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This story was inspired by my Christmas special of The Great Mouse Detective called “Christmas at Baker Street”.

It all started when Taran, Eilonwy, Gurgi, Fflewddur, and Creeper were decorating a Christmas tree in Dallben’s cottage. Hen Wen, a pig who had Christmas lights wrapped around her body, handed each of them an ornament. As the five embellished the tree, they giggled with the oracular pig as the lights brightened all around her. Of course, it was Creeper, the goblin who enhanced the pig. “Such a bright piggy,” Gurgi said, petting Hen Wen.

“You shine like a star,” Creeper complimented Hen Wen.

“Taran!” Dallben called, “Could you please help me bake cookies?”

“Could Eilonwy help, too?” Taran responded.

“I’d love to, Taran,” Eilonwy piped up, “I like to cook.”

“Then it’s settled,” Dallben agreed, “Let’s get on with it. Any more volunteers?”

“Great Belin! Yes, Dallben, for a Fflam is eager to assist,” Fflewddur Fflam pitched in excitedly as he shifted himself off the floor.

“Gurgi help, too!” Gurgi shouted.

“No, you mustn’t, Gurgi,” Dallben warned, “You can be messy and sloppy. Therefore, wait until you’re ready.”

Gurgi groaned in disappointment, but nodded in admission. “I’ll be ready one day!” Gurgi reported confidently.

“Yes, you will,” Dallben stated, “I assure you.”

During this, he, Taran, Fflewddur, and Eilonwy proceeded in making Christmas cookies.

“Hen Wen looks very lovely with those lights,” Dallben acknowledged, “I wonder who managed to make her look like this?”

“It was me, Dallben,” Creeper announced. With that being said, he unplugged the wire full of bulbs and untangled them off the pig. In the next split second, the goblin took hold of the star and gave Hen Wen a twinkling look. “Remember when I said you shine like a star?” Creeper inquired brightly, “This star is going to shine, but no brighter than you.”

Without delay, he hopped onto the tree with the star in his hand, resulting in Creeper making a comical fall as he held on for dear life, clutching the tree.

Dallben, Taran, Eilonwy, and Fflewddur paused in their work and laughed wholeheartedly.

“Oh my, that’s not good!” Creeper whined, “I don’t see why it’s so funny! I was supposed to be yelled at like I had many times when I worked for the Horned King.”

“You’re quite silly, Creeper,” Eilonwy said in between giggles.

Creeper was extremely confused, but brushed himself off and seeing how hilarious it was, he began to laugh in high spirits. After all, Christmas was around the corner and it’ll be there soon before they know it. Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve.

“Oh dear!” Dallben gasped suddenly, “We don’t have milk. Why don’t we all go to the market and get some?” Evidently, he uses milk to bake Christmas sugar cookies.

“Gurgi goes with!” Gurgi exclaimed.

“Gurgi will join us,” Dallben said with a smile and winked at Gurgi, “After all, I said ‘all’.”

***

At the market, Gurgi drooled and licked his chops as he goggled at the apples. “Munchings and crunchings!” he blurted in amazement, turning to Hen Wen, he added, “And just right for a piggy.”  

“Cat, do you see anything you like?” Dallben inquired to his pet orange cat.

Cat spied the fish and cat nip. He persuaded Dallben to get his attention with his meows.

“Alright, it wouldn’t hurt for me to make my pet happy for a change,” said Dallben, as he placed them in a bag.

“Dallben! Gurgi wants munchings and crunchings!” Gurgi shouted, pointing at the apples to get his attention.

Without a word, Dallben plunked the apples inside the bag.

Behind the trio, Fflewddur Fflam, Taran, Creeper, and Eilonwy were seen holding milk and bags of bread.

Afterward as everyone finished shopping, Dallben paid for the groceries.  

“Taran, what do you want for Christmas?” Dallben asked as they walked home.

“A sword,” Taran replied simply.

“Well now, I don’t see why you can’t because you’ve officially become a warrior.”

“And I appreciate all that you’ve done for me, Dallben.”

“Fflewddur, what will you like for Christmas?” Dallben asked Fflewddur.

“A new harp since the one I have right now isn’t functioning properly like it used to,” Fflewddur lamented.

“Gurgi?”

“Munchings and crunchings!” Gurgi replied eagerly.

Dallben laughed and mused, “Yes, and you can have all the munchings and crunchings you can eat! And Creeper?”

“Comfort, peace, and a merry Christmas,” Creeper declared.

“I see. Everyone deserves those on a holiday like this and we’ll grant you one. I promise.”

At this, Creeper fell silent, but took Dallben’s word for it.

“Princess Eilonwy?” Dallben asked, facing Eilonwy.

“A ring,” Eilonwy replied.

Each companion has gone home, except Dallben, who had entered the music shop, where he bought a harp, then the weapon store, where he purchased a sword, amor, and a shield.

***

On Christmas Eve, Dallben was wrapping presents when no one was looking. When finished, he strode out of his room to the living room.

“Dallben, can we go outside?” Taran asked.

“Well, how about it?” Dallben enthused.

“It’d be quite lovely!” Eilonwy agreed.

“Great Belin! I can’t agree more!” put in Fflewddur.

“Snow! Gurgi loves snow!” cried Gurgi cheerfully, jumping up and down.

“Yay! We get to go outside and play!” Creeper shouted exuberantly, also bouncing up and down.  

Shortly after that, everyone raced outside in a jiffy.

Outside, Gurgi built a snow-Hen Wen, while Creeper modeled a snow-Gurgi, and the rest formed a snowman. Cat and Hen Wen supported the humans by pushing big, round shaped snowballs.

After a while, they made snowballs after they built walls made out of snow. Taran, Eilonwy, Creeper, and Hen Wen were on one side, and Dallben, Cat, Fflewddur, and Gurgi were on the other.

“I may be old, but I can still aim,” Dallben stated.

Out of the clouds, three figures popped up. It was the visage of the three witches. They must have enjoyed watching people throw snowballs and would like to coordinate with them. “This game looks like fun!” Orrdu, the leader mused.

“Do you think we should play with them?” Orwen, the chubby witch inquired.

“Yeah, I’d like to play this game!” seconded Orgoch, the hooded one.

“Hello everyone!” Orrdu called, “If not any trouble, may we join you?”

Everybody hesitated until Dallben said, “Sure ladies, but play fair.”

The witches respected the old man’s rule and they all started tossing snowballs.

A little while later, Orrdu announced, “Good game and Merry Christmas.” Soon, she and her two sisters left and mulled over their next plan.

“Can we go caroling tonight?” Orwen asked.

“Well, why not?” Orrdu mediated, “That’d be an idea.”

“That’s sissy stuff,” complained Orgoch.

“Nonsense, it’ll be fine,” Orddu confirmed.

***

Later, Gurgi also had a plan, so he persuaded Creeper, Cat, and Hen Wen to go inside, so he can make hot chocolate for Taran and the others. Gurgi wanted Creeper to help him. Aside the hot chocolate, Gurgi decided to bake cookies with Creeper’s support just to prove he is useful and wouldn’t muck everything up. Though, some of the batter dripped into the satisfied Cat’s and Hen Wen’s mouths.

Cat and Hen Wen watched hungrier than ever before as the two rolled out the powdered dough slowly.

“Don’t worry, Cat and Hen Wen, we’ll give you the remaining dough, if there is more,” Creeper promised.

“Gurgi agrees,” Gurgi affirmed, “You’ll have all the munchings and crunchings you want and we’ll be friends forever.”

At this, Hen Wen and Cat licked their lips in fulfillment.

The instant the dough was rolled, Creeper and Gurgi pressed the cookie cutters down onto it, shaping them as neatly as possible. When all that was accomplished, they placed the cookies onto the cookie sheet and put them in the oven so that they can cook.

“Gurgi can’t wait to see the look on everyone else’s faces when they see what Gurgi’s done!” Gurgi beamed enthusiastically.

Creeper gazed out the window, commanding, “Come inside!”

Taran and everybody else was bewildered, but stepped inside anyway.

“What is it, Creeper?” Eilonwy wanted to know.

“I was wondering if Cat and Hen Wen can have the leftover dough,” Creeper addressed, “But as far as I’m concerned, there’s still enough cookies for everyone.”

“That’s quite alright,” Dallben affirmed.

With a bowl in his hands, Creeper set it down on the floor to Cat’s and Hen Wen’s level. “Bon appetit.” The cat and the pig looked very confused. Dumbing it down to their level, he explained, “That means, ‘enjoy your food’.”

Finally, Hen Wen and Cat ate up the rest of the dough with great relish.

Quickly, the comrades heard a ding! That means the cookies were done. At short notice, Dallben ambled toward the oven, revealing freshly baked cookies.

Gurgi had an embarrassed expression on his face. “Gurgi baked them with Creeper’s help,” Gurgi admitted, “Gurgi just wanted to prove to you that Gurgi can do something.”

“And you succeeded in a snap if I didn’t say so myself,” Dallben replied, laying an understanding hand on Gurgi’s shoulder.

“Thank you,” Gurgi said.

“And thank you for surprising us,” Fflewddur stated.

“Wow Gurgi! These cookies smell appetizing!” complimented Taran.

“Thanks master!” Gurgi said, as he hurdled onto him.

“Don’t I get a thank you?” Creeper lamented hotly, “I helped Gurgi. All I ever wanted was a merry Christmas!”

Unseen by Creeper, Hen Wen snuggled next to him and he hugged her. “Well, at least you still remember me, Hen,” he said, feeling a little better. Even so, he shed some tears as he held onto her with all his might. The goblin loved the pig so much.

“Gurgi’s sorry,” Gurgi apologized, feeling remorseful for forgetting that Creeper had accompanied him to bake Christmas cookies. Ashamed, Gurgi cuddled up with him. Now everyone began embracing Creeper. At that time, Creeper felt much relieved.

“Well now, let’s decorate the cookies, shall we?” Dallben advised.

“Gurgi help,” Gurgi accorded.

“Yes, from now on, you can help whenever you want,” Dallben answered.

Gurgi signaled Creeper to assist him in frosting the cookies. Even Eilonwy, Taran, and Fflewddur followed them and chose to favor the designated decorators.

Completed, they each had a cookie and drank hot chocolate while it was still hot, especially Gurgi and Creeper, who baked the cookies, and Cat and Hen Wen, who had eaten the remainder of the Christmas cookie dough. Everybody clinked glasses except Cat and Hen Wen.

On that occasion, they heard a knock. Dallben went to open the door. There in view, materialized three female carolers. It was the three witches, who sang just as they planned.

Thereafter the singing, Dallben asked the three ladies, “Would you like to come in for hot chocolate and cookies?”

“Fabulous idea, I must say,” Orrdu declared.

“Mmm, scrumptious,” Orgoch said, sniffing the house scented with cookies and hot chocolate.

“My, oh, my! What a cozy house you have!” Orwen complimented eagerly, and changing direction to gape at Fflewddur, “Including a handsome young man.”

“You never get over that one, do you?” Fflewddur claimed tersely, a little annoyed.

“Mmm, just as I predicted,” Orgoch stated as she ate a cookie and drank hot chocolate, “Who made them?”

“Gurgi and Creeper,” Taran confided.

“Gurgi wanted to help and finally had his way in the end,” Dallben acknowledged.

“Mmm, delicious,” Orwen said.

Orrdu dipped her cookie into her hot chocolate because she had the habit of doing so. “I must say that this duckling is a champ,” Orrdu pointed out to Dallben, referring to Gurgi.

“And I helped bake,” Creeper reminded curtly.

“Oh, this gosling also helped, good for him,” Orrdu said, patting Creeper on the head.

“Thank you for listening,” Creeper said, taking a bow of solace.

“You’re very welcome and Merry Christmas,” Orrdu said as she and her sisters dissipated from view.

When it was time for bed, everyone motioned to their rooms, except Dallben, who secretly brought the gifts from his room and set them beneath the tree without being caught, then headed back to his room as swiftly as can be.

In Taran’s room, Taran lied in bed with a tiny box that had a ring. The ring was filled with beauty. “Eilonwy will love this,” he sighed with content.

In one room where Creeper slept, he, Gurgi, and Hen Wen huddled up with blankets.

***

The next day was Christmas Day on the 25th and Taran, Eilonwy, Creeper, Hen Wen, Fflewddur Fflam, and Gurgi raced toward the Christmas tree and started unwrapping presents underneath it.

“A Fflam never hesitates to open presents,” Fflewddur declared, “Great Belin! What do we have here? A new magnificent harp!”

“Aha! A new sword, amor and a shield just excellent for a warrior!” Taran exclaimed.

Just then, Dallben and Cat presented themselves in the room. “Merry Christmas!” Dallben called.

“Merry Christmas, Dallben!” Taran said and handed him a Christmas card he had created.

The card read:


    Dear Dallben,

You’ve been kind to me and provided me shelter, food, and care like a father. 

      Merry Christmas,
      Taran


“Thank you, Taran,” Dallben marveled after reading the Christmas card made by Taran.

“Creeper, Gurgi made you something,” Gurgi stated as he handed Creeper a drawing of both of them with Taran, Eilonwy, Hen Wen, Fflewddur Fflam, Dallben, and Cat.

“Thanks, Gurgi!” Creeper marveled, “And Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas to you, too!” Gurgi said and gave Creeper a hug.

After a hug, Gurgi granted Hen Wen an apple. “A munching and crunching from Gurgi to you, piggy.”

With great pleasure, Hen Wen greedily stuffed her face in the apple and licked her lips in good gusto.

“Taran, look we’re under a mistletoe,” Eilonwy pointed toward the top.

“Eilonwy, I have something for you,” Taran stated, giving her the tiny box, “Merry Christmas.”

Eilonwy opened up the present and marveled with glee, “Oh Taran, this ring is beautiful! Thank you and Merry Christmas!”

To their surprise, Gurgi made them kiss underneath the mistletoe.

Everybody oohed and awed and their Christmas was jolly, indeed.

The End

*Originally, in the snow ball scene, I was going to have the witches be the judges by enunciating whether the players, win, lose, or tie.

*The beginning where Dallben realizes that they were out of milk, I’m in that situation with my family, as well.

*I thought about each of the characters baking Christmas sugar cookies because my family and I like sugar cookies.

Merry Christmas!

Taran and his friends: Princess Eilonwy, Fflewddur Fflam, Gurgi, Hen Wen, and Creeper are celebrating Christmas at Dallben’s.
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March 16
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