Forrest Frump Meets Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

By Maxine W. Pinson

Illustrated by Jennifer Marcotte

Rudolph's nose animated by Bradford Bussell
" Dedicated with love to my creative daughters, Celia and Melissa, who introduced me to the joy of writing." --Maxine Pinson

A Midnight Encounter On Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve, and Forrest Frump sits in the garland-draped gazebo in Savannah, Georgiaís Whitfield Square. Just a few blocks away, Santa is roof-hopping atop Savannahís 19th century townhouses. Rudolph, the frisky leader of the pack, finds waiting between stops boring. He likes flying, not sitting on cold rooftops. Rudolph decides to take a quick tour of Savannahís squares. They look so pretty at Christmas time.

Ivory moonbeams canopy Savannah, Georgia and the Low Country. Itís midnight, and everyone nestles snug in bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their head. That is, everyone but Santa, his fleet of reindeer, and Forrest Frump.

Reminiscing about Christmases past, Forrest sits in the filtered moonlight munching candies from a bag of assorted chocolates, a Christmas gift to himself. Forrest is spending Christmas alone. Heís feeling sad thinking about how things might have been, if only...

 

Attracted by the smell of chocolate, Rudolph's fluorescent nose perks up and leads him to Forrest and his bag of candies. Absorbed in his thoughts, Forrest doesnít see Rudolph unti he feels his sack yanked away. Forrest possesses a kind heart and a generous spirit, but he does not like things snatched from him.

Thinking heís fallen prey to the Grinch who stole Christmas, Forrest jumps up and dashes over to retrieve his chocolates from the horned culprit. But, Rudolph likes chocolates, too. Even though heís a nice enough kinda fellow, Rudolph isnít as unselfish as Forrest. Trained to respond quickly, Rudolph lunges skyward, bag of chocolates clenched between his teeth. Forrest charges toward Rudolph and grabs his hind legs with an iron clasp.

"I gotcha now," Forrest says. "And Iím not gonna let go till you give me my chocolates back. Theyíre my chocolates, and I want them back now!"

Rudolph doesnít answer. He just flies higher and faster. He tries kicking Forrest off, but Fororest doesnít budge. Forrest has nothing else to do, and heís enjoying the flight. He's never flown around the world before, but he's got a feeling thatís exactly what he's about to do whether he wants to or not.

 
 

"Wow," he thinks. "This is more fun than riding an alligatorís back in the Okefonokee Swamp!"

Finally, Rudolph decides to apologize to Forrest so he can return to the Low Country and rejoin Santa. But when he opens his mouth, Forrestís bag of chocolates go spiraling down to the miniature village below.

"Now, look what youíve done. Youíve gone and dropped all my chocolates--chocolate macaroons, chocolate almonds, chocolate cremes, chocolate caramels, chocolate mints, chocolate truffles, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate...and that was my only Christmas gift! If youíd just asked me, I wouldíve shared my candy with you. I really would have. Now Iím angry. I mean, Iím really angry! I bet you got that big red nose of yours by poking it somewhere it had no business being in the first place. I'd like to bop you in the middle of it right now."

Rudolph tries to be a good deer, he really and truly does. But fame affects him just like it does a lot of people. Rudolph is accustomed to being out front, with his big nose shining, leading the way. He flies high whether heís leading Santaís luxurious sleigh or grazing in a lush pasture. He wants what he wants when he wants it, and he know what he wants quite well. Whatever Rudolphís want is, heís used to getting it. And he wanted that bag of assorted chocolates as soon as he got a whiff of it two blocks away.

Still, Rudolph has feelings, too. He feels sorry for taking away this sad-looking boyís only Christmas gift. Rudolph wonders why the child has such sad eyes. Maybe children laugh at him like the other reindeer once poked fun at Rudolph. Maybe he thinks no one cares about or loves him. It must be lonely sitting all alone outside in the dark on Christmas Eve night. Rudolph begins to cry.

"My name is Fororest Frump," Forrest says."Whatís your name?"

"My name is Rudolph," the little reindeer answers between sobs.

"Iím Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Iím sorry I took your candy. That was not a nice thing for a reindeer to do. Santa will be disappointed with me. If you wonít tell him what I did, Iíll sneak a whole yearís supply of chocolates to you."

"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I think that sounds like a good idea. A real good idea! Now you just take me back to Savannah so I can get some sleep before the sun comes up, and I wonít tell Santa what you did."

 
 
 

Forrest and Rudolph Become Friends

Scrunching up his eyelids and blinking away the tears, Rudolph prepares for a return to the Low Country. But he's gotten off course and he's lost; he hasn't a clue where they are or how to get back to Santa. He'll have to make an emergency landing so he can get some sleep. He'll wait until tomorrow, Christmas Day, to find his way back to Santa.

Rudolph knows Sanata will worry about him, but he has eight other reindeer, and it's a clear night bathed in moonbeams. Santa and the other reindeer can make their voyage without the guidance of Rudolph's nose tonight. But he'd better prepare for his other end to be a bright red, too, unless he comes up with a good excuse for his mysterious disappearance.

Rudolph and Forrest land in a place unlike any place Forrest has ever seen before. It's a hillside where sheep are resting with their shepherds.

"Forrest Frump," Rudolph says, his nose glowing and his eyes sparkling, "I do know where we are now. This is the hillside of Judea where angels told the shepherds about the birth of baby Jesus. Weíre right outside Bethlehem, Forrest."

"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," Forrest says, "Do you know where we are?"

"Gol-il-ee," Forrest says. "You mean that Forrest Frump is spending Christmas Eve on the hillside where angels sang? Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, this is gonna be the best Christmas Iíve ever had. I donít think itís a good idea to go around snatching things from people. Itís just not a very nice thing to do. But, I sure am glad you snatched my chocolates. Now I get to spend Christmas in Bethlehem, and I donít have to spend it alone. Good night Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Merry Christmas."

"Good night, Forrest Frump."

Quick as Santaís wink, Rudolph and Forrest float into a sleep as deep and peaceful as the December snow. Yet, even in their sleep, communication between the two of them continue through the delivery of a surprising Christmas message from a talking donkey.
 

 
 

Visions Of Donkeys Dance In His Head

"Hello, Rudolph. I'm Dufus. Some people call me Dufus the Ding-bat Donkey, and that's okay with me. I've heard the song about you on the radio all the way over here in The Holy Land. You'll probably never hear a song about me, but I want to bray a song to you that I hear every day inside my heart. It's a song an angel once sung to me on this very hillside many, many years ago. The words still make me happy whenever I listen to them. Every Christmas I sing the song to a different tune. This year, I'm singing the song to your favorite tune--"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." It goes like this:

"Dufus, the Ding-Bat Donkey, has a very pokey pace--And if you watch him closely, you'll see a dorky face.==All of the other donkeys, bray jokes and call him names,--They never let poor Dufus, pin-the-tail tail on donkey games.--Then one frosty winter's eve, an angel comes to say: 'Dufus with your brawny might, you'll carry God's child tonight...' --Resting in a Bethlehem stable, I watch the birth of God's own son.-- I no longer feel unworthy, through me God's will's been done."

"You see, Rudolph, sometimes being lowly isn't so bad after all. When you fall, you don't have so far to go. The wise men spent all their time looking into the heavens for special signs, but God went to simple folk on a hillside, who were going about their regular routine and minding their own business to announce His son's birth. He chose a plain, good-hearted girl and a donkey named Dufus to help carry out his plan."

"After that first Christmas night in Bethlehem, I brayed every night that God would use me again someday as a special earth angel to help someone else. He answered my bray my sending me back as Forrest Frump. No one ever suspects I'm an angel in disguise until after I've accomplished my mission and gone away."

Don't worry about finding your way back to Santa, dear Rudolph, or returning Forrest to the Low Country. When you awaken on Christmas morn, you'll find yourself in your own stall back at The North Pole. And Forrest Frump will be wherever God decides to send him next.

Copyright 1994 by SSD, Inc. d/b/a/ Low Country Parent. All rights reserved.

NOTE: Copies of this book have been donated to various children's hospitals at Christmas time and used by several churches during their children's Christmas sermons.