T’was the night before Christmas and all through the coop
Not a creature was stirring not even a louse.
The feed bags were hung by the coop door with care,
In hopes that Chicken Santy Claus soon would be there.
The chicks were all snuggled deep in their nests,
While visions of meal worms danced in their heads.
As Mamma Hen wore her chicken saddle and I on my roost
Winter’s night found us settled inside of our coop.
When out on the lawn their arouse such a clatter,
I leapt from the roost to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Lifted the latch and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight bantam chanticleer.
With a wee crowing driver, so lively with claws,
I knew in a moment it was Chicken Santy Claus.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Cluckers! now, Eggbert! now, Yolko and Peeps!
On, Sunny! On, Roody! on Midnight and Cheeps!
To the top of the cupola! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the coop-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of goodies, and Chicken Santy Claus too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and scratching of each feathery poof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the vent Chicken Santy Claus came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of goodies he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His wattles how merry!
His earlobes were like roses, his comb like a cherry!
His droll little beak was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard under his chin was as fluffy as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his beak,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a full crop and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He clucked not a peep, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the feedbags, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his wing tip aside of his beak,
With a nod, and a glance up the vent he did leap!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a cock-a-doodle,
And away they all flew like sparkles from a jewel.
But I heard him crow, as he flew out of sight,
” Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
Now we know what happens in the coop on the night before Christmas.