Christmas · fiction

The Ballad of Yukon Cornelius

 

yukon corneliusimage link

Keele Peak in Mackenzie Mountain range

Breeds snow 12 months a year

To get to the top takes grit and mean

And untold hours of prayer

 

Refrain:

Yukon Cornelius

Born with a pickaxe in his hand

Yukon Cornelius

Find Santa’s gold if you can

 

A man named Ringo traveled there

From North Dakota way

He’d heard ‘bout Keele since a wee lad’s height

Heard gold, at its feet, might pay.

Refrain

He set up camp one late fall day

On the south side, in a cave

Had to share with a sleepy mama bear

They were right when they said he was brave.

Refrain

That spring when mama bear awoke

Ringo left to the trading post

Mama left with her cubs to the salmon run

Prayer answered what he’d prayed for most

Refrain

That summer the nearby town had a dance

Ringo put on his cleanest clothes

He danced all eve with a sturdy lass

By the name of Xena Rose

Refrain

At summer’s end they said their vows

All fall they built a home in town

As the 2nd spring was in full swing

Xena knit blankets of the finest down

Refrain

One morn in June, with the midwife there

Two babes from Xena Rose

One name Patrick, one Cornelius

My how their baby cheeks glowed

Refrain

Robust young sons, they grew by leaps

Helped Ringo mine gold at 2

They swam with the salmon, climbed with the cubs

Grew strong as the sky was blue

Refrain

The years went by, they grew into men

They made their parents proud

Where Patrick was quiet and kept the books

Cornelius was wild and loud

Refrain

One day word came to town

That the North Pole was the place to go

To strike it rich for the gold was such

That there was gold-covered snow!

Refrain

Cornelius told Ringo and Xena Rose

He needed to see for himself

And promised to bring back a fortune

And maybe one of Santa’s Elfs.

Refrain

At end of fall he took the train

As far North as it went,

Then outfitted himself with sled and dogs

Pickaxe, pliers, and tent.

Refrain

His retractable skates, fashioned with love

Were his parting gift from his Pa

A thick wool cap of the finest down

Crowned his head, a gift from his Ma

Refrain

A knife, hatchet, and canteen

rounded out his gear

His biggest assets though were his laugh

And his sense of adventure, not fear

Refrain

Whome’er he passed on his Polar Plunge

When they asked where he was from and his name

Came a hearty laugh, a twinkle-eyed smile, and,

“Yukon Cornelius is my name!”

Refrain

 

 

 

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