The weather on the twelfth day of Christmas was chilly, but dry. Perfect, in other words, for the evening’s first highlight: dancing under the stars. Old Possum, who had been practicing dance tunes on his grandfather’s accordion, carried the ancient instrument out to the meadow so he could provide the musical accompaniment. (The robins were ready to sing whenever Possum needed a break.) And Raccoon called everyone through the steps of the lively country dances that were a tradition for their Twelfth Night festivities.
Late at night, after the dancing had ended, everyone retired once again to Old Possum’s living room, where they lit the Yule candles for the last time and, when the hall clock struck midnight, toasted Old Christmas with tiny glasses of sherry, mugs of fragrant tea, and slices of fudge pie.
Later still, grown-ups gathered sleepy children from the couch and said their goodbyes, and everyone wandered home, accompanied by the sound of drowsy little voices asking parents and grandparents about the Christmas gifts Squire Frog might have left for them while they were out.
(Early January 2024)