"Humbug or Hope"
It was the bogeyman
who found Jack Frost
huddled miserably beside
the shopping mall with a bell
in one hand and a bucket
in the other hand.
The bogeyman was
supposed to be out looking
for the bad little boys and girls,
who were easier to separate from
the good ones in this season,
but he could not resist
the urge to stop.
"You look dreadful,"
said the bogeyman. "Is there
anything I could do to help?"
"I may be reduced to this,"
Jack Frost said with an angry rattle
of his bucket, "but I'm no charity case."
"Mmm," the bogeyman said.
"What happened to you, anyway?"
Jack Frost sighed, his breath
a flume of silver in the winter air.
"It's just ... hard to get by, you know,
when the season makes some people
so stubborn about their disbelief in
everything but what they can touch."
"I have found," the bogeyman said solemnly,
"that whether the holiday season consists
of humbug or hope depends largely on
the people with whom you spend it."
He held out a colorless hand.
Jack Frost dropped his bucket and
grabbed onto the bogeyman
with all his might.