Santa and the hard facts about angels

Dear Santa, when you bring the presents this year please go around inside all the houses and collect up all the guns and all the instruments of hatred and torture and put them in your sack and take them to the North Pole and hide them there forever – Anon.

Season’s best wishes to you all and good cheer, even if  Santa might not be able to find parts of Zimbabwe that are in perpetual darkness… 

And a bit of global warming has been going on (bottom right of the picture) at Santa’s iceberg…


A Christmas tale – and the hard facts about angels – from Mutoko Madness, page 238, a memoir by Angus Shaw:

William McLeod watched little Jethro being brought to the handicapped school at the end of my street in a wheelbarrow and joined the St Catherine’s fund-raising trust.

Children at St Cath’s with the most serious deformities were overjoyed to receive anything at all. Whatever deprivations later life held in store for them, they didn’t seem to worry. Jethro had stumps for arms and legs. We bought him a second-hand wheelchair. A pencil in his mouth, he drew McLeod a thank-you picture of a bicycle that he would never be able to ride leaning against a tree that he would never be able to climb.

Jethro had the warmest and most joyful eyes McLeod had ever seen.

McLeod, members of the trust and I took the kids to ride on the miniature train and the paddle boats at Greenwood Park. They were enraptured as the train whistled and hooted and went into the tunnel. One of the kids asked if McLeod could shed any light on something that had baffled his parents too. A religious-knowledge pamphlet at school called Faith In Action showed an illustration of the scene of the angels appearing before the shepherds, but the angels had no wings.

I tried to be helpful by saying that in extra-terrestrial matters, anything was possible. Anyway, I was going to ask Jonathan to clear the matter up – but McLeod was able to find out first that although Michelangelo’s and Da Vinci’s angels all had wings, Faith in Action was correct. Seraphim had wings, but nowhere in the Bible did angels have them.

The kids at St Cath’s grudgingly began accepting the hard facts about angels, and, sure enough, at Christmas they asked McLeod whether Santa Claus really existed. Had they been lied to about that as well?

‘Ouch,’ I said.
‘What are we going to tell them?’ said McLeod.
‘We’ll think of something.’
Clever Jonathan Green, never lost for words, came up with a suggestion if no-one actually saw Santa.
‘Santa’s decided to boycott the Mugabe regime.’

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