Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/342

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Just then came a sound like a telephone bell—
Though why they should have such a thing I can't tell—
St. Nick gave a snort and exclaimed in a rage,
"Bad luck to inventions of this modern age!"
He grabbed the receiver—his face wore a frown
As he roared in the mouth-piece, "I will not come down
To exchange any toys like an up-to-date store,
Ring off, I'll not listen to anything more!"
Then he settled himself by the comforting blaze
And waxed reminiscent of halycon days
When children were happy with simplest of toys:
A doll for the girls and a drum for the boys—
But again came that noisy disturber of peace
The telephone bell—would the sound never cease?
"Run and answer it, wife, all my patience has fled,
If they keep this thing up I shall wish I were dead!
I have worked night and day the best part of a year
To supply all the children, and what do I hear—
A boy who declares he received roller-skates
When he wanted a gun—and a cross girl who states
That she asked for a new Victor talking machine
And I brought her a sled, so she thinks I am 'mean!'"
Poor St. Nicholas looked just the picture of woe,
He needed some auto-suggestion, you know,