A Kidnapped Santa Claus
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A Kidnapped Santa Claus

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Kidnapped Santa Claus, by L. Frank BaumThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: A Kidnapped Santa ClausAuthor: L. Frank BaumPosting Date: July 30, 2008 [EBook #519] Release Date: May, 1996Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A KIDNAPPED SANTA CLAUS ***Produced by Dennis AmundsonA Kidnapped Santa ClausbyL. Frank BaumSanta Claus lives in the Laughing Valley, where stands the big, rambling castle in which his toys are manufactured.His workmen, selected from the ryls, knooks, pixies and fairies, live with him, and every one is as busy as can befrom one year's end to another.It is called the Laughing Valley because everything there is happy and gay. The brook chuckles to itself as it leapsrollicking between its green banks; the wind whistles merrily in the trees; the sunbeams dance lightly over the softgrass, and the violets and wild flowers look smilingly up from their green nests. To laugh one needs to be happy; tobe happy one needs to be content. And throughout the Laughing Valley of Santa Claus contentment reigns supreme.On one side is the mighty Forest of Burzee. At the other side stands the huge mountain that contains the Caves ofthe Daemons. And between them the Valley lies smiling and ...

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Published 08 December 2010
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SThaen taP rCojleacuts ,G buyt eLn. bFerragn kE BBoaoukm of A KidnappedThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: A Kidnapped Santa ClausAuthor: L. Frank BaumPosting Date: July 30, 2008 [EBook #519] ReleaseDate: May, 1996Language: English*E**B OSTOAK RAT  KOIFD NTAHIPSP EPDR OSJAENCTTA  GCLUATUESN B**E*RGProduced by Dennis AmundsonA Kidnapped Santa Claus
ybL. Frank BaumSanta Claus lives in the Laughing Valley, wherestands the big, rambling castle in which his toysare manufactured. His workmen, selected from theryls, knooks, pixies and fairies, live with him, andevery one is as busy as can be from one year'send to another.It is called the Laughing Valley because everythingthere is happy and gay. The brook chuckles toitself as it leaps rollicking between its green banks;the wind whistles merrily in the trees; thesunbeams dance lightly over the soft grass, andthe violets and wild flowers look smilingly up fromtheir green nests. To laugh one needs to be happy;to be happy one needs to be content. Andthroughout the Laughing Valley of Santa Clauscontentment reigns supreme.oOtnh eor nsei dsei dset aisn tdhs et hmei ghhutgy eF omroeustn toafi nB tuhrazte ec.o nAtta itnhsethe Caves of the Daemons. And between them theValley lies smiling and peaceful.One would thing that our good old Santa Claus,wwhoou ldd ehvaovtee sn oh ise ndeamyise tso  omn aaklli ntgh ec heiladrtrhe;n  ahnadp, pays, amatter of fact, for a long period of time he
encountered nothing but love wherever he might.ogBut the Daemons who live in the mountain cavesgrew to hate Santa Claus very much, and all forthe simple reason that he made children happy.The Caves of the Daemons are five in number. Abroad pathway leads up to the first cave, which is afinely arched cavern at the foot of the mountain,the entrance being beautifully carved anddecorated. In it resides the Daemon of Selfishness.Back of this is another cavern inhabited by theDaemon of Envy. The cave of the Daemon ofHatred is next in order, and through this onepasses to the home of the Daemon of Malice—situated in a dark and fearful cave in the very heartof the mountain. I do not know what lies beyondthis. Some say there are terrible pitfalls leading todeath and destruction, and this may very well betrue. However, from each one of the four cavesmentioned there is a small, narrow tunnel leadingto the fifth cave—a cozy little room occupied by theDaemon of Repentance. And as the rocky floors ofthese passages are well worn by the track ofpassing feet, I judge that many wanderers in theCaves of the Daemons have escaped through thetunnels to the abode of the Daemon ofRepentance, who is said to be a pleasant sort offellow who gladly opens for one a little dooradmitting you into fresh air and sunshine again.hWaedl l,g rtheeats ec aDuasee mtoo ndsis loifk et hoel dC Saaventsa,  tChliankuisn, gh tehlde ya
meeting one day to discuss the matter."I'm really getting lonesome," said the Daemon ofSelfishness. "For Santa Claus distributes so manypretty Christmas gifts to all the children that theybecome happy and generous, through hisexample, and keep away from my cave.""DI'ame mhaovni nogf  tEhnev ys.a "mTeh etr loitutlbel eo,"n erse josieneemd  tqhueiteicnodneteedn,t  twhitaht  IS caannt ac oCalax utso,  baencd otmheer ee navrieo ufes.w","And that makes it bad for me!" declared thetDhae eCmaovne so f ofH aSterlefids.h "nFeosrs i fa nnod  cEhnilvdyr,e nn opnaes sc athnr goeutghto MY cavern.""Or to mine," added the Daemon of Malice."For my part," said the Daemon of Repentance, "ittish eeya shilayv es eneon  ntheaetd i ft oc hviilsdirt emn indeo;  nsoot  tvhisaitt  Iy oaumr  cqauivteesas neglected as you are.""CAlanuds !a"l l ebxecclaaiumsee do tf hteh isD apeermsoonn  tofh eEyn cvya.ll  "SHaen itsasimply ruining our business, and something mustbe done at once."To this they readily agreed; but what to do wasanother and more difficult matter to settle. Theyknew that Santa Claus worked all through the yearat his castle in the Laughing Valley, preparing thegifts he was to distribute on Christmas Eve; and at
first they resolved to try to tempt him into theircaves, that they might lead him on to the terriblepitfalls that ended in destruction.So the very next day, while Santa Claus was busilyat work, surrounded by his little band of assistants,the Daemon of Selfishness came to him and said:"These toys are wonderfully bright and pretty. Whygdiov ey othu enmo tt ok etehpo steh enmoi sfyo r byooyusr saenlfd? f rIte'tsf ual  pgiitrlys ,t owhobreak and destroy them so quickly.""Nonsense!" cried the old graybeard, his brighteyes twinkling merrily as he turned toward thetempting Daemon. "The boys and girls are neverso noisy and fretful after receiving my presents,and if I can make them happy for one day in theyear I am quite content."aSwo atihtee d Dhaiem mino nt hweier nct abvaecsk,  taon tdh se aoidt:hers, who"I have failed, for Santa Claus is not at all selfish."TShaen tfao llColawuins.g  Sdaaiyd  thhee:  D"Taheem toony  osfh Eopnsv ya rvies iftuelld ofpWlahyatth ian gssh aqmuite ei t aiss  tphraett ttyh aesy  tshhoosuel dy ionut earfreer em awiktihng.your business! They make toys by machineryamnudc thh qeyu icskelel rt thheamn  fyoor u mcoann eym, awkehi lteh eyomu  bgye thand;nothing at all for your work."But Santa Claus refused to be envious of the toy
shops."I can supply the little ones but once a year—onChristmas Eve," he answered; "for the children aremany, and I am but one. And as my work is one oflove and kindness I would be ashamed to receivemoney for my little gifts. But throughout all the yearthe children must be amused in some way, and sothe toy shops are able to bring much happiness tomy little friends. I like the toy shops, and am gladto see them prosper."IHna tsrpeitde  tohfo tuhgeh ts ehce ownod urled bturfyf ,t ot hien flDuaeencmeo nS aonftaClaus. So the next day he entered the busyworkshop and said:"Good morning, Santa! I have bad news for you.""Then run away, like a good fellow," answeredSanta Claus. "Bad news is something that shouldbe kept secret and never told.""You cannot escape this, however," declared theDaemon; "for in the world are a good many who donot believe in Santa Claus, and these you arebound to hate bitterly, since they have so wronged".uoy"Stuff and rubbish!" cried Santa."And there are others who resent your makingfcohoillidsrhe no lhd arpapttyl eapnadt e!w hYoo us naereer  qauti tyeo rui gahnt dt oc ahlla tyeou asuch base slanderers, and you ought to be
revenged upon them for their evil words.""But I don't hate 'em!" exclaimed Santa Clauspositively. "Such people do me no real harm, butmerely render themselves and their childrenunhappy. Poor things! I'd much rather help themany day than injure them."Indeed, the Daemons could not tempt old SantaClaus in any way. On the contrary, he was shrewdenough to see that their object in visiting him wasto make mischief and trouble, and his cheerylaughter disconcerted the evil ones and showed tothem the folly of such an undertaking. So theyabandoned honeyed words and determined to useforce.It was well known that no harm can come to SantaClaus while he is in the Laughing Valley, for thefairies, and ryls, and knooks all protect him. But onChristmas Eve he drives his reindeer out into thebig world, carrying a sleighload of toys and prettygifts to the children; and this was the time and theoccasion when his enemies had the best chance toinjure him. So the Daemons laid their plans andawaited the arrival of Christmas Eve.The moon shone big and white in the sky, and thesnow lay crisp and sparkling on the ground asSanta Claus cracked his whip and sped away outof the Valley into the great world beyond. Theroomy sleigh was packed full with huge sacks oftoys, and as the reindeer dashed onward our jollyold Santa laughed and whistled and sang for very
tjohye.  yFeoarr  inw halel nh ihs e mwearrsy  hliafep ptiheisst watsh et hdea yo nhee day inlovingly bestowed the treasures of his workshopupon the little children.It would be a busy night for him, he well knew. Ashe whistled and shouted and cracked his whipagain, he reviewed in mind all the towns and citiesand farmhouses where he was expected, andfigured that he had just enough presents to goaround and make every child happy. The reindeerknew exactly what was expected of them, anddashed along so swiftly that their feet scarcelyseemed to touch the snow-covered ground.Suddenly a strange thing happened: a rope shotthrough the moonlight and a big noose that was inthe end of it settled over the arms and body ofSanta Claus and drew tight. Before he could resistor even cry out he was jerked from the seat of thesleigh and tumbled head foremost into asnowbank, while the reindeer rushed onward withthe load of toys and carried it quickly out of sightand sound.Such a surprising experience confused old Santafor a moment, and when he had collected hissenses he found that the wicked Daemons hadpulled him from the snowdrift and bound him tightlywith many coils of the stout rope. And then theycarried the kidnapped Santa Claus away to theirmountain, where they thrust the prisoner into asecret cave and chained him to the rocky wall sothat he could not escape.
"Ha, ha!" laughed the Daemons, rubbing theirhands together with cruel glee. "What will thechildren do now? How they will cry and scold andstorm when they find there are no toys in theirstockings and no gifts on their Christmas trees!And what a lot of punishment they will receive fromtheir parents, and how they will flock to our Cavesof Selfishness, and Envy, and Hatred, and Malice!We have done a mighty clever thing, we Daemonsof the Caves!"Now it so chanced that on this Christmas Eve thegood Santa Claus had taken with him in his sleighNuter the Ryl, Peter the Knook, Kilter the Pixie,and a small fairy named Wisk—his four favoriteassistants. These little people he had often foundvery useful in helping him to distribute his gifts tothe children, and when their master was sosuddenly dragged from the sleigh they were allsnugly tucked underneath the seat, where thesharp wind could not reach them.The tiny immortals knew nothing of the capture ofSanta Claus until some time after he haddisappeared. But finally they missed his cheeryvoice, and as their master always sang or whistledon his journeys, the silence warned them thatsomething was wrong.Little Wisk stuck out his head from underneath theseat and foundSanta Claus gone and no one to direct the flight ofthe reindeer.
"slWachkoean!"e dh es pcealeled d aonudt ,c aanmde t thoe  ad ehearlt .obedientlyaPnetd elro oakned d Nbuatcerk  aonvde r Ktilhtee rt raallc jku mmpaedde  ubpy otnh et hsel esigeha.tBut Santa Claus had been left miles and milesbehind."What shall we do?" asked Wisk anxiously, all themirth and mischief banished from his wee face bythis great calamity."We must go back at once and find our master,"said Nuter the Ryl, who thought and spoke withmuch deliberation."No, no!" exclaimed Peter the Knook, who, crossand crabbed though he was, might always bedepended upon in an emergency. "If we delay, orgo back, there will not be time to get the toys tothe children before morning; and that would grieveSanta Claus more than anything else.""It is certain that some wicked creatures havecaptured him," added Kilter thoughtfully, "and theirobject must be to make the children unhappy. Soour first duty is to get the toys distributed ascarefully as if Santa Claus were himself present.Afterward we can search for our master and easilysecure his freedom."This seemed such good and sensible advice thattthhee  oKtnhoeorsk  acta lloendc te or tehseo lrveeidn dteo ear,d oapntd i tt.h eS of aiPtehtfeurlanimals again sprang forward and dashed over hill