‘Twas the night before Christmas, a Florida night,
And no creature was creeping on a WCRV site,
The stockings were hung on the awning with care,
In confidence Santa Claus soon would be there.
Momma and me lay tossing and turning in bed,
With a/c’s and fans all awhirl overhead.
Momma’s in her clay pack and I in my shorts
Had just got to sleep amidst wheezes and snorts,
When out at the grist mill I heard a commotion,
I jumped up and went to see who was approachin’
Right out to the mill I dashed like a flash,
Fell into the pond with a humongous splash!
The light of the moon beaming down on our pond
Gave a silvery luster to things out beyond,
And what should appear in this watery glow
But a miniature golf cart with eight ‘gators to tow.
Whose skipper was so bundled up (and so forth)
I knew in a moment he’d come from far north!
All slithery slimy those reptiles they crawled
From the quarry as he whistled and shouted and called:
“Now, Snipper!  Now, Snapper!  Now, Tiger and Toothsome!
On Flipper! On Flapper! On Flotsam and Jetsam!
To the back of the park model, to the Florida room!
Now dash away! Thrash away! Splash away! Zoom!”
As oak leaves before a wild hurricane flies,
When it runs into obstacles, mounts to the skies,
So up to our rooftop those ‘gators they flew,
With the golf cart full of gifts, and Santa Claus, too.
Until up around us I heard on our roof
The scratching and scraping of the eight ‘gator hooves(!)
As I rushed back inside and went peering about,
Santa dropped from the vent like rain from a spout!
He was dressed in fine fur from his head to his toes,
But his travels had dampened and rumpled his clothes.
He opened one bag that was slung on his back,
And a few soggy somethings oozed from the sack.
His eyes, though, still twinkled, despite his distress,
And he chuckled as he looked ‘round at the mess.
His face was not pale, like some northerners’ are,
And surely his laugh might be heard from afar.
He had ripe mango cheeks, a strawberry nose,
And a beard just as white as far northerly snows.
He puffed on a corncob clamped tight in his jaws,
And the smoke nearly choked me. (There oughta be laws!)
Nonetheless, when I saw him, in spite of myself,
I laughed at this chubby and jolly old elf.
A wink of his eye and a nod of his head
Were enough to persuade me I’d nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word but got down to brass tacks,
And filled up our stockings with stuff from his sacks,
‘Till finally quipping, “Know when to say when.”
He climbed back to the roof through the vent and then,
With a wave at the team of ‘gators that waited,
Drove them up and away once reactivated,
And I heard him exclaim as they sailed out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all on this Florida night!”
            Original revision by Jeff Corydon
            Special revision by Willie S. Towne
            WCRV special revision by S.H. Zippee