It was that time of year again.

As much as she complained when people teased her about being the reindeer for Greatfather Winter, Elli really did enjoy being a reindeer for a few select people – Ygraine, Ace and Seella’s children, her children, and especially, the children of Stormwind. The joy in the children’s faces when one of “Greatfather Winter’s Reindeer” came to visit with a bag of toys was more than worth the potential embarrassment of people seeing her with all of the bows, ribbons, and bells decorating her body and antlers. Their squeals of delight and jubilant laughter as they were granted “special rides” almost made her forget the fear and mistrust shown to her so often. The hugs, pets, and cuddles, even with the runny noses, drove away any sadness or loneliness she felt.

Elli was glad she asked Aunne to go with her this year. Aunne loved children and the children loved her and there’d be “reindeer cookies” since she asked the Draenei to make some for the children and for her. Plus, she would have fun lifting the children to Elli’s back, giving them tickles in the process. Of course now there was going to be a witness to all of the silliness Elli not only tolerated but encouraged from the children. Still, it was going to be good for them both. A bit of frivolity and childishness to show Aunne what was truly in her heart to give her confidence in the trials she was going to face – and give her something to giggle about when her trials made her weary or afraid.

She made one more check to verify her fur was perfectly clean and hooves shiny enough to sparkle before bounding over to the waiting children.

Author Elli
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