Kaino's First Year (1/2)

Many of the reindeer in the North Pole grow up dreaming of being able to pull Santa’s sleigh one day. When he was young, Kaino the reindeer was one of them.

Kaino has spent his whole life dreaming and training of being accepted onto Santa’s sleigh team. He spends most of his days training and practising. Sometimes he will race through the valleys to get faster, other times he will skip through the enchanted forest, dodging through trees to become more agile.

He is always very eager to meet the Holhooja elves who train with the reindeer on Santa’s team, and takes every opportunity to see them training together and watch how they practised.

Day after day, month after month, Kaino keeps to his training and grows bigger, stronger and faster all the time. Each year he watches the other reindeer competing in the Summer Games and dreams of the year that he can join in.

Finally, after what felt like forever, Kaino is old enough to compete! The big day is finally here!

The little reindeer goes into each event with as much energy as he possibly can, acing the races, zipping through the obstacle courses, standing firm in the strength contests. Nearly everyone is impressed by the new competitor and his skills.

After all of the competitions are over, it takes all he has for Kaino to wait to find out if he has made it. It is only a few days, but it feels like years!

The day of the big announcement all of the reindeer and elves gather near the village, with Santa on a small platform to make the announcement. Kaino is there with his family and can hardly stand still from excitement.

Santa holds up his hands and the crowd hushes, everyone is eager to hear what he has to say. “I’m so happy to announce the wonderful reindeer who will be joining me on my trip this Christmas! Firstly, I want to thank everyone who joined in, you all did wonderfully and even if you didn’t make it onto the team you are all winners in my eyes!”

The reindeer on my team this year are; Kipina, Malta, Pritt, Blupinne, Okka, Laust, Minna, Alta and finally… our youngest member ever on the team, Kaino! Congratulations to everyone, please come forward and meet your Holhooja partners!”

Kaino jumps into the air with joy, unable to help himself. He has made it! He really did it!

He rushes up with the rest of the team and is thrilled to meet his new Holhooja partner, Rokou.

Some younger reindeer have gathered around the group chosen to pull the sleigh this year, watching with admiration, and Kaino feels very proud, more proud than he has ever felt before. One of the little reindeer steps forward, “Do you think I could make it only the team too, if I practise like you do?”

The other little reindeer chime in, wondering the same thing, and Kaino feels so proud that he can’t help but brag.

He puffs up, and does a flip to show off. “I’m just one of the best! You’ve gotta be like me, but you probably don’t have much of a chance, you’re all so scrawny and weak.” He strikes another pose to make his point.

Rokou is about to tell Kaino that wasn’t very nice, when Santa walks over.

“Now, now Kaino, that is hardly any way to speak to others. I’m not so sure you’re the best pick to pull my sleigh after all if that is how you think. I’m going to give you a week to prove to me that you understand the values of teamwork, otherwise I will have to find another reindeer to take your place.”

Kaino can’t believe it, he finally made it onto the sleigh team and now he might lose his spot? What is he supposed to do! He is so angry and feels like he might just start crying.

After Santa leaves Rokou puts an arm around Kaino and tries to make him feel better. “I know how much you want this and I’m sure we can work together to prove that you deserve to be on the team. I’m here to help, and we aren’t going to give up!”

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