Once upon a time there was a lovely little girl, who really wasn’t so little at all anymore. She was eighteen years old and she had worked very hard all year long following the rules of the song Santa Baby. She had been so good! Which was interesting seeing as she was typically a mischievous little monkey who somehow managed to sweet talk Santa into switching her name off of the naughty list since the year she turned three.
Now the elves weren’t at all sure what to make of the switch. They had been prepared to offer her a deal as per usual when she showed up at the north pole but there her name shone. Gleaming, at the top of the “Nice List.”
Immediate action had to be taken, Santa was called in, Mrs. Claus advised and Jack Frost called up just in case he was responsible for the change.
Finally, they all shook their heads in wonder! She was reformed. Or so it appeared. They went to work making her presents, not too large so as not to spoil her, but sufficient in size and shape for a nice “little” girl.
Now, Mataya- That was her name- hadn’t really reformed at all. She had just been extra careful to be good no matter what happened. Unbeknownst to the elves she retained her penchant for mischief and she had her suspicions about what might go on at the North Pole when they discovered her new position. So, on December 23, when she knew they would be all done making the presents, she quietly slipped out of bed, grabbed her coat off its hook and snuck off to the North Pole.
No one ever knew how she did it. If they had been able to find her out they would have shut down her operation immediately, but year after year she managed it without being caught. I did tell you she was mischievous, and she was apparently quite sneaky as well.
Into the workshop she crept, hammer in hand- Just in case. She smiled as she tiptoed past the sleeping guards. “They must be all tuckered out from making my new and improved presents!” She thought gleefully.
Over to the main worktable to pick up a tape, she hunted for her name on the largest gifts there. But nope! Not there. “That’s fine” thought Mataya, so wily and wise, “perhaps my gifts are smaller but more expensive, like diamonds or pearls.”
Undeterred she hunted until she found the one with her name, and lowered the tape to the ground, it measured well-sized, but not big enough for the greedy good girl who snuck in like a wraith.
“Fine then”, she thought, “from the other direction.” On the scale of expensive it measured ‘moderate’ at best. Then her frown really did grow. All that work! All the year! Wasted on being good when she could have been having such fun!
All of the pranks, the joy, the bounteous fun that could have been flashed in her mind and in an instant, she knew she had an awfully good plan.
Mataya knew where the elves kept their tools. She knew they used magic, and worked outside of the rules. “Just this once,” thought she. “The elves will be me! Then I’ll know just how to make a gift worthy of me, and next year I can break all of the rules! It won’t matter a dime if I do lock my sister in the cellar all night. Oh, what a gift to the sight my present will be.”
So, she picked up the glue and went to work at the table.
Next morning Santa came in bright and early and what he saw there made him go a little bit squirrely. Mataya asleep on the work shelf he saw, and on the table, the biggest present he had ever seen in all of his years as Santa Claus.
His eyes were so wide they could have been moons. He walked over and woke up the sleeping Mataya.
“Girl”, said he, “You have a real gift. I’m willing to make you an offer-”
“Five more minutes,” She said, and rolled over in her ‘bed’.
So, Santa patiently waited until she woke up. Then she jumped when she saw him, fearing she was caught.
“Now that you’re awake I’m assigning your doom.” He said gruffly. “Next Christmas you’ll be my apprentice, and you can keep all of your presents.”
Never before had there been a happier duo working on toys as there was in the year 2020.