Page 3

"Some place!" Nick exclaimed, upon hearing that beds
In Panama, never need quilts;
That people get by without windows or doors,
And build all their houses on stilts!

The thought of mud walls and a roof made of thatch,
And windows without any glass,
Made Santa exclaim with a good-natured laugh,
"Just imagine! A house made of grass!"

"But wait till I tell you about the Canal!"
His guest went on, pursing his mouth.
"That ditch doesn't run from the east to the west,
But instead, from the north to the to the south!"

Old Santa began to suspect that his friend
Was telling tales tall and terrific,
When grinning, he said, "In Balboa, the sun
Each morn rises from the Pacific!"

Old Santa Clause chuckled aloud an he said,
"That wasn't your best story, was it?"
"Why, no," said the other, "for down there we
A light burning in every closet!"

The good saint then looked at his guest with a grin
And gave him a comradely wind;
"You win, Friend, " he said as he pounded his knee, 
"That calls for at least one more drink!

"Now tell me on thing: is my Dipper seen there?
If not, then the place is a loss!"
"No, Santa, it's not," was the laughing reply,
"But we've got a big, fine Southern Cross!"

"I like all these stories about Panama,"
Said Santa, his smile warm and sunny;
"All right, how is this?" and his visitor laughed,
"Down there, Commy books serve as money!

"It's handy, the way we can squander our dough
By the inch or the foot or the yard;
No making change where you lose all your dimes -
Better try it some time, Pard!"

"But what do you buy?" asked the puzzled saint,
"That is, what do you eat?
Just what do you have to take the place
Of our good bread and meat?"

"Oh, plantains and yams and breadfruit nuts,
And rice and corn and cashew,
Avocado and cane - Oh, lots of things -
Almost the same as you!"

"Then tell me about your Yuletide there -
What is Christmas like, sans snow?
And what do you use for Christmas trees
Where evergreens don't grow?"

"That's easy enough," the stranger replied,
"They bring them on ship;
The Commy take them from door to door -
You just show an order slip!"

"Our turkeys are sent down in big car-load lots,
All frozen, with nary a feather;
We do have a very fine Christmas there,
In spite of our warm, sunny weather!"

"There's holly on doors, while carols are heard
Ringing out on the air loud and clear,
While everyone gets some small gift from his friends,
Pretty much as they do up here."

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