Ho Ho Ho

by Corey White © 2002

It seemed odd that a white man would be allowed residence on the Kehotican Indian Reservation. The only reason Ronald was granted such privilege was his affinity for gambling. A stout, pale-skinned man, with a bushy red moustache that curled up at the corners, Ron stood out on the reservation like an Irishman in a room full of Indians. Ronald, or Father Ron if you will, came to the Kehotican tribal lands nearly a quarter of a century ago with one goal, to convert the local heathens to the monotheistic belief in Jesus Christ. In those twenty-four years he has converted only one person, an elderly woman named Clouded Mind who had been ostracized from the tribe for her excessive use of the ritualistic hallucinogen peyote. Father Ron attributes his lack of success to the strong traditions of the Native Americans, although an outsider might say it was because the man spent the majority of his waking hours behind a craps table. Because of the staggering amount of church-collection money that the Father had "contributed" to the reservation's casino, he was permitted to reside in a hut at the outskirts of the Kehotican land.

It was only fitting that gambling should lead to Father Ronny's removal from the reservation. Eventually, the Catholic Church realized that Ronald was not a sound investment and stopped sending him money, but that did not stop him from gambling. After Ron had amounted a sufficiently large debt, the Kehotican Chief sent a letter to the Catholic Church, letting them know that their priest was to be removed from the reservation. In response, the Church sent Ron's mentor, Father Kringle, to assess the situation and repay the debt that Ron had amounted. The tribe agreed to let Father Ronald stay until his jolly old friend arrived. It was a very tense two weeks before Father Kringle arrived, for Ron had offended many tribesman with his failure to pay his debts.

It was a sunny afternoon when Father Kringle first stepped onto the reservation. He was a portly man, draped in a red gown that matched his rosy cheeks. Over his shoulder he carried a brown pillow case full of toys and candy that he gave to the younger tribesmen as a gesture of good will.

"Seems like you've got yourself in a pickle, young one. You have been put on the churches list of the fallen" Father Kringle said with a chuckle that shook his belly like a jello mold.

"I don't have a problem, I just need one more shot at the roulette." pleaded Ron.

Father K quickly replied, "You have had your chance, now you must return to the Lord and repent for your sins."

"But what of the friendships I have made, do they mean nothing?" questioned the younger priest.

"Friendships are very important, I do not deny that, but from what I have ascertained, you have burned every bridge you have built, and the tribesman want you out of here," said Father Kringle, "pack your things while I go repay your gambling debt."

Father Ron arrived at the casino twenty minutes later with all of his remaining possessions in one plastic trash bag. He was greeted by a very somber Father Kringle who was wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts and a frown.

"The Lord has decided that we shall stay here where we are needed," he explained, "and work off the debt to this tribe."

"No, no, no," said Father Ron, "you were right, these people don't want me here anymore."

"We have no choice, for I accidentally lost the money on video poker." Father Kringle said under his breath.

To this day you can find Father Ron dressed in borrowed green tights, crafting wooden playthings for the Kehotican children, and if you listen closely, you can hear the faint ring of Father Kringle's bell, as he stands next to a tribal donations bucket dressed in his red robe and black boots, ho ho hoping for a ticket home.

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