It happened so quickly, he just glanced the wrong way at a passing seagull and whoops! In fact – ‘Whoops!’, ‘Agghh!’ and ‘No-ooooooooooooo!’ – to describe the sound properly. And he found himself falling. A long way, a long, long way, a long, long, lo-o-o-o-o-ng way down. Well, it would be a long way down because he’d been a very long way up when it happened. So he had lots of time to think as he fell, and to hope. To hope that he wouldn’t hit a tree, or a telegraph pole, or an aeroplane, or a very hard building. He hoped it might be some very soft grass, or perhaps a stretch of warm sea, or even better a giant duck with a very soft downy back. No such luck. Splat! Then a boing! a bounce and another splat! And another bounce and another splat. And another one. He had hit a rather damp trampoline. So the bouncing went on for a while, and he threw in a few back flips and side flips and front flips and cartwheels and triple somersaults along the way. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce. Eventually the bounces got smaller and he headed for a sort of landing, although he managed to hit another fifteen startled seagulls as he kept flying back up in the air. Thank goodness for Trepoola Haughty-Snoot-Jones getting that trampoline last year. It was huge and just what he needed right now. However, on the last bounce he went straight through the elastic canvass of the trampoline with a huge ripping noise, and landed with a final bottom-bashing bump on the ground below it. Oops! Oh dear.
He sighed and wondered. What now? He looked up. The sky was empty, apart from those fifteen seagulls that were flying around in circles looking feather-ruffled, startled and dazed. He narrowed his eyes and activated his long-range, super-sight vision, not many people knew that he had this, but it came in handy at times. Still, it didn’t help him today, he looked into the distance for miles and miles and miles, and he couldn’t see what he was looking for. So he reached inside his coat and pulled out his red hover board from within his huge inside pocket. He needed big inside pockets as he often needed to carry extra things. A very long ladder, a few miles of strong rope, a crane, a hover board, a hamper of food in case he got hungry. Today he only needed his hover board. And he would need to ride very fast if he was ever going to catch the others up again. After all, he only had one night to do this, and he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. He wrapped his big beard in a very long scarlet elastic band, threw it round his neck like a scarf and then powered up his hover board. It was going to be a long night, Rudolph and the others could travel very fast indeed. But whatever happened Santa was going to catch up with his sleigh again and deliver everyone’s presents. Including a replacement trampoline for Trepoola Haughty-Snoot-Jones. Zzzzip-vrooooom! With a wave of his hand, and his long range vision switched on, he zoomed off.