Max’s eyes widened in surprise. Jemima? How did this man know about Jemima? And what was he doing on their roof? He couldn’t stop himself from nodding though. Something about the man’s inviting smile seemed to reassure him that it was okay to say yes.
‘Oh thank goodness for that,’ said the man. ‘We had a bit of a crash-landing up here and I didn’t fancy having to try any other houses tonight. One of the reindeer got caught up in your satellite dish and I’ve had a real job untangling the harness.’
Reindeer? What reindeer? Max peered upwards and saw pale-coloured shapes silhouetted against the chimney. Blimey, those were antlers! How on earth had the bloke managed to coax a flipping reindeer up there? But that certainly explained the hooves he’d heard earlier. Hold on, what was that next to it? A sleigh? Surely not! Yes, it was a sleigh and he could definitely see reindeer. The man with the white beard and wearing a red suit did look rather like pictures he’d seen of Father Christmas, but that wasn’t possible now he thought about it, because Father Christmas wasn’t a real person. Was he? But, anyway, it wasn’t Christmas. It wasn’t even winter-time. In fact it was August, and a lovely summer’s evening, so no chance of even the smallest snowflake falling. Had Santa Claus made a mistake with his calendar? All of these doubts and questions raced through Max’s head as he gazed open-mouthed at the scene above him.
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