Our storyteller Delia tells us the classic story of A Christmas Carol. Can Scrooge see the error of his ways and embrace the Christmas spirit before it is too late?
A Christmas Carol
Original Story by Charles Dickens
Storytelling and Adpatation by Delia Barnett
Drawings by Anna Ha
There once was a man named Ebenezer Scrooge. He was a very, very rich businessman. He had few friends because he was unkind and shrewd with everyone, he rarely had a kind word or shared with others.
It was the day before Christmas and Scrooge was hard at work at his office. His nephew Fred stopped by to invite him for Christmas tomorrow, but Scrooge said: “You celebrate Christmas in your fashion and I will in mine.” Disappointed, Fred left the office. Then in came two men looking for donations for the poor. Scrooge shoo-ed them away. He never gave money to others.
His only employee Bob Cratchit was working away by the light of a small candle. He was shivering, you see scrooge was too cheap to light the fireplace or buy a fresh candle for his employee. Despite Scrooge's cheap behavior, Cratchit worked very, very hard. Scrooge was very, very angry that he had to pay Bob Cratchit for Christmas day. “I have to pay you not to work!” Scrooge sneered. “But sir, it's Christmas Day.” Bob Cratchit said. “HUMBUG!” Scrooge said.
Scrooge trudged home past Christmas carollers. “Humbug.” he muttered under his breath. When he made it home he went straight to bed. J ust as he was falling asleep he heard the sound of chains dragging down the hallway towards his room. When he opened his eyes he saw the ghost of his former business partner. “Jacob Marley!” he exclaimed, “It can't be you.” He attempted to dismiss the ghost but Jacob Marley would not leave. He warns Scrooge that “each of these chains represents a bad deed I did in life. It is not too late for you, mend your stingy, mean ways. You will be visited by three ghosts.” And with that Jacob Marley disappeared. Scrooge pulled the sheets over his head and tried to go back to sleep.
The clock tolled and suddenly the bed curtains were pulled aside. Scrooge opened his eyes and saw a small, luminescent child. “I am the ghost of Christmas Past!” the ghost announced. He walked Scrooge to the window. “Let's go.” the ghost exclaimed and off they flew into the sky. They landed in many of Scrooge’s memories- the boarding school where scrooge felt lonely as a child, the last time he saw his beautiful sister: Fanny and they landed in the home of the Christmas party of Scrooge's first employer: Mr Fezziwig. The party was filled with joy. Scrooge scoffed at the merriment.
The ghost then took him to where Belle, his true love, was breaking things off with him for she knew that he loved money more than he could ever love her. “Spirit, take me home.” Scrooge begged, but the ghost would not. Instead the ghost took Scrooge high in the sky again and they landed in a different home. Where scrooge saw belle a few years ago, with her children playing and happily preparing for Christmas. In walked Belle's husband and he told Belle that he saw Scrooge working away in his office, while his business partner Jacob Marley was dying. Belle smiled and wished the best for Scrooge. “Spirit take me home.” Scrooge begged again. The spirit reminded Scrooge: “These are the true events of the past.” and suddenly just like that scrooge was in his bed again.
No sooner had scrooge placed his head on his pillow than a bright light filled the room. Scrooge saw many plants and a feast. There was a jolly giant of a man who bellowed: “I am the ghost of Christmas Present, here grab my robe.” Scrooge did and they flew high in the sky. They landed at the small home of Bob Cratchit. The Cratchit family was sitting around the table for some pudding. The smallest child was sickly and was propped up on crutches. The child's name was Tiny Tim and he was saying: “God bless us, every one.” Scrooge turned to the ghost: “Spirit I must know, does the boy live?” The ghost of Christmas Present said “I can only show you what is, not what will be.” Then Bob Cratchit raised his glass to toast his employer. Mrs Cratchit stopped him; “Why would we celebrate such a stingy, cruel man?”
“Show me something else.” Scrooge begged. They then appeared at Fred, Scrooge’s nephew's house- where partygoers were merrily laughing about how stingy Scrooge was. Fred was defending his uncle with love in his eyes. Scrooge turned away from the scene.
Suddenly he realized he was back in his own bed. He looked and saw a tall ghastly figure standing in his room. “You must be the ghost of Christmas Future. Scrooge said. The figure was silent and just pointed. There Scrooge saw a vision of himself- dead in his bed.His servants were stealing the drapes, bed sheets and all of scrooge's clothing. They asked each other: “Do you think there will be a funeral?” “Not likely.” they said. “Well, I would go if there was lunch.” They all laughed at how stingy their employer was and continued to gather what they could. Scrooge then turned to the spirit and begged to see some tenderness. The spirit pointed again and Scrooge could see the home of Bob Cratchit once more, but it was not merry for Tiny Tim had died and the family was mourning him. Then scrooge turned and saw his own grave neglected. Nobody visited it.
“Spirit, I will change. Take me home. I promise to keep Christmas in my heart, not just today, but every day.” Scrooge pleaded.
Suddenly, he appeared back in his bed. Scrooge awoke and quickly ran to the window. He opened it and called to a boy down on the street. “You, boy, what day is it?” The boy smiled and said: “Why, Christmas day, sir.” Scrooge asked the boy to buy the biggest goose he could find at the shop and to send it over to the Cratchit home.
Scrooge then rushed out to find the men who had asked for donations yesterday and he gave handsomely to them. He then went to his nephew Fred's house for Christmas for the first time ever. Before he went home, he stopped by the Cratchit home. He gave Bob Cratchit a large raise. Tiny Tim smiled and said: “God bless us, every one.”