On the High Seas (Once Upon a Christmas Eve Collection Book 2)

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So he returned to the nursery, and said, with a magnanimous air, "I don't want to get you into a scrape, Polly. If you'll beg my pardon I won't go. Go and tell now, if you're not afraid. So Harry went. But at the bottom of the stairs he lingered again, and was meditating how to return with most credit to his dignity, when Polly's face appeared through the banisters, and Polly's sharp tongue goaded him on.

What an extraor—". Once outside, he returned to the nursery with dignified steps, and an air of apparent satisfaction, saying:. Go and ask, if you dare," said Harry, only too glad to have the tables turned. Polly's expedition met with the same fate, and she attempted to cover her retreat in a similar manner. Meanwhile Mr. Skratdj scolded Mrs. Skratdj for not keeping the children in better order. And Mrs. Skratdj said it was quite impossible to do so, when Mr. Skratdj spoilt Harry as he did, and weakened her Mrs.

Skratdj's authority by constant interference. Difference of sex gave point to many of these nursery squabbles, as it so often does to domestic broils. Women have got to do what men tell them, whether it's reasonable or not. But you'll have to obey your husband when you get one. And so they went on, ad infinitum , with ceaseless arguments that proved nothing and convinced nobody, and a continual stream of contradiction that just fell short of downright quarrelling.

Indeed, there was a kind of snapping even less near to a dispute than in the cases just mentioned. The little Skratdjs, like some other children, were under the unfortunate delusion that it sounds clever to hear little boys and girls snap each other up with smart sayings, and old and rather vulgar play upon words, such as:.

And so if a visitor kindly began to talk to one of the children, another was sure to draw near and "take up" all the first child's answers, with smart comments and catches that sounded as silly as they were tiresome and impertinent. And ill-mannered as this was, Mr. Skratdj never put a stop to it. Indeed, it was only a caricature of what they did themselves. But they often said, "We can't think how it is the children are always squabbling! I T is wonderful how the state of mind of a whole household is influenced by the heads of it.

Skratdj was a very kind master, and Mrs. Skratdj was a very kind mistress, and yet their servants lived in a perpetual fever of irritability that fell just short of discontent. They jostled each other on the back stairs, said sharp things in the pantry, and kept up a perennial warfare on the subject of the duty of the sexes with the general man-servant. They gave warning on the slightest provocation. The very dog was infected by the snapping mania. He was not a brave dog, he was not a vicious dog, and no high-breeding sanctioned his pretensions to arrogance.

But like his owners, he had contracted a bad habit, a trick, which made him the pest of all timid visitors, and indeed of all visitors whatsoever. The moment anyone approached the house, on certain occasions when he was spoken to, and often in no traceable connection with any cause at all, Snap the mongrel would rush out, and bark in his little sharp voice—"Yap!

He never got used to the washerwoman, and she never got used to him.

SNAP-DRAGONS

She said he "put her in mind of that there black dog in the Pilgrim's Progress. He never but once had the chance of barking at burglars; and then, though he barked long and loud, nobody got up, for they said, "It's only Snap's way. Skratdj dispute who it was who discouraged reliance on Snap's warning to the present day. One Christmas time, a certain hot-tempered gentleman came to visit the Skratdjs. A tall, sandy, energetic young man, who carried his own bag from the railway. The bag had been crammed rather than packed, after the wont of bachelors; and you could see where the heel of a boot distended the leather, and where the bottle of shaving-cream lay.

As he came up to the house, out came Snap as usual—"Yap! The gentleman had good, sensible, well-behaved dogs of his own, and was greatly disgusted with Snap's conduct. Nevertheless he spoke friendly to him; and Snap, who had had many a bit from his plate, could not help stopping for a minute to lick his hand.

But no sooner did the gentleman proceed on his way, than Snap flew at his heels in the usual fashion— "Yap! The bottle of shaving-cream hit upon a stone and was smashed. The heel of the boot caught Snap on the back and sent him squealing to the kitchen. And he never barked at that gentleman again. If the gentleman disapproved of Snap's conduct, he still less liked the continual snapping of the Skratdj family themselves. He was an old friend of Mr.

Skratdj, however, and knew that they were really happy together, and that it was only a bad habit which made them constantly contradict each other. It was in allusion to their real affection for each other, and their perpetual disputing, that he called them the "Snapping Turtles. When the war of words waxed hottest at the dinner-table between his host and hostess, he would drive his hands through his shock of sandy hair, and say, with a comical glance out of his umber eyes: "Don't flirt, my friends.

It makes a bachelor feel awkward. With the little Skratdjs his measures were more vigorous. He was very fond of children, and a good friend to them. He grudged no time or trouble to help them in their games and projects, but he would not tolerate their snapping up each other's words in his presence. He was much more truly kind than many visitors, who think it polite to smile at the sauciness and forwardness which ignorant vanity leads children so often to "shew off" before strangers. These civil acquaintances only abuse both children and parents behind their backs, for the very bad habits which they help to encourage.

The hot-tempered gentleman's treatment of his young friends was very different. One day he was talking to Polly, and making some kind inquiries about her lessons, to which she was replying in a quiet and sensible fashion, when up came Master Harry, and began to display his wit by comments on the conversation, and by snapping at and contradicting his sister's remarks, to which she retorted; and the usual snap-dialogue went on as usual. With what he imagined to be a very waggish air, Harry put out his tongue, and held it with his finger and thumb.

It was unfortunate that he had not time to draw it in again before the hot-tempered gentleman gave him a stinging box on the ear, which brought his teeth rather sharply together on the tip of his tongue, which was bitten in consequence. Children are like dogs: they are very good judges of their real friends.

Harry did not like the hot-tempered gentleman a bit the less because he was obliged to respect and obey him; and all the children welcomed him boisterously when he arrived that Christmas which we have spoken of in connection with his attack on Snap. It was on the morning of Christmas Eve that the china punch bowl was broken. Skratdj had a warm dispute with Mrs.

Skratdj as to whether it had been kept in a safe place; after which both had a brisk encounter with the housemaid, who did not know how it happened; and she, flouncing down the back passage, kicked Snap; who forthwith flew at the gardener as he was bringing in the horse-radish for the beef; who stepping backwards trode upon the cat; who spit and swore, and went up the pump with her tail as big as a fox's brush.

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To avoid this domestic scene, the hot-tempered gentleman withdrew to the breakfast-room and took up a newspaper. By-and-by, Harry and Polly came in, and they were soon snapping comfortably over their own affairs in a corner. The hot-tempered gentleman's umber eyes had been looking over the top of his newspaper at them for some time, before he called, "Harry, my boy! The hot-tempered gentleman sighed. Polly, who had crept up during this process, now put out hers.

B. Definitions and meanings

But the hot-tempered gentleman looked gloomier still, and shook his head. But the hot-tempered gentleman went slowly out of the room without answering; passing his hands through his hair, and saying, "Ah! Just as he crossed the threshold, he turned back, and put his head into the room. But never mind that now, please. Tell us about our tongues.

What is going to happen to them? Nothing half so pleasant! That is, unless all dogs were like Snap, which mercifully they are not. No, my sad fear is, that you are both of you—rapidly—going— to the Snap-Dragons! I N the course of a few hours Mr. Skratdj recovered their equanimity.

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The punch was brewed in a jug, and tasted quite as good as usual. The evening was very lively. There were a Christmas tree, Yule cakes, log, and candles, furmety, and snap-dragon after supper. When the company were tired of the tree, and had gained an appetite by the hard exercise of stretching to high branches, blowing out "dangerous" tapers, and cutting ribbon and pack-thread in all directions, supper came, with its welcome cakes, and furmety, and punch.

And when furmety somewhat palled upon the taste and it must be admitted to boast more sentiment than flavour as a Christmas dish , the Yule candles were blown out and both the spirits and the palates of the party were stimulated by the mysterious and pungent pleasures of snap-dragon. Then, as the hot-tempered gentleman warmed his coat-tails at the Yule log, a grim smile stole over his features as he listened to the sounds in the room.

In the darkness the blue flames leaped and danced, the raisins were snapped and snatched from hand to hand, scattering fragments of flame hither and thither. The children shouted as the fiery sweetmeats burnt away the mawkish taste of the furmety. Skratdj cried that they were spoiling the carpet; Mrs.

Skratdj complained that he had spilled some brandy on her dress. Skratdj retorted that she should not wear dresses so susceptible of damage in the family circle. Skratdj recalled an old speech of Mr. Skratdj on the subject of wearing one's nice things for the benefit of one's family and not reserving them for visitors. Skratdj remembered that Mrs. Skratdj's excuse for buying that particular dress when she did not need it, was her intention of keeping it for the next year.

The children disputed as to the credit for courage and the amount of raisins due to each. Snap barked furiously at the flames; and the maids hustled each other for good places in the doorway, and would not have allowed the man-servant to see at all, but he looked over their heads. At it! And when he said this, it seemed as if the voices of Mr. Skratdj rose higher in matrimonial repartee, and the children's squabbles became louder, and the dog yelped as if he were mad, and the maids' contest was sharper; whilst the snap-dragon flames leaped up and up, and blue fire flew about the room like foam.

At last the raisins were finished, the flames were all but out, and the company withdrew to the drawing-room. Only Harry lingered. It would be better if it were quite out. Now come. It's dangerous for a boy like you to be alone with the Snap-Dragons to-night. H E crept up to the table, where one little pale blue flame flickered in the snap-dragon dish.

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At this moment the brandy bottle on the side-board caught his eye. Now, of course, as soon as the brandy touched the fire, all the brandy in the bottle blazed up at once, and the bottle split to pieces; and it was very fortunate for Harry that he did not get seriously hurt. A little of the hot brandy did get into his eyes, and made them smart, so that he had to shut them for a few seconds.

B UT when he opened them again what a sight he saw! All over the room the blue flames leaped and danced as they had leaped and danced in the soup-plate with the raisins. And Harry saw that each successive flame was the fold in the long body of a bright blue Dragon, which moved like the body of a snake. And the room was full of these Dragons. In the face they were like the dragons one sees made of very old blue and white china; and they had forked tongues, like the tongues of serpents.

They were most beautiful in colour, being sky-blue. Lobsters who have just changed their coats are very handsome, but the violet and indigo of a lobster's coat is nothing to the brilliant sky-blue of a Snap-Dragon. How they leaped about! They were for ever leaping over each other, like seals at play. But if it was "play" at all with them, it was of a very rough kind; for as they jumped, they snapped and barked at each other, and their barking was like that of the barking Gnu in the Zoological Gardens; and from time to time they tore the hair out of each other's heads with their claws, and scattered it about the floor.

And as it dropped it was like the flecks of flame people shake from their fingers when they are eating snap-dragon raisins. He had lost one of the forks of his tongue by accident, and could not bark for awhile. Snap away! They'll take you in with them the third round. And if I hadn't lost my bark, I'd be the first to lead you off," said the Dragon. The game is this. You have always to be jumping over somebody else, and you must either talk or bark.

If anybody speaks to you, you must snap in return. I need not explain what snapping is. You know. If anyone by accident gives a civil answer, a clawful of hair is torn out of his head to stimulate his brain. Nothing can be funnier. I mean men and women and children. It wouldn't do for us at all. If we are kept going in a house till after midnight, we can pull people out of their beds, and take them to dance in Vesuvius. Quote top Quote bottom.


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Parks, recreation, and culture. Print VanDusen Festival of Lights. Get your tickets online starting November 1 We highly recommend buying tickets in advance to save money, skip the line, and secure your spot. Hours of operation Dates Hours December 1 to December 20 pm - 9pm December 21 to 24 pm - 10pm December 25 Closed December 26 to January 1 pm - 10pm January 2 to 6 pm - 9pm. Ticket prices Festival highlights Food and beverage Washrooms, weather, accessibility. They are valid for any event night except from December 21 to Tickets for December 21 to 26 are only available online and at the gate on event nights, space permitting.

Ticket disclaimer. Carousel What else brings on more holiday cheer than a ride on a carousel amidst a beautifully lit setting. All tickets include a free ride on the carousel. Dancing lights Be mesmerized by lights dancing to classic, disco, and soul music sets on Livingstone Lake, every 20 minutes. Santa's Cabin Families, kids, and couples alike can take photos with Santa in the Visitor Centre halls until December Recycled rhythms Let your kids have some fun making music with recycled instruments.

Tinsel tunes Play the piano and sing along to holiday tunes in the garden. Washrooms Full-service washrooms are located in the Visitor Centre. Portable toilets are outside the garden entrance and inside the garden. For the most romantic and memorable wedding, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is guaranteed to fulfil every desire.

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