The Twelve Thankyou Notes of Christmas
My dearest darling Edward, Dec 25
What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That
sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what
an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and
Your deeply loving
Beloved Edward, Dec 26
The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing
away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful!
With undying love, as always,
My darling Edward, Dec 27
You do think of the most original presents! Who ever
thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they
really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have
no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Anyway,
thankyou so much; they're lovely.
Your devoted Emily.
Dearest Edward, Dec 28
What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning.
They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly -
they make telephoning almost impossible - but I expect they'll
calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm
very grateful, of course I am.
Love from Emily.
Dearest Edward, Dec 29
The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold
rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly!
A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds,
which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that
arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm
afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says
she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother
has such a sense of humor. This time she's only joking,
I think, but I do know what she means. Still, I love the rings.
Dear Edward, Dec 30
Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door
this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese
laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped
that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room
for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn.
I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we?
Edward, Dec 31
I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke
up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get
into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's
happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be
full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind
them, so please, please, stop!
Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight
milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke?
If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.
Look here, Edward, Jan 2
This has gone far enough. You say you're sending me
nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the
way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village
just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless
viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting
round the green, and it's Mother and I who get the blame.
If you value our friends, which I do (less and less),
kindly stop this ridiculous behavior at once!
As I write this letter, ten disgusting old men are
prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden,
before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it.
And several of them, I have just noticed, are taking
inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the
neighbors are trying to have us evicted. I shall never
speak to you again.
This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes!
The place has now become something between a menagerie
and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just
declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has
been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday
afternoon in an ambulance to a home for the bewildered.
I hope you're satisfied.
Sir, Jan 5
Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to
inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30
this morning of the entire percussion section of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends,
she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction
to prevent you importuning her further. I am making
arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock.
I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
Attorney at law.
Note: to be recited against appropriate musical background.