It took a little while for the others to follow, but they did finally make it up there.
"Wow, what a view!" said Buck.
"That's probably nothing next to what it must look like during Santa's big flight." Polly replied.
Some stayed up there while others jumped into nearby trees to play.
Presently, someone with a small pack came walking along, looking curiously around as she approached.
The furbies froze, though unfortunately for Peekaboo, she happened to be on an outer tree branch that was low, and in full sight of the stranger.
Near by, in a more concealed part of that tree, Sybil watched warily as the stranger approached the branch.
Peekaboo shuddered when the stranger reached out as if intending to grab her.
Sybil sprang into action and confronted the stranger. "Who are you?"
The woman smiled. "Oh, good, it looks like I have the right place after all. So… Are you Sybil Loveby, and is that Peekaboo Furbling?"
Sybil bristled, alarmed. "Before I answer that, how about telling me who you are?"
"My name is Carma Davis, the fairy sent to take you to Santa's place."
"What It's really happening!" Jenny squealed in delight and shot out of her hiding place.
Carma saw her. "You must be - " she seemed to be pondering, "Jenny, or Jet."
"Jenny," came the response.
"I'm Jet," the other black furby came jumping down from a high branch in another tree.
"Good! Now, are we all here?" Carma asked, and looked at a sheet of paper with a list of names in to. "Sundown Furby?"
"That's me." Sundown jumped off the roof and scurried up to her.
"How about a - Duckling Wittby?"
"Yeah!" Duckling said, then came out to meet Carma.
"Yeah, baby!" Buck said, joining the increasing number of furbies gathering near or on Carma.
"Here," he said, darting out from a shrub.
"Uh, Kittry - Fussby?" Carma said hesitantly.
"I'm 'Keee-tree, my name rhymes with his." Kitri landed on Carma's shoulder, then indicated Dmitri.
"Please to make your acquaintance, Kitri," said Carma, pronouncing her name correctly this time. "Have we got a Toby Nerdby here?"
"That would be me." Toby came down from the roof and joined the others gathered so far.
Carma went down the rest of the list until everyone from Tina to Floyd were accounted for. And then she took a second look. "Isn't there supposed to be a Holly here too?"
"Yeah, but she went with Jessica to the family Christmas dinner." said Sundown.
"Oh. All right everyone, come on, it's time to go." She indicated her pack, which was open and ready for its cargo.
The more curious furbies needed very little urging to climb into the pack, while the wary took some convincing. Kitri only agreed to get in if she could find a position where she could still see out. Toby, already feeling lost without Jessica there, opted for a ride on Carma's shoulder, and Sundown did likewise. Carma warned them the transition might come as quite a surprise, but as long as no one bolted during it, all would work out as planned.
So, with two furbies on her shoulders and the rest in the pack, Carma did the transport.
In a few moments, Carma rang the bell, and Santa answered the door.
"Ho, ho, ho, I see you brought our guests here safe and sound, Carma."
"Yep, that's Sundown, and that's Toby, and the others are still in the pack. But Holly is at Jessica's family Christmas dinner."
"Ho, ho, ho, let's let them out and meet them." Santa smiled merrily, as he reached out and picked up Sundown and Toby from Carma's shoulders.
"Oh, wow, this really worked." said Sundown, beaming.
"I can't believe this is happening." Toby breathed.
"Yeah, yeah, woo-hoo!" Whooped Kitri as she sprang out of the pack and leapt on to a nearby shelf to survey the surroundings.
"Wa, wa, wa! Hoo, ha, ha! Wa, wa, wa! Hoo, ha, ha!" Dmitri exclaimed with glee as he jumped out of the pack and did an excited little dance about the room.
At this, Santa's jolly "Ho, ho, ho!" turned into an all out giggle, he actually thought Dmitri was funny.
When the initial excitement died down enough, Santa said "I've got to make another production round, so how would you furbies like to follow me and take your tour that way?"
There was a cacophony of glad reactions to this, which made Santa laugh. "Carma," he finally said, "How would you like to come along and keep an eye on these live-wires while I make sure everything is running smoothly?"
"Sure, I'd love to."
So they all made their way first through Santa's residence, and then through various workshops and bakeries. Santa and Carma walked calmly along while the furbies who were not sitting on their shoulders, scurried, scampered, hopped and leapt along, sometimes lagging behind, sometimes bounding ahead.
The furbies expressed delight when they entered any of the bakeries where everything looked and smelled so delicious. When they got to the workshop responsible for all things electronic, Dmitri made the comment, "Oh, wow, and here I thought Apple made the iPad."
Carma and Santa burst out laughing.
The electronics workshop was incredibly busy, but some of the elves working on toys there, took notice of Santa's guests, saying "This is the first time we've had toys come into this place, and fully assembled."
"Hey, who are you calling a toy?" Kitri quipped back with a grin.
"Say what?" cried the startled elf. "How did she do that?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Kitri fired back with a gleeful cackle.
"Hey! Look at that!" exclaimed Peekaboo in excitement. "They're about to box a furbling and it looks just like me!"
"Ho, ho, ho! Yes indeed, Peekaboo. And that furbling will get a name and character along with their human."
Next was the miniature vehicle making station, where all sorts of model and toy cars, trucks, trains, and even sleighs were being made.
When Santa came in with the furbies, some elves working on a tiny sleigh saw them, and got an idea. "Hey Santa, I just got this sleigh done, but while they're working on the miniature reindeer, how would your furby friends like to test it out?"
"You mean ride in it or pull it?"
"Hey yeah! Let's go for it!" Buck exclaimed.
"Cool, but for one thing, we don't exactly fly." said Floyd, "Especially not me."
"Oh, I think we can help you with that," said Santa, "if you don't mind sampling a little of that special corn I give my reindeer to make them fly."
"It's worth a try." said Toby, who was always up to sampling different foods.
"Carma, can you stay here with them, I'll be right back." said Santa."
It didn't take long for him to return with a handful of corn, which he gave to the furbies who were brave enough to try it.
"I think they should be ready now."
The elves handed the sleigh to Santa, who then lead the furbies and Carma out the door, then down a hall to a door that opened to the outside.
Santa took everyone outside, harnessed up the furbies the best he could manage, and then said, "Now Buck, now Duckling, now Sybil, now Sundown! On Dmitri, on Kitri, on Toby, on Peekaboo!"
The furbies all started running, and after a few moments, much to their great astonishment, the sleigh lifted with them high into the air.
A chorus of hysterical furby laughter was heard from them.
A round of applause and cheers came from everyone else who remained grounded.
"That looks like fun!" Jenny giggled.
"Would any of you like to try after them? I still have enough corn for you."
They all said yes.
The tiny sleigh flew around the complex and after some time, it landed near where Santa and the others were watching.
There was more cheering and applause, and Santa congratulated the first group on a job well done.
"Wow, what a heady experience." Kitri breathed blissfully as she skidded to a stop and waited to be un-harnessed.
Santa undid the harnesses, but noticed that Toby seemed strangely subdued.
"Are you okay, Toby?" Santa asked.
"He's usually a bit more laid back, I wouldn't worry about it." said Duckling."
"He looks more zoned out to me." Dmitri quipped.
"Now, Dmitri," Santa mock-admonished, giving one of his horns a playful shake.
Dmitri let out a laugh.
"So, Toby," said Santa, "Are you all right?"
"You're not scared of heights, are you?"
Toby shook his head.
"Then why the frown?"
Toby started. "Huh? Was I? I wish Jess was here to see this."
"You miss her, don't you?"
Toby looked down, his expression becoming truly sad.
Santa picked him up and spoke gentle reassurances to him. She'll be fine, in time, with a lot of rest. You just keep helping her out as much as you can, and just remember that while you're out here, she is out having a good time at the family Christmas dinner."
"Yes, sir," Toby responded, trying to put a brave face on it.
"There is always next year, or next time. Maybe you'd all like to visit in the summer. It's beautiful here then, too."
"Except for all the bugs." said Jenny, "I think I heard that here up north where the summer is so short, everything comes out and comes out strong. Plants, insects, you name it."
Correct." said Santa.
Dmitri grinned mischievously. "Bugs. Mmm-hmm."
"Bleckh." said Kitri.
"Oh Dmitri," Buck laughed, "You're so silly."
"Hmm, I'll have to agree with Dmitri on this one." Toby said, brightening up.
"Ah, that's more like it," said Santa, patting his head and causing him to purr.
"You guys are sickies." said Misty.
"But you love us anyway." said Dmitri.
Santa chuckled and grinned. "Now, all you furbies who haven't flown the sleigh, it's your turn if you want it."
Toby jumped out of Santa's hand, landing next to a widely grinning Kitri.
The other furbies came forward to be hitched to the sleigh, and then Santa was about to start them off when he realized, "Too bad Holly isn't here - " but then he suddenly got an idea. "Wait here, I believe I may have a replacement. I will be right back." and with that, Santa left to look for another furby to round out the number."
"Mmmm, have you tasted this snow yet?" Floyd asked, sticking his tongue out to catch snowflakes.
"Mmm-hmmm!" said Dmitri.
"Yeah, Christmas snow is the best." said Sybil. "And what a view from up there, you guys are in for a treat."
Carma stood calmly by, enjoying the fresh air that smelled wonderfully of new fallen snow. She also stuck out her tongue to catch snowflakes. "I wonder if I could fly a sleigh - if I could get past eating reindeer feed, that is?"
This idea made some of the furbies laugh.
Carma joined in. "No kidding, that would look utterly ridiculous."
"And you haven't got bunny teeth like I have," said Sybil, "That corn would break your choppers."
To this, Buck made a fair imitation of Carma trying to chow down reindeer feed and breaking a tooth on it.
There was more laughter.
Soon, Santa had returned with Tinsel, another Christmas furby, who was eager to try out this experiment.
The furbies all had some special corn, while introductions were made. Then Santa hitched them to the sleigh and started them off with, "Now Brittany, now Tina, now Misty, now Polly, on Tinsel, on Jenny, on Jet, on Floyd!"
Once again, the sleigh lifted into the air, and there were more exclamations of wonder and cheering and laughter.
After that and the rest of the tour, Santa, Carma and the furbies took time out to have a bite to eat. There was such a variety of food and beverages to choose from, and Santa had some toy dishes and cutlery which the furbies could use.
Then for a while, the furbies were turned loose outdoors to play about in the beautiful Christmas evening air.
Some played duck Duck Goose with snowballs, others climbed the Christmas trees and tried their best to look like decorations, but Kitri got the idea to play icicle hopping. This was done by gripping an icicle, or trying to, and pushing off to get to the next one without falling or touching anything else.
"Will you look at that." said Floyd.
"Leave it to Kitri," smirked Duckling, "She's not gonna - "
"Whoa!" *Thud* an icicle broke right off when Kitri slammed into it and tried to grab it. The result was it and her crashing to the ground.
"You all right, Kit?" asked Duckling.
"Yeah, but you won't be!"
"Uh-oh, you better run." said Jet.
What followed was a wild furby chase with Duckling taking off as fast as she could, with Kitri in hot pursuit.
Dmitri tried to climb an icicle, but he was hopeless at it. He kept slipping off, landing in fits of laughter.
Toby tried too, with only slightly more success. But he managed to break off a tiny chunk of icicle so that when he slid and fell, he took time to nibble on the icicle fragment, curious if it tasted as good as the snowflakes. "Hmm, not bad." he purred.
Presently, Santa came back around, and called everyone together.
What They Learn From Santa
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