By Rhys Hughes
Krampus on Campus Dear Admissions Tutor I am rather too mature a fellow to present myself to you in this manner (it is true) but I believe potentially I will have a bright future if you allow me to enrol at your university. And let me now explain the meaning of my name. Krampus the word derives from ‘claw’ and I am wearied by my seasonal chores which unlike those of Santa Claus involves punishing bad children instead of rewarding the good. I am hairy, my long tongue lolls and I have cloven hoofs. I leap across your roofs at night giving children such an awful fright! and this has been my role for years. To cap it all my head has horns. My appearance generally as you can see is hardly prepossessing but that’s how I was born. And now I’ve had enough! I want a change of career, no more nastiness and no more fear. I long to improve myself. Please permit me to enrol and achieve my goal, a Krampus on campus will be quite a boon to your noble institution. My essays will all be referenced properly with the correct attributions. I promise this! Yes, you can provide the solution to my woes! I write this letter with my talons crossed for luck. I have inspected your prospectus and the course I choose is “Mythology and Cultural Studies, modules one and two” and in advance I am thanking you. Sincerely yours, without a fuss, Krampus. P.S. What don’t you want for Christmas?
Once I was an Elf Once I was an elf (a real elf) and I was proud and strong. I loosed my arrows at dragons and never thought it wrong to engage in battle with my other foes, the goblins of the underworld. How I miss those ancient days with their better ways when mounted on a flying horse, a quiver on my back, I soared above the mountain peaks that chewed the clouds like demon fangs, ready to attack! Few back then were quite so bold and fewer still so keen to seek mighty new heroic deeds to perform each week. Caring not for fame or wealth while swooping from the sky, I defeated giant lizards, evil wizards and necromancers for I was an elf well versed in magic with nothing tragic about my circumstances. But times changed as they always do and the age of wonders passed away, for even valour and honour too must eventually decay. I fell on hard times like all the elves and sold my golden arrows, cut short my hair, lost my flying horse and begged for work everywhere, cursing the worsening of my situation until at last I found a boss willing to take me on. The work is seasonal and very hard and now is the busiest time of year. I sometimes weep as I recall how long ago the good times were when to be an elf earned both respect and fear. I have become little more than a slave in the modern world and it is cold so near the North Pole. Yes, once I was an elf (a real elf) but now I am a mockery of myself. I slay dragons no longer but every day I just make toys from a very long list for girls and boys who doubt I even exist.
Rhys Hughes has lived in many countries. He graduated as an engineer but currently works as a tutor of mathematics. Since his first book was published in 1995 he has had fifty other books published and his work has been translated into ten languages.
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