An adapted St. Nicholas Story of "The Fiercest Animal in the Woods"
Adaptation from "The Fiercest Anima in the Woods", Author Unknown
As winter approached, the red squirrel was the loudest, chattiest little animal in the forest. When other animals came near him or his collection of pine cones, he squeaked and chattered at them until they ran away.
When people walked through the forest, he ran out on tree branches chattering and barking at them as they travelled by. Then the people would walk a little faster to get away from the loud, obnoxious little animal.
One day the red squirrel heard people coming. There were lots of people marching straight through his forest! The red squirrel hid in a bush by the path. As the people passed him he began to chatter and squeak and flick his tail in anger.
The people all rushed past the red squirrel, except one man. He stopped and looked up at the fierce little animal right into his little brown eyes.
Suddenly, the red squirrel did not feel so fierce. He tried to run away and jump to the next branch but missed and fell to the ground.
The man bent down and gently picked up the red squirrel and put him in his pocket.
"I am St. Nicholas and you, my little friend, are coming with me."
The fierce little animal started to scrabble and scratch, but it was no use.
He stayed in St. Nicholas' pocket all the way across the forest.
He stayed in St. Nicholas' pocket even when everyone boarded a ship and they sailed all the way across the sea.
When they finally arrived on the other shore, St. Nicholas' and the other people carried bags filled with flour, apples, nuts and cakes.
They traveled to a town where the people were very poor and very hungry.
St. Nicholas and his helpers left food on each and every doorstep.
Then St. Nicholas took the red squirrel out of his pocket and looked him squarely in the eye.
"No more chattering, no more squeaking and no more scratching.
I have work for you to do," he said.
St. Nicholas sent the red squirrel into each house with an orange.
Inside each house, he dropped an orange into a slipper that was placed neatly by the fire. If there were children in the house, he dropped a wee little gift to bring them joy.
He worked all night long.
When morning came and he was finished with his work, he was very tired.
He was happy to go back inside St. Nicholas' pocket.
The little red squirrel was so sleepy that he did not know when they boarded their ship and sailed across the sea for home.
He did not even wake up when they arrived at his forest.
When they arrived at the red squirrel’s forest home, St. Nicholas lifted him out of his pocket and put him down on the ground.
"Your work is done now, my little friend. You can go free."
But the little red squirrel wanted to stay with St. Nicholas. From that time on, the red squirrel lived in the woods close to St. Nicholas' house and whenever St. Nicholas needed his help, he was always right there. The End.