The poor sleigh was feeling extremely lonely. On the verge of tears, it told Santa, “In winters, the reindeer strut about proudly with me tied to their backs, for it is me who gives them their identity. But come summers, they drift off to greener pastures, abandoning me here, in the middle of nowhere, while they catch up on their sleep, and gorge on fresh, dewy, green grass. Enough is enough, I quit!”
And this was a humongous problem, for without a sleigh, a reindeer is just another wild animal. It is only when it is pulling a sleigh that it becomes a symbol of joy, of festivity, of caring, of giving, everything that Santa has come to represent. So Santa had to do something about it, and pronto. But he could not possibly be seen in public in the summers, in fact, December 25th was the only day on which he was allowed to venture outside his home in North Pole. So, he was stuck.
But not for long, for Santa was nothing if not resilient and resourceful. He knew how to find his reindeer at such a short notice. He just had to find the hut with the greenest grass on its roof, for the presence of reindeer inside the hut causes the grass to grow faster, and become much greener than what anyone would have ever seen.
But he could not go himself, of course, so he did the next best thing. He logged on to the internet, and placed advertisements in leading newspapers across Scandinavia, announcing a grand contest- Find the hut with the greenest roof, win a free trip to paradise. And the hunt was on!
Across Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, thousands of intrepid adventurers started off on expeditions to find the hut. These expeditions were well-funded, some by the royal families, others by eccentric billionaire philanthropists. They had all the resources in the world at their disposal. But what they didn’t have was the ingenuity of Indians.
In a remote corner of Geiranger in Norway, an Indian couple saw the advertisement, translated it into English using Google Translate, and then just looked at each other and nodded.
The team from Finland sent in its entry first.
Santa saw it and with a shrug of his shoulders, hit the delete button on his laptop. Finland was out of the competition.
It was now the turn of the Swedes to show off their legendary hunting skills. Santa’s laptop pinged, he downloaded the image attached in the mail, and his face dropped.
This too wasn’t it. The delete button again came into play.
The Danes proudly sent in their entry, calling upon their Viking heritage. Santa looked closely at the image- Was his search really over? Was this really it? But alas, this entry too was destined to be consigned to the Recycle Bin.
Santa was now really getting desperate for a reindeer, any reindeer.
And then, suddenly, there was an entry which looked really, really promising, like manna from heaven, and Santa knew that his search was truly over. It was an email from an Indian prince, who wanted to donate a million reindeer to Santa’s cause. Apparently, India was full of wild reindeer roaming around on the streets, and the government was so sick of trying to rein in their rapidly growing population that it decided to export them. And they were paying a hundred thousand dollars per reindeer to whoever agreed to accept the animals. All Santa had to do was send the kind philanthropist his bank account details and password.
But Santa was not so naive and credulous. He mailed the prince right back, asking for proof of the existence of those reindeer. He kept on waiting for a reply, but when he didn’t get one for two days, he was relieved that he had not fallen for what was, he was sure now, clearly a scam.
But then, suddenly, there was a ping on his computer. He opened his email, and saw that the Indian prince had indeed replied, with definitive proof that they did have reindeer to send to him. So Santa promptly sealed the deal by sending his bank account details, confident that the sleigh’s loneliness was finally coming to an end. After all, the Indian prince had not only found the hut with the greenest grass….
He had also sent photographic evidence of a reindeer pulling a sleigh.
Convinced now of the honest and honourable intentions of the Indian prince, Santa promptly sent across his bank account details and his password. And started waiting for the arrival of his reindeer. And waited. And waited. And waited…
Meanwhile, in Norway, the Indian ‘prince’ and his ‘reindeer’ bought two huge cruise ships with the money that Santa had so kindly ‘donated’ to them, and set sail around the world, constantly keeping a lookout for more ‘giving’ souls like Santa!