The dream of Patrick, the moose(Elk)

 

Patrick was a moose living in Munich, Germany. Since his childhood he dreamed to do great things in his life: to be a hero, to be able to help many people and, above all, fulfil his great dream of pulling Santa’s sleigh.

His friends made fun of Patrick because of his dream and told him that a moose could not pull Santa’s sleigh, only the reindeers could do that. Patrick always told them that he did not see the difference between a moose and a reindeer: “We are almost cousins” and all his friends laughed at his words.

When he came back from school, Patrick, the moose, told his mother he had a dream and all his friends teased him. His mother gave him a kiss and said:

“My son, if you have a dream, you must believe in it and do everything to fulfil it. No matter how long it takes you, the important thing is to fight for your dreams”.

Patrick grew up and became a great and strong moose, he stood out for his joy, joviality and, above all, because he sought always to do good for others. He never forgot the advice of his mother to fight for his dreams, and that is why he made a big decision: to make a great trip to the North Pole.

Patrick the moose started to make all the preparations for this great adventure. With a map in his hand, he traced all the way he had to travel from München to the North Pole: München – Frankfurt – Hamburg – Copenhagen – Gothenburg – Stockholm – Tromsø – Kaffekluben Island, and from this island to go over a distance of 707 kilometers till the North Pole. Patrick prepared his backpack with tender stems, carrots, hazelnuts and a good ration of chocolate.

Hmm… Do moose eat chocolate? Well, Patrick loved chocolate! Oops! I almost forgot, Patrick also took his passport, his mother always told him that it is very important for a traveler to have his documents updated. But do moose need passport? Oh yes! Patrick, the moose, had his passport in order, a fully packed backpack and all the enthusiasm to achieve his dreams.

He left his home with his mother’s blessing. She, as always, told him to be very careful, and to be attentive to his heart, so he could know how to choose his friends:

“My son, the heart never fails. Follow your heart and you will find your dreams”. This made Patrick start the trip with more confidence.

He went to the train station and bought the ticket to get to Frankfurt. Once on the train, he took out his travel map. A child was watching him from the front seat, but Patrick continued studying his map, until the child got near him and asked him where he was going. Patrick told him about his dream and the child gave him some chocolate cookies for the trip:

“You will need them” the child’s mother said, greeting Patrick and she wished him good luck for his journey to the North Pole, and then they parted and the moose continued his journey to Frankfurt.

When he arrived in Frankfurt, Patrick took a walk around the city and began to look for his friend, who lived there, whose name was Igor and who was a moose like him. Patrick told him everything he had planned to reach the North Pole. Igor was so excited that he also wanted to join him and, after having hesitated whether to let Igor come with him or not, because his friend was very naughty, Patrick had no choice and had to accept it, because Igor insisted very much.

In the early morning they took the train to Hamburg. Igor wanted to see the itinerary on the map, and they studied the best way to reach their destination. A train officer approached them and asked them for the ticket. Patrick showed his but Igor, in the excitement of the trip, had left his at the station. The officer stopped the train and they both got off, because Patrick was not going to leave his best friend alone:  this is why  you have friends, in good times and in not so good ones.

They walked to Hamburg, by luck there were only a few kilometers left. Igor was very hungry and thirsty, but Patrick still had some chocolate cookies left, so he offered him some and they both tasted them with pleasure. After that, with  stomachs refilled, they found the station and discovered that they still had three hours until the next train to Copenhagen, Denmark, would leave.

They strolled through the city, visiting its wonderful harbour, and enjoying the pleasant walk to get to a place where they could see the city’s motto: “That freedom, achieved by ancestors, can be kept by descendants with dignity”, which greatly inspired Patrick to follow the path towards his dreams.

It was now time to board the train and this time they both had passports and tickets in their hands and got prepared to jump on the train. The journey lasted five hours and twenty-eight minutes, so the two friends could catch up on their adventures along the way. The train started and Patrick drew a portrait of his mother, who always supported him in all his dreams and would not let him give up. Igor told Patrick that he was working on a tourist site, where he guided children around the city, that it was very fun, and the children treated him very well. Patrick said he wanted to spend the rest of his life in the North Pole helping Santa Claus, even if that would surprise his mother very much. But for him, helping Santa Claus was one of the best things he could do for children’s sake.

The hours went by and they reached the Neumünster station, then passed through Flensburg, Fredericia, and finally they reached Copenhagen, Denmark. The official stamped the passports: “Prum” you could hear the stamping noise, and with a smile on his face he told them:

“Welcome to Denmark, enjoy your stay, even if I don’t know what you two moose are doing here”. So Patrick explained his dream to the officer, and he said that he knew a friend who could help them, and gave them the directions and wished them good luck.

The two moose went to the place where they had to wait for the

officer’s friend to arrive. When they arrived, they rang the bell and a burly man with a very hoarse voice came out and asked them:

“Who are you?”

“We are Patrick and Igor, the train officer sent us here to speak to Mr. Bär”. He let them inside into a waiting room and after few minutes, a huge white bear very hairy with a red vest appeared.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen” said Mr. Bär, to whom the two moose answered:

“Good afternoon!”

“I heard that you need help to go to the North Pole.

“It is so” answered the two moose.

“And what is the purpose of your trip?” asked the bear. Patrick said he was going after his dream, which was to help pull Santa’s sleigh. Mr. Bär could not help it and made a great exclamation:

“What! A moose pulling Santa’s sleigh!! It’s very odd and unexpected. You’re mistaken, boy. I think you have made a long journey in vain­­” and he could not contain himself and started laughing.

But Patrick, very determined, stood in front of Mr. Bär and said:

“Have you ever had a dream when you were little? Have you ever had to follow your dreams even if they seemed impossible?”

Mr. Bär remained silent and thoughtful for a moment, looked at Patrick and with a smile on his face said:

“Yes, boy. I also had big dreams and didn’t fight for them, so I’ll help you to fulfil yours. I’ll give you a map that will take you to the North Pole.”

“I already have a map” Patrick said and showed him his map. The bear said:

“This is a map that will take you to Greenland, but the North Pole isn’t on any map, it’s a magical place, which only certain travelers have seen and known. There Santa Claus lives with his wife and all the magic elements of nature: fairies, gnomes, elves… They help him to spread magic in the celestial chariot, that’s his magic sleigh,  pulled by the best reindeers, chosen by Santa personally. There’s the Snow Queen with the Spirit of Christmas, helped by the Lord of the Winds, who is responsible for sending  snow with magical star dust, the invisible spirit of love that fill the world with magic at Christmas time.

The two moose were left open-mouthed listening to every single word of Mr. Bär, who, after these explanations, took a map of medium size out from one of the drawers of a desk that was in the waiting room, and when he opened it, the aurora borealis’ lights came out, and the two moose jumped back in surprise. The bear told them that when they needed light on the road, they should open the map, and this would show them the right way to go. He also gave them some tips on how to get there faster, as time was passing quickly and Christmas was getting closer.

Mr. Bär wished them good luck on reaching their destination, and told Patrick that if he believed in his dreams, he could fulfil them:

“Never give up believing in yourself, boy”  the bear told them, and he said goodbye to the two moose.

Patrick and Igor set off to catch the ship to Gothenburg. The two moose got on board and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It was getting colder and colder, so Patrick pulled the scarf his mother wove more tightly. When they arrived at Gothenburg, they had to wait for the next ship, which would take them to Stockholm, Tromsø and finally to the Kaffekluben island.

They passed by each of these cities, and although passengers stared at the two moose with strange looks, sometimes asking if they were lost, and the moose told them the destination of their journey. Some smiled, while others said they were two crazy moose chasing after an impossible dream, but this did not stop Patrick because he believed in his dreams and, above all, had the blessing of his mother to get to his destination. Igor wanted to give up many times, but Patrick would not let him, and as he did not want to leave his friend alone, remained with him.

They were already near Kaffekluben, which they could see from the ship, and the captain announced that they would be arriving in a few minutes. Immediately after stepping on the ground, the two moose walked into a cafe for a delicious cup of hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies, because the cold was becoming more and more intense.

The two moose were very happy to be close to their destination: there were only 707 kilometers from reaching the North Pole, and Patrick’s dream  coming true. They filled his backpack with more chocolate, carrots and cookies, and prepared to travel following the map given to them by Mr. Bär.

They walked on the ice, and when they seemed lost, Patrick opened the map where the aurora borealis’ lights indicated to them where to go. After traveling half a day and tired of walking, they decided to take a break and eat some chocolate bars to regain energy. Patrick told Igor that it would be better to resume the journey to arrive as quickly as possible to their destination.

After they took a few steps, they found Pingüi and Mingui, the twin penguins, who were back home after a long journey from Patagonia to the North Pole. Igor said hello and the penguins gave them a funny greeting waving their fins. Pingüi told the two moose:

“Hello fellows, where are you going with such determination, and what is the purpose of your trip?” Patrick told them his dream and the entire journey they had done so far. Mingui said they knew someone who could help them to reach their destination faster. Both the moose and twin penguins headed toward a pine forest. But how can a pine forest exist in the middle of this frozen territory? Well, when you enter Greenland, many magical things happen, as long as you believe in it. And all who were there believed in magic.

They walked for about twenty minutes and arrived in front of a huge pine tree with a hole in it. In that hole there was a door carved with symbols that the moose did not know. Pingüi said they were runic symbols which had been there for a long time, he could not say how many years. They knocked on the door, and, when it was opened, a black wolf came out to deal with them. Mingui asked for Lupus Freilan and the black wolf let them into a brightly lit room and asked them to wait for a moment. Five minutes later, a huge white wolf entered the room and greeted them:

“Good evening, gentlemen”. The two moose and the twin penguins answered in unison:

“Good evening!”

Lupus Freilan asked what their visit was for, and Patrick told him all about his dream and the great journey on wich they had been. The white wolf remained silent for a few minutes while he was thinking, then he looked at the visitors and, especially to Patrick, said:

“Well, boy, what I can do for you is to help you through the forest of white pines, where time and distance are not measured. You’ll do in hours what it would normally take you many days. That’s the magic that surrounds this forest, where only those who believe in the Great Magic of Christmas Spirit can come in”. After that, the white wolf made preparations to leave immediately, because it would be very soon be Christmas, and there was no time to lose.

Everybody was ready for the new adventure: Patrick, Igor, Pingüi, Mingui and Lupus Freilan. They walked into the depths of the white forest with the feeling that their steps were faster than they seemed to be. The white wolf explained that there everything was much faster and within a few hours they would come out of the forest. When Patrick opened the map to find out where they were, the light indicated that they had reached the North Pole. Lupus Freilan and the penguins said goodbye to both the moose and wished them good luck.

The two moose remained alone in the middle of nowhere, because there was absolutely nothing there, so they opened the map again and again the map indicated that they had arrived at their destination. But there was no trace of  Santa Claus’ house, fairies, gnomes or elves. Nothing. There was not a soul there, it was a just desert of ice.

Igor’s disappointment was very great, and he told Patrick:

“Such a long trip for nothing! We’re in the middle of nowhere! Patrick, I can’t believe that we have travelled thousands of kilometers to get nowhere”

Patrick replied:

“We’ve done something wrong, the map indicates that we’re at the North Pole”.

They consulted the map again, but this still indicated the same thing. Igor began to get nervous, he was very cold and very tired, so Patrick told him he would make a fire with magic sparks, which they had received from Mr. Bär and could be lit up even on a block of ice, and they would have to spent the night there waiting for some miracle to happen. He felt in his heart that they were in the right place and that they should wait.

Night came and the aurora borealis was becoming more intense. Patrick was fascinated by the spectacle of nature: energy, lights, colours and, above all, a special magic that started to surround the place. At midnight, the moose prepared to rest, but with so much light they could not. Unexpectedly they heard a tinkling of bells over and over again, they looked around and saw how the glow of the aurora borealis permeated the whole place, and how a few small lights spun around and went from one place to another. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, some beautiful and colourful houses decorated with Christmas arrangements, lights and lamps, began to appear. Beautiful houses with their chimneys appeared increasingly, and gradually a beautiful little village, all adorned with the wonderful Christmas Spirit, became visible. Igor could not help being astonished and was jumping with joy to see the small village of Santa Claus in front of his eyes. Patrick went walking into the middle of the village until he arrived in a place, where there was a sign saying: “Only for Santa’s reindeers”.

He went into the barn and saw three elves caring for six big, beautiful and strong reindeers. He approached them and said hello to elves Weilly, Wailly and Willey. The three elves were responsible for the special care of the reindeers who would pull the sleigh this Christmas. The sleigh was in care of the great elf Wunorse Openslae, who was the designer of  the magic sleigh and took charge of ensuring that everything was in its exact spot for Santa Claus’ big trip on Christmas Eve.

Patrick was very excited and told the three elves all about his dream and his journey to the North Pole. The elves started laughing nonstop, and every time they saw Patrick, looked at each other and said, “A moose who wants to be a reindeer!”. In that moment Wunorse came and asked what was going on, so the elves told him Patrick’s story. The great elf looked at him and said:

“Oh boy! I designed Santa’s magic sleigh myself, and this is pulled by reindeers, who are chosen for having received  special preparations. A moose is not ready for this trip, so I’m sorry, your trip was in vain”.

Patrick and Igor stayed silent at those words and could only give up, but when they left the barn, they went to Santa Claus’ house, in a last attempt to achieve his dream. They knocked on the door and a gnome opened it. He was a gnome who had a hat with red tips, round face and long beard down to his knees. He wore a green jacket and a red pants with white boots. Patrick asked permission and entered a room, where there was a large fireplace fully decorated with garlands, lights, stars and wild pine’s flowers. There was a staircase that lead to the second floor, where you could see Santa Claus on a wooden desk. The gnome, called Reunald, told them to wait a moment, the Santa would meet them in a few minutes. The two moose sat in a huge green armchair, and Patrick began to observe the wonderful place: the lights, the garlands, the coloured candles and a huge crystal chandelier. The whole house was wooden and there was a delicious scent of cedar, besides the scent emitted by the pine and wild fruits below. That beautiful Christmas tree reminded him of his home in München. While Patrick was flying with his thoughts, they heard some footsteps descending the stairs, it was Santa Claus who greeted the two moose with a huge smile.

“Good evening, boys. I was waiting for you. My great friend, Mr. Bär, told me you would come today. How can I help you?”

Although Santa knew Patrick’s dream, he would rather prefer that he prefered that Patrick personally tell him about it. So, Patrick told him everything, about his dream and the journey to reach the North Pole. Santa Claus listened carefully and said there was the tradition that his sleigh had to be pulled by reindeers, that he had never had a situation of this nature before, and so that he had to think about it and take this to the North Pole Council, where he would convene an emergency meeting.

All the North Pole was in a huge uproar, because there was little time until Christmas and this assembly was not of the plans. However, everybody respected Santa’s decisions, so in the blink of an eye everyone was seated in Santa’s huge hall. The last ones to arrive were Patrick and Igor, while Santa Claus seated with Mrs. Clause at his side.

Santa Claus began the assembly and, as they all knew what it was about, they resolved to vote. The elves approached Waldemir, the chief toys’ maker, and told him that this had never happened, but since it was a dream, they had to give him a chance.

Gnomes spoke with Hirandiall, his counselor and magical guide, and agreed with Waldemir.

Fairies shook their wings and went to talk to Sarabella, their princess, and said they should take into account that it was Patrick’s dream.

Wunorse, sleigh’s designer, said it was impossible:

“The sleigh was constructed to be pulled by reindeer. It’s impossible! A moose can’t do that. This’s my last word”.

Gutemfulgor, the guardian of the secret of Santa Claus’s village, thought about it for a moment and said:

“If the moose’s able to pull the magic sleigh, we should grant his wish”.

Santa Claus intervened and said:

“Christmas Spirit is to fulfil  dreams, so we must give an opportunity to Patrick, the moose”.

Mrs. Claus approached Patrick, stroked his beautiful horns, looked at him tenderly and said:

“If you believe in your dream, you will achieve it. I believe in you Patrick” and gave him a kiss.

Wunorse grumbled, but accepted the decision of the assembly to give an opportunity to Patrick. The elves Weilly, Wailly and Willey took Patrck and Igor to the barn to prepare him for his first flight. Patrick was nervous, but happy to have this great opportunity.

Everyone went out into the village’s streets. Wunorse brought the magic sleigh, the three elves brought the six reindeers and Patrick, the moose, too. Everything was settled and the sleigh prepared. Santa Claus sat on the sleigh and asked the fairy princess, Sarabella, to cover Patrick with shooting stars’ dust, which would help him to fly. Mrs. Claus asked the reindeers:

“Are you ready?­­”

They answered with a yes all together. And Patrick answered affirmatively.

“Here we go!” Santa Claus gave the order. Randy, Landy, Wandy, Durtill, Furtill and Tristill began to move, and as Patrick was at the end, he also obeyed the order, but could not keep up with the reindeers’ rhythm and made Santa Claus brake abruptly and collide against a mound of snow. Santa Claus drove the sleigh to the village’s strip and told everyone:

“Let’s try it again!” and he gave the order of departure: “Fly!”

The reindeers began to pull the sleigh, and although Patrick did it too, they lost their balance and crashed, this time against the toy store. Mrs. Claus came over and stroked Patrick, gave him a portion of magic carrots she prepared herself and said:

“You must believe in yourself, don’t forget. If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t achieve your dreams” she smiled tenderly and Patrick felt very strong.

Wunorse approached Santa Claus and said:

“It’s not good that we’re endangering the reindeer for a moose and his impossible dream. This should be the last chance”. Santa knew that Wunorse was right and nodded. It would be the last chance. Igor got close to Patrick and told him:

“I believe in you, my friend. You can do it­­”. Randy, the most experienced reindeer, told Wunorse that, as Patrick was very strong, it would be better to put him in front of everyone. Wunorse did not want to listen to him, but Santa Claus accepted the suggestion of his big friend Randy and they did so. Now, Patrick went before all the reindeers and felt the great responsibility which was on him. He looked at the sky, the Great North Star, and asked with all his strength to Christmas Spirit to grant him the miracle of flight.

Everyone was back in position. Santa Claus held the reins of the sleigh, and the reindeers were ready, as was Patrick the moose was. Before Santa gave the order to Randy, he told Patrick:

“Have faith, my boy, you can do it!­­” and they heard Santa’s voice saying: “Fly, guys!”

Patrick began to run with all his strength, with his eyes looking at the North Star. Suddenly, he felt his body floating slowly, and going up more and more. And he did not stop to running …

Everyone in the village shouted with joy. Mrs. Claus and Sarabella smiled at the miracle. Santa Claus said:

“Very good, guys, keep going! Patrick, you’re doing it very well. You did it, my boy, you did it”. Patrick felt his body floating and freely flying through North Pole’s night sky, and in his heart he told his mother: “I did it Mom. I achieved my dream”.

Igor could not help jumping and screaming, so that Patrick could hear him:

“You did it, my friend, you did it!”

Santa Claus ordered Patrick and reindeers to go back to the village, and they did so. They slowly descended and landed on the white snow. Santa Claus said:

“It was a perfect landing, Patrick”.

Everyone ran to congratulate Patrick, the first moose to pull Santa Claus’ sleigh. Even Wunorse congratulated him and the three elves gave him an enthusiastic hug, while saying:

“We didn’t believe you could do it, but you did it!” Wunorse said:

“Now it’s good for you to rest, there’s much to be done and there’re only a few days till Christmas”.

The day before Christmas Eve came, and Santa’s sleigh was loaded with all the toys that children had asked for in their letters. He also took with him the shooting stars’ magic dust, to sprinkle it around the world and to make magic, love and faith stay in the world. The reindeers were at their positions and Patrick the moose was in the front. Santa Claus gave the order:

“Randy, Landy, Wandy, Durtill, Furtill and Tristill –and gave a smile to Patrick and said-: “Onward!”

The six reindeers, along with Patrick, started running with all their strength, and in an instant they were flying through North Pole’s night sky. The sleigh was lit by aurora borealis’s light that the fairies had placed on the reindeers’ and Patrick’s bells shooting stars dust, and as they were moving away, you could see them like shooting stars, traveling across the sky.

This was how Patrick, the moose, managed to fulfil his dream of pulling Santa’s sleigh, and so you can also achieve your dreams, even if you think they are impossible. You just need to have faith and be filled with Christmas Spirit. I invite you to look at the night sky on Christmas Eve. If you believe in it, you will see Patrick, the moose, pulling Santa’s sleigh.

 

Merry Christmas to you all!

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