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On Dasher, On Dancer!

Nov 27, 2016 09:06AM ● By Julie Ross

Julie Ross

Spoiler alert! I have information that might surprise you. Do NOT read further if you think “The Night Before Christmas” is a work of non-fiction and/or have ever been involved in circulating or signing a petition granting Rudolph the right to take part in “reindeer games.”


OK, sure you want to continue? Here we go. My friend Diane Lang is a poet and the author of  Vulture Verses: Love Poems for the Unloved, which portrays creatures often thought to be creepy or unpleasant (such as spiders, bats, cockroaches and skunks) as possessing attributes worthy of respect and admiration. Diane has three other soon-to-be-published children’s books in the pipeline for 2017 and 2018. She has penned many, many poems and rhymes designed to teach children (and the grown-ups around them) about our natural world.


Diane has given her permission to print the following sing-along verse, with a surprise reveal about Santa’s reindeer, for you to enjoy this holiday season.


Reality Rudolph By Diane Lang

(Sung to the tune of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)


Rudolph, the cold-nosed reindeer,

Lived way up in ice and snow.

“Caribou” some would call her;

By either name her nose won’t glow.


Under the snows of winter

Lay the food she often found:

Lots of those tiny lichen,

Growing on the stony ground.


She would use her antlers large

To scrape away the snow,

Then she’d nibble on her meal,

Hidden there below.


Why did she have those antlers?

Aren’t they gone by end of fall?

Only for males and young ones.

Females need them most of all.


They must keep those useful tools

All the winter through,

So they find the food they need –

They’re eating now for two.


Caribou girls at Christmas,

Have the only antlers tall,

So Rudolph and all her teammates

Were all females after all.


Well, who knew? All women. I’ll have to check with Diane about the whole flying thing.


For fun nature facts and tips on how to live in harmony with our wild neighbors, visit Diane’s website at For a different sort of holiday gift, “Vulture Verses” is available on You can reach Julie at [email protected]




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