It was Christmas Eve at the North Pole and Father Christmas did what he did every year. He loaded up his sleigh with his sack of toys, hitched the eight reindeer that would be helping him this year and set off on his annual trip delivering presents to children around the world.
The international date line means that Christmas starts in the Pacific and moves west around the world for the next 24 hours, so Santa has a full day to deliver all of the presents to all of the children around the world. Flying down through the Pacific islands, delivering presents on the way, Santa reached the islands of New Zealand. Now the houses in New Zealand that have chimneys, have very narrow chimneys, so narrow that even Father Christmas has trouble getting down them.
He was on one of the last stops in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, when he got stuck in a particularly narrow chimney. It took several minutes of frantic struggling but eventually Santa managed to free himself, deliver the bike, dolls and pram, remove the soot, have a drink of the brandy that had been left and return to his sleigh which as always was parked on the roof. However, there was one small problem, his glasses had fallen off. He was halfway to Japan when he realised that he wasn’t able to see as well as he should.
Oh well, he thought, I’ll just have to do without. Santa was in Japan, when his lack of glasses became a problem. It was night, which it always was when delivering presents, even to those near the South Pole, when Randolph and Tim the two lead reindeer struck one of Japan’s many temples. Santa’s inability to steer properly had become a problem. The sleigh fell over, the reindeer had become separated from it and were looking for some nice fresh Japanese lichens to eat.
Father Christmas picked himself up, turned the sleigh the right way up, picked up his sack and went off to collect the reindeer.
“One, two three four, five, six, seven eight," he counted as he attached each reindeer to its correct position at the front of the sleigh, but Santa had made one mistake.
Instead of attaching Randolph, he had attached a cow.
“Right let’s go, we have presents to deliver and its getting late," Santa shouted from his sleigh, he shook the reigns and seven of the ruminants galloped forwards, taking a very confused cow with them.
The sleigh gathered momentum and started to become airborne, but there was one problem. Cows cannot fly, so as the seven reindeer lifted off the ground, Daisy-san the Japanese cow tumbled and fell. It was carnage, the sleigh toppled over again, hooves and presents were everywhere.
“Eaten too much Randolph have you?" Santa said. “I have the very solution."
Father Christmas rooted around in his multi-dimensional sack until he found what he was looking for, a canister of helium, saved for emergencies such as this.
He turned on the gas and tried to fill Daisy up with helium.
There are two things you should know. Firstly even when filled with Helium, cows don’t float and secondly cows are very good at producing gases. So Daisy just stood on the ground and occasionally produced belches of helium.
“Right Randolph." Santa said, as Daisy let go a methane / helium combination, let’s get you hitched up again.
“Wait a minute, you’re not Randolph, who are you? Impostor! Well I never."
Just then there was the sound of thunder as Daisy let loose some more helium.
“Where’s Randolph? Randolph, where are you? There you are you naughty reindeer, what are you doing over there?"
“Moo," said a very confused cow.
Father Christmas then had to detach Daisy from the sleigh and reattach Randolph. Soon he had all correct eight animals attached to the sleigh and had managed to set off once more into the night to deliver the hugely-anticipated presents to the rest of the world.