“Do you think that we can really bring true love?” asked a partridge to its Christmas friends, nibbling on a sweet pear in its tree.
“The last time we tried, it didn’t go very well,” the bird chirped, reading a recent letter from the mail. The drafty room fell silent, and all his friends could do was nod their heads and shrug their shoulders. “The person who wrote this latest letter really believes that we have the answers to his love life.”
The partridge lived in a castle on the far side of Edinburgh with turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, gold rings, geese, swans, maids, ladies, lords, pipers, and drummers.
Every year at Christmas, they received abundant requests to travel all over Scotland as gifts, to bring true love to waning romances.
Despite their love for romance at Christmas, the friends had given up offering themselves as gifts for the purposes of true love. After so many failed attempts, they had lost their idealism and innocence.
“We are very much in love,” two turtle doves cooed to each other, stroking their feathers. “Why can’t everyone else be as happy as we are?”
“Oui, oui,” sang the three French hens. “If lovers listen to us, our accents can make them think of Paris!”
“We sing love songs,” hummed the four calling birds, “and it makes anyone fall in love if they have any musical sense.”
“Our golden rings make real gentlemen think of proposing at Christmas,” clanked the five gold rings. “We just have to find diamonds to fit us!”
“It’s the magic in our eggs, but you’d have to have the heart of a child,” squawked six geese-a-laying, rolling golden eggs under their wings.
“When we put our necks together, we make hearts,” swooned seven swans-a-swimming, “and we only ever have one mate for life! Humans are so shallow sometimes.”
“We make the most romantic dinners with our delicious milk,” explained eight maids-a-milking, flipping through their cookbooks, wearing patterned aprons and plain dresses. “I don’t think couples eat proper dinners together anymore. Sigh.”
“Dancing is the most romantic thing that couples can do together,” cheered nine ladies dancing, kicking their knees up high. “There must be a way to get ladies and lords to dance together again.”
“Leap for joy at the thought of true love!” exclaimed ten lords-a-leaping.
“Celebrate the love that can be found at Christmas!” delighted eleven pipers piping.
“True love marches to its own beat!” quipped twelve drummers drumming.
“Well, maybe we should try again,” the partridge suggested. “I could respond to this kind sir, saying we would be willing to help him, but we make no promises! He says he’s willing to hire us for the Twelve Days of Christmas to win over his love.”
“We’ve been hiding in this castle alone for too long anyhow,” agreed the two turtle doves. “We don’t have much to do this year at Christmas!”
At that, it had been decided that the friends who were brought together through Christmas would once again attempt to bring true love for twelve straight days, offering themselves as gifts. No one could imagine a grander idea at the holidays!
As time went on, the friends became so famous that a song called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was written about their endeavors. Much success was granted to their romantic gestures, and everyone in the world wanted true love at Christmas.
Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters