Elf-ing the Environment – A Christmas Tale

Two days to Christmas. Everything was going as scheduled in the Foundry. One last batch of gifts had to be manufactured and packed, a relatively easy task. It was closing time. The elves were just wrapping everything up and leaving. Nothing was out of place; just another day had come to an end. It was time to feed the reindeer. One weary and tired elf lugged the heavy bag of feed over his shoulders, brooding as he made his way to their enclosure.

The stables were on the coast overlooking the horizon. He whistled with gay nonchalance as he placed the feed in each stable. They would be taken out the next morning for a run. He closed the enclosure and locked it. Everything was in order. As soon as he took a step away, he heard a deafening sound. A shrill cracking sound split the silence of the cold night. The elf turned to see what had happened. It took him a while to realise the entire enclosure had been replaced with the calm still water of the Atlantic. He saw a massive chunk of ice float away and then sink slowly. As soon as he found the courage, he bolted. He ran to the Foundry.

The Foundry was a lot like the shop floor in most factories. The only difference was that it was massively large. It boasted an arsenal of what could be considered the most modern technology when it came to toy-making. The conglomerates could never dream of getting their hands on these fine pieces of machinery. The Foundry produced a little close to 100,000 toys and games per day. Santa Claus governed the working of the Foundry and all the elves who worked under his yoke. He was a wise and just head and the elves liked working under him.

On reaching the Foundry, the elf made a beeline for the elevator. He pushed the elevator buttons several times in the hopes that pushing the buttons more, the elevator would come faster. The doors hadn’t even opened fully before the elf jumped in. He pushed the button which said “100”. The elevator closed, taking its own time in doing so. The elf was growing impatient. A cold bead of sweat dripped down his forehead and rolled off the side of his plump cheek. He paced about and watched the floors pass by. 57… 58… 59… “Why doesn’t it go faster?”, he thought. 89… 90… 91… “Almost there…”, he said to himself. 98… 99… “DING”.

The door slowly slid open. “M’lord! Rudolf! The deer! THE DEER!” he squealed. “Calm down, have a seat. Tell me what happened”, said Santa. And so he did. The elf told everything he saw right down to the last detail. The expression on his face gave away the bewilderment and confusion the saint felt. “How will we deliver the presents in time now?”, the two said in unison. Just then there was another loud splitting sound. Before they knew what was happening, the Foundry was ripped into two and one part was slowly sinking into the water.

The reactors powering the Foundry produced the cleanest energy. They left no residue. One of the cores melted down due to the shockwave produced by the ripping of the Foundry. In the following explosion, whatever was left of the Foundry was blown to smithereens…

Santa fell from the sky and into the snow. The cool ice soothed the burns on his face. His thick white beard now had wisps of singed hair. There wasn’t much left of his red attire. “Global warming. It’s all over now…”

Designer: Armaan Ahuja

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