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Posts Tagged ‘Karmpus’

This is a twisted, tortured version of the Night Before Christmas, inspired by Austrian customs:

A Visit from Old Krampus

Charles Suddeth

(with profound apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house

Not a critter was stirring, not even my spouse;

The stockings were tacked by the fireplace so bare,

In hopes that Krampus would never be there;

The children were all huddling under their beds;

While visions of sumac switches tortured their heads;

And mamma in her snuggy, and I with my booze,

Had just settled ourselves for a long winter’s snooze,

When out on the road there arose such a clatter,

I leaped from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew right quickly,

Tore open the shutters and felt mighty sickly.

The moon glittered on the edge of the new-fallen snow,

Giving a daylight-luster to the objects below,

When what to my red, aching eyes did show,

But a miniature wagon and eight tiny goats to go,

With a mean old driver who raised such a rumpus,

I knew in a moment he just had to be Krampus.

Speedier than vultures his billy goats came,

And he cursed, and yelled, and called them by name:

“Now Pokey! Now, Porky! Now Antsy and Blunder!

On, Demon! On, Devil! On, Dummy and Wonder!

On the top of the roof! On the top of that wall!

Now rush away! Rush away! Rush away yall!”

As shingles before wild tornadoes do fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, jump to the sky;

So over the housetop the eight goats they flew

With the wagon full of switches, and mean, old Krampus too—

And then, in an instant, I heard on the roof

The dancing and dinging of each cloven hoof.

As I ducked down my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney old Krampus fell with a bound.

He was dressed in leather, from his head to his toe,

And his clothes were dirty and greasy to show,

A bundle of whips he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a thief who was opening his sack.

His eyes—how red they glowed! His head, how hairy!

His cheeks were like leather, his nose like a berry!

His scowling, blistered mouth was frightful to see,

And the beard on his chin was as black as could be;

The stinky cigar he held clamped in his teeth,

And smoke circled his head like a funeral wreath;

He had an ornery face and a hard-bound belly

That quivered when he cackled, like reindeer jelly.

He was thin and bony, like a wicked old elf,

And I wept when I saw him, and tried to hide myself;

A blink of his evil eye, a shake of his head

Soon let me know I had everything to dread;

He uttered no words, but went straight to his work,

Filled the stockings with coal; then swiveled with a jerk,

And laying his claws beside his hairy snout,

And giving a smirk, the back door he went out;

He shot to his wagon, to his team gave a clap,

And away they all soared with thunder and zap.

But I heard him exclaim as he dashed out of sight—

“Nightmares to all, and to all a bad night!”

 

 

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