'Twas the night before Christmas, my fingers were numb,
I'd been tatting for hours and I still wasn't done.
The presents were wrapped; the air was all chills,
And still I was working on picots and frills.
The kids were asleep and my cat watching on -
Santa had come and the cookies were gone.
I'd emptied my coffee for the third time that night
When all of the sudden a crash gave me fright.
"Oh No!" I began, as I rushed from my seat,
The ring barely closed, looking not-at-all neat.
But, I peered out the door and was happy to see
That 'twas only the snow crashing down from a tree.
Relieved, I turned back toward my shuttle and thread,
When all of the sudden I remembered, with dread.
That my cat, the dear thing, had been there all alone,
And she's not at all innocent, past history had shown.
So with that on my mind, and fear in my soul,
I picked up my pace as I moved down the hall.
Hopelessly wishing and lifting in prayer
That she just might have left it alone on the chair.
But 'naught was my luck - as I'm sure you surmised,
When I rounded the corner, and focused my eyes
On that feline of ours - the dreadful ol' thing -
Who had turned all my tatting to just piles of string.
Gone were my picots, and rings and my chains;
Gone were the shapes that had taken such pains.
All that was left was that horrible cat
Whose suddenly looked awfully naughty and fat.
I reached for the broom, as my face turned all red
And I charged at the cat, thinking soon she'd be dead.
But just as I lifted my arm with the broom,
I looked in her eyes and I glanced 'round the room.
I was just checking to see, at the time,
That I was alone, and could cover my crime.
But her eyes were happy, her head in a tangle,
Her joy melted all my desire to mangle.
It was Christmas for her, and she couldn't care
After months of just waiting, I'd left it right there.
A shuttle, some thread, a few rings and some chains,
Were so much more fun than cat candy canes.
Finally she'd gotten the present she wanted
After all of the hours I'd sat there and flaunted.
She played and she purred and she glistened with glee
So I set down my broom and I picked up my tea.
Who cared about snowflakes or bookmarks that night?
Who cared about all of my fear and my fright?
That scruffy old cat had torn it all up,
And I really didn't care as I sipped on my cup.
The morning still came, and the day soon did break,
The stockings were full and the turkey was baked.
The pies were all eaten; the presents unwrapped,
And, nobody noticed I'd just about snapped.
My tatting was ruined but I didn't care,
That dearest old cat taught me something quite rare:
A shuttle and string are the source of great joy,
For human and cat, they're the best kind of toy!
� 2002 Tim TenClay