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Governors Bay, Canterbury, 8971
New Zealand

Lucky Dip


Shinzer The Reindeer


She Universe 2017



Shinzer, the reindeer, wasn’t very happy as he wandered through the snow. He loved snow flying but he didn’t like being the centre of attention. He certainly didn’t like the older reindeer and how one of them always won the Snow Flying race. The coach, Mr. Penguin, was never nice to him and always seemed to be on the side of Santa’s flying team, ensuring that they won the race.


“What is the point?” he thought as he scuffed along in the snow. The big race was tomorrow and he wanted to fly but he didn’t want to lose again and yet if he flew, he could be picked by Santa to be on the back up squad of flying reindeers. If he was on the back up squad, then he would have to deal with Mr. Penguin.


His thoughts just kept spilling out in different directions and he just felt miserable inside. He needed to make a decision. He closed his eyes and all he could see was the star, the beautiful shining dark brown star that Santa gave to the winning flying reindeer. The winning reindeer would place it on the top of the Christmas tree and when Santa returned from his journey, that same Reindeer could eat the star. His heart yearned for. Something within him told him that winning the star would take away all his problems. Could it this be true? What should he do? Should he fly in the race or not? He didn’t know who he was without flying.


Suddenly his nose started to twitch. He was smelling something very unusual, unusual but good! Where was it coming from? Over there, in that snow cave. He had to investigate. He slowly entered the cave and the smell got stronger and stronger. It smelt like the star that Santa gave the winning reindeer each year; he knew this because once his dad had won it and had allowed him to nibble part of it. His dad was often on the back up team but that was before Mr. Penguin got involved and controlled everything. Why didn’t Santa see through Mr. Penguin?


Back to that smell. His eyes darted over to the back of the cave. He felt shy but eager to find the source of the smell. There was a snowman stirring a pot over what could only be called magic flames and beside him stood Mr. Bear. Mr. Bear always delivered the star to Santa and he always smelt of it. He had travelled a long way to be with Santa many many years ago, was very wise and was always available to give Santa advise.


The flames danced and flickered but didn’t look like real flames and they certainly didn’t melt the snowman like they should have. The snowman smiled and called him over,

“Shinzer, I have been waiting for you. Glad you could make it this year, come and help me.”

“What are you doing?” Shinzer asked.

“I am making the chocolate star that Santa gives to the winning reindeer,” said Snowy the snowman.

“The chocolate star. I didn’t know it was called that,” said Shinzer.

“That’s what the star is made out of - dark chocolate that comes from another magic land far far away where the sun shines all the time,” said Mr. Bear.

“Santa always collects some of the chocolate beans on his way back each year for the next year’s star and I turn them into chocolate in this cave with Mr. Bear’s help,” said Snowy.


“How come I have never found you before?” asked Shinzer. “Because only those whose heart calls strong enough can find their way to the cave,” said Mr. Bear. “Now that you have found your way here, I will share what the chocolate tastes like as a drink,” said Snowy. “Close your eyes and take a sip.”


Shinzer closed his eyes and took a sip. His eyes immediately opened in wonder! It tasted amazing, like nothing he had ever tasted before. Everything went quiet and he forgot about all his worries. All he could think about was the next sip of this wonderful chocolate drink.


Snowy smiled. “It tastes pretty good, doesn’t it?” he said.

“Amazing,” Shinzer said. “Really amazing! I could drink it all day.”

“So How do you feel about the race tomorrow?” asked Snowy.

“How do you know about the race?” Shinzer asked.

“I know about everything, Shinzer,” said Snowy. “It may seem like I live in this cave but I know all the thoughts and hearts of all the flying reindeer.”


“I don’t know what to do,” said Shinzer but actually he realized after sipping the hot chocolate that he did. He realised he no longer craved the chocolate star, that his heart was softer now and he just wanted to enter the race because he loved to fly. He didn’t care any more about Mr. Penguin or the older reindeer or about being the centre of attention or if he won or not. He just wanted to fly.


Snowy was smiling for his work was done and Mr. Bear was nodding. “Now you can help me pour the chocolate into the star mould,” Mr. Bear said. Together they poured the melted chocolate into the star mould and it set very quickly in the cold of the North Pole. “Now it’s time for you to go home and rest before  your big race tomorrow,” said Snowy.


The next morning Shinzer joined all the reindeer who had the gift of flying for the race of the year. His father was in the crowd of other reindeer. Santa was there with a big smile and beside him holding the star was Mr. Bear. He gave Shinzer a wink. Mr. Penguin was also there giving orders and checking the route. Shinzer gave him a scowl. Then he remembered the chocolate drink, the magic he felt and his love of flying. Snowy’s words came back to him, “Stay with what you love no matter what.”


There was the bang of what sounded like the starting gun and he was off, off around the massive Christmas tree that was waiting for its star … through the north peaks, up the wind tunnel of the polar bears, down the slippery dip of the whales and off to the left of the great white long streak. His heart was beating as he felt the wind whirr through his ears. He knew nothing but the air, the direction and the freedom of that pouring through his veins. He had flown the route so many times when in training that he didn’t have to think about it. He just flew with everything he had. Suddenly he heard cheering and shouting and his name being called out. He noticed he was back at the big Christmas tree and Santa’s beaming face.


“Where were the other reindeer, why was everyone calling his name?” he thought. Then he saw Dasher and Dancer and the other reindeer all standing on the ground and he realized that the race hadn’t even started but for some reason he thought he had heard the gun and just flew and flew and flew. How had that happened? For a moment he felt disappointment because now he couldn’t win but then he realized he didn’t care, nothing mattered, not even winning. He just loved to fly and the freedom was all around him.


He landed catching his breath beaming with excitement at the magic he felt all through his body and there was Santa with the chocolate star and Mr. Penguin. He saw Mr. Penguin go over to Santa and say something in his ear. “He is probably going to disqualify me in front of everyone,” he thought. But the crowd were cheering for never before had they seen such incredible flying; flying without being in a race, flying from the pure love of flying, the speed, the beauty and the magnificence they had just witnessed was incredible.


Santa came over. “Well Shinzer. That was just wonderful to see. You love to fly. In a moment, we will begin the actual race but Mr. Penguin has just given me a wonderful idea. Every year, we need a special reindeer to fly alongside me so that when we pass over the country called Mexico that reindeer can fly down as fast as the wind and collect the beans that are left out for us to make the chocolate star for the next year. It needs a special kind of flying, the flying you just shared with us. Will you be that reindeer?”

“Mr. Penguins idea,” said Shinzer. “But I thought he doesn’t  like me.”

Santa laughed, “Oh he likes you all right but he challenges reindeers in all kinds of strange ways to help bring out their magic.”  


Schinzer was astounded! From the downhearted reindeer walking through the snow yesterday to this moment, everything he believed had changed. It was incredible!


“Well?” Santa asked.

“Santa, yes I will. I would love to and I want every child to taste the magic of the chocolate drink and know their inner star.” said Schinzer. “Santa, can we create a special chocolate box for children to share the magic I have just discovered. It’s not the star on the outside for the top of the tree that’s the ultimate prize; it’s discovering the star inside. For me, that star is flying but I just know everyone has a special star inside. They just have to find it.”


Now that is an excellent idea,” said Santa. “Let’s call it the Kids Lucky Dip. I heard that name once in a special country called New Zealand a little while back and I really like it.”