‘Twas the night before Sunday, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse —
Or so we all thought, ’til exactly at three,

I awoke with a start to a grand mystery.

Had dreams caused the sense of my hearing to warp?
Or could this be truly the sound of my harp?
The melody would have been pleasant to hear,

But not at that time, and so dreadfully near!

I rubbed my eyes open and flipped on the light:
The door was still locked, not a soul was in sight.
But indeed I heard music, I came to discover,

From the harp by my bedside, still clad in its cover.

Disturbed to know what was provoking the clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Around to the instrument, with trepidation,
I opened the case from a safe elevation,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a scampering rodent, escaping in fear!
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

He was chubby and plump; he was blacker than soot.

I gasped when I saw him, in spite of myself;
He spoke not a word, but ran under the shelf.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

He dashed under the bed and I bid him goodbye.

But then for two hours I tossed and I turned,
While hearing commotion and growing concerned:
Would he want to use my harp’s strings for his nest?

Importing new strings is a difficult quest.

I downloaded sounds of a feline “meow”,
Dabbed pepper and cloves, since they help (did you know?).
At daylight, the man of the house searched with zeal,

All sabbath, in prayer I made my appeal.

Alas, though, at bedtime, a repeat of gloom:
The prancing and pawing of feet in my room!
Quick!  On went the light; my belongings we combed.

Again ’twas in vain, for uncaught the pest roamed.

Yet he soon in the kitchen was sighted, I learned;
With rags plugging my doorway, he never returned.
A bang and a text told me he never would:

Our unwelcome guest had been dispatched for good.

In conclusion, dear reader, to you I will leave
The decision of whether you truly believe
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,

That night before Sunday, inside of our house.

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

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