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It was Christmas Eve in the year 1922 when an old man finished his life's work - an impressive collection of drawing littering his log cabin, many of the drawing depicted anthropomorphic animals and objects, all in the style of early cartoon characters.

On that night the old man afforded a smile as he adjusted his crooked glasses and lifted the paper to reveal his final creation, a small yet energetic frog - stuck in a pose suggesting song and dance, an impossible smile etched on his face and a name scribbled in black ink at the botton "Betwixt".

The old man gave a nod and hung the picture up on the wall, next to the other drawings - a collection spanning several decades, though one drawing was torn from the wall: leaving behind only a small tag that read "Spot".

Looking at the wall the old man's smile faded slightly as if in thought, realizing he was still missing something he quickly put on his coat and headed out into the cold night, closing the door behind him.

As the old man left the pictures on the wall suddenly began to come to life as if by magic, the figures literally jumping out of the paper and landing on the ground - stretching as if awakening from a deep sleep.

The figures all greeted each other as if addressing old friends then looked to the new drawing, which had not moved.

The figures continued to look at the drawing until one, resembling a highly stylized mobster, came over and waved his arms as if trying to part the crowd.

"Alright! Alright! Let's me handle this - Hey! Kid! Wake up! It's Christmas!".

The group watched as the drawing remained perfectly still and the stylized mobster shook his head a little, turning around.

"It's a flop.. Come on.. We've got work to do..".

However no sooner had the figure turned away than the drawing suddenly sprung to life, the frog firing out as if emerging from a vortex - landing atop the mobster and rolling a few feet before sitting up, looking around and blinking a few times.

"Where am I?" the frog finally asked, jumping to one side as the mobster got to his feet and dusted himself off.

"Whatcha mean "where am I?" - you're home! Now let's get moving, he'll be here any moment!" the mobster replied, motioning to the other figures as they hurried along.

"Home..? I'm.. home?" the frog blinked, trying to make sense of it "..hey! wait! whose coming?" he yelled, chasing after the crowd.

"Santa Claus, of course - he comes every year.. most fleshies can't see him but us Toons are different - we're like children.. never grow old.. so we get to help him out with spreading cheer.." the mobster said.

"Oh, that sounds nice.. uh.. who's Santa Claus?" the frog replied, somewhat confused.

"Who's Santa Claus? Ha! That's rich - what's the matter, kid? You never heard of Christmas?" the mobster laughed.

"Of course he hasn't, Mook - he's just a baby.." an old woman commented, looking to the frog and helping him along.

"Baby Smaby.. I wasn't that dumb when I came into the world.." Mook replied, somewhat unkindly.

"You stop that right now Mook, you know Santa doesn't take kindly to bullies.." the old woman scorned.

"Oh lighten up, Mary - come on you guys, we got milk and cookies to make!" Mook said dismissively as he lead the others away, the old woman taking the young frog to one side as she fussed over his suit and smiled.

"Don't you listen to Mook, he's not bad - he's just drawn that way.. yet when it comes to Christmas all Toons know what's really important.. and that's what's in here.." the old woman said, placing a finger on the frog's chest, next to his heart.

"T-thank you, miss.." the frog began.

"Mary.." the old woman said with a smile.

"Miss Mary.. I'm just confused.." the frog admitted.

"Well don't you worry, when Santa arrives he'll teach you what you need to know.." Mary said.

"H-he must be really smart.." the frog said.

"Oh my dear, he is.. he is.. now come along.. we can make cards whilst Mook and the others are busy with their milk and cookies.." Mary chuckled, guiding the frog to a nearby table.


An hour past by and the old man had still not returned, yet the sound of bells alerted the figures in the log cabin to a visitor from above, the frog looking up as he head a thud from the rooftop.

"What's happening?" the frog began, Mary standing up and motioning him over towards the fireplace.

"Why he's here dear.." Mary smiled.

"Who?" the frog asked, his eyes growing wide as the fireplace seemed to grow larger and the sound of  jolly laughter echoed from within.

"Santa Claus, of course.." Mary replied.

Sure enough within moments a cheerful elf dressed in red emerged from the fireplace, carrying a large sack and sporting a thick white beard - letting out another hearty laugh Old Nick's belly wobbled like jelly and his kind eyes scanned over the room.

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!" Santa declared as he made his way towards a nearby chair, the figures all gathering around him and chattering excitedly.

The frog however stayed back and watched with some confusion as Mook and the others gave Santa cookies and milk, conversing with the old elf as if he was a grandfather - the whole room suddenly filled with cheer by his mere presence.

Yet the frog didn't dare approach and began to slowly turn away towards a corner, only to stop as Santa suddenly appeared before him like a ghost - surprising the others with his speed as the chair now lay vacant.

"Now my little friend, why are you all alone? come! be happy! it is Christmas!" Santa declared, motioning the frog over - yet the frog shook his head and began to retreat further.

"I.. I can't.. I don't know how.." he began.

"Ah, forget about Betwixt - he don't even know what Christmas is!" Mook said.

"Oh? Now that simply won't do.." Santa replied, turning back to the frog and smiling deeply.

"I want to know what Christmas is.. I really do.." the frog stammered.

"Well then, let me teach you.." Santa smiled.

"You can do that?" the frog said, with growing wonder.

"Of course! Christmas is easy!" Santa said, then with a twitch of his nose the room magically transformed into an open market and the sound music filled the air as he gently guided the frog along with one hand:


"It's in the singing of a streetcorner choir It's going home and getting warm by the fire

It's true, where ever you find love, it feels like christmas"


Mary appears and hands Betwixt a small mug of hot chocolate whilst a band of other Toons exchange gifts amongst each other, Santa smiling as he observes:


"A cup of kindess that we share with another A sweet reunion with a friend of a brother

In all the places you find love, it feels like christmas"


Santa takes over once more as he lifts Betwixt up and takes him further down the magical street, Mary and the other Toons following along as the music continues:


"It is the season of the heart

A special time of caring

The ways of love made clear

It is the season of the spirit

The message if we hear it Is 'Make it last all year'"


Santa comes to a stop by a shop window and Mook is seen at a table alongside a family of similar Toons, complete with an old woman with large glasses in a rocking chair knitting - stockings hanging from the walls:


"It's in the giving of a gift to another A pair of mittens that were made by your mother It's all the ways that we show love that feel like christmas"


Santa enters the shop and puts Betwixt down, the other Toons soon gather around him and the room magically grows, with a large Christmas tree and decorations appearing out of nowhere:


"A part of childhood we'll always remember

It is the summer of the soul in December

It's when you do your best for love, it feels like christmas"


"It is the season of the heart

A special time of caring

The ways of love made clear 


It is the season of the spirit The message if we hear it


Is 'Make it last all year' "


It's in the singing of a streetcorner choir

It's going home and getting warm by the fire

It's true, where ever you find love, it feels like christmas

It's true, where ever you find love

It feels like christmas

It feels like christmas

It feels like christmas

It feels like christmas"


After the singing stopped the music faded as reality seemed to return to normal, Betwixt once again finding himself in the log cabin surrounded by the other Toons and Santa made his way back towards the fireplace with a chuckle, taking his sack and putting it over his shoulder.

"So that's what Christmas is?" Betwixt said, looking to Santa - who give a small nod.

"Never forget, my little friend - Christmas is about love.." Santa replied before he stepped into the fireplace, which magically grew in size as the old elf changed into a cloud of snow that blew up into the chimney and out of sight.

"Christmas is.. love.." Betwixt began, looking around.

"Indeed, love is the most precious gift we have.." Mary said.

"Yeah, yeah.. enough of this mushy stuff - the Old Man is coming back.. we'd best be going back.." Mook interrupted, soon leading the other Toons back to the wall - where they soon began to jump back into the paper and transformed back into pictures as if my magic.

Betwixt watched this and began to head back to his own piece of paper when he noticed Mary sitting on an old rocking chair - she still smiled but did not follow the others.

"Mary? aren't you coming?" Betwixt asked.

"Oh? No dear, my time has passed - I am going to fade away.. now don't be sad.. all Toons have to fade away and I had a good run.. Merry Christmas, Betwixt.. I'm so very glad I could share this night with you - remember what Santa told you.." Mary replied, rocking back and forth.

Betwixt looked to Mary and became sad, turning away as he began to climb back into the paper on the wall - he turned back one last time and said: "..I will Mary, I'll always remember..".

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Many years later in the Land of Nowhere an older Betwixt sat alone atop a pile of junk, having changed his form into that of a tall humanoid rabbit dressed in the style of a vagrant - gazing into an old-fashioned snow globe he sighed and looked up at the sky, a large vortex swirling above:


"..I'll always remember.."


After a few moments Betwixt stood up and tossed the snow globe away and turned to face a twisted amusement park decorated with many large and frightening Betwixt statues and an impressive central tower, in disrepair but showing a large Betwixt head at the top which slowly rotated around as a large sign proclaimed: Betwixt Land.

Betwixt then proceeded to hop off the junkpile and walked down a road leading to the amusement park, the gates opening before him as several uniformed guards stand to attention.


-THE END-

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