The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

A Reindeer Called Jeff

Jeff was a reindeer. He had strong, powerful
hind legs and eyes that could see for miles.
Jeff was the brother of Comet, Cupid, Dasher,
Rudolph and all that gang, but Jeff was a
stay-at-home reindeer. Christmas was a bit much
for Jeff. He enjoyed the cooked dinner and how
the streets were lined with lights in December –
as if the starlit sky travelled to him, but big crowds
and loud music made Jeff nervous. He preferred
to keep Christmas Day small, which wasn’t easy
because his brothers believed Christmas was
all about rushing around, being busy, making
other people happy. Jeff would spend Christmas Day
on his sofa reading a book, nibbling a mince pie,
waiting for Judy.

Judy was an elf, and Jeff’s best friend. Her ears
were shaped like tortilla chips and she had a smile
that could make anyone relax and open up. Judy
enjoyed dancing at busy parties with big crowds
and loud music. She would spend Christmas Day
rushing about town with the other reindeers laughing,
and making new friends until visiting Jeff to chat
and play boardgames. Last year, Judy turned up
with Jeff’s brother Rudolph, who explained how
he sometimes struggled at Christmas. He said
he enjoyed making everyone happy, but also wished
he could switch his nose off and rest. The three of them
sipped hot chocolate by the fire until they drifted
off to sleep. It was Jeff’s favourite Christmas Day ever.

About the Writer

Carl Burkitt

Carl likes telling tales. He tells long tales, short tales, silly tales, sad tales. He tells them online, behind a mic, in books, in schools, and on the sofa with his young family. His debut kids’ collection, Elephants Sleep in Bunk Beds, was published by Beir Bua in 2021.