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Reindeer Pictures

Melissa Nott | James Brown

“Mom, I’m bored. We’ve been smushed inside this book for a million days!”

“355 days, to be exact.”

“When can we go out and have fun again?”

“When someone opens our book. It could be today. It could be next week. You never know when someone will open our book.”

“But they will open us, right?”

“Probably. It’s December, and we’re part of a Christmas book.”

“Tell me again what I look like, Mom.”

“You’re a two-by-four picture of a baby reindeer. The reindeer is curled up in the snow with a black rubber cap stuck to his nose.”

“And you’re a full-page picture of lots of reindeer. They’re standing in a group, laughing and bucking their antlers together. There’s a black scribble on your page number, too. Mom, will that ugly scribble ever go away?”

“No, the scribble on my page number is here to stay. It’s part of me now.”

“That’s not fair. I don’t want my mom living her life with a scribble on her page number!”

“I’d rather live with a scribble on my page number than have no life at all.”

“Will we always be alive, Mom?”

“No one knows for sure. Some pictures live forever. Others die.”

“How do pictures die?”

“They get ripped or sticky, then someone throws them in the garbage. Or they fall into a river or a bathtub and just disintegrate.”

“Does it hurt to die?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you think we’ll die?”

“We’re Christmas pictures, so probably not for a while. But when the kids, our readers, grow up … well, maybe we’ll be lucky and get sold at a garage sale.”

“If we get sold, will I stay with you?”

“Most likely.”

“Sometimes I wish I lived in a magazine. Or a cook book. Do you ever wish you lived someplace else, Mom?”


“But aren’t you bored here?”

“Sometimes. But if I lived in a different book, I wouldn’t be next to you.”

“I never thought of that. Hey! Someone’s jostling us.”

“Yes, I feel it. Listen.”

“It’s the kids! And they’re singing Christmas carols! Does that mean — “

“Shh. I think we’re about to be opened. Quiet now.”

“I don’t want to be quiet. I want to shout!”

“If you shout, we’re dead for sure.”


“Humans are scared of shouting pictures. They’d throw us into the trash compacter.”

“That’s silly, Mom! We’re just pictures.”

“Someone’s fingers are tickling my corner. You must be quiet now.”

“Good luck, Mom. I hope you don’t get scribbled on this year!”

“And I hope you don’t get sticky.”

“And I hope we don’t get dropped in a river or a bath tub!”

“Whatever happens, be thankful. We’re together for another


“You’re right, Mom. I am thankful. I always want to be with you.”

“I want that too, my little picture. I want that too.”

About Melissa Nott

Melissa Nott is an author on The Story Shack.

Visit the author's page >

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