Jim Two Crows Wallen at the MCC-Maple Woods Storytelling Celebration 11/4/2010

Uploaded by smartfuturetv on 21.01.2011


[audience clapping]
Howdy ya'll.
Oh, wait a minute, wrong outfit.
That was for you Liz, I wanted you to feel at home.
A short history of Santa Claus ...for adults.
In the 1660's, the Dutch came with their patron saint, Saint Nicholas.
He was the saint of children, sailors, and unwed mothers.
They had nickname for him, they called him Sinterklaas.
The English were already here in America with Father Christmas,
who wore a long red robe, trimmed in white fur, rode a white horse,
and left presents for the children in their shoes.
The French were already here in America with Pere Noel, the Spanish with Papa Noel.
Somehow, around the time of the end of the Revolutionary War,
the English and Dutch had intermarried and Sinterklaas
became Santa Claus and he was born right here in America
and very quickly moved to the North Pole where he lives to this day.
In 1808, Washington Irving wrote a history of New York and in it
he described Santa Claus as a right small elf.
He rode in a wooden wagon pulled by horses and he distributed children, uh,
gifts to the children through their stockings hung by the chimneys.
In 1822, Dr. Clement Moore, a theologian who had 100 acres where Wall Street is today
was riding home in the back of his sleigh listening
to the cadence of the harness bells of the horses
when he penned a poem called "T'was a Night Before Christmas".
He called it "A Visit from Saint Nicholas".
It was never meant to be published.
He had wrote it for his three girls at home.
And that year, his wife, that night she read that poem to the girls.
The next year it became a tradition and the next year
they were visited by a niece and when the niece heard the poem she asked for a copy of it.
And Dr. Clement Moore's wife gave her a copy and she took it back to her local newspaper
and the next year it was published in the paper.
It wasn't until 1838, that Dr. Clement Moore admitted
he had been the one who had penned the poem.
He was afraid he wouldn't be respected as a scholar
if it was found out that he had penned the poem.
In 1839, Santa was started showing up in some of the early department stores.
By the early 1900's, Santa was being, somewhat being put
alongside another character that had this red nose.
In 1938, Montgomery Wards passed out a pamphlet of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
They gave out two-and-a-half million copies that year.
A man by the name of Robert May saw that and he put that poem to music
and in 1948 he took it to Bing Crosby and he said, "Would you sing this song?"
Bing Crosby looked at it and said, "No, I don't do children's songs".
So, he next took it to Gene Autry and Gene Autry said, "No, I don't think I'll do it".
And his wife said, "You better reconsider that".
[audience laughing]
Thank God for wives.
The rest is history.
The song became the second most- selling Christmas record ever,
only behind Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".
Today you'll see Santa Claus in over 45,000 malls across the United States.
So the next time you're walking through the mall and you see Santa
and he looks like he's a little harried.
It's been the day when he's been, has both of his legs are now soaking wet,
he's been spit upon numerous times, untold children have coughed in his face,
just wave at him and say, "Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas".
A short history of Santa Claus.
[audience clapping]
This was an especially happy Christmas for John and Jesse.
They had been married for a number of years and they lived out on the plains of Kansas
but the reason this Christmas was special was Jesse was with child.
Their first child.
And John was so happy.
Jesse's mother had came because it was right at Christmas time when the child was to be born
and Jesse's mom had spent the week and they had been preparing for the Christmas dinner
and they had made all kinds of wonderful things to eat.
It was Christmas Eve morning when Jesse began having those first pains of childbirth.
And John had stood at the window and watched the snows as they
were falling that day and they fell wet and heavy all day long.
Jesse had been upstairs with her mother for several hours now.
He had tried to get to the doctor but the snows were too deep
and the doctor had sent a message that he could not come and John was getting worried.
As he was looking out the window, he went over to the door
and as he walked towards the door there was a knock on the door
and he thought perhaps the doctor has came.
And he rushed to open the door and when he opened the door
there was a stranger standing there and the stranger said,
"May I come in? May I warm myself by your fire?"
And John said, "Sure, come in.
"What are you doing out on a night like this anyway?"
And the stranger just said, "I come where I'm called".
That didn't make a lot of sense to John but he invited him in
and took off his coat and hat and hung it up.
And the stranger began to warm himself by the fireplace
and John began to talk to him again and it was about that time
that Jesse's mother came down the stairs and said,
"John, your wife had the baby but it was stillborn".
And John couldn't believe it.
Here they'd been so excited right here at Christmas time
and now he saw no joy in Christmas at all.
Jesse's mom said, "Would you like to see the baby?"
John said, "Yes, I would like that very much.
"In fact I'll go up and I'll take the baby
"for I wouldn't want Jesse to wake up and see it."
And so John went upstairs and he looked at his wife sleeping there in bed
and he reached down and kissed her forehead.
And he picked up that dead child and he carried it downstairs.
And the stranger looked at the child and he said, "May I hold the child?"
John said, "Sure."
And he handed the child to the stranger
and the stranger began rocking back and forth holding the child
and he reached down and he kissed it on its forehead.
Jesse's mother said, "Why did you do that? The child is dead."
And the stranger said, "The child is not dead, it has just never lived yet."
[Jesse's mom] "But the child is dead".
And John stood there watching as the baby opened its eyes
and it began to cry and Jesse's mother took the child and took it back up to Jesse.
"It's a miracle, it's a miracle, you must stay and celebrate Christmas with us."
[stranger] "No I must be going along."
[Jesse's mother] "But you can't, look at all this food, you've gotta stay."
[stranger] "I can't. I'm needed elsewhere."
[Jesse's mother] "But it's a bitter cold night, you can't go anyplace else tonight.
"Stay, have Christmas with us."
But the stranger insisted and went over and put on his hat and his coat.
And John watched as he walked out into that snow covered night
and as John pulled the door shut he looked and there were no footprints in the snow.
The Christmas Gift.
[audience clapping]
There was a rabbit who had hopped underneath a hazelnut bush.
He was panting very hard, his lungs he thought they would explode
for he had been chased by a fox all night long
and he knew he couldn't stay underneath that hazelnut bush very long
for the fox would soon see his tracks and find him.
And so the rabbit once again began to hop and it hopped and it hopped
all the way up to a large bluff that overlooked a river
not very far from where we're sitting tonight.
The French that lived in the area called it the Pekitanoui,
the River of the Big Canoe for the Native Americans
who had cut down the cottonwood trees and hollowed them out.
It had many other names, the Muddy Mo, the Big Muddy,
would become known as the Missouri River.
As that rabbit hopped up on that bluff he looked into the East, he saw a very bright star.
It was so bright and the whole sky was lit with this one star
and it was very peaceful to just sit and look at it
and so he sat down there to watch that very bright star.
The fox, it wasn't long until he too had tracked the rabbit up to the bluff
and as he came over the bluff and as he saw that star,
he went over and sat down beside the rabbit.
It was so peaceful and calm.
The star was so bright that that night all of the birds that had roosted in the trees
were awakened and they too watched that bright star, so peaceful.
And there were some beaver and otters and muskrats swimming along the river that night
and when they saw that star they too made their way to the bluff
and they sat there with the other animals and birds watching that peaceful star.
It wasn't long before a grizzly bear, and a wolf, and an elk, and a doe with her twin fawns
also made their way to the bluff and when they saw that star they took their place in the circle
with the other animals watching that star.
Animals that normally would have been enemies with one another, watching that peaceful star.
There were three old geese that had been awakened.
They were swimming on the river when they saw that star.
They began to circle and those three old geese began flying towards that star
because everyone knows the geese are the wisest of the birds.
Animal after animal of forest came that night, made their way to that bluff.
Finally, an old buffalo had been grazing,
taking his nose and blowing away the fresh snow
and eating the tender buffalo grass underneath
when he too made his way to that bluff and he too saw that star.
A hunter had been tracking that buffalo for many days and he thought to himself,
"I am so close now. I will have food in my lodge tomorrow."
And he followed those buffalo tracks until he came to the crest of that bluff
and he saw the buffalo and he reached into his quiver
and he knocked an arrow to the bow and he pulled back on that bowstring
and just as he was ready to release that bowstring he too saw that bright star
and he went over and stood beside the buffalo.
All night long the animals and the birds watched that bright star, so peaceful, so calm.
The next morning, one by one the animals left and went down into the valley below and that day,
that day they say there was peace in that valley.
The First Christmas in Missouri.
Thank you.
[audience clapping]
[instrumental music]