Travelin‘ Rick was sitting on a park bench one warm autumn day. An elderly man was sitting next to him.
“I guess you don’t know who I am?” asked the man.
“No,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “I’m sorry but I don’t.”
“Well,” said the man. “That isn’t important anyway. What is important is whether you have been good this year.”
“I have been good,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “I’ve been so busy working that I haven’t had time to get into any trouble.”
“Glad to hear it,” said the man.
“It isn’t really good to be working all the time though,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “I need a vacation. I’m getting pretty worn out these days.”
“Gee,” said the man, handing Travelin‘ Rick a business card. “Take this and if things get too hectic, come visit me.”
Travelin‘ Rick put the business card in his pocket, without looking at it.
“Well good afternoon,” said the man, getting up from the bench and walking away.
“You too,” said Travelin‘ Rick, thinking that the man was very nice and very friendly.
Travelin‘ Rick didn’t think anything more about the elderly man until about two weeks later he went to get something from his pocket and found the business card.
“The North Pole!” exclaimed Travelin‘ Rick when he read the address on it. “Why that elderly man must have been Santa Claus.”
Travelin‘ Rick got out his suitcase and was on the next train headed to the North Pole. One of Santa’s elves met him at the station and took him to Santa’s castle.
“Welcome,” said Santa, greeting Travelin‘ Rick at the door.
Travelin‘ Rick visited with Santa and his little elves for a whole relaxing week. He visited Santa’s workshop and was very impressed with the elves and how they were so helpful to Santa. Travelin‘ Rick met Mrs. Claus. She was very polite and sweet and kind. He loved her cooking very much too.
“This is sure relaxing,” said Travelin‘ Rick.
“I’m glad you are enjoying yourself,” said Santa.
“I am,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “Very much so.”
“I am so glad,” said Santa. “Listen, I wanted to talk to you.”
“Sure,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “What seems to be on your mind?”
“Well,” said Santa. “There are a couple of children that I am worried about and I think they might need a good role model like you to kind of watch out for them.”
“I’d be glad to help out,” said Travelin‘ Rick.
“I thought you would,” said Santa.
Santa told Travelin‘ Rick about Suzie and Brian and how they had both gotten themselves into some trouble this past year and how very worried he was about them.
When Travelin‘ Rick returned home he met with Suzie and Brian in the park. They seemed like shy children, good children.
“Someone up north is very worried about you two children,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “He seems to think that you two are in some kind of trouble.”
“Oh,” laughed Suzie. “Are you talking about Santa?”
“Why yes,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “I am.”
“Well Santa worries a little too much,” said Brian. “We aren’t into any trouble. As a matter of fact, we were preventing a bully from beating up on a friend of ours.”
“I see,” said Travelin‘ Rick. “Do you need any help?”
“Yes,” said Suzie. “We could definitely use your help.”
Travelin‘ Rick, Suzie and Brian met with the bully the next day in the park.
“Now what is this I hear about you wanting to beat up Suzie and Brian’s friend,” said Travelin‘ Rick.
“I don’t know,” said the bully. “Their friend was trying to steal my lunch.”
“Is that true?” asked Travelin‘ Rick.
“No,” said Brian. “See what happened is that George, our friend, thought that Harold’s lunch was his. They were both in the same type of bag. It was an honest mistake.”
“Maybe,” said Harold, the bully. “But he didn’t have to eat that nice piece of chocolate cake I had in there.”
“He didn’t,” said Suzie. “He tried to give the cake back to you after school that day but you got so angry at him that you wouldn’t listen to anything that he had to say.”
“Oh,” said Harold. “Well, please tell him that I’m sorry.”
George came out from behind a bush.
“Thank you,” said George to Harold, giving Harold a container.
“What is this?” asked Harold.
“A piece of chocolate cake,” said George. “My mom baked it this morning.”
“Oh why thank you,” said Harold, taking the cake and sitting down on the park bench and eating it.
Later that evening Santa met Travelin‘ Rick in the park.
“Thank you for straightening out that matter for me,” said Santa.
“You are welcome,” said Travelin‘ Rick.
“And by the way,” said Santa. “That new laptop that you want for Christmas will be under your Christmas tree, Christmas morning.”
“Really!” exclaimed Travelin‘ Rick. “Thank you so much!”