold and licked the snowflakes from his face with his long tongue.
The way ahead was lit up by the light from Rudolf’s red nose, which made the falling snowflakes look pink instead of white.
Below, Bassa could see house lights twinkling in the darkness and the Mtkvari River winding its way through Tbilisi.
Very soon, she could see the snow covered dome of the Presidential Palace and the beautiful Sameba church.
Rudolf and the other reindeer began to slow down as they approached the Palace. It was lit by bright lights and looked very beautiful.
“Is Santa at the Palace?” asked Bassa.
“Yes, he is stuck in the chimney”, replied Rudolf.
“Look!” she cried to his friends, “Santa was delivering gifts to the President’s children when he became stuck.”
“I hope my carrot will not be too large for Santa to bring down our chimney” said rabbit, secretly hoping that it would be.
Rudolf and the other reindeer swooped down and stopped by the chimney at the back of the Palace’s big glass dome.
Bassa looked down. The sleigh was hovering several meters above the chimney.
Mike Bear climbed out of Gigi’s coat pocket to look.
It was very dark and the only sound came from the reindeer panting and puffing in the cold air.
“Santa is stuck inside the chimney” said Rudolf a little breathlessly, “There is some rope under the seat. You will need it to climb down to the chimney.”
Bassa found the rope and a torch and gave them to Gigi who tied one end of the rope to the rail at the front of the sleigh.
“I have a plan,” said Bassa, “Tie the other end of the rope around my tummy and you, Biggy and Rabbit will lower me into the chimney and when I find Santa Claus I will hold onto him and you will pull us both out.”
“Ok.” said Gigi smiling bravely, though he worried that he and his friends would be strong enough.
Biggy jumped down from Bassa’s back and Rabbit emerged from Gigi’s pocket.
Gigi tied the rope around Bassa’s tummy and he and Mike Bear, Rabbit and Biggy held on tight.
Bassa leaned over the side of the sleigh and her friends slowly lowered her down.
Bassa was a little afraid. She was far above the ground and would be hurt if she fell.
Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit slowly lowered Bassa until her paws touched the chimney and she could stand.
She held on tight and looked inside. It was very dark and even when she turned on the torch she could not see Santa Claus.
“Hello!” she barked down the chimney, “My name is Bassa and I am here to help get you out.”
From far below Bassa could hear a voice but could not hear the words.
Bassa looked up at the sleigh. Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit were holding tight to the rope and looking down at her.
“I can hear Santa,” she called to her friends, “I’m going to climb inside the chimney. When I shout I want you to pull the rope up and pull us from the chimney.”
Holding the torch in her mouth, Bassa crawled head first into the dark chimney and began to guide herself down. The inside of the chimney was wet with snow and very dark and she could only find her way by feeling with her paws.
She went further and further down the chimney and was beginning to get worried when all of a sudden she saw something in the torchlight. It was Santa’s red hat.
“Is that you Santa?” she asked.
“Ho, ho, ho. Of course it is me” laughed Santa. “Well done Bassa.”
Bassa smiled in the darkness.
“How will you get me out?” asked Santa.
“I am going to put my paws under your arms,” replied Bassa, “and my friends will pull us both up.”
Bassa held onto Santa and shouted up to her friends to pull as hard as they could. Almost immediately she could feel the rope tighten but it did not lift them up.
“Pull harder” she shouted. She imagined poor Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit sweating and straining as they pulled on the rope.
Suddenly, she felt herself move up.
Little by little they rose up the chimney as her friends pulled hard on the rope.
Her front legs felt like they were stretching. Santa was very heavy but she held on as tight as she could and up and up they went.
Just when she thought she could no longer hold onto Santa she felt her legs and body emerge out of the chimney and then Santa’s body and finally his head and then with a final heave out popped Santa and his big red sack of gifts like a cork from a bottle.
Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit kept pulling until Bassa and Santa were gently swinging in the air and completely free of the chimney. With one final huge effort they pulled Bassa and Santa into the sleigh.
Rudolf and the other reindeer cheered as Bassa, Santa, Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit collapsed in an exhausted heap on the floor of the sleigh.
Bassa was the first to recover and when she had untied the rope from her waist she helped Santa and her friends onto the seat.
Santa and Bassa were both covered in soot from the chimney and Santa looked very funny with a sooty beard.
Santa laughed at Bassa’s dirty face.
“De and the tall person will be angry with me for making you dirty” he said.
Bassa shook her head, “No, I think they will be happy that I helped you.”
Santa Clause smiled and gave Bassa a big hug. “You are the bravest dog in the whole of Georgia.”
He then shook Gigi’s hand and Mike Bear’s paw and Biggy’s little clawed hand and Rabbit’s little paw.
“You have saved Christmas” he told them. He looked at his watch and smiled, “I still have time to deliver gifts to all the children in Georgia.”
Bassa and her friends felt very proud and very happy.
Santa looked down at the chimney of the President’s palace, “I think the President needs a wider chimney in his palace or I need to lose some weight” he joked.
Bassa barked happily and wagged her tail and her friends laughed.
“Let’s get you back to grandmother’s house” said Santa, “Hold tight!”
Rudolf and the other reindeer rose into the air and pulled the sleigh through the dark starry sky back to grandmother’s house.
When they arrived, Mike Bear and Rabbit got back into Gigi’s pockets and Biggy hung on to Bassa’s back and Gigi and Bassa stepped carefully from the sleigh through the window and into grandmother’s bedroom.
Santa looked at his Christmas list and picked out several gifts from his big red sack and passed them to Bassa.
“Merry Christmas Bassa, Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit. Thank you for rescuing me and saving Christmas.”
He gave them one last wave and then his reindeer pulled the sleigh into the sky and very soon he was out of sight.
“What an amazing adventure” smiled Gigi as he closed the bedroom window.
“Yes” agreed his friends. “Woof” said Bassa.
They all sat on the bed and Gigi gave them their gifts from Santa.
Bassa opened her gift. It was a new collar with little silver stars and the words, ‘Bassa the Hero Dog’ written on it!
Gigi opened his gift. It was a toy sports car!!
Mike Bear opened his gift. It was an iPod!!!
Biggy opened his gift. It was a very lovely warm coat!!!!
Rabbit opened his gift and was so happy to see it was the biggest carrot in the world!!!!!
Bassa and her friends were so happy. They were also very tired and quickly fell asleep.
But their adventure was not over yet!
In the morning when Bassa, Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit were back home in their house having a Christmas morning breakfast with De and the tall person, they heard a knock on the door. De opened it and was surprised to see Mikheil Saakasvhili, the President of Georgia.
“Good morning Bassa, Gigi, Biggy, Mike Bear and Rabbit” said the President. “Santa Claus came to see me this morning and he told me that you had rescued him and saved Christmas.”
He reached into his pocket and took out five medals and gave one each to Bassa, Gigi, Mike Bear, Biggy and Rabbit.
“This medal is the National Hero Award and is given to citizens who have done a great service to their country. On behalf of Georgia and all of Georgia’s children I award you these medals for saving Christmas.”
Bassa and her friends were so surprised and so happy.
“Thank you Mr. President,” barked Bassa, “We are proud to have helped Santa and all the boys and girls in Georgia.”
Bassa, Gigi, Biggy, Mike Bear and Rabbit looked at their shiny medals and agreed that rescuing Santa and saving Christmas and getting a medal was the best adventure EVER (until the next time!).
Copyright © 2011 Michael Day
Note: Temporary illustrations