As you may have guessed, I've taken the whole family to visit Snuffles's parents (by adoption), Harman and Nattie T. Dragon. They've never met Phenny, Frederick, or Lucky before, but they're getting along splendidly. My fairy godmother showed up yesterday as well.
If you're wondering what we all got for Christmas, I can tell you that Snuffles's manga collection and my science fiction collection have both expanded considerably. Frederick got a neat horn-polisher and Phenny got a new incense burner. Lucky didn't get the oxygenator she wanted because I forgot to buy her anything until the last minute and then couldn't find one, but I figure that doesn't matter because she doesn't really need it and because, hey, it's the thought that counts. And I did think about buying her an oxygenator.
But here's the big news: we got another letter from Rocky the Space Mouse! Rocky can only write infrequently because he's hiding in the ventilation system of a secret Martian base, but he usually tries to send a letter out for Christmas, and he always includes a special note for Lucky. Here's his letter in full:
Dear Deej, Snuffles, Frederick, Phenny, and of course Lucky,
Things have eased up here. The astronauts are relaxing because of the holiday. As I write, they are in the mess hall enjoying, as well as they are able, a reconstituted freeze-dried turkey dinner. They are laughing a good deal.
I have done the best I can with my meager provisions to make a suitably festive repast. I managed to steal a large block of cheese and have been making merry with it.
I am almost certain now that the base was built to contact the Prosipians, a race that has conquered a number of other solar systems in the Orion Arm. At first, I believed the astronauts were planning to sell us out to the Prosipians, but they are constructing weapons in the shop, so I may have been wrong. In fact, this secret base may be our first line of defense against the inevitable invasion. That's something of a relief, though I'm still in danger, as is the Earth. I will do what I can on this end, but tell my compatriots in the wall behind the fridge to begin Plan C. They'll know what you mean.
And Lucky--how are you, Princess? I hope that clod Deej has been treating you well for a change. I renew now the vow I made to you a year ago that somehow, in my travels, I will find a cure for your curse and return you to human form. When I do, I will make you a space suit of your own and take you to the Moon and to Mars and to Venus and show you all the places I've written about in my letters. Take heart, and don't let Snuffles's needling or Deej's oafishness upset you. I hope to return to Earth in a few months. If I'm able, I'll visit you then.
All my love,
Rocky the Space Mouse
So, there you have it. I'm not able with my present shaky access to the Internet to give you regular posts, but both Snuffles and I have a backlog of reviews to present, so as soon as we get back home, we'll start going again at full speed. Hope everyone is having a good time with family and friends this Christmas season!