Rudolph’s Diary

Edited by Don Davidson (copyright 2016)

Editor’s Note: History says the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was invented by Mr. Robert L. May for a children’s coloring book issued by the Montgomery Ward department store for Christmas, 1939. Mr. May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, later transformed the story into a song, which Gene Autry turned into a hit record in 1949.

What the historians don’t know is that Mr. May’s story was based in fact, because he had access to Rudolph’s diary when he wrote the story—a fact confirmed to me by none other than Santa Claus during my visit to the North Pole two years ago. Santa gave me access to the diary, and I am publishing these excerpts from it—with Santa’s permission, of course—so you will know the true story of Rudolph.

Sunday, July 22, 1934. I am 45 days old today. That means I can graze like the grown-ups. I had my first birch leaves this morning, and they were delicious. Mama insisted that I also try lichen, also known as “reindeer moss.” Blech! It was terrible. But Mama said I need to develop a taste for it, because birch and willow leaves aren’t available in the winter time.

Monday, July 30, 1934. I should mention that I really like my bright, shiny nose. It’s so bright that I can even graze at night while most of the other reindeer are asleep. That’s really nice for midnight snacks.

Saturday, August 4, 1934. I had a very close call tonight. A wolverine tried to attack me while I was getting a drink from Beaver Pond. I jumped into the water to get away, and then Daddy fought him off with his big antlers. I can’t wait until I have antlers like that. Anyway, Mama said I need to be more careful.

Thursday, September 27, 1934.  I feel like a grown-up reindeer now. I’ve gotten a lot bigger the past several months. I don’t have my antlers yet—Mama says I won’t get those until at least next year—and I’m not as big as Daddy, but I’m pretty big. Mama thinks I should stay with the herd, but the other reindeer talk a lot about Santa Claus and his reindeer—I just have to see them for myself. So I’m going north.

Sunday, October 21, 1934. It’s getting ever so cold. I must be getting close to the North Pole by now.

Thursday, November 1, 1934. I guess I wasn’t as close as I thought. And I’m awfully hungry. That reindeer moss would look pretty tasty now, but I can’t find any—just lots of snow and ice.

Monday, November 5, 1934. I finally made it! I’m at the North Pole. I’ve seen Santa’s workshop, at least from the outside. It’s really big. And everyone seems so busy!

Tuesday, November 6, 1934. I shouldn’t have come. Santa’s reindeer are mean—well, except for Cupid. He slipped me a little of his food when no one was looking. But the others laughed at my nose. Blitzen asked me if I use lipstick to make it look so red. Donner called me Flashlight and Cherry Beak. Comet said I should get a job as a stop light. I hate my nose.

Friday, November 9, 1934. Santa’s reindeer like to play tag in the dark, and it’s dark here all the time. But they wouldn’t let me play because of my nose. Vixen said it would give me an unfair advantage. Then Prancer and Dancer started singing the song, “Blinded By the Light,” and Dasher fell over laughing. Maybe I should go back home. I really hate my nose.

Saturday, November 10, 1934. I made a friend today: Eileen the Elf. She’s part of the Doll Guild. Eileen explained to me that the elves are divided into guilds based on the type of toys and gifts they make for the children. Of course, the Doll Guild makes dolls, doll clothing, and doll houses. Eileen said there are 37 guilds, such as the Baseball Guild, the Books Guild, and the Board-Game Guild. There’s even a Socks and Underwear Guild, but Eileen said nobody likes those elves.

Sunday, November 11, 1934. Eileen didn’t have to work today, so she introduced me to a couple of her friends—Edmund the Elf and Becky. Edmund used to work in the Stuffed Animals Guild, but he got transferred to the Doll Guild last week. Becky is a polar bear, so I was scared of her at first. But she is actually very nice. She said Santa doesn’t allow anyone to harm anyone else at the North Pole, which made me feel a lot safer. She and I gave the elves rides until we both got tired.

Sunday, November 18, 1934. I’m so excited! Eileen introduced me to Santa today! He is wonderful! He insisted that I stay until after Christmas, when things won’t be quite so hectic. He showed me around several of the guilds, including the Doll Guild. I also saw his sleigh, and I even met Mrs. Claus. She gave me a basket of mushrooms to eat. Boy, they were good!

Wednesday, December 5, 1934. The other reindeer are still being mean to me. They won’t let me eat with them or play any of their games. Dasher suggested I go home and come back when I’m older.

Sunday, December 9, 1934. Becky left yesterday, but Eileen, Edmund, and I still hang out together when they’re not working. Of course, they work about fourteen hours a day, six days a week. Eileen said there’s a big demand for dolls this year and the Doll Guild is running behind schedule. That’s why Edmund and several other elves got transferred. I get very lonely when they’re not around. I wish Christmas would come and go already.

Saturday, December 22, 1934. According to Eileen, the weather forecast for Christmas Eve is pretty bleak—lots of snow, rain, and fog. Santa’s afraid his reindeer might go off-course, or even crash into a mountain. She’s not sure what he’s going to do, but she insists that he won’t let the children down.

Tuesday, December 25, 1934. I am so tired today, but last night was exciting! The weather was just awful. I was thinking about going to bed early, but then Santa asked if I would be lead reindeer for his sleigh. He said my nose would help light their way through the bad weather. How could I refuse?

I had no idea how to fly, but Santa sprinkled some magic flying dust on me—and on the other reindeer—and away we went. Honestly, the trip is a blur. It all went by so fast. But flying—what a rush!

When we got back, Eileen and the rest of the elves cheered. Vixen called me a hero. Cupid said I might even be inducted into the North Pole Hall of Fame one day. And Santa said I could lead his sleigh next year, too. I’m glad I have this bright, shiny nose.