This is the inside word from of the reindeer involved, Blitzen.
"This solved all the problems Santa had of course, the problem is that all of us reindeer were out of a job.
Once Rudolph had broken tradition, all the traditions were thrown out. Elf magic was augmented by GPS navigation and on-board radar. His old-fashion spectacles were replaced with helmet-mounted night-vision HUD."
Blitzen says this was the beginning of the end for the North Pole Reigndeer Squad "Santa had always wanted to deliver in North Korea. It's hard not to have sympathy for the people in a prison state like that. The problem was it wasn't on the route, he tasked us reindeer to scout it one year, so that he could add it to the next years' itinerary."
"When the time came we all flew in formation, high enough to see the Yalu River from above Seoul. We're reindeer, so North Korean radar couldn't possibly pick us up. We didn't realize at the time that Rudolph was lit up like an AWACS. That nose."
"We didn't realize until Donner exploded and fell into the darkness below. A Chinese-built copy of the Russian 9K22 Tunguska firing SA-19 missiles had taken him out. We scrambled and dived low. Rudolph tried to turn his nose off, but he was panicky and couldn't control it."
Blitzen broke down at this point. "We lost a lot of good reindeer that night. Not just Donner but Dasher, Dancer and Vixen. Vixen, she was my good friend. It was a disaster from the get-go. I ordered Rudolph to head at top speed north to the Yalu River into China while we all went to the north-east towards the ocean passing Wonsan".
"It was bad. Donner went down near Sariwon, we heard later that Kim Jong-eun ate a dinner of reindeer steak to gloat in his victory. Just disgusting. Vixen went down around Anju as we were taking evasive action."
"Rudolph? I was real sore with him for a long time, but we never heard from him again. There were reports of a shoot-down near Kanggye but they were unconfirmed. I think Rudolph went into hiding, I mean, I don't blame him."
"The North Pole Reindeer Squad was officially disbanded. We are all officially unemployed or retired. Sure, elves clean the stalls and feed us 3 squares a day but it's not the same as being out there. I really miss those guys, especially Vixen of course. They went down in action, they died heroes. The rest of us old reindeer will just die old and gamey"
"Well, that is the real story of what happened. I wish it was jollier"
(NOTE: This story originally published Dec 17, 2012)
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