Mr. Posi’s new chief assistant was beginning to feel the pressure of his new job. He had slept through the very important flying practice, confused some orders and had given the wrong instructions to the doll and car making departments, but still Mr. Posi didn’t look worried and Santa was not getting involved. Matti still could not admit that he was out of his depth, “I need an assistant” he thought to himself as he climbed out of bed that morning still feeling exhausted.
The night before Matti had told the car and doll making departments how to correct the problem and he was heading to the factory to check on their progress. "What is that?" exclaimed Matti loudly as he stood in front of a pile of half-made little cars. "What happened here? Where are the little cars, how many should be ready by now? I demand an answer now!" but there was nobody in the room, the whole room and nobody inside to explain why there was a table with little cars still in pieces, plus there was another table overloaded with dolls. There were dolls everywhere, under the table, on the table, in the alley, dolls just everywhere!
"Hmmm! Let's hope that there are more girls than boys this year!" somebody said quietly behind him making him jump and turn quickly - it was Mr. Posi and Matti didn't know what to say. "Good morning, Mr. Magpie, I noticed that you didn't join us for the late shift early this morning because I was hoping you could explain your plan concerning all of these dolls and half-finished cars? Do you think you can sort it out in an hour, my little friend? We’re ready to start loading the sleigh!"
Matti’s lip started to wobble, as did his legs, “Mr. Posi, I can’t, we can’t, I… I’m sorry! I nly wanted to help and now all the boys and girls won’t get their presents and it is my fault… Ohhh, Mr. Posi, help me please!” Matti sat on the floor and looked so sad. Mr. Posi patted Matti on the head and then snapped his fingers, “Watch this, little magpie!” The warehouse began to sparkle and things that shouldn’t move by themselves began to move by themselves.
Matti watched amazed as the pile of cars had their wheels attached and the pile grew very quickly, some of the dolls began to vanish, soldiers were painted and bikes had their bells attached and everything was magically changed. "You see, my friend; everything is fine now. I have put everything back in order!" Matti looked at the floor; he was feeling ill and weak. “Matti, you did a good job, but you must have a plan before you start changing people around and when you do change them around you must keep notes of what you did and who you moved around! Have you ever seen me without my clipboard and pen?"
"Do you think Santa will forgive me? With all this mess in the workshop?" asked Matti. Mr. Posi smiled a very jolly smile, "What is there to forgive Mr. Magpie? You had good intentions in your heart and that is what is important. There are enough cars and enough dolls all packed and ready to be loaded on to the sleigh tonight, so, don't worry, Santa thinks that you will make a good chief's assistant if you want to continue. Do you want to continue being my assistant?” Matti stared at Mr. Posi with open eyes, "Oh yes, Mr. Posi! Oh yes, but only if you teach me how you do make it all look so easy!” said Matti with relief in his voice.
* * *
The sleigh had been packed, all the toys had been made, the reindeer and Mika were harnessed to the sleigh and the courtyard was filled with singing dwarves and elves, plus one very quiet magpie. Henry the snowman walked up to Matti, “Good work, little magpie! Not bad for your first time, although I hope you haven’t forgotten my present on that sleigh!” Matti blushed, “Well, Henry, have you been a good snowman this year?” Henry started to laugh and so did Matti.
At that moment Santa walked out into the courtyard and silence fell across the group, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” chuckled Santa, now dressed in his beautiful red outfit, with a very shiny gold belt buckle that sparkled brightly, “Are we ready to leave?” Santa asked Mr. Posi, “I don’t know, Santa! You have to ask Matti!” Matti blushed again. “So, Matti,” said Santa, “Is my sleigh ready to leave? Oh yes, Santa, but watch out for that moose… he can be a bit funny sometimes!”
“Mr. Posi, can you get that present for me?” asked Santa. Mr. Posi handed Santa a box wrapped in sparkly red paper, “Merry Christmas, Matti! This is the first present delivered!” laughed Santa, as he climbed into his sleigh, grabbed the reins and began his journey around the world. “Merry Christmas, little friend,” shouted Mika to Matti as they flew overhead, “Well done!”
Once Santa’s sleigh was out of sight, the dwarves and elves began to party. “Are you going to open your present, Matti?” asked Mr. Posi. Matti began to carefully unwrap the present but was soon tearing off the paper in excitement. “What is it?” asked Mr. Posi. “Wow! My very own clipboard and pen! Look! My name is in gold on both! What a great present!” Matti gave Mr. Posi a bug hug, “I’m really sorry, Mr. Posi! You are a great chief elf and you never really needed my help, did you?”
Mr. Posi smiled, “That’s not true, Matti. We all enjoy a bit of help every now and then. Anyway, forget about that, what do you say to a large mug of hot chocolate and a couple of double chocolate cookies?” Matti face lit up with pleasure, “Do you really think I will make a good assistant? Maybe I should also get a mug with the word ‘assistant’ printed on the side in gold letters... yes!” Mr. Posi chuckled, “You are so funny, little magpie, so very, very funny!”
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