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The 13th Day of Christmas

That’s when the real magic happens

By Maria Shimizu ChristensenPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
The 13th Day of Christmas
Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

On December 25th, the first day of Christmas, I conjured up a pear tree full of ripe, luscious fruit. On the lowest branch sat a cooing partridge. I placed it in the middle of his front yard, wrapped a red bow around the trunk and knocked on his front door.

“Merry Christmas!”

“What is that?” he asked.

“A pear tree! There will always be fruit on it no matter the season.”

“I’m allergic to pears.” He shut the door in my face.

This was not going the way I envisioned.

I doubled down the next day and brought him two turtle doves in a gilded cage.

“Is that a gold cage?” he asked.

“It’s gold plated?” I answered hopefully.

“Okay, yeah, I’ll take it.” He took the cage out of my hands and shut the door.

Now we were getting somewhere. The third day I brought him three highly-prized French hens for the empty coop in his backyard, and even replaced all of the rotting wood and sagging wire. The fourth day I went in with four calling birds, black as night and fierce as lions.

“They can look out for the French hens and the partridge,” I told him. “They’re very good guard birds.”

“Who is going to take care of all these birds?” he demanded to know.

“Well, I thought that since you don’t have a job…” I trailed off at the look in his eye.

“I’m busy.” He slammed the door.

I went around back to feed the birds and hatch a new idea.

On the fifth day of Christmas I presented him with five gold rings and took heart at the gleam in his eye. This was going to work!

The next day I arrived with six huge geese.

“Do they lay golden eggs?” he asked.

“No, just regular ones. But they’re really big!”

“Why are they acting like that?”

“I think they need to lay some eggs.”

I conjured up a large pen for the geese next to the chicken coop. He stuck his head out the back door and asked, “Do you cook?”

I skipped inside with an apron full of eggs and a heart as light as a feather, and made him an omelet.

On day seven of my plan I brought him seven regal swans to swim in the large pond I swished into being. He barely glanced at them, and I felt the first tiny tickle of panic.

The next day I called forth eight milk maids and eight cows.

“You can sell the milk at the market! You won’t need to get a job!”

“Can they sell the milk at the market?”

“I’m sure they can.” A quick little twitch of my eyebrow made sure they could.

I could tell he liked them, so the following day I called him into the backyard to see the nine ladies dancing. They were very beautiful and graceful, and dressed in gowns of the finest silk.

“Your own dance troupe!” I proclaimed proudly. “You can manage them as another income source!”

He smiled for the first time and my heart soared. “Okay. You should go home now.”

My heart dropped a little, but I knew how to fix this.

On day ten I brought ten magnificent leaping lords to act as dance partners to the ladies. He didn’t look as happy as he had the day before.

On the 11th day I added 11 piping pipers to the troupe. Music is soothing, right? He frowned.

On the 12th day of Christmas I desperately conjured 12 drummers. I was out of ideas.

“You can send them out on the road as a traveling troupe of performers!” I shouted over the cacophony of 12 sets of drums.

“The road is no place for ladies. Everyone else can go. They can stay here.”

And then it hit me. I thought I was being so clever. I thought my devotion and attention to his needs would be enough. I had loved him so much. I wanted it to be real. I’d spent months dreaming about being with him and thought that I could win his love without brewing a potion. But he didn’t care. He didn’t love me back, and frankly, he’d turned into a bit of a jerk. I could do better.

I unconjured everything and sent it all into the aether. Then I turned him into a toad and went home. There were other fish in the sea.


About the Creator

Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer living my dreams by day and dreaming up new ones by night

The Read Ink Scribbler

Bauble & Verve


Also, History Major, Senior Accountant, Geek, Fan of cocktails and camping

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