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St. Nicholas Visits the Quarry


The author of this twisted Christmas tale wishes to remain anonymous. – Ed.

Twas the night before Christmas at the aggregates plant,
Not a creature was stirring, not even an ant.

The stockings were hung on the conveyors with care,
In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The workers went home to crash in their beds,
While visions of crushers danced in their heads.

The foreman was in a meeting while I sat in the Cat,
We were just finishing up when I heard the boss snap.

Down in the quarry there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the seat to see what was the matter.

Away from the iron I flew like a flash,
Ran past the muckpile and made a quick dash.

The moon on the side of the stockpile stone,
Gave the lustre of mid-day on the rock where it shone.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature dozer, and eight tiny John Deere.

And the little old operator was lively and quick,
I thought I was crazy, but it looked like St. Nick.

More rapid than Eagle Iron his loaders they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the bench! To the top of the highwall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As stone on conveyors to the secondary fly,
Where they meet a screen tower so high in the sky.

Up to the scalehouse-top the loaders they flew,
With their buckets full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a squealing, I heard on the wire,
The stopping and starting of each off-road tire.

As I held my poor head, and was turning around,
Down a ladder St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed for safety, down to steel-toed boots,
And his hardhat was certainly quarry-approved.

A bundle of rocks was flung on his back,
He looked like he had just returned from the stack.

His eyes covered with glasses, his face in a stare,
His cheeks were all ruddy, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

His hair was so long no more it would grow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a cigar he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a huge beer belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I was scared when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Made me want to call 9-1-1 before I was dead.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And put coal in the stockings, then called me a jerk.

And laying a certain finger aside of his nose,
And swearing at me, up the scalehouse he rose!

He sprang to his dozer, to his Deere gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like an MX missile.

But I heard him exclaim, and here I would bet ya,
“Happy Christmas to your quarry, Don’t let MSHA get ya.”