The wolves bayed again, nearer now.
Reindeer-bells clanged discordantly outside as the poor creatures panicked in their stalls. The chimney whistled harshly. Sparks flew bright red onto the bear-rug in the hearth and a choking cloud of smoke and freezing wind gusted into the room.
“I’m not going out in that tonight – there’ll just have to be two Christmases next year!” growled Santa Claus.
* * *