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Airmail Christmas Special Solomon Hogg And Father Christmas Cover Cover

Solomon Hogg And Father Christmas

Solomon Hogg often read bedtime stories to his three younger sisters, Maisy, Daisy and Grace. But tonight was different. It was the night before Christmas Eve, and for the first time ever, he was reading a story he had written himself. It was called The Unforgettable Christmas.

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“Father Christmas waved goodbye,” read Solly, nearing the end of his story. “Then, with a jolly laugh, he pedalled away on his one-wheeled flapicycle, flying high into the sky, until he disappeared into the clouds. The End.”

Solly’s sisters clapped loudly.

“That was brilliant!” said Maisy.

“So you really liked it?” Solly asked. “I’m so nervous about tomorrow night!”

Tomorrow night was when the town held its annual Christmas Eve Festival. Every year, in addition to music and refreshments, a story is read in front of the entire crowd. And this year, Solly was going to read his story.

“You’ll be wonderful,” said Solly’s mum. “Just make sure you allow plenty of time to get to the festival. You don’t want to feel rushed, and you know how busy it can be at FlapOnTM on Christmas Eve.”

Solly nodded. “I better get to bed then. It’s gonna be a big day tomorrow!”

But Solly was too excited to fall asleep right away. He also forgot to set his alarm. By the time he woke up the next morning, he was already an hour late to work!

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“Winkin’ Walnuts!” Solly yelped as he quickly dressed and dashed to the FlapOnTM offices. “I’m going to have to be extra-speedy delivering packages today!”

Solomon’s boss, Webster Pelican, greeted his nephew when he arrived.

“Solly! Looking forward to hearing your story tonight! We’re all so proud of you!”

“Thanks, Uncle!” Solly pulled a copy of The Unforgettable Christmas out of his backpack. “I autographed this one. It’s an early Christmas present for you!”

Webster looked pleased as he thumbed through the pages. “So, what’s the story about?”

Solly looked at the pile of packages he still had to sort for delivery. There was a lot to do, but he didn’t see the harm in first giving his uncle a brief summary of his story.

“It’s about Father Christmas, the greatest deliverer of packages the world’s ever seen!”

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Webster’s eyes lit up. He loved postal stories. 

“And he travels at the speed of sound on a turbo-charged flying unicycle!” said Solly.

Webster’s beak clapped in excitement. The only thing he loved more than postal stories was science-fiction postal stories.

Solly didn’t want to spoil the whole plot for his uncle, so he just mentioned some highlights. They included: the talking Christmas tree who was also a spy! The mysterious Christmas gift from outer-space! And Father Christmas’ narrow escape from a monster made of sticky tape!

Solly got so caught up talking about his story, he lost track of time. 

“No matter the obstacles in his way, Father Christmas always delivers every gift before Christmas Day,” Solly said to Webster.

“Well,” said Webster, “I’d say that’s a good practice for all of us.”

Solly suddenly remembered the jobs he had to do. 

“Hoppin’ Hazelnuts!”

Solomon stuffed the last of the Christmas mail into his backpack and hurried out of the office.

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Snow was falling gently on roofs and roads as Solly pedalled through the town delivering gift-wrapped packages. From their shape alone, he could tell that Ms Fleece was getting a tennis racket for Christmas and Barry Bull was getting a set of bagpipes. Everyone seemed so happy to get a delivery from Solly in time for Christmas. It filled him with good cheer.

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“I have the best job in the world,” Solly thought to himself. But because he had had a late start, and because everyone he met was in a festive, talkative mood, Solly was running behind schedule. It was beginning to get dark.

“I really need to hoof it,” Solly said under his breath, “if I want enough time to have a bath and put on a clean vest for the festival.” 

Solomon pedalled faster, wishing he had a flapicycle like the one Father Christmas has in The Unforgettable Christmas. One that could go into hyper-drive and deliver presents in the blink of an eye. Instead, Solly rode the only flapicycle he had, trying hard to keep his balance on the icy streets.

“Happy Christmas!” Solly said to the Mouse family on their doorstep as he handed them eight small wedge-shaped packages. He was pretty sure someone had sent each of them a swiss cheese. Solly was relieved because those were the last packages in his backpack. 

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Cold and a bit grimy, Solly was looking forward to a bath before heading to the festival. He looked at his watch.

“Hmm. I’m not sure if I have enough time to go home. I don’t want to be late.”

Just then, Solly noticed that his backpack wasn’t empty. There was a small envelope at the bottom of the bag. He looked at the address. Perhaps it was on the way to the festival.

“The Hedgehog Residence? That’s in the opposite direction, on the outskirts of town!”

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Solly weighed the envelope in his hoof. It was probably just a Christmas card. Surely it didn’t matter that much whether or not it got delivered tonight. Solly began heading towards the festival, thinking about his story. The more he thought about it, the worse he felt.

Father Christmas delivers every gift before Christmas, no matter how small.”

His mind made up, Solly turned his flapicycle around. He was going to deliver this card no matter what! It was night now. Solly was shivering. The darkness and falling snow made his trip difficult. What made it more difficult was seeing so many townsfolk headed in the opposite direction towards the festival. He had so wanted everyone to hear his story and it made him sad to think he would arrive too late to read it.

But his sadness went away as soon as he reached Mrs. Hedgehog and her young daughter at their humble home. The two of them were so happy to receive the card. It was from Mr. Hedgehog, who had been away for the last month captaining a cargo ship on the other side of the world. They missed him a great deal. 

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When they opened the card – Poof! – a little firework shot into the air and burst into rainbow-coloured smoke while a little device in the card played the daughter’s favourite song. The amazed look on the daughter’s face warmed Solly’s heart so much, he didn’t feel cold anymore. The Hedgehogs asked him to stay for hot cocoa, so by the time Solly left to go home, he was feeling warm indeed.

But as he pedalled home, he couldn’t help but sigh.

“It is too bad no one heard my story.”

Before Solly could spend another second thinking about it, he heard one of the townsfolk call out to him.

“Loved your story, Solly!”

He heard someone else from across the street. “Cracking good yarn, Mr. Hogg!”

Solly was confused. On his ride home, dozens of folks congratulated him on The Unforgettable Christmas. Just as he reached his own house, he ran into Jenny Wren.

“Webster brought his autographed copy of your story to the festival,” Jenny explained. “So everyone at FlapOnTM took turns reading it to the crowd! Even the starlings took a turn!” She said it was the least all of them could do, when they realised Solly was off delivering Christmas mail.

“So have the happiest Christmas!” Jenny said as she waved goodbye.

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Solly sighed with contentment. But just as he was about to enter his house after his long day, he heard a curious noise above him. No one else was there to see what he saw. And later, he would wonder if he did, indeed, see it. Though he was fairly certain he saw a bearded man flying through the sky on a one-wheeled, turbo-charged flapicycle.

 

The End