The Christmas Belle
A Zandra Belle Story
It was Christmas Eve and Zandra was too excited to sleep, too anxious to find out what Santa would bring her for Christmas. Not wanting to wake up her mother, she quietly tiptoed over to the window in her bedroom and looked outside. The fresh fallen snow glistened in the moonlight creating a Christmas card like scene. Suddenly something bright twinkled in the sky and then it slid straight down and landed in her yard. Zandra stood on her toes and leaned close to the window and wiped a circle with her hand to get a better look. It was small and sparkling and looked like a miniature doll. Zandra’s eyes opened wide when she thought the doll had fallen from Santa’s sleigh.
Excitedly Zandra ran from her bedroom, down the stairs and to the front door. Slowly she opened the door and peeked out, just to make sure her eyes weren’t playing tricks on her, and saw the small sparkly doll was still in the yard. Zandra was curious about the doll that had magically appeared and stepped outside and down the porch steps, bunching up her special Christmas Eve nightgown in her arms so it didn’t get wet from the snow. Zandra carefully stepped closer, reached out, and touched the small glimmering doll to make sure it was real. Startled, Zandra jumped back when the small doll moved.
“Who – what – are you doing in my front yard?” Zandra gasped. Startled, the small doll-like person jumped up and turned around to face Zandra with tear filled eyes. When the small doll-like person moved, glowing flakes flew around and covered Zandra. The glowing flakes resembled snowflakes but they were warm to touch. The small being was much shorter than Zandra; more the size of a large doll and her dress glowed and turned different colors in the moonlight.
The look on her small face was sad and she said, “I’m a Christmas pixie and I live in a hidden snow village at the North Pole. On Christmas Eve we ride on moonbeams to visit the boys and girls on Santa’s list.” The small pixie looked up a Zandra like that explained everything.
Zandra wasn’t sure what to say because she had never heard of a Christmas pixie and riding on moonbeams seemed like a strange way to travel. She asked the Christmas pixie, “You seem sad. Is something wrong?”
“The Christmas Bell in our village is broken and if it doesn’t ring on Christmas morning, everyone in our village will miss Christmas this year.” The little pixie lowered her head, sighed loudly and then continued, “There will be no Christmas feast or singing or dancing or gift giving, unless we can find someone who believes in the magic of Christmas – Only a true Belle can ring the Christmas Bell.” The little pixie looked ready to cry.
Zandra was puzzled by the pixie’s words and asked, “What is a true bell?”
“It’s the riddle,” the pixie explained. “Only a true Belle can ring the Christmas Bell and must be one of many Belles and Believe in the magic of Christmas.” The little pixie shrugged her shoulders and then added, “That is what is written on the inside of the Christmas Bell.” Then the small pixie sat down in the snow.
Zandra wished she could help the small pixie solve the riddle. She sat down in the snow next to the pixie and noticed how warm it was in the glow created from the moonbeam flakes. Zandra thought out loud, “A true bell – how can a bell be true? They can be big or small or ring in different tones.” She paused, thinking really hard trying to solve the riddle.
The pixie squinted her small face and said, “Well that’s what the riddle says and it is bell with an ‘e’ on the end. B. E. L. L. E. Like that.” With a confused look, the pixie looked up at Zandra.
Suddenly, Zandra jumped up causing moonbeam flakes to whirl around and exclaimed, “I’ve got it! My name is Zandra Belle. And I was named for my Grandmother and she was named for her Grandmother and since it is a family name, there were more Belles before us. And I believe in the magic of Christmas.”
The pixie looked shocked now understanding the riddle of the Christmas Bell. She looked at Zandra, took hold of her hand and begged, “Will you come with me to the snow village and see if you can fix the Christmas Bell?”
Now that the riddle was solved, Zandra was excited and not wanting to disappoint the little pixie she quickly answered, “Yes. I’ll come and try.”
“Hold on tight.” The little pixie shouted to Zandra. “We have to jump on the next moonbeam and ride it to the snow village.” Zandra tightly grasped the small hand in hers and in an instant the pixie jumped high in the air, pulling Zandra along and they landed on a glistening moonbeam. It was like riding on a sled going fast downhill and in an instant they landed in a large open area. Zandra stood up and straightened her nightgown and looked around. She could see the small buildings of the pixie village nestled under large snow covered pine trees. “Hurry.” The pixie order as she grabbed Zandra’s hand and led the way toward the hidden snow village. As they rushed toward the village, the small pixie yelled loudly that she had found the answer to the riddle of the Christmas Bell.
Pixies large and small, young and old came rushing out of the buildings and gathered round, all had anxious looks on their faces. It looked like they were dressed for a party because their clothes sparkled in the moon light. The smaller children pushed their way to the front with hopeful expressions on their tiny faces. The little pixie turned in a circle to see everyone as she excitedly explained how Zandra had solved the riddle of the Christmas Bell. A very old pixie with a long white beard stepped forward and stared hard at Zandra. He scowled and in a low voice said, “Come this way and we will see if you can make the bell ring and you must believe in the magic of Christmas.”
Hesitantly Zandra followed as the old pixie led the way to a wide gate, all the other pixies were crowding close behind clasping hands wishing for a miracle. Slowly the old pixie pushed open a large gate and Zandra could see inside. In the middle of a big fenced area was a gleaming golden bell hanging by silver cords. The small pixie stood next to Zandra and pointing at the golden bell told her, “This is where we celebrate Christmas Day every year. We gather round and listen to the Christmas Bell play the most wonderful carols, we sing and dance and exchange gifts. Then we have our Christmas feast with every kind of treat possible.” The little pixie tightly squeezed Zandra’s hand and in a loud voice exclaimed, “I just know you can fix the Christmas Bell.”
Zandra swallowed hard as she looked up at the large golden bell now worried that she might fail. She realized that she didn’t know anything about fixing broken Christmas Bells. Hesitantly Zandra stepped toward the golden bell hanging high above her head. There was a tall ladder made from tree limbs that had been placed beside the bell and she slowly began to climb it, careful not to step on her nightgown and trip and tumble off. When she reached the top of the ladder she glanced down realizing how high she had climbed. The pixies looked even smaller from this high up. Zandra leaned out to look underneath the bell and could see that the clapper that swings back and forth to ring the bell was stuck to one side.
Holding on to the ladder with one hand, Zandra reached out as far as she could and with her other hand and grabbed hold of the clapper. Zandra tried to loosen the clapper from the side by pulling hard on it. She tried again and then it happened. The tall ladder began to wobble back and forth and then it tipped over.
All the pixies began shouting and yelling and running at once. Someone yelled to get back from the ladder to avoid being squished; others yelled run for your lives; the old pixie looked up at Zandra and exclaimed that he knew a girl could not fix the bell.
When Zandra’s feet were not longer touching the ladder, she quickly grasped the stuck clapper with both hands and hung on as tight as she could. She looked down at the ground below her, hoping that she didn’t fall and break something important. Zandra dangled under the golden bell with both arms wound tightly around the clapper and oh no’s and groans of despair rose from the pixies now crowded around.
Someone asked should we lift the ladder? As the pixies stood around trying to decide how to rescue the dangling Zandra, a loud creaking noise echoed from the bell. The pixies all jumped back when another loud sound shook the bell and the clapper creaked as it became unstuck. Holding on with all her might, Zandra started to swing from one side of the large bell to the other; her new Christmas nightgown swishing around her legs as she swung back and forth. All the pixies started jumping up and down and cheering while Zandra continued to swing.
Zandra was able to hold on for a few more swings before her hands started to slide down the clapper. Unable to hold on, she fell to the ground below, looking like a bright red parachute as her nightgown puffed out around her slowing her fall. Her landing would not have won a medal, but Zandra didn’t care as she sat up and checked to make sure nothing was broken.
Suddenly it was pixie pandemonium as they ran to Zandra, all thanking her at once for fixing their beloved Christmas Bell. The little pixie ran forward happily exclaiming, “I knew you could do it!” And then she gave Zandra a big hug around her waist. The little pixie took Zandra’s hand and pulled her away from the celebrating crowd and told her, “We must hurry to get you home before the last moonbeam fades.” As the little pixie and Zandra jumped to catch the last moonbeam on Christmas Eve, all the other pixies cheered and waved goodbye.
In the blink of an eye the ride home was over and Zandra tumbled off the moonbeam and into her front yard. The little pixie waved goodbye and then she disappeared into the night. It only took a minute before Zandra realized she was sitting outside in the snow, in her nightgown, and she was freezing. Quickly she jumped up and ran inside and closed the door. Shivering she raced up the stairs and climbed into her bed and snuggled under the warm covers and exhausted fell fast asleep.
It was a bell ringing, announcing Christmas Day, that woke Zandra and the beautiful sounds were like none she had ever heard. She was confused, where were the magical sounds were coming from? She pushed back the covers and stepped out of bed and slowly climbed down the stairs to the living room. Her sleepy eyes opened wide when she saw the Christmas tree covered in twinkling colored lights with brightly wrapped presents underneath.
“Zandra why are you up this early?” Zandra turned and saw her mother nestled on the couch holding a large cup of steaming coffee.
“The Christmas Bell woke me up.” She sleepily replied.
“What bell?” Her mother asked?
Zandra wasn’t sure what to say because she could still hear the wonderful sounds from the Christmas Bell, but the music was growing fainter. Zandra put her hand in the pocket of her nightgown and moonbeam flakes that had been trapped in the pocket disappeared into the air and the ringing of the bell faded away. Zandra turned around and shrugged her shoulders and told her mother, “I must have dreamed it.”
Her mother laughed and said, “Would you like a cup of peppermint cocoa since you’re up so early.”
“Yes.” Zandra answered and hurried over and gave her mother the biggest hug possible and told her, “Merry Christmas!”