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12/23/2005 Archived Entry: ""The Night Before Christmas in Montana" by Ben Irvin"

WELL, IT MIGHT NOT QUIIIIIITE SCAN, and a few of the in-jokes are very far in. But liberty-loving Montanaphiles will get a kick out of this:

by Ba'alaanmaapbaaliinneetisee Bacheei'tche
(aka The Christmas Chief, aka Awaxaawe'she (Big Mountain), aka Ben Irvin)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the bar
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Western snow-hare;
The stockings were hung by the chimney by Claire,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be thar;
The libertarians were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of freedom danced in their heads;

And Basil in his 'kerchief, and I in my war-bonnet,
Had just settled down for a long winter's rye whiskey keg,
when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bar stool to see if it was a DEA matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw out the stash.

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 mule-deer,
With a little old driver, so goofy and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than BATF agents his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and cussed, and took their names in vain;
"Now, Quincy! now, Denise! now, Robert and Vin!
On, Rocky! on Lynda! on, Heather and Greg!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the W-A-L!
Now dash away! stash away! stash away all!"

As dry larch needles that before the wild chinnooks fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the Big-Sky,
So up to the bar-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the saloon's roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my gun, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came like a clown.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his boot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and loot;
A bundle of toys and booze he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a dealer just opening his stash.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like Teddy's, his nose like a Flathead cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a silver-bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as a call-girl from Elko;
The stump of a Flathead cherry wood pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a blue perique wreath;

He had a broad face and a fat Gros Ventre belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of huckleberry-jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly and drunk old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, and spit on myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread as he was not a federal agent in drag;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose as if snorting cocaine,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose without any pain;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a Russian-thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-cause."

Posted by Claire @ 12:11 PM CST

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