Christmas Tales – Naughty Knave Rupert’s Sack of Coal

The sea was calm and still and the snow fell softly on Santa’s Secret City at the North Pole. Suddenly, the silence was broken.

 “You!” the butterfly girl ordered angrily. “Come here!”

 Chests stuck out, the butterflies were marching up and down in their official capacity as Santa’s Little Helpers. Martha’s finger was pointing at somebody in a brown coat at the back. She beckoned to him. Father Christmas had popped to the shops with Mrs Claus. The butterflies were on their toy factory lunch break, so this gave them the ideal opportunity to do some more good for the children of the world.

 “Show us what’s in your sack!”

 She was addressing Naughty Knave Rupert. Grumpily, he grabbed his sack: you know, the one that should be full of lumps of coal for naughty children. But not a sign of coal was to be seen! In his sack, would you believe it, were a leather belt, a fly swat and a baseball bat! He took them out of the sack and showed them to the little rascals.

 Santa had sent him an invitation to a “quality control security check”, on posh paper with a big wax seal on it. Big-Old-Boss-Santa always did random checks to make sure everything was going according to plan.  Rupert was a bit surprised to see that his invitation was signed with four splattered, little handprints. But he imagined Santa must have his reasons for employing the mystical butterflies, Martha, Darfo, Johnny and Sonya. No doubt to help improve the Festival of Love.

 Martha was really getting into her new role.


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 “Right! And now show me the other things you’re still hiding!”

 “Huh?” mumbled Rupert, pretending not to understand what she meant.

 “Herumph… I can see QUITE clearly that you’re hiding ALL SORTS in that bearskin coat of yours!” If a job was worth doing, then it was worth doing well.

 “Drat!” snarled Rupert, making both Darfo and Sonya giggle.

 In a flash, Rupert produced quite a collection of punishment tools – an electric shocker, hand cuffs, tear gas and a hammer!

 That’s it, he gestured, pretty annoyed, because that actually was it.

 “Hey, can he not talk?” Darfo asked.

 “Well, not any sense… in fact he talks such a load of rubbish that he should be the one being punished!”

 “Hee, hee, hee!”

 But the game was still on, as Martha had discovered something else.

 “AHAA!  And what’s that sticking out of your boot under your trousers?”

 “Umph,” groaned Rupert. She really did see everything.


 A quick, sweeping movement and, hey presto! She whisked out a giant, poisonous rattle snake and two tarantulas – which he actually always had with him, in case he had to punish someone really, really naughty.

 “Hee, hee, hee!” giggled Sonya, Darfo and Johnny, taking a few paces back, out of range of the dangerous weapons.

 “RIGHT!” Martha inflated her wings until they made her look much bigger.  She’d really shown him!

 “But now how’s he supposed to punish the bad children?”

 “Mmmm.” Martha Butterfly scratched her head.

 “Okay,” she said, pointing at the fly swat. “You can keep that. For the really naughty ones.”

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