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A Child's Christmas in Scumthorp.

As told to Walter Nelson by Tom Todger, the oldest resident of the village of Scumthorp-on-the-Moor, somewhere in the North, England.

Ah, well I remember them days, back before the War. Scumthorp were covered with a fresh blanket of sleet, and the icy winds and driving rain of summer were but a distant memory. All houses were tarted up proper for Holiday, with candles in windows, and mistletoe, holly and ivy all about, and children could talk about naught but Father Christmas.

Then, upon Solstice, we'd build a sort of a man made of wicker, put a virgin in it, set it alight and all dance about it singing Ding Dong Merrily on High, 'cause we knew that the sun were certain to return -- and next morning, there'd be a Christmas panto for the kids. Ah, good times.

Even then we had a bit of trouble with the Sacrifice though. Tradition required that Vicar should be the Guardian of the Virgins, but seemed like every year, Virgin would say "Hey Vicar, care for a go?" and bang! -- disqualified. And try to find a replacement virgin, on short notice, on a holiday...

But for all his faults, old Vicar were the most enthusiastic supporter of the Old Ways. He's gone and there's a new Vicar now. All had great hopes for new lad, him being a "confirmed bachelor" and all -- but it didn't work out. He had all these new ideas.

I don't know what's wrong with Church of England these days -- what with them messing about with the liturgy and their support for human sacrifice being lukewarm at best.

But them days are gone, and I've taxed thee long enough with ramblings of an old man, so I'll just say don't forget the reason for the season, and I wish thee and thine an happy Christmas.