December twenty-fourth rolled around faster than an Eclectus can gobble up a pomegranate. Harvey was looking forward to a few days of rest after the huge push to get the last few special order toys assembled. The North Pole Post delivered a smallish box in a peculiar wrapping the morning of Christmas Eve, and as Harvey signed for it, he puzzled at its odd appearance. It was very light; it jingled and seemed to actually float in the air when he handled it. Harvey turned to Tommy-toodles, inquiring, “This package is addressed to you. Would you like me to open it?”
Tommy-toodles replied, “Go ahead and open it up, Harv. My old shoes from last year had holey soles and I didn’t have time to make up a new pair of shoes for tonight’s journey, so I special ordered some from Candy Cane Layne Shoe Factory instead.”
Harvey Eclectus tore into the mysterious package with lightning fast speed, to find the prettiest pair of lush, velvet elf shoes inside. He ripped the cellophane open and dug his beak into the toe of the shoes to remove the tissue paper. As the tissue came loose from the first shoe, out fell a teeny-tiny pair of elf shoes that might fit an Eclectus foot. Harvey quickly dug into the remaining shoe, and sure enough, another petite pair of shoes tumbled out.
Harvey might have been new to Christmas goings on, but he sensed these tiny elf shoes had a magic about them beyond just a regular pair of shoes. With Tommy-toodles distracted by yet another Christmas fax, “Jasmine,” he called out softly. “Come here and try these on for size.” Being suspicious, Harvey didn’t want to be the first here!
Jasmine gingerly placed her foot in the first shoe and it slowly shrunk enough in size to fit her foot perfectly. As she stepped into the other shoe she smiled broadly, because it too fit like it was made for her, and she was filled with this odd sense of knowing. After watching her and seeing Jasmine’s reaction, Harvey got brave and put the other tiny pair of elf shoes on. He too was transformed in a very new and strange way. Neither of them knew or could predict what magic the elf shoes possessed, but they knew these shoes made them feel very special. “Let’s hide these nice warm shoes for when we need to go out in the cold,” Harvey whispered to Jasmine. So Jasmine shoved them into darkest corner of her desk drawer, thinking Harvey’s idea was splendid.
Minutes later, the door burst open and suddenly Santa appeared, blustering in, along with a cold blast of polar air. He was visibly shaken and barked out in a loud, frantic voice, “Can anyone here help me out tonight? My head elf helper, who reads the maps, is sick in bed with the flu. I need someone to help me deliver toys!”
Harvey looked at Jasmine, and with that one look they agreed. “We will help you tonight Santa, dear,” Harvey heard come out of his own beak. You see, instinctively they both knew if they put the warm new elf shoes on, the magical shoes might help them to aid Santa. Well, Santa looked at those two newbies, brand spanking new to the whole Christmas scene, and was about to laugh out loud. But as he scanned the room, no other hands or wings were raised in a helping gesture, save Harvey and Jasmine’s. He looked into their bright black eyes and wondered…
Swallowing the nervous urge to chuckle, Santa replied, “Well, grab your duds, kids and meet me at the Sleigh-port in ten minutes.”
Scrambling to tidy up their work areas, Harvey and Jasmine grinned, feeling very glad and privileged to be included on Santa’s flight around the world in their very first year. Jasmine dug into the back of her desk drawer, pulling out the two pair of new elf shoes. They would keep their feet toasty warm as they helped Santa fly around the world to distribute toys. “Mmmm, these are cozy, aren’t they Jasmine?” Harvey remarked. Jasmine agreed the new shoes were amazingly soft and warm against her toes and ankles. And even though their long toes were completely covered, they were astonished how sure and firm their grip was.
Flying over to the Sleigh-port where Santa and the reindeer were waiting, they discovered an anxious Santa, with maps and notes strewn all over the seat and floor of his sleigh. “I haven’t had a chance to organize, kids”, Santa sighed. “Things are pretty much left as they were from the last Christmas jaunt. I hope you two can make some sense of it”. Harvey shot Jasmine a worried look, but they both scrambled, organizing the maps according to country, and stacked them as best they could with just minutes to lift off.
Once they were in the air and moving, the most incredible thing happened. Both Eclectus had a certain knowing come over them in a wave, giving them each a simultaneous shiver. Harvey exclaimed, “Our first stop will be that tiny speck of a home we see just below, Santa!” Santa knew that house very well from previous Christmases, and it was indeed his first yearly stop. How could those babies know that? They hadn’t even peeked at a map!
And so it went, deep into the night on that Christmas Eve, first Harvey, then Jasmine would fly on ahead of the reindeer, signaling Santa where to stop and deliver toys. Those dedicated Eclectus in their colorful, infallible elf shoes didn’t make a single mistake. The magic they contained was a special Global Positioning System invented just this year. It was sewn into the soles of the two pair of tiny elf shoes, invisible to even keen Eclectus eyes, but the quiet clicks and beeps made short work of the long night.
Almost done with their toy distribution duties, Santa and his two bird-helpers approached California. The Golden State was under a thick blanket of fog this Christmas Eve. They carefully picked out all the children’s homes across the state, but a huge rock looming on the coast caused the GPS in the elf shoes to become confused and bleep and flash madly. What was up, they silently wondered. The wonderful little shoes seemed to be malfunctioning. Their feet were still toasty warm, but Harvey and Jasmine had no sense of direction.