Fast away the old year passes

Wishing you all a year of happiness and prosperity.

~Tiffany Higgins
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Hail the new, ye lads and lasses

“Well, now…” He leaned on his cane, swaying a bit. “Where to begin. There’s so much for you to learn, and I have so little time to teach you.”

The baby chortled and clapped its pudgy hands.

“You’ll need this,” the old man said, pulling a large, leather-bound tome from a high shelf. “There’s more, of course, but this is the most recent one, and you’ll want to be up-to-date on current events.”

The baby cooed and squealed, reaching for the book. The old man placed it on the counter and turned to rummage through drawers. He muttered to himself, mostly cursing himself for not being better organized.

“Ah ha!” he shouted, pulling something from the drawer.

“Ah ha!” the baby mimicked.

Chuckling, the man tickled her beneath the chin. She was a cute little thing. Young and innocent and not yet decided on what she’ll be.

Giggling, she reached for his fingers. He let her suckle them. His eyes searched the room for more items. He implored his old brain not to go feeble on him in this crucial zero hour.

“That’s it!” he exclaimed.

He pulled a soft fleece blanket from a cabinet and wrapped it around the baby. This he did with thoughts of comfort and warm tidings for the year to come. He handed her the small item he’d pulled from the drawer.

The silver scepter had been handed to him when he’d been only a babe. Had that really been only a year ago?

The baby shook the scepter, and it rattled and rung out as the steel balls contained within created a soothing sound. The countdown grew nearer. He could feel it in the sleep that tugged at him.

It would all be hers soon. Had he prepared her enough? Only time will tell.

He placed the book in front of her and opened it to the most important page.

“Ten!” someone far away shouted.

“Oh, I don’t think I’m ready, yet.”

He suddenly felt panicked and ill at ease. He scrambled for ways to draw out just a little more time. He pleaded with time itself to stand still.

“Nine!” another voice rang out.

He picked the baby up in his arms and laid her against his chest. She snuggled in, and he rubbed her back.

“Eight!” more voices called.

“Come on now!” he shouted at time. “You’re speeding up.”

His accusation was ignored. The baby began crying in his arms. She wriggled and pushed away from him. He set her back down, wrapping her once more in the warm, fleece blanket he’d given her.

“Seven!”

There were more voices now. They sang and rejoiced. Their excitement swelled.

“Six!”

He could feel time running out.

“Five!”

He begged and pleaded with time. Time laughed as it ticked by.

“Four!”

The baby’s giggles and chortles joined with the gaiety of the crowds. The crowds grew in number and fervor.

“Three!”

The noise of their countdown bounced off the walls and reverberated through the room.

“Two!”

He could feel himself begin to drift. His time was nearly ended. He had only a moment to impart some words of wisdom on the young, new year as she took reign.

“One!”

Time was up, and he hadn’t taught her anything. She’d have to stumble through it all herself just as they’d all done before her. The wild and crazy mess of it all will feel just like years gone past.

There was excitement in the streets as the first clocks struck midnight. The old man began to shimmer and fade away. The baby was on her own now, a fledgling learning to spread her wings and fly.

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!!” people shouted and kissed each other.


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