Christmas Eve was a long day for Paul the nutcracker. If wood could be sore, his simple jaws would need a massage. If he had an appetite, he would be famished, after cracking a hundred brittle shells between his wooden teeth, the delicious walnuts that he could never taste, lacking, as he was, a tongue. “Why was I made in a human image,” he thought, “with a handsome martial figure, a painted expression of perpetual surprise, and strong white teeth, if I weren’t meant to taste, or to speak my mind?”
Paul didn’t know. He stood on the windowsill in the living room, looking out upon the front yard. Here he kept his silent watch. The lights of the Christmas city diffused in low clouds and permeated the cold with a mystic glow.
At midnight the snow began its descent. Unhurried flakes danced down like uncountable tiny ballerinas and hushed the night into a snowglobe settling still after a shake. Lacking ears, Paul didn’t notice the faint Tchaikovsky that waltzed from the kitchen. Out in the yard, falling crystals seemed to converge into a nutcracker-size fairy, beautiful, twirling through the silence of Paul’s heart. She smiled to him. He knew that only he could see her.
His jaw dropped.
And into his wooden mouth came a walnut. A hand pulled the lever on his back. CRACK, and a woman gave half the walnut to her husband as he moved toward the empty stockings waiting above the hearth.
10% of each sale of the ‘nutcracker’ set will be donated to the menlowe ballet.