Dasher: (n) one of Santa Claus’s reindeer.

What’s the story behind the story?

Maybe that’s something that qualifies you to be a writer—or at least gets you considered:  being inquisitive.

Of course, there is such a thing as being nosy. I guess the difference is whether other people end up being interested in what you’re curious about, or everyone involved just found you intrusive.

Have you ever wondered what the story is behind Dasher and Dancer?

I assume they were related.

  • Two brothers?
  • Two sisters?
  • Brother and sister?

If I were a female reindeer, would I mind being named Dasher? And if I were a male, could I live with Dancer?

I’m guessing two sisters.

And sometime after their birth, Mama Reindeer noticed that one of the little girls was really coordinated and appeared to be a great dancer. It was obvious that this young reindeer had a future.

She could move her paws without pause.

Mama Reindeer (and probably Papa, too) praised her for her ability—which left her sister without a true identity.

Because I am sure that Dancer is not actually the reindeer’s name. Probably Henrietta. Dancer is what she could do and therefore, who she became.

And her sister—shall we guess Beatrice?—did not want them to be known forever as “Beatrice along with Dancer”. You see the problem.

Beatrice tried to be open-minded, kind and unaffected about all the attention that Dancer was getting, but there was no doubt.

She was jealous.

This is the problem with having two daughters and one is able to dance and the other…well, she could probably end up just being a choreographer.

So Mother and Father Reindeer got together and mulled over what they should do. They did not want to take away the name Dancer from their young hoofer, but Beatrice certainly needed a more common name. Something to grab on to. A promotion-handle, as it were.

One day, they were watching their young deer at play and Papa Reindeer said:

“She runs real good.”

“Who?” asked Mama.

“Beatrice,” replied Papa.

Mama Reindeer watched for a spell. She wasn’t positive that her young daughter was actually speedy. But it sure would be convenient to convince her she was.

“I think I’ve got it!” said Papa Reindeer.

“We shall call her Dasher.”

Beatrice immediately loved the name. Fortunately, her sister, Dancer, was not envious. So Dasher and Dancer began their careers—one fast, one coordinated.

It also made for a great pairing, to begin a famous song.

Unfortunately for Dasher and Dancer, the tune ended up being about Rudolph–whose red nose was just too amazing not to advertise.



Clatter: (n) a continuous rattling sound

It’s a Christmas thing, isn’t it?

Do we ever use the word “clatter” at any other time than in the recitation of the poem, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas?”

You know what I mean. When everybody’s gone to bed and Mom and Dad are awakened: “There arose such a clatter.”

As I look at the definition, I realize how disappointed Santa Claus must have been. The North Pole crew certainly practiced this landing thing on roofs, right? And the goal is to get in and out of the house without waking anyone.

So if the poet is correct and Santa and his reindeer raised “a clatter,” some heads must have rolled on December 26th back up there at the North Pole.

For after all, the job is simple–fly straight, land quietly, take off silently.

But if you’re gonna be landing on roofs raising a clatter, all the mystique about your process is soon going to be gone.

That’s about the only time we ever use this word, right?

If somebody walked in a room and said, “Hey! What’s all the clatter?” we’d probably reply, “Listen, Charles Dickens, leave us alone…”

Or if someone was staying at your house and came down for breakfast and spoke up and said, “I hope I didn’t keep anyone awake last night with all my clatter,” honestly, you might think he’s a serial killer.


So I think this word is singularly supported by a poem which proclaims an action which would never have taken place if Santa’s team had rehearsed just a little bit more.

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