That Christmas Spirit

No, not Highland Park….at least, not to start with.

By December 23rd I had done my shopping and was looking forward to battening down the hatches for a quiet Christmas….just a trifle to make and that was it.

So on Christmas Eve we were having breakfast on the balcony and looking forward to a peaceful day when our new neighbour arrived at his corral to feed his cattle.

His corral being the other side of the track and downhill from our place.

To encourage himself he switched on the local radio station giving all of us the benefit of its early morning programme …..the one before the playing of the national anthem at seven o’clock.
The programme format is that the announcer rings up unwary people chosen at random and asks them to dedicate a piece of music and to choose the style they prefer.

Early rising is common here, luckily, but even given that people tend to be somewhat terse, except the odd granny who intends to include her whole extended family in the dedication together with a description of the qualities and qualifications of each and every one, so the announcer generally has things his own way, the choice of music being between ‘romantica’ and ‘ranchero’.

Unfortunately, this was Christmas Eve, and the announcer was in festive mood – awash with the Christmas spirit.
Romantica and ranchero were not enough.
He offered Christmas music….

So once again I suffered the same syrupy guff that had made life hideous in the previous weeks…and then came the final coup de grace.

Jingle Bells.

Jingle Bells performed by dogs.

Our canine horde, busy rootling under the table for unconsidered trifles, showed no hesitation.
Led by the Costa Rican King Charles Corgi they charged from the house as one, howling like the hounds of Herne the Hunter and heading for the corral, where their canine counterparts were woofing all the way.

Passing the neighbour at a fair lick they seized his radio, the Alsatian maintaining possession despite smart work in the scrum from the hairy brute with ears like periscopes and making his run for the line to smash the radio to pieces on the steps of our porch.

Deeply satisfied, all trotted back to the balcony to receive the congratulations of their admiring public, ears up and tails wagging.

Closely followed by the new neighbour, torn between laughter and exasperation.

Served with coffee and bacon sandwiches, laughter won.

But I felt obliged to go out shopping again to buy him another radio.

Ho, ho, sodding ho!


45 thoughts on “That Christmas Spirit”

  1. What a brilliant story Helen ~ so funny that I found myself saying No, as I got to the Alsatian who hates Christmas carols bit. I think your Christmas story just takes the Christmas Cake Award!

    1. I have to say that Jingle Bells as performed by the Singing Dogs might have had me sprinting down there to hammer the radio to smithereens had the dogs not been considerably faster!
      Thank goodness that the new neighbour is such a nice man…..

      The pack would not disdain their portion of any award of cake….

  2. And was I, thinking perhaps I might send you a link to New Zealand’s famed Ashley Clinton Sheep’s Choir…ah well, best not, in the circumstances. But I’m sure Google could find it…

    1. Can I resist!
      Particularly as our sheep are more likely to worry the dogs than vice versa…and as I am waiting for KP to overcome his constipation at Melbourne so that distraction would be welcome….
      Things have been calm all day….thank goodness!

    1. The CRKCC originally arrived with his mother on a scavenging trip round our rubbish bin and both decided to stay. Mother, very old, died last year and he is now showing his age too – but managed a tremendous burst of speed as he led the pack in search of the intruders barking on what he regards as his patch.
      Reminded me of those early portraits of race horses where the front and hind legs are stretched out rocking horse fashion.
      He is always the ringleader…the Alsatian is the muscle.
      The neighbour was very good about it in the circumstances.

  3. Gracious me dear lady, it would seem that you have perfectly encapsulated this notable whimsical Costa/British farce entree to the festive period so wonderfully by way of a very clever descriptive preciseness. It brings an entirely new aspect to the delightful phrase ‘hunting with hounds’.

    1. That early morning programme is something else at the best of times: I love it when the announcer tries to hurry one of the grannies and gets rolled over in a tide of words as she generally starts at the beginning all over again….
      And a form of hunting with hounds which I hope will not be banned being as it is of public utility….

      1. They are an assorted bunch, to say the least…..but I was impressed that the Alsatian – not in general terms a candidate for Brain of Britain – did not waste time looking behind the radio for the perpetrators but just grabbed the offending item and destroyed it.

    1. Sorry Steve, I managed to get this out of sync….somehow. Need a dog to run this computer…

      I reckon the BBC would be a lot better run with a pack of dogs in charge: no relocation packages – they can follow bitches in heat themselves: no expenses for swilling at The Ivy – they know where the supermarket chuck out bin is located: and a thorough mauling for Sky and all its works.

    1. I’m still thankful that he is such a nice man! It must have been a shock to see a baying multi coloured and shaped horde sweeping past him to grab his radio!

      They seemed to feel that virtue was its own reward…until lunchtime.

  4. This post needed a warning: Do Not Drink Tea While Reading. I came very close to choking on mine as I read it. πŸ™‚ It appears you got the best Christmas present ever. The dogs killed the canned Christmas music.

      1. Ha! Yes, possibly, but the shopkeepers might not have been impressed by their actions. We were out on a Boxing Day walk yesterday and I was telling your story to one of my daughters and she thought it was hilarious, too.

  5. Just the ho ho ho story I needed this morning!!! Incredible… I’m glad I wasn’t there cuz I woulda laughed so hard as to bring on an asthma attack… as it is I’m having to hold myself back a bit and simply do a howl every now and again in honor of your stellar intuitive peros!!! Glorious post!

    1. Just take care! No attacks over the holiday period!
      It all happened so quickly….one minute it was White Christmas, dogs sniffing under the table after breakfast…next moment it was Jingle Bells by the Singing Dogs and all hell had broken loose!

      I still count myself lucky that the neighbour is such a nice man…had it been A.N. Other it might have been a different story…

    1. He had it that very afternoon…..the least I could do.
      This morning he has serenaded us again…but luckily only with ‘romantica’.
      I used to have a dog who would look suspiciously behind the box when horse racing was on.

  6. I found jingle bells and the singing dogs (produced by Dr. Demento!) and played it for my animal group. Something most be lost in the translation–not a whisker stirred. Or, is that who consumed the last quart of eggnog.

    1. I checked Dr.Demento when I was putting up the post – for I had it assumed it to be him, but it wasn’t.
      What came over the radio was far more high pitched which might account for the reaction.

      Mark you, the egg nog might have had something to do with the lack of reaction at your end…

  7. Yay! For the dogs! How often I have wished for something like that to happen to noise nuisance! Take them shopping next time……

  8. Despite the tender subject, your post raised a very real and genuine grin on my face – absolutely brilliant – the event, the telling and the outcome!! OK – I did laugh out loud…
    Thank you for this, Helen, and for your great kindness and contact.
    Much love, Axxx

    1. I did wonder whether to put this up in the circumstances….but thought that as a dog lover you would recognise their reactions….

      You’ll never forget Darwin…nor should you…but it does get a bit easier with time.

  9. Laughed like a drain, Helen. Being owners of two, at times, wayward dogs, loved this story. Your dogs are to be congratulated on their abilities to distinguish between the good music & the bad and to act swiftly on their choices. Presumably they slept peacefully through ‘Radio Gaga?’ Give them a pat from me!

    1. Oh yes, really pleased with themselves after the success of their search and destroy mission…but I still don’t know whether they had imbibed my loathing of Jingle Bells or whether they thought they were repelling canine boarders who might be after a share of their goodies….

  10. Oh help, I do hope tea is good for keyboards! I really must stop reading your blog when consuming food or drink, Helen. πŸ™‚ A truly marvellous story and I now have a wonderful mental image of the canine horde silencing the intruders, much to your nice neighbour’s laughing dismay. I do hope Christmas Day was more peaceful. πŸ™‚

  11. How do you mean your Alsatian isn’t a candidate for BofB? All Alsatians are supremely intelligent (she says, based on one pure and one husky cross). Sometimes they just use their intelligence in their own way. In this case it sounded extremely clever. Unlike the radio. Top pack. My tiny pack of two is currently sleeping peacefully although no doubt not for long. And as I write …. Hello Snowy

    1. Just thinking of them or a glance in their direction is enough to rouse one eyelid from the normal post breakfast torpor, i find…

      Yes, I have to admit that he has alternative intelligence…..just not the conventional kind…

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