Note: Originally published on Facebook on June 18
Julten was scared shitless, literally, he had not been able to perform his morning ablutions because of what he was planning to do today. It was a truly perilous task, one that could potentially have a huge impact on his future. Today, he was going to bunk school for the first time in his life!
He had heard his cool seniors bragging about it. The ones who escaped detection that is. Others were kicked out of school for what was seen as a crime equivalent to felony. After all, he and his schoolmates were learning to be role models for kids around the world. It was a responsibility that the school authorities, or their Chairman Emeritus, who lived in the north, did not take lightly.
But he really really wanted to be seen as a cool dude, looked up to by juniors, fawned upon by the ladies. So he decided to risk it all for that one day. After all, you only live once, thought Julten, or twice, if you are James Bond, or nine times, if you are a cat, but those are exceptions, in most cases, you only live once.
At first, everything was as smooth as Chinese silk. Julten entered the school, marked his attendance in two classes, and then, in the recess, found his way to a small hole in the back wall of the boundary wall of the school. His seniors had told him about it, and it helped that Julten was really short, and so, could somehow scrape his way through it, with just a few minor scratches, proof that he had been in battle, and lived to tell the tale.
He quickly made his way to the outskirts of the town beyond the hills. He’d heard there was a good food court there, where one could eat all that he could, for free! And it actually turned out to be true. An all-you-can-eat buffet lunch, gratis, what else could one ask for?
Well, I’ll tell you what he didn’t ask for, but got gratis again. Spies for the school, two of them. One had a camera in his hand, the other a phone, and they were both trying to catch him in the act, so that they could show the pictures to the authorities and get him rusticated. So Julten did the only sensible thing he could, he ran…
Amd so did the spies. He took an uphill route, they struggled to climb, but doggedly kept up the pursuit. He cut across the bogs and marshes, hoping to lose them, but they were like dogs on a scent, and despite their shoes and clothes getting muddied and spoilt, they kept on following him, trying to get a full-frontal picture that would help them get a positive ID.
Julten was getting tired now, on the verge of giving up. Breathless, he stopped for a second and looked around for an escape route. All seemed hopeless. And then, he saw it, or should I say, them.
Rhulda and Fotrun, the cool seniors who had egged him on towards this life of crime. And he knew what to do.
He quickly scampered towards his seniors, but not that quickly that the spies wouldn’t be able to follow, for he could see that they too were extremely tired and winded, surviving purely on the thrill of the chase.
He reached very close to them, and suddenly, veered away sharply, and hid behind the church on the hill. The spies climbed up, and saw that the original rule-breaker had disappeared, but there was something better. Two other school kids looking directly at them, too surprised to hide. And they clicked a clear picture of both of them, and started walking towards the school to report to the authorities.
Julten saw this from his hiding place behind the church, and heaved a sigh of relief. It was a really close shave, and he swore never to try a stunt like that again. He would be a model student from now on. He would be the best he could be, and not worry about what others thought of him.
And that is how St. Nicholas’ School For Model Reindeers, Svalbard found its future School Captain, and Reindeer of the Year, and gave Santa Claus an able replacement for Rudolph.