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Henry Shaw
Cactus and
Succulent Society

A CSSA Chapter
St. Louis, Missouri


Each monthly issue of the Henry Shaw Cactus Digest includes club updates, columns and articles by members on their favorite aspects of cactus and succulent culture. Follow the link below this item to read select Digest articles -- or join HSCSS to receive every article in the print version of the Digest.


The Night Before Christmas...

By Pat Cosgrove
On the night before Christmas, in the greenhouse,
The heaters warmed everything, even the mouse.
The plants had been set on the benches with care
In hopes that warm springtime soon would be there.
Some of them stood in their free-root-run bed,
Not blooming or growing, but dormant instead.
All was quiet and calm at this time, it would seem,
On a cold Christmas eve through the glass fogged by steam.
When all of a sudden, there arose such a clatter
Of 36 hooves, shouts and glass in a shatter!
Santa and reindeer were all in a mess
Due to darkness of night, or no GPS.
The reindeer had landed -- and sleigh -- without shame
But the panels gave way when Santa's weight came.
Down through the roof fell St. Nick to the ground
As the reindeer and sleigh took off in one bound.
He got up quite slowly and felt his behind,
Then winced as he plucked out a really long spine.
"Those cacti are mean," he was heard to lament.
"Why couldn't I land on a soft succulent?"
His rear was bright red and had started to glow,
So he rubbed it with juice from a nearby aloe.
Feeling much better, he laid out his gifts,
Like pumice and pots, Drummond certificates.
Pleased with his progress, he looked for his snack.
"No cookies and milk?" He was taken aback.
He looked again closer and finally did spy
A pot tagged "To Santa: Lophophora williamsii."
He couldn't help dancing and started to giggle
And all of this caused his round belly to jiggle.
"Rudolph, come get me! I'm done for the night.
Remember this greenhouse. I'll be back, all right!"
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