Sunday, January 06, 2008

Three Kings Day--Minot Style

In our home, we practice a tradition called "Three Kings Day." It's a Spanish Christmas tradition. The Three Kings are making their way back home after visiting the baby Jesus, and if children leave some food for the camels, the Kings will leave them a gift in thanks. This year, we added a bizarre, yet typically Fabian twist to the event.

One of the "Things To Do" here on Minot AFB is to stuff a scarecrow for Halloween during the Fall Festival. Steven and Amber weren't into it, but the little ones were, so after a couple of puffs of Astelin for my allergies, we bought our kit and spent a fun half hour shoving straw into pantyhose and old clothes to make Stan. At home, Stan graced our front porch, sitting drunkenly on one of the wicker Bahama chairs, with his overlong hands shoved in his pockets.

Come winter, we didn't have the heart to dump ol' Stan in the trash, so we stuck a ski jacket and winter hat on him, put a fake present in his hands and left him up for Christmas. As Three Kings Day approached, we thought about giving the straw to the camels, and a wicked idea emerged:

"Let's feed Stan to the camels!"

The evening of January fifth saw Mom and two little boys plotting scarecrow slaughter while Dad looked on. I went to write "Camel Food" in paint on the snow while the kids wrestled Stan's jacket off and set him in the front yard.

Rob however was suddenly struck with the vision of patrolling SPs finding the hay-filled corpse sprawled in the front yard, its chest torn open like some cheap remake of Aliens. Not eager to guest start on the next day's police blotter, he made us move our project to the back yard.

We opened his shirt, shoved in a couple of pieces of celery for a treat, left a note for the kings (on which Alex drew a camel) and headed to bed.

The next morning, Alex dashed outside. "The camels must have really liked Stan," he declared as he surveyed the scarecrow's sunken chest and the hay and celery bits scattered everywhere. A fitting end for Stan.

Will we do this again next year? I don't know, but it was worth the chuckle this year.

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