Level Three. Rebellious Reindeer.

Level Three. Rebellious Reindeer.

By Michelle Lloyd.

Hectic rushing about, clashing, crashing and mad feeling moments, the telling signs of anxiousness would often take over when a certain rebellious reindeer was about to do something new and then before you knew it, all too soon slapdash would be the result.

It was hard to stop it when the feelings got hold of him. He felt pent up with anxiety, ready to wind himself up even more with any potential triggers and that could range from anything event related to even talking about what was coming up. Inevitably the rebellious reindeer had become known for resisting everything and anything, he would find all the tension too much and so he felt it far easier to refuse instead. No, it had to stop. The rebellious reindeer, as he had become known far and wide, was ready to stop resisting.

All this resisting was not good for his health. He knew it. His family knew it. Even that famous councillor on TV had known it and warned them of it for absolutely ages. Do not let stress get the better of you. Resisting was a habit and it had brought him nothing but shame.

Mr Christmas had given his advice on the very personal matter and despite the fact that he had taken those words to heart, all too often the same rebellious reindeer got so over-excited and consequently stressed about a potential event. All too soon the nerves would take over him. Embarrassing indications of his nervous condition meant that not only did the rebellious reindeer know about it, everybody else in the surrounding area did too!

This time it was going to be different. Rebellious reindeer had a Christmas wildlife park event coming up and he was going to follow Mr Christmas, to his very letter of the word but even as he decided to do this and closed his eyes… that was when he felt the anxiety build. He had zoophobia you see, the rebellious reindeer that is and not Mr Christmas of course. Zoophobia meant that, even though he was classed as one himself, the rebellious reindeer had a terrible fear of other kinds of animals. It was tricky enough to get around that sore point, let alone participate in an up and coming Christmas event at a WILDLIFE PARK!!!

Get a hold of yourself, had suggested Mr Christmas and try to be slightly more Zen, but poor rebellious reindeer felt all the same familiar, funny nervous traits start to bubble up in him again. Even thinking about the wildlife park event had him wanting to resist it. Animals, the mere thought, whiff or sight of them turned his reindeer knees to wibbly, wobbly jelly.

He waited, and waited, but felt the excitement of the upcoming wildlife event take over and in his haste he forgot to go through the meditation that had been suggested to him by Mr Christmas. Instead rebellious reindeer babbled and ran about, feeling too fraught to participate in any of the fun activities that they were meant to experience in the scheduled practice runs.

It was terrible. One poor nervous reindeer was parping at both ends and he felt that he was never to conquer the fear or excitement that he had built up inside him about the wildlife park event. Nothing seemed to work. Onlookers and children who had gathered for the reindeer display, could not understand from where all the weird noises were coming.

Crashing into bottoms and disrupting the reindeer formation, rebellious reindeer nearly ended up flat out on his chin as he shot out of one totally awkward position, knocking over a rather inconveniently placed blow up inflatable penguin in the process. Even the cute looking air fuelled penguin had the reindeer wet with a sweat of panic and he thrashed this way and that, getting himself tied up in the low hanging paper decorations, so that they part way adorned him and resembled a very badly fitted regal, reindeer crown. He dipped his head low and high, nearly doing the squats at one point and only ended up in another strange and odd pose of his own making. The other reindeer were trying to look serene but a certain one of them would not let them have their way.

A mix of stern and humiliated expressions from the other reindeers met with his own rather, at his wit’s end, look of haplessness and that was without any explanation about what had only moments ago happened. As the Rebellious reindeer had been engrossed in a mad dash from the appropriately Christmas themed rabbit run enclosure, just the sight of their animal friendly decorated fluffy tails and piercingly peering rabbit eyes had put his whole body into one gigantic quiver of terror and in trying to escape from that particularly horrifying furry herd, he had totally by accident veered off onto the wildlife trail where he was sure he had spotted the scarily, vibrant red of a fox tail poking out from a nearby bauble festooned bush. Eyes wide with pure fright, the rebellious reindeer, by that time felt that he needed some counselling or at least a good tension reliving body massage but yet again his ideas were thwarted and he came up against his second worst rated out of all time fears, children. In an attempt to hide from the inquiring gaze of several rather curious members of the audience, the rebellious reindeer jiggled from one foot to the other trying to look ever so discreet while he decided which way to make a run for it, but he only ending up looking like he was a rather large dithering reindeer who was desperately in need of using the toilet.

Mr Christmas had been watching him with a knowing look, and when he saw him start to jump about with yet more nervousness, took him aside. He explained a way to cope with his feelings and the rebellious reindeer who had already been through quite a lot of emotional strain with the animal encounters that had beset him and had the Christmas show still to come, did not resist.

Rebellious reindeer had not felt that anything could help him, but trusting in his uniquely inspirational guardian and instructor, he gave Mr Christmas’s tip a go. The next wave of excitement and anxiety which had him in a grip, did not do so for long, because he stopped and used a tactic of distraction. He stopped, thought and did something else for a few minutes, chomping slowly down on some handily placed chewy but crunchy reindeer snacks or making small talk with his fellow participants in the wildlife event’s big Christmas show. He implemented this method until those feelings of worry and fear did subside. The excitement got less, the pace slowed down and rebellious reindeer felt himself once again.

It meant that with this new method to hand one happy, and not nervous at all, reindeer took part in the Christmas wildlife park show without worry or delay. The animals had all been trained for their particular parts and with hopping rabbits, fully equipped with jangling bells on their tails and meerkat madness which ensued as gripping edible decorations and oddly tuned tambourines, the small furry figures raced about and lit up their own part of the Christmas show stage, from festive looking foxes in icy scenes to beautifully berry gathering hedgehogs who nearly stole the show. A badger who had been helpfully taught to sneak an animal appropriate mince pie, neatly set off the signal to two owls who took flight and sprinkled bags of sparkles down on the gathered audience. The gasps and intakes of breath could only match the awe and expressions of absolute delight as the grand finale came into action and the formally rebellious reindeer could proudly take his starring role.

They all sung,
Christmas, Christmas here we come,
celebrating one by one,
Christmas, Christmas, a time for everyone,
filling this season with much needed cheer and fun.

Oh and I am glad to add that any noises that were heard from a certain once rebellious reindeer were completely intentional and with a wink from Mr Christmas, that very same reindeer felt that he had mastered his nerves and his long suffering case of rebelliousness for good.