Book: 'The Night after xmas, a yule log adventure'. A compilation of short form Winter solstice and Christmas adventures by various authors, including Mike Koontz.

Kid Friendly Stories
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Short stories collection (Weekend read)
Christmas is by many looked upon as a happening of religious meaning. And that is as good a reason to celebrate Christmas as any other. But that was never the only Christmas or even the origin of xmas.

What the yule day however always was - is your day to enjoy and celebrate as yet another year in the cycle of life completes and starts anew, to enjoy whatever way you enjoy it and to do so no matter who you are,or what you believe in.

So, merry Christmas and a happy xmas to you all, no matter origin, beliefs, culture and language. Christmas is yours to enjoy your way and for your reasons.

Some of the following short stories are written by me, while other stories was written by writers that came before me.

Enjoy the read and day.

Photography and web adaptation, and in parts, written by Mike Koontz
2016, a Norse View Imaging and Publishing

Music of the day The Constant - by Anthrax

To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

Chapters and pages, library and language menu to the left of the screen

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the day


Santas show ]

'Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the house Not a creature was stirring—excepting a mouse. The stockings were flung in haste over the chair, For hopes of St. Nicholas were no longer there. The children were restlessly tossing in bed, For the pie and the candy were heavy as lead; While mamma in her kerchief, and I in my gown, Had just made up our minds that we would not lie down, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter. Away to the window I went with a dash, Flung open the shutter, and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of noon-day to objects below.

When what to my long anxious eyes should appear But a horse and a sleigh, both old-fashioned and queer; With a little old driver, so solemn and slow, I knew at a glance it must be Dr Brough. I drew in my head, and was turning around, When upstairs came the Doctor, with scarcely a sound, He wore a thick overcoat, made long ago, And the beard on his chin was white with the snow. He spoke a few words, and went straight to his work; He felt all the pulses,—then turned with a jerk,

beneath the birch trees and raven filled gray skies

And laying his finger aside of his nose, With a nod of his head to the chimney he goes:— "A spoonful of oil, ma'am, if you have it handy; No nuts and no raisins, no pies and no candy. These tender young stomachs cannot well digest All the sweets that they get; toys and books are the best. But I know my advice will not find many friends, For the custom of Christmas the other way tends. The fathers and mothers, and Santa Claus, too, Are exceedingly blind. Well, a good-night to you!" And I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight: These feastings and candies make Doctors' bills right!"


[three, a dragon


the tree]

"Boys," said Mrs. Howard one morning, looking up from a letter she was reading, "I have had a letter from your grandmamma. She writes that she is returning to England shortly." The boys went on with their breakfast without showing any great amount of interest in this piece of news, for they had never seen their grandmother, and therefore could not very well be expected to show any affection for her. Now Mrs. Howard, the mother of two of the boys and aunt to the third little fellow, was a widow and very poor, and often found it a hard task to provide for her "three boys," as she called them, for, having adopted her little orphan nephew, she always treated him as her own son. She had sometimes thought it strange that old Mrs. Howard should not have offered to provide for Leslie herself but she had never done so, and at last Mrs. Howard had ceased to expect it. But now, right at the end of her letter, Grandmamma Howard wrote:— "I have been thinking that perhaps it would come a little hard on you to support not only your own two boys, but poor Alice's son, and so, on my return to England, I propose, if you are willing, to adopt one of them, for I am a lonely old woman and shall be glad of a young face about me again." After thinking the matter over, Mrs. Howard decided she would say nothing about their grandmother's intention to the boys, as she thought that it was just possible she might change her mind again. Time passed on, and winter set in, and full of the delights of skating, the boys forgot all about the expected arrival of their grandmother. During the Christmas holidays the boys one morning started off to Broome Meadow for a good day's skating on the pond there. They carried their dinner with them, and were told to be sure and be home before dark. As they ran along the frosty road they came suddenly upon a poor old woman, so suddenly that Leslie ran right up against her before he could stop himself. The old woman grumbled about "lazy, selfish boys, only thinking of their own pleasure, and not caring what happened to a poor old woman!" But Leslie stopped at once and apologized, in his polite little way, for his carelessness. "I am sorry," he said. "I hope I did not hurt you; and you have such heavy parcels to carry too. Won't you let me help you?" "Oh! come on, Leslie," said his cousins; "we shall never get to the pond at this rate!" "Yes, go on," said the old woman sharply; "your skating is of a great deal more importance than an old woman, eh?"

But Leslie's only answer was to take the parcels and trudge merrily along beside his companion.

On the way to her cottage the old woman asked him all sorts of questions about himself and his cousins, and then, having reached her cottage, dismissed him with scarcely a "thank you" for the trouble he had taken. But Leslie did not take it much to heart. He raced along, trying his hardest to overtake his cousins before they reached the pond, and was soon skimming about with the rest of them. Squire Leaholme, in whose grounds the boys were skating, afterwards came down to the pond to watch the fun, and, being a kind-hearted old gentleman, offered to give a prize of a new pair of skates to the boy who should win the greatest number of races. As it was getting late, it was arranged that the racing should come off on the following day, and the Squire invited all the boys who took part in it, to come up to his house to a substantial tea, after the fun was over. How delighted Leslie was, for he was a first-rate skater, and he did so want a new pair of skates!

But the Squire's skates were not to be won by him, for on the following day as he and his cousins were on their way to the pond, they came across the queer old woman whom they had met on the previous day.

She was sitting on the ground, and seemed to be in great pain. The boys stopped to ask what ailed her, and she told them that she had slipped and twisted her foot, and was afraid that her ankle was sprained, for she could not bear to put it to the ground

Beneath the wintry sun, the Oaken trees of your forest

"You musn't sit here in the cold," said Leslie; "come, try and get up, and I will help you home." "Oh! Leslie," cried both his cousins, "don't go. You will be late for the races, and lose your chance of the prize." Poor Leslie! He turned first red, then white, and then said, in a husky tone of voice— "Never mind—you go on without me."

"You're a good laddie," said the old woman. "Will you be very sorry to miss the fun?"

Leslie muttered something about not minding much, and then the brave little fellow set himself to help the poor old woman home, as gently and tenderly as he could. She would not let him come in with her, but told him to run off as quickly as he could, and perhaps after all, he would not be too late for the skating. But Leslie could not bear to leave her alone and in pain, so he decided to run home and fetch his Aunt. When Mrs. Howard arrived at the cottage, you can think how surprised she was to find that Leslie's "poor old woman" was none other than Grandmamma Howard herself, who wishing to find out the real characters of her grandsons, had chosen to come in this disguise to the little village where they lived. You will easily guess which of the three boys Grandmamma chose to be her little companion. And oh! what a lovely Grandmamma she was, as not only Leslie, but his cousins too, found out. She always seemed to know exactly what a boy wanted, and still better, to give it to him. Walter and Stanley often felt terribly ashamed of the selfish manner in which they had behaved, and wished they were more like Leslie. But Grandmamma told them that it was "never too late to mend," and they took her advice, and I am quite sure that at the present moment if they were to meet a poor old woman in distress by the roadside, they would not pass her by, as they once did Grandmamma Howard.

By Anna Morrison




These are a random few moments, lived by us and brought to you by the winds and the stars from the place where we live together with a little mouse that lives inside of our walls. Here, where we wander, at this solemn place, sometimes we play for a while, in the snow that falls under the shooting stars.

This is my story, true to life and told to you, as I once told, a mind and girly soul, so beautiful.

Inside the walls of our homes and lives, there are undraped windows through which we all see both in and out, and at night I find myself looking both out and up together with you. Tonight, a shooting star stirs and moves the northern lights. Like a spoon through water, it moves before our eyes through the sea of the dancing greens. The star is clear as day yet slightly obfuscated through the sheets of the old and ever changing glass that is our windows, outside the world is silent and it could be a dream as we witness the star cut through the puffy clouds, not a sound is heard but the crackling of frost and falling snow.

And at night.
Some other times, there we are, walking through life's small moments and we are holding hands as a leafy flake of snow grace like falls between the barren branches. It floats without a sound towards the ground from the clouds high up above, and with a smile on our faces, it comes to a halt, right at the tip of your nose, just as another flake lands upon your eyelashes.

I kiss it away.

Crunching snow
birds, their muted song

Together, we stand outside having walked amongst the falling leafs and the subtle snow. Rain or sunshine matters not for us. Sometimes the sun will rise, lifting the world with its light, the essence of life that filters so sensually through the evergreens.

But today, it is night. Night and winter and the warmth of spring is so far away.
The squirrels are fat and warm tonight, tucked up inside their pine-tree home.

We walk together not far from their own happy home.

Looking in, through the of night, all chilly frosty glass, the burning lamps, and the pleasant light. The warmth that moves and lives inside those walls. Behind the frosty windows and chick curtains. Is it empty we ask out loud, or is there someone looking out? Back at us. Do they hear our silent minds, can they feel our burning soul and warming hands. Did they see me kissing the snowflake away from the tip of your gorgeous nose?

In between these two sides. Neither looking in or out. Or perhaps, they really do those two things all the time. There live a gnarly little furry mouse that move about with his love and all their friends.

At night, you can hear them talk and hug it out. They move, play and dart around with a pace and speed that takes my breath away, they move and live inside, and outside the walls that we people build. Sometimes they walk our floors, sitting near, our sleeping faces. Yes, when the cat is away, that is what they do, our furry friends.

We kiss and make a cute little snowy angel. Your arms whips around and I kiss your pretty lips, yet again, right there in the falling snow.

Winter is here, but it is warm and pleasantly cozy with the most elusive kind of beautiful, pastel painted morning skies as the sun slowly climbs above the mountains to the east, greetings us all good morning in ways it never seems capable of outside of winters realm.

Santa slowly approached over the morning mist and frozen lake - Photography by Mike Koontz

And right there. In the corner of my eye. I swear the little mouse sits right nearby. He is looking out at us as we hug and kiss it out right there in the snowy warmth. And perhaps he too thinks the very same.

Looking out and about, at the intertwined us and all the shooting stars.

Winter is warm and spring is so very far away, but it does not matter. Life is beautiful as we look outside in our frozen windows. You make me happy, I make you happy, our mouse is happy skirting around, inside our walls, the snow, our bedroom floors. Spring is far away, but we make each other happy, and that is really all that matters no matter who can see us in this void of snow and blackest night.
I kiss you yet again and plant a snowy ball of love in your auburn colored hair.
Around us all the northern light and frozen lakes now slowly sing their softly spoken song, the melody they weave is natures sounds of life's tardigradous conversation that sighs so soft inside the night, and there we are, a little mouse and the two of us in a sea of white and dancing greens.

Life is beautiful, and I smile.

It was


and together,

they smiled]

The day changed before their searching eyes as the humidity kept building up, and before you knew it drops of water was hurling down toward them from the clouds, thick and utterly gorgeous drops of water splashed across the leafs and branches that was scattered above them with near silent, yet if you truly listened, it was like a carpet of thundering clashes that played a wayward march of a million drums.

The little aphid cow right next to the ant looked startled at the sea of thickening tears that came hurling down all around them.

"My very first winter rain, my gosh, just look at those drops, how big and thick they are"

Yes, the soldier ant Said, they are close to becoming hale and snow by now. I can already feel it in the air. Come, let us go back inside before winter catches us. We are in northern lands now, and the freeze can happen instantly here. And if it do, it is strong and powerful enough to hurt us

"The freeze?" The Young aphid sounded as frightened and hesitant as he looked now.

Yes, wait here, I have to close the hatchet too. Our Norse tribe would not be too happy with us if I forgot to close this entrance for the winter. You see, up here with the fairies and trolls, those white and brown Bears and Santa Claus. Things turn to real ice and snow up here for month at a time. It is impossible to survive outside for little ones like us. Everything, even the rain becomes hard as metal and stones against your skin.

"but, it was sunny and warm yesterday?"

Yes, winter has come.
But no need to worry about that, we usually spend our summer and autumn up here, we are a migrant tribe after all, and once Santa has dropped off his bag of presents next week it is time for us to take the southern tunnel down back to Africa, and from there, we might hitch a hike with the Spider ballon trail, and in return for us helping them stay safe, they will carry us all the way out to the ocean trading route.

From the trading route, ocean currents, winds and our own ladybugs will take us all the rest of the way to Brazil, it´s lovely during this time of the year. So, no worries, in a month or so we will once again see summer and you can graze as much as you want in our southern hemisphere capital, until we head back north for the arctic summer of course.

Perhaps, next year, we will go and visit the eastern outpost, Japan has such a beautiful blossoming tree and the clan chief has sent words that next year will be an extraordinary display of wonders, the trees and bugs have been producing an extraordinary amount of milk for us.

before the wild and the snow, there is your autumn

"Who is Santa Claus?" the little aphid said.

Well, Santa is, you know. Think of Santa as more of a magical being than a person. He lives up in the wild north, somewhere far away and deep in the snowy mountains of the ancient places only known to Vikings and frost giants.
He walks amongst the humans, the ants and every little critter and animal. Almost like Odén, the old Viking king of all the Norse gods.

He has many names and shapes, but once a year Santa lets the world see him almost the same way no matter who you are. He walks this planet, an old and very bearded man, slightly puffy and quite over weight, but perhaps that is just the shape he wants you to see that very day.

Come xmas eve, when you close your eyes and the ferries take you to the world of dreams, Santa somehow finds his way inside your house, leaving presents behind, and behind him he sprinkles a crunchy trace and scent of ginger bread and a most delicate lingering feeling of wonders.

The point is, no one really know´s who Santa is, or how he can change his shape like that, to grow as tall as the tallest of giants, or as small as an ant. No one knows how he actually look like, or how he can travel the entire world and be at millions of places almost all at once. Is there a hundred thousand different Santa beings? An unknown species that only shows itself to the rest of us during Christmas. Or is it just one Santa that some how manages to find himself in hundreds of millions of places each and every second.

I do not know.

It´s magical like that. Like nothing else in life.

He shows up, and he vanishes like he almost never was there to begin with, and behind him, the scent of magic and the physical gifts which he has left behind is all that remains.

Well, that and gratitude I hope, because you should be grateful.

For life itself, each person that truly cares about you, and for all the wonders in the world. For the kindness that somehow gave you that gift.

Grateful for the cycle of life, light and dark. Snow and warmth, it´s all an wondrous part of life.

And yeah, it´s magical, Santa and the reality of the yule log traditions.

Just remember to not lay awake. Because Santa never ever shows up before each and everyone inside the house have soundly entered the dreamy lands that is guarded by the moon and the stars. Some how he always knows if you are silently laying awake trying to catch a glimps or sound of him, and if you stay up for too long, all that you will have accomplished is that he will not show up at all. And if that happens, well tough luck kiddo - you are officially down and out with Santa and you better hope that someone in your life is kind enough to buy you gifts of their own.

So you see, you have to fall asleep little one if you really want santa to come around, so nn and don't let the bed bugs bite. Because I want him to leave some gifts behind him, I have waited all year long for that.

..... "but,tell me about the lady bug trail!."

Hush now little cow,
I do not want us to chase away Santa this year too, I will tell you all about our lady bug trail tomorrow, and soon you will get to see it with your very own eyes as we leave the new fallen snow behind. But for now, please let´s close our eyes and visit the sandy ant mans shores.
I have heard that he is having a barbecue tonight together with a bunch of hybernating Vikings that just woke up, and I doubt you would want to miss that.

.... "Oh wow, the sandy ant and Vikings, I cant wait to see that"

....."What are they barbequing?"

..... "Oh I can hear him, did you hear that! Santa is here, I can hear him"

......"How did he get inside, we dont have a chimney!!"


my sister



the closet]

Do you know, when we are having such good times at Christmas, what sweet music they have in Norway, that cold and icy Norse country across the sea? One day in the year the proud people who live there take their time to make even the birds that live there so very happy, so joyous they are that they sing of their own free-will more vivid that day than any other day in the year.

The frozen birds give tune to a glad, winter carol on the morning of the winter solstice.

through the wild and snow, help the helpless

And this is why they sing on that morning more than on any other.
After the birds have found shelter from the biting north wind on Christmas-eve, and the night is still and bright, lit up with nothing but the stars and the swaying of the northern light, even if the storm is ever so severe, the good people bring out sheaves of corn and wheat from their storehouses.

Tying them on slender poles, they raise them from every spire, house and barn, gatepost, and high rise building; then, when the pale white solstice sun slowly ascent and rise over the hills and eastern mountains, every bird so cold bursts forth into joyous song, the dark ravens, the proud eagles, the little ones, the owls and swallows and all the others.

You can well believe that these songs of all the proud birds make the world a happy place.
They echo, with all their hearts, their living, grateful anthem, "The glory that is life and the sun, the dark night and snow filled skies, in the high winter and frozen fjords, the sun and the moon both gives birth to life and warmth, ever changing night and days."

They sing for the moon, for the longer days to come and for the new year ahead, they sing for the warmth of the sun and the crops at hand.

They sing for all that is Christmas and the winter solstice time. For each other and all those that give to each other.


[the chimney

Santa came

with gifts]

Lura's Uncle Roy is currently residing in Japan. Years ago he used to come over for Christmas dinner at Lura's home. But these days most Christmases he wrote or called her papa on hangouts to say a box of gifts had been sent, luckily one was always for his little girl.

The little girl clapped her hands, crying, "Oh, mamma! don't you think it is the chain and locket dear uncle said he would sometime give me?"
"No," replied her papa, reading on. "Your uncle says it is a turkey for one."
"But we do not need turkeys from Japan," remarked the little daughter, soberly.

Her papa smiled, and handed the open letter to her mamma. "Read it aloud, every bit," begged Lura, seeing her mamma was smiling, too.
But her mamma folded the letter and said nothing.

On Christmas eve the box, which had just arrived, was opened, and every one in the house was made glad with a present. Lura's was a remarkable wooden turkey, nearly as large as the one brought home at the same time by the market-boy. But the wooden turkey talked and moved, powered by googles self learning and open sourced a.i system. Sensors in it´s eyes and wodden feathers allowed it to see and hear and feel the room and a hidden speaker allowed it to speak with a naturally sounding voice as it clampered around the room on it´s small but sturdy graphene legs.

In fact, wood and graphene was what made up it´s entire body, allowing it to recharge itself by a combination of warmth, kinetic energy and lightning. And that turkey kept them all marvelling, like they had all been turned into little childrens once again.

Next morning, while the fowl in the kitchen was being roasted, Lura placed her own turkey before a window and watched people admire it as they passed it by on the snowy street outside. All its imitation feathers, and even more its red wattles, and life like moving head and eyes as it monitored and reacted to the people walking by seemed to wish every man and woman, boy and girl, a Merry Christmas.

Lura herself was so mesmerized that she had not spoken of the jewelry since her uncle's letter was read and the turkey had been revealed and powered on.

When dinner was nearly over, her papa said to her, "My dear, you have had as much of my turkey as you wanted; if you please, I will now try some of yours."

"Mine is what Uncle Roy calls a turkey for one," laughed Lura.
She turned in her chair towards where her wooden robot bird had been strutting on the window-sill, talking to them while they had dinner, making conversation and remarking on the food they where eating and the Christmas lights inside the room, Lura added, in surprise, "Why, what has become of him?"

At that moment the servant brought in a huge platter. When room had been made for it on the table it was set down in front of Lura's papa, and on the dish was her turkey.

From the sky, black eyes and white light

"Oh, what fun!" exclaimed the child happily. "Did uncle tell you to pretend to serve it?"
"I have not finished what he directs me to do," her papa said, with a flourish of the carving-knife.
"But, papa—oh, please!" Her hand was on his arm.
"You would not spoil my beautiful wooden bird from Japan!

A hidden spring was touched with the point of the knife. The breast opened, and disclosed the fowl chest compartment filled with even more toys and other things. The first thing taken out was a tiny box; inside was a gold chain and locket; the locket held Uncle Roy's picture. But it was also a wifi powered key in case they ever had to turn the turkey off, upgrade it or perhaps manually teach the a.i a few new tricks.

While it was a turkey for one,—for Uncle Roy's little niece. All the family shared for years the amusement of the gift that was that turkey.

Written by Lavinia S Goodwin and Mike Koontz

through dark

[and cold


brightest day]

It was Christmas Eve and the frost fairies were busy getting ready for Christmas Day. First of all they spread the loveliest white snow carpet over the rough, bare ground; then they hung the bushes and trees with the sweetest crunchy icicles that flashed like diamonds in the moonlight.

Later on, they had already planned to draw beautiful frost pictures on the window panes, to surprise the little children in the morning.

The stars shone brightly and the moon sent floods of light in every nook and corner. And atop it all a simmering sea of green and yellow crawled it´s way across the sky, and if you listened closely enough you could hear the aurora speak it´s soundless song and how the frozen oceans answered back. How could any one think of sleeping when there was such a glorious evening outside!

Jessie and Fred had gone to bed very early so they might be the first to shout "Merry Christmas!" but their eyes would not stay shut.
"Oh dear! it must be 'most morning," said Fred; "let us creep softly down stairs and maybe we'll catch Santa Claus before he rides off."
Hand in hand they tiptoed to the dining-room and peeped out the big window;—surely, surely, that was something climbing up the roof of cousin Nellie's house; it must be old Santa. Fred gave a chuckle of delight; to be sure the reindeer were very queer looking objects, and the sleigh such a funny shape, but the children were satisfied with having spotted Santa.

The old fir tree, whose high branches almost touched the roof, knew all about those shadows, but it was so old no one could ever understand a word of the many tales it told in endless row.

"There's something scratching on the door," whispered Jessie; but it was only a mouse, who had sniffed the delightful odors of the Christmas goodies and was trying his best to find a way into the pantry and test them with his sharp teeth.
"Come," said Jessie, "we'll turn to icicles if we stay here much, longer"; so up-stairs they quickly scampered.

Papa had been to town on an errand, so it was quite late when he came home. As he was hunting in his pockets for his key, he heard a pitiful cry, and looking down he saw a big, white cat carrying a tiny kitten in her mouth.

"Poor thing," said papa, "you shall come inside till morning."

Santa Claus had been there with the nicest wagon for Fred and a warm, seal-skin cap that lay right in the middle of it. When papa left the room, puss and her kitty were curled up comfortably on the rug singing their sleepy song.

there are no sorrows but joy and warmth and Santas magic at winters time

And so it came to be that the sun was shining brightly in the dining-room window when Jessie and Fred made their appearance; Fred laughed with delight, for right in the crown of his new cap lay the cutest white kitten, with big, blue eyes and wee pink nose, while standing close by as if to guard her darling from danger, was good old mother puss.

"I never had such an amazing Christmas present before," said Fred, "now I know Santa Claus really do read the letters I threw up the chimney because I told him to bring me a kitten and here it is."

Papa smiled and looked at mamma, and then everybody said "Merry Christmas" at once.

a letter



in the stocking]

Christmas was coming. Jamie and Ted had already begun to write long letters to Santa Claus. But one thing was rather queer: both boys asked him for the same things.

Each little letter ended with,—"Just like Brother's."

to catch the fish that holds our fire

They had agreed to ask for only one connected sled. They would rather ride together and share it brotherly since not even santa could afford to give such expensive toys to every single child.
Now was not this very sweet and loving?

One night, after they had gone to bed, Jamie said, "Ted, if Santa Claus brings us skates, Jim can teach us how to use them."
"Oh, yes; and if we get ferrets it will be such fun to make a fort that they can guard for us."
"And a snow-man," Jamie answered.

Ted went oh: "I'll always ride the sled down a hill, and you can ride it back up with the electronic drive."

"I guess you won't," Jamie said, speaking loudly.
"Why not?" Ted asked.

"Because it'll be as much my sled as yours."
"Yes, of course," Ted replied; "but I chose it first."
"You are a selfish turd!" said Jamie.
"Well, then, so are you!"
"I don't care. I won't sleep with you tonight. I'll ask mamma if I can't have the first pick; I'm the biggest," roared Jamie, bounding out of bed.

"You're a big, mommas cry baby," Ted shouted, jumping out after his brother.

Away ran Jamie to mamma, with Ted at his heels. Both were angry. Both talked at once. Mamma was grieved. Her dear little boys had never been so unkind to each other before. She kissed their hot faces and stroked their pretty hair. She told them how their naughty words hurt her. She showed them how displeased all of santas friends would be to see two little brothers quarrel.

Late that night they finally went to sleep, not directly on the best of terms, but still, friends and brothers in thick and skin, and at least they where back to speaking terms.

Christmas morning came at last. Very early the boys crept out of bed, just to "feel" their own stockings above the fire place.
Up stairs mamma and her new boyfriend could hear the anticipation all the way from downstars, and they both remembered deep inside that at one point they too had been a little person, eagerly waiting and guessing what santa would have brought them this time.

Later that day, once each giant red stocking had been emptied from toe to top. Boxes and paper parcels were piled around them. Such shouting! Such joy and musing! It somehow it seemed as if all their letters had been answered.

Suddenly Jamie cried, "O Ted, here's a letter! It´s a letter from Santa!! Look bro"

They put their little heads together, and with the grown ups help had soon spelled this out:—

"My dear Boys,—No sled this year. It quarrelled and tried to run me over, it seemed to think that I was in fact not santa at all - so I was afraid to bring it. I dropped it off the load about a week ago to have it properly fixed by my little elfs, so get ready for one each next year instead.
Merry Christmas!


a Norse View Imaging and Publishing

established 2013

Copyright 2017
a Norse View, Mike Koontz

'The Yule log adventures', book 1 is a short and children friendly xmas compilation made up by short stories written by various authors.

Thank you for reading.

Mike Koontz & others.
Mike Koontz
To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

   My livingroom art
   Author page, Mike Koontz

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    Just a Thursday, spent on northern shores.
    And this is the way I started this gorgeous little Autumn day.

  • Roundabouts in the milky way galaxy. The duality of a sustainable earth, and interplanetary living.

    Quality time needed: 14 minutes

    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    We see a brand new dawn.

    Life itself is this majestic mirror world of brilliance and incompetence. Eternally merging and reflected, individually disengaged yet perfectly synchronized and attached to each other and everything else.

    Like the leaf that finds itself stranded on the wayward peaks of a stormy ocean. They are each others counterpart, yet entirely different. Individual objects, entwined and interconnected. Disengaged and perfectly unique.

  • Into Autumn, the spider´s lullaby. Random thoughts on life from another gorgeous day.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Walking through the gates of autumn.

    Together with a tiny little spider.

    And today, there´s officially a full-blown Autumn song playing out there in nature. Gorgeous and sunny, on a Sunday =). Wind free, except for the tiniest of breeze that you can almost not see or feel as it slowly makes it way through the crown of leaves that towers above.

    But it is, none the less, Autumn.
    The colors of the trees reveal it. The pale blue September moon that hangs high up in the middle of the day is another telltale.

  • The anatomy and fitness function of our gorgeous human ass ( The mighty three we call the Gluteus ).

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes

    The gorgeous strength of Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.

    The science of health and fitness should always be your lifelong guide.

    Fitness is as wonderful for your health as it is for landing you a more sculpted and capable body over time.
    But that will never change that even fit people (quite a lot of them) are doing the right things for the wrong reasons. Case in point the fit and good looking girl you can see in the IG video I am linking to, she obviously trains hard and regular while being in great shape, and she does know quite a few things about the body and the science of staying healthy and fit.
    Which is wonderful on all counts.
    But like so many other gym goers she is seemingly misinformed about a few things too ( on the other hand, so are we all :P ). Allowing wrongful information and knowledge to shape her choices and the choices of other people that gulps up everything we fit people believe to be true. However, if you are willing to listen to it the beautiful science of health and fitness will guide you towards a better body and better health and better workouts if you pay attention to real fitness science instead of personal opinions. You see, there is nothing wrong with the exercises she is doing. But outside of the wonderful world of human anatomy, there is no such thing as an upper or lower butt muscle as far as your exterior appearance goes, nor is there a meaningful difference as far as your practical fitness capacity and workout goes.

    Click through and let us talk about Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus.

  • Earth over shoot day is one of many events and situations during the year that signals the mindless gluttony of our evolving hybrid species.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Planet Earth - studies & life in the Anthropocene.

    A new way of life is needed.

    But what is it exactly? And why is something that sounds so cute something truly terrible that we need to take seriously as a global whole.
    To most people, it is more than likely just another ridiculous phrase keyboard warriors throw around once a year while they too waste this world to the point of no return.
    But this ever-moving yearly event day is anything but deadly essential.

    Every year this day signals the point in that year where we have used up all the naturally replenishing resources of this planet.
    And beyond this point, the planet is losing its inventory for the next year(s) ahead and it's capacity to restock.

    Which if we are talking about corporations and business leaders is something that would cause pretty much every corporate leader out there to die from a heart attack if it persistently happened to their business. But when its Earth, people just shrug their mindless shoulders and look the other way as if the greenhouse we are subsisting in isn't the singular thing that feeds and house us all.

  • Fine Art & living room products by Mike Koontz. All featured products are available for purchase.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Your living room
    contemporary art & style

    We carry with us our own unique style and touch, in person, the way we are. The choice in our clothes, our fitness and the way we train and live our healthy fit life. Our individual thoughts are stamped by our unique nature. The way we have sex, the books we read, the movies that make us cringe or wax, the deep secluded passion, the music that makes our soul float, and the things we truly like in life.
    The way you are and see the world carries through in everything.
    It shows in the gym, and it is made perfectly clear in the boardroom.

    It is visible in the way you handle your lover, and in the style and feel of your living room.
    The person that you are is not just reflected in those things, but your surroundings in life and nature and home speak in equal measures to your inner self and carries with it real significance for how much you, in turn, will enjoy both life and the everyday castle you call your home.

    This is my contribution to your life.
    A touch of the genuine northern soul that is the Vikings true home.

  • Fitness facts: How and why does the range of motion in any given strength exercise matter?.

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    Diving down into a range of motion and squat study.

    The science of health and fitness should always be your gym guide.

    Right now, if you enter any given gym, the wonderful world of barbells will conjure up as many opinions as there are fitness girls on Instagram, no matter the subject.
    And plenty of opinions are exactly that, personal opinions, formed by peer pressure in the gym, on social media, or by fit vixens looking to make a bigger following by posting daily stuff which may or may not be factually correct.

    There are out of date school gym coaches still living in the past, badly informed parents, friends, big brothers, big sisters, commercial interests only looking out for the next conference call, as well as uninformed writers working for big tabloids which just happened to draw the assignment to make a puff piece on fitness.

    So let us instead look at science and what it actually has to teach us about the range of motion for any particular exercise. And for the purpose of this article, let us focus on a Squat centric use case since legs and ass are thankfully all the rage anyway :).

  • Moments from the Anthropocene, the fox and my morning coffee.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    The scent of black coffee.

    And wild breakfast companions.

    'Today' (another today ) while enjoying my first cup of coffee standing outside on my sun-drenched porch, I could hear something sneakily make its way through the underbrush and thick tall grass and florals that intermix with the deep dark, and thankfully, untouched old forest at the edge of my property.

    Fast forward just a little bit and I could start to see the movement in the thin youngling trees and the tall flowers. Something was out there, touching here and there making the wild plants and florals sway as it drew nearer me.

  • The savagery that is the carnivore dietary plan vs the science of health and fitness.

    Quality time needed: 15 minutes

    The error of your way.

    Could be spelled 'the carnivore diet'..

    A growing number of people in the world adopt healthy, fit living by going increasingly more vegetarian for a long range of personal reasons and or due to scientific reasons. Some of those reasons often include the substantial increase in cancer and diabetes risk that eating red meat and highly processed foods causes, or the impossible mathematics behind an entire world eating ever higher amounts of meat, or the incredible amount of pollution that animal food production causes.

    And facts are, that all those reasons are equally good, sound and true, so it does not even matter why you do it. It is a good and healthy choice to eat less red meat, and by doing so you will contribute towards a healthier you, and a healthier world.

  • Anthropocene: 12 vaquitas left in the world before they too face the ultimate end of line which is called extinction.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    The vaquitas are sadly not alone.

    This is the Lost World of Planet Earth.

    Around the world, the vaquitas are sadly not alone, there are countless of animal species, plants and all that´s facing the threat of extinction in ever greater numbers. And the pace is accelerating, so it´s not business as usual.
    Worse, this is all down to man-made issues.
    It got nothing to do with prey and predatory fluctuations. And it got nothing to do with natural events and Earths naturally changing cycles.

  • Let us talk about the concept of 'Half Earth' and why both Dr Cristiana Pașca Palmer, UN and I share the opinion that it is all about 'Whole Earth'.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes

    People & Planet is just a mutual ecosystem.

    The Lost World.

    A long and well established connective tissue in the way I talk and write, and think about health & fitness is that we are all connected through this global ecosystem we all share.
    Which is why I have over the years pointed out that living in a sustainable way is ultimately all about health. Individual health & planetary health. People that are opting to eat shit just isn't healthy.
    Neither from a planetary or individual perspective.

    Just as how healthy fit people that´s living unsustainable, just isn't healthy living people either.

  • Fitness School, Question 35, Let us dig deep down into 'standing barbell row' and the complete amount of muscles it will engage and activate.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 35 in our School of Fitness.
    Once we venture beyond the glorious realms of leg and glutes training, there is the never-ending hallway of kicking and boxing to explore and conquer.
    But what else lies beyond the joy of those fit & healthy cornerstones?.
    Well, if it was not obvious so far in life, martial arts and legs and glutes have their equal in the colossus that is weighted back training.
    And when it comes down to weighted back training, actually, when it comes down to working the upper body at all, there is one exercise which I will never hesitate to put front and center (together with deadlift), and that is 'Standing Barbell Row'.
    Here is my question:
    Standing Barbell Row will challenge and work you from top to toe.
    But can you list all of the muscles which you will activate when you do this bad boy in a properly challenging way?.

  • The things we see in the rearview mirror, the world meat free week, and Scandinavian winter scenes.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Views we catch in the rear view mirror as we leave #worldmeatfreeweek behind us.

    The Lost World.

    Good and healthy vegetarian food is able to provide health & fitness improving nutrition for far more people, despite polluting much less and using up a lot less landmass vied towards animal farming.
    And you can quote me on that because that simple statement is 100% based on science & clear-cut facts instead of peoples personal opinions and conjecture.

    In fact, food production from animal farming is already using up 83% of our global agricultural land. Yet, it is only managing to deliver about 18% of the calories we consume. And does that situation not sound completely unsustainable and fool-hearted to maintain?.

  • Fitness School, Question 34, Is there a connection between weighted leg and glute training and your brain maintaining a healthy neurological cell production?

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 34 in our School of Fitness.
    Yes, we absolutely love our leg and glute day. The challenge it provides is a huge mountain of fun to climb every single week.
    But, did you know that you are not just strengthening your lower body when you are building stronger legs, ass, and hips?. Of course, you do. You know damn well that those leg days are crucial for the health and wellness of your lower back and abs too. And it sure does tax your heart and metabolic functions too. However, let us go upstairs towards our brainy area with this question.
    Here is my question:
    Is it true that weighted exercises in the gym for your leg and glutes will increase the production of healthy neural cells? ( which are crucial for the capacity and health of our brain and entire nervous system )

  • The Lost World XVIII and the enemy of all things living. #Connect2Earth

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes

    This is the lost world XVIII.
    And how life in the Anthropocene is the tale about the enemy of all things living.
    Healthy living is nothing but the science of life.

    With the rising tide of the Baltic sea far beneath me, I towered the surrounding world.
    Looking out from the crest of the Scandinavian coastline. This was still a place lost in time and mist. A mountain entirely dressed in green and trees, moss and berries, sand and soil, and it is, as much a mountainous castle growing ever taller as it is the place where salt and cold black water comes crashing in to embrace the land of the Vikings.

  • May 22 mark the crucial 'day of biological diversity'. But it is also so much more than that, #Connect2Earth.

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes

    At the crossroads of the Anthropocene.
    May 22 is 'The International Day of Biological Diversity'.
    A day which, is by now, our essential every day reality.

    May 22 is both a perfectly ordinary Tuesday in your life and the global 'International Day for Biological Diversity'.
    But that is not all this week is all about. We also have the endangered wildlife day, which happened on May 18, and birthday number 70 for IUCN. And, as such this entire week represents an opportunity for each of us to make it a healthy fit day for the entire planet and our individual self.

    Also, if you are present in the incredibly lush and beautiful high coast area of Scandinavia, Sweden next Tuesday you are more than welcome to join me and my coworker from Scandinavian.Fitness for a sweaty fit workout at the gym, lifting weights and grunting at Friskis, Örnsköldsvik at 0730. Once we are done at the gym, we will head outside for a walk at 0830 and hopefully enjoy beautiful weather together with the pristine nature of Scandinavia.

  • Fitness School, Question 33, Let us talk about that mighty beast called the Quadriceps.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 33 in our School of Fitness.
    Legs and ass and back. That is the holy trinity ( together with the fourth pillar, our abs ) of building a strong and capable and athletic body.
    But what about the makeup of our upper legs?
    We have the backside of our legs, which we call the hamstrings, and on the front, there´s the thing most people simply call the quads.
    But let us dig deeper down into those mighty looking quadriceps and the rest of the anterior side of our legs.
    Here is my question:
    Can you specify which muscles make up the bulk of what we call our quadriceps and anterior leg muscles?.

  • We are standing at the crossroads of the Anthropocene. Earth hour and the essential stuff that lies beyond.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    At the crossroads of the Anthropocene.
    Earth Hour.
    Is by now, our essential every day reality.

    On one hand, we are now living in the day and age of butterflies and endangered white rhinos hopefully being multiplied and preserved through soon to be commercial cloning facilities. finally making sure we will never have to lose another species to extinction.
    Putting an end to the way we lost the last surviving male Great Northern Rhino just the other day.

    And that lingering, hopeful road is walking hand in hand with this growing worldwide awareness that eating healthy, and being healthy is not just good for that one person, but transformative and good for everybody else too.
    Be it from a financial perspective or healthwise speaking.

  • Fitness School, Question 32, Can fitness reduce dementia risk with as much as 90% for a 50 year old female?

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 32 in our School of Fitness.
    We all know that physical activity and healthy food is just that, life and body improving yum for muscles and mind alike.
    Some might claim they hate it, and others truly love keeping fit and healthy, enriching their daily life in endless supply.
    And you know it greatly reduces the risk of getting a long range of cancer forms, it helps arthritis patients, lower back pain, keeps you lean and hearty healthy.
    It fights off bad sleep and osteoporosis. Slow the roll of biological aging and on and on, and all this is proven over and over by science.
    And so, my simple question this time around is as follows:
    Do you also know if healthy fit women in their 50s have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of getting dementia compared to less fit women?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 31, What´s up with that biceps, give us the lowdown.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 31 in our School of Fitness.
    When we are talking and thinking about muscles and keeping fit, Biceps is not just one of the more iconic names in the world of fitness and the human anatomy, it is also a very visible muscle that truly pops on people that keep healthy fit. But where on your body can you actually locate your biceps muscle and more importantly is the name biceps only referring to one muscle or do we have more than one biceps on our body?
    And so, my question for you is as follows:
    Can you tell us if the human anatomy have one or more muscles with the name biceps, and where are they/it located?.

  • A life of health & fitness. Life is a wondrous journey and this is a rough view of this years fitness journey ( the way I do it ).

    Quality time needed: 14 minutes

    Complete the circle of health & fitness.
    Every single day.
    Fitness, Food & Health is nothing but the science of a healthy, fun life :).

    The following is a rudimentary overview of my health & fitness life from Jan 1, 2018, to Jan 1, 2019. Some fitness folks think the world of planning ahead, and some absolutely do need a firm plan for the months and even year ahead.
    Short term goals firmly lined up and long-term goal posts holding their own further out make a world of difference for some. And your own goals can be about certain PB´s, they can involve reaching a certain body fat % or strength goal. Other common goals have to do with cardiovascular performance and might be focused on improving your lactate levels, running speed, zone levels or maximum heart rate. And for competitive pro athletes, those goals usually involve specific competitions and championships.

    So yes, setting up a rough schedule in advance of your fitness year can make a lot of sense.
    Just as how a lot of people count daily steps and calories.

  • Fitness School. Question 30, Let us talk about biological aging and our T cells and that beautiful little Thymus.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 30 in our School of Fitness.
    You all know that I have been a vocal proponent of how we do not simply grow old like some archaic fairy tale myth where people are doomed to live fat and unhealthy and frail once they leave their 20´s behind them.
    No instead, my science-backed message has for years been that we simply create and manage our own aging process according to our own choices in food, life, and fitness.
    Be it lean muscle mass, body fat, bone health, even our brain and plenty of natural hormones. Our daily choices carry such incredible weight when it comes down to all these aspects of our own wellbeing and health, much more so than the number of years we have lived or the genes we inherit. And Science proves me right on all these things, over and over, and over again.

    But, how about our immune system? In sedentary people, our thymus slowly becomes less capable as we mature beyond our 20´s. That is a simple fact.
    And so, my question for you:
    Will regular fitness stomp aging in the face or is the thymus and the stuff it does for us destined to go wry as we age no matter our fitness and food choices?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 29, How prevalent is plastic litter amongst deep sea fish.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 29 in our School of Fitness.
    We have previously talked about getting enough natural amounts of omega 3 in our food. So let us cast our net a bit wider and deeper as we go hunting for natural Omega 3 sources in the deep sea.
    Yes, we are what we eat kiddos.
    And so, the time has come to talk about one of the better Omega 3 sources out there, which is fish ( like cows, fish love munching away on plant-based food such as Algae and so they end up with a ton of Omega 3, and so can you. ), and outside of Omega 3 fish also used to be a sustainable source of proteins and omega 3 amongst other things.
    The key word is used to be. But like us, and the cows, fish are what they eat.
    And today, outside of depleted fish stocks, fish swim in bodies of waters, polluted, and depleted of oxygen and ruined by us, the human species. And as health & fitness loving professionals and human beings, we always have to consider the world we live in, because we are all what we eat and the way we live becomes the state of our body & mind, life, and health. And if the fish you eat is full of toxins, plastic, and other unhealthy things, that is what you too will consume and thus, become.
    So, here is my question:
    How prevalent is plastic pollution in deep sea fish right now?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 28, Let us get healthy and dirty with Omega 3 and milk.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 28 in our School of Fitness.
    As far as health & fitness goes, eating healthy food on a daily basis is the ever-present and perfectly fitted glove that wraps the fit hand that is regular and challenging workouts in the gym.
    And one of those nutritious, and essential for our health, nutrient staples are Omega 3´s. We get it in all sorts of seafood. And we can get it from omega 3 fortified foods such as eggs.
    Another wonderful omega 3 source are plant-based foods such as chia seeds. But, meat and dairy products from grass-fed cattle can also contain natural amounts of omega 3.
    So, here is my question:
    How much Omega 3 do you actually get from one L ( 1L ) of milk produced from grass fed cattle?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 27, How big do you need your daily calorie deficit to be, in order to roughly drop 250g of bodyfat per week.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 27 in our School of Fitness.
    From a healthy fit perspective, both short & long term, what we need to sculpt is a life of daily physical activity in the right amount and the right intensity coupled with healthy food choices and the proper amount of nutrients.
    And those healthy choices include making sure that we get enough of those healthy nutrients in order to perform, in the gym and daily life, and we need enough of them in order for our body and mind to stay healthy, happy, capable and fit.
    Eat too little protein and you will start losing lean muscle mass, and your health will start to decline too since proteins are not just the major building blocks of our muscles, they are in fact the mud and water, wood and concrete that builds our entire body, be it your internal organs, your skin, hair, muscles, cells, or our brain.
    And the total amount of daily calories we consume is, of course, pretty much the same thing, eat too little in total, and you will start noticing how your health and fitness level slowly deteriorate. And if you do the opposite and stuff your tummy full with too many daily calories you will start gaining pure body fat in excessive amounts and it will continue to build unless you change your daily choices.
    So, here is my question:
    How big do you need to make your daily calorie deficit in order to lose 250g of body fat per week ( roughly ) while eating enough protein to preserve your lean muscle mass?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 26, Black coffee, is it a natural diuretic that causes dehydration or a health improving rehydrating drink?

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 26 in our School of Fitness.
    Black coffee, the mere words are capable of sending hundreds of millions of people into a state of Nirvana filled with transcending bliss and harmony :).
    But black coffee is also a cup of rejuvenating health for our entire system. It calms the mind with its slowly rising aroma, helps us keep cancer and diabetes at bay, harnesses our creative focus like an arrow in flight, and in enough quantities, it can even boost peoples gym going efforts.
    But is there all there is to it?. Well, here is my question:
    Is the old saying true that your daily coffee drives so much fluid out of your body that you need to supplement your coffee intake with equal measures water too in order to stay hydrated?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 25, Tell us the major muscles in your back.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 25 in our School of Fitness.
    Outside of our legs and ass, there is no other muscle group that comes close to sheer size, strength, health impact and lean muscle mass potential than our back. So as exhausting as a proper back workout is, this is one big and essential muscle group you should never skimp out on, no matter if your own goals are all in on health and wellness, sports or just sheer looks, or all of the above.
    Here is my question:
    Tell me the major muscles that makes up our back. Straight and simple folks.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 24, Can Maintained Fitness prevent the negative health impact of chemotherapy?.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 24 in our School of Fitness.
    Chemotherapy is one of those crucial things that no one ever hoped to one day experience. But when the going gets real tough in life, its a life saver.
    However, undergoing Chemotherapy is no walk in the park and while it can save your life and defeat cancer, it will also take its toll on your body. So much so that a recent study from Australia revealed that just 13 weeks of chemotherapy caused the heart to age by an equivalent of six years.
    Here is my question:
    Can maintained fitness exercise during chemotherapy prevent the now established cardiovascular aging associated with chemotherapy?.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 23, How much will my daily fitness activity reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease?.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 23 in our School of Fitness.
    How are you enjoying 2018 so far?. I am having a blast, in the gym and outside it, workouts are wondrously good and that is because I stay at it, week in and week out. Stay persistent with food and fitness people and reap the benefits in body & mind. Keeping to a daily fitness schedule is just a choice, after all, and a very healthy choice at that.

    And, for the next fitness school question, let us dig deep down on that word "persistent" and uncover just how much weekly fitness will scientifically aid your health on low, moderate and intense fitness levels.
    And as such, here is my question for you:
    Can as little as 30 minutes of daily low-level physical fitness activity reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by as much as 24% compared to not doing that daily activity?.

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