, Port Arthur, Texas

December 22, 2012

Chester Moore Sunday column: 'Twas the night before Christmas (at hunting camp)

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — (This fun rendition of the holiday classic has become a tradition for me to run annually. I hope you all enjoy it and can share it with your kids. Merry Christmas!)


   'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the camp

   Not a creature was stirring, not even a lab.

   The socks they hung by the chimney with care,

   In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

   The young sportsmen were nestled all snug in their beds,

   While visions of redfish swam through their heads.

   And mamma in camo, and I neatly matched,

   Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

   When out on the marsh there arose such a clatter,

   I jumped from the bed to see what was the matter.

   Away to the window I flew like a teal,

   Tore open the shutters and to see what is the deal.

   The moon hitting down on the strong tidal flow

   Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.

   When, what my weary eyes did spy

   Eight tiny gators and a pirogue in sky.

   With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

   I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

   More rapid than widgeons his gators they came,

   And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

   "Now, Boudreaux! now, Trahan! now, Broussard and Comeaux!

   On, Bergeron! on Savoy! on, Dugas and Thibodeaux!

   To the top of the camp! to the top of the wall!

   Slither away! Slither! Slither away all!"

   As dry leaves that before the blue norther do fly,

   When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

   So above the pilings-top the coursers they flew,

   With the sleigh full of prizes, and St. Nicholas too.

   And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

   The prancing and clawing of each reptile foot.

   As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

   Down the chimney, St. Nicholas came with a bound.

   He was dressed all in muskrat, from his head to his foot,

   And his clothes were all tarnished with mud and soot.

   A bundle of decoys he had flung on his back,

   And he looked like a hunter just opening his pack.

   He had a broad face and a little round gut,

   That shook, when he laughed like an out of shape mutt.

   He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

   And quickly spied the bowl on the shelf.

   He took to the gumbo like a dog to a bone

   Read the note we had left him next to the phone.

   He then filled all the stockings with lanyards and masks

   Left all new presents then was done with the task.

   And laying his finger aside of his nose,

   And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

   He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a call,

   And away they all slithered through the marsh they did crawl.

   But I heard him exclaim, when he was out of sight,

   "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."