21st April 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Tochts fae Tushie Truncherfaece

, by , in Shetland Life

Da secret wirld o Santie’s elves.

I dunna ken whit’s grippit wir editor. My jaa drappit when he offered me an aa expenses paid trip tae Lapland. A’ll niver caa him nearbigyaain agaen. He sent me tae research anidder breed o peerie fokk: Santie’s elves.

I canna gie awa much aboot da location. I didna geng tae da Nort Pole laek a lok of fokk tink. Dere’s nae reindeer dere. I headed for Lapland, near da Finnish-Russian border whaar dere’s plenty.

Dey wir lippenin me. “Greetings, Tushie Truncherfaece, do come in,” said a peerie elf struggling tae reck da latch. Wi his red an green claes an pointy lugs he wis joost laek da picters on Christmas cairds. “My name is Pepper Minstix and it is my responsibility to guard the secret of where Santa’s village is.”

“Du can hae my word,” I reassured him and followed him intae da magical village.

Near da gates wis Shinny Upatree, Santie’s aaldest elf. He wis croogin ower a bairn’s letter wi a magnifyin gless.

“Shinny is Santie’s senior assistant,” explained Pepper Minstix. Shinny glanced up an held oot his hand tae shaak my claa. He hed da maist lirkit faece A’m iver seen.

“Hoo aald is Shinny?” I axed as we moved on.

“As old as the snowy mountains around us,” replied Pepper.

Nixt we veesited a peerie office lined wi shelves foo o files. Sittin at da desk wis a younger laek elf wi da 2008 file. He leapt tae his feet an yockit aff his glesses. “Tushie Truncherfaece, pleased to meet you. I am Alabaster Snowball, administrator of the naughty and nice list. How have your children been behaving?”

“Braaly weel . . .” I said, no getting da chance tae say ony mair.

“That’s what my army of elf spies have informed me. Just like to check our system is efficient as ever. Don’t want to be distributing turnips unnecessarily, do we?”

“Dat’s richt,” I agreed. “Nae bairn wants a neep fae Santie.”

“Well, if that’s the case they must behave!” Alabaster said pittin his glesses back on wi authority.

As we headed alang da lobby I admired da holly waapeper an da red carpet dat hed peerie bells trowe hit dat tinkled as you walked ower dem. We stoppit afore a door bigger dan ony o da rest.

“This is the most secret department of Santa’s village,” declared Pepper Minstix. Ahint da door wis machinery dat I wis seen naethin da laek o afore. Dere wis pumps, generators, lums an conveyor belts. Hit wis aa lit wi thoosans o peerie icicle lichts.

“Greetings!” roared an elf dressed in green fae head tae fit. “My name is Bushy Evergreen, inventor of the magic toy making machine. Feel free to take a look.”

He clickit his fingers an a dizen elves ran by. Dey lined up an boxed remote control cars in nae time ava. I wis dumbstruck. Dere wis hunders o elves. Fae a corner cam a scrittlin noise as a crood o dem sorted oot a roog o Lego. Aside dem lay a kinda fat elf listenin tae iPods tae check dey wir workin.

“Don’t loiter!” roared Bushy Evergreen. Sugarplum Mary is waiting for you,” he instructed pointin tae a pink door clertit in jeely sweeties.

Whit a fine waft as Pepper opened da door. Elves in peenies an peerie ceps wir kept trang maakin aa kinds o fine things. A roond elf wife wi sheeks laek sheeny red aipples wis dyshin oot orders.

“Sugarplum Mary is head of sweet treats, a mammoth task as every child expects something sweet in their stocking,” said Pepper, as I tocht aboot dippin my claa intae da pot o meltit shocolate aside me.

She acknowledged wis wi a wave den turned on her heel tae flite on an elf dat wis wrappin a shocolate Santie skew-wheef. “She’s very busy so we’ll move on,” said Pepper headin for da door afore I could preeve onything.

So we headed ootside tae a muckle byre an park. Waanderin trowe da sna wis a dizen reindeer. Of coorse, da maist famous een wis aesily spottit wi his nose sheenin laek a red licht bulb.

We met an elf kerryin some hey. “Meet Wunorse Openslae, designer of Santa’s sleigh and reindeer keeper,” said Pepper. We hed a yarn an he seemed a fine sowel.

I couldna believe hit when Wunorse Openslae took me intae da byre tae sit on Santie’s sleigh. Hit wis a feelin herd tae explain. As I sat dere I could feel da magic rinklin trowe her. A kinda warmth an a funny feelin no unlaek preens an needles.

Hit wis den dat I heard dat unmistakable “HO HO HO!” I lookit roond an dere he wis, da man himsel, far bigger den I iver lippened.

“Fancy yourself as a Christmas Elf?” gaffed Santie. My faece gied as red as da suit he wis wearin.

“Don’t be embarrassed Tushie,” he said. “It is not an unreasonable idea. I have to offer equal opportunities in employment like everyone else. It won’t be for much longer that I will be able to get off with employing elves alone. I’ll have to employ all breeds of little people. In fact, would you like a job Tushie?” he axed.

Noo, dere’s an offer I hae tae consider . . .

Merry Christmas!

Tushie Truncherfaece x