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Tomten: A Yule Tale

In which we learn of many strange and familiar things on the longest night of the year

By Steven T. Abell

Gudrun knew that the tomten lived in the rock, under the tree, out in the corner of the garden. She could even see that rock from her bedroom window. Gudrun asked her mother and father if they had ever actually seen the tomten. Her mother replied that she had not. Her father said that he hadn’t either, but his father had told him about it, so he knew it had to be true. Gudrun noticed, however, that, when he said this, he had that smile on his face that parents often have when telling their children things that might be true only in a story.

But finding the tomten was important. That was because of the fox, which had been raiding the henhouse regularly recently, and with much success. To put a stop to this, her father had first tried blocking all possible points of entry. But the fox always found another way in. The next approach was the trap. This resulted in her father having a black-and-blue thumb for a week. The third approach, which involved him sleeping in the henhouse with a shotgun, resulted in a large hole in the side of the henhouse, but no damage to the fox.

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