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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Frank Baum > Fairy tale "A Kidnapped Santa Claus"

A Kidnapped Santa Claus

And as the rocky

floors of these passages are well worn by the track of passing feet, I

judge that many wanderers in the Caves of the Daemons have escaped

through the tunnels to the abode of the Daemon of Repentance, who is

said to be a pleasant sort of fellow who gladly opens for one a little

door admitting you into fresh air and sunshine again.

Well, these Daemons of the Caves, thinking they had great cause to

dislike old Santa Claus, held a meeting one day to discuss the matter.

"I'm really getting lonesome," said the Daemon of Selfishness. "For

Santa Claus distributes so many pretty Christmas gifts to all the

children that they become happy and generous, through his example, and

keep away from my cave."

"I'm having the same trouble," rejoined the Daemon of Envy. "The

little ones seem quite content with Santa Claus, and there are few,

indeed, that I can coax to become envious."

"And that makes it bad for me!" declared the Daemon of Hatred. "For

if no children pass through the Caves of Selfishness and Envy, none

can get to MY cavern."

"Or to mine," added the Daemon of Malice.

"For my part," said the Daemon of Repentance, "it is easily seen that

if children do not visit your caves they have no need to visit mine;

so that I am quite as neglected as you are."

"And all because of this person they call Santa Claus!" exclaimed the

Daemon of Envy. "He is simply ruining our business, and something

must be done at once."

To this they readily agreed; but what to do was another and more

difficult matter to settle. They knew that Santa Claus worked all

through the year at his castle in the Laughing Valley, preparing the

gifts he was to distribute on Christmas Eve; and at first they

resolved to try to tempt him into their caves, that they might lead

him on to the terrible pitfalls that ended in destruction.

So the very next day, while Santa Claus was busily at work, surrounded

by his little band of assistants, the Daemon of Selfishness came to

him and said:

"These toys are wonderfully bright and pretty.

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