At the Animal Shelter of MV
The dogs were barking with great glee,
And the cats were purring to beat the band,
For they sensed, in the air, that something grand
Was about to happen — to bring delight
To all Martha’s Vineyard, which is right.
In the sky above, they sniffed reindeer
Getting ready to land and to bring good cheer
Not only to shelter dogs and cats
And gerbils and guinea pigs and pet rats
In need of homes and loving care,
But Island humans would get their share
Of gifts from the sleigh in the air on high
That the deer were swiftly bringing nigh
To the Edgartown Road where the shelter sits
That for generations has brought benefits
To Island animals large and small,
Some wild, some tame — it has long helped all.

The sleigh was descending with Santa Claus
Bringing gold and silver to help out PAWS
And the shelter, of course, that is in need
Of a kennel roof and of dog feed,
But then as St. Nicholas stepped down
From the airborne sleigh onto the ground
And opened his sack of gifts for all
He found he had a big beach ball
He’d set aside to please Claire Hall.
Then Cynthia Riggs, who does love crime
And writes about it all the time
Got a bloodhound that can sniff it out
And then there was for the Gannon boat
That soon will be ready to sail the seas
A set of sails to catch the breeze.
Then Kent Healy got a transit of gold
While for Milo Brush who’s six months old
Was a mobile that had starfish on it
While Gladys Widdiss got a new bonnet.

Beverly Brush got a cookie box
Full to the brim — and there was lox
To please Sam Feldman, while Debbie Dean
Got thyme for her garden, and for Silva, Jean
Came a tea invitation from the Queen.
And for Tom Osmers there were squeteague
Along the North Shore and they were big.
For the Russell Hoxsies who love ice cream
There was Moose Tracks flavor, while the team
Of hockey players from the Regional High
Got a season of wins, and so she can fly
To many lands at the bat of an eye
Harriette Otteson got a magic rug
While for Bob Ganz so that no bug
Will eat the vegetables he likes so
To grow and grow and grow and grow
Till they take top prizes at the fair
There was bug repellent — more than his share —
Enough so George Hough won’t have a care
About growing his garlic big and fat.
Then for Warren Mead was another cat

While Stephen Larsen got lobster bait
And Natasha Mast got silver plate
Now that she’s a newlywed.
Then Louise Norton got roses red
For she’s 100 and going strong
While for Chris Jones was mahjong.
Kit Murphy’s Rosie got a litter of puppies;
For Lisa Shanor there were some guppies.
And David Geiger got a cactus rare.
For Emmett Taylor was a Teddy Bear.
Chip Vanderhoop got scallop seed
So that, next year, all Aquinnah can feed
On scallops plentiful and fat
And Lori Machado got a Persian cat.
For Bob Linette there was local beef
While for Donald Brown who owns New Leaf
Were trees aplenty to adorn
Our Island gardens while sheep shorn
Were a gift for the Whiting farm, of course,
And then there was for Katherine Morse
A Zhu zhu pet — they’re really in
And surely hers will make her grin.

Then Rita Meyer got knitting yarn
While for Glenn Jackson was a barn.
Steve Crampton got a candy cane
And Peggy Freydberg one of the same.
For Juli Vanderhoop there was wood
To bake her bread that is so good
At the Orange Peel Bakery that is hers
While for Gay Nelson was a book of verse.
Dorothy Bangs got music to play
On her piano that she plays each day.
Julie Wells’s Annie got a marrow bone
While Robert Hughes for his very own
Got a pinkletink to be his house pet.
Then for Mark Wallace was a patent
For his latest idea — they never cease,
And David Nathans got a long-term lease
On an Edgartown house now that he is here
And Tita Vivian got good cheer
She so likes gayety and fun;
For Denys Wortman’s Marilyn
Came contributions for the Y
Then for John Alley was mince pie
From Mrs. Blake’s — it’s never pasty.

And next there was for Runner, Hasty
Something very, very tasty
For her cat, Dinah, who’s growing old.
For Grace McGroarty was a marigold
To put in her hair that looks so neat
When she’s kept busy changing sheets
And answering calls from hospital rooms,
While for Ev O’Brien there were rose blooms.
Now just about then the cats and dogs,
The gerbils and guinea pigs and the frogs
At the MV Shelter though it was time
They got gifts, too, on this day sublime.
So they barked and they meowed and the dogs wagged tails
As for Sherri Fortes who handles mails
In West Tisbury town, St. Nick had found
A glittering star that fell to the ground
And lit up all of Edgartown.

As he dug still more into his sack
There suddenly was a quack, quack, quack.
’Twas a Muscovy duck that had jumped out
For Basil Welch who, without a doubt,
Would have liked to add it to his roosters and hens,
But the duck really wanted to stay among friends
At the MV Shelter where the welcome’s warm
(Russ Smith sees to that with all his charm.)
The dogs and cats expressed their glee
The Muscovy duck right there to see
And welcomed him with opened paws
(The cats, indeed, kept in their claws.)
So Santa from his gift collection
Found for Basil another selection:
’Twas an outhouse made with the greatest style,
Indeed, it had a floor of tile.

Next was a chowder pot to go
To Everett Poole to keep below
In the Jini F. when he goes out,
While Alan Reekie got a bottle of stout.
For Danga Gabis there was a new pup
With a guarantee not to trip her up,
But the dogs and cats were getting cross
Since no gifts were coming from the Christmas boss
Who’s Santa, of course. There began to be growls.
The dogs even thought that there might be howls
As they seemed forgotten at Christmastime.
Then Santa came up with gifts sublime
With catnip mice and rubber bones
And there were for chasing, lots of stones
And sticks to play with. All was well
As all of Edgartown then could tell
Since no howling filled the winter skies.
There were no meows and there were no cries.

Then deep in his pack St. Nicholas dug
And for M.J. Pease found a Persian rug.
Next, Hammer, Mark got a faster boat
And Madeline Tully a bright red coat.
Al Hart’s Red Sox got a World Series win.
There was Chilmark candy for Christoffers, Lynn
And a box of the same for Thomas Flynn.
There were tennis balls for H. Stan Hart
While Leslie Stark got a dream of a part
In an Island play that will make news.
Then Terry Appenzellar got a cruise
To wherever she would like to see
While Mya O’Neill, for beneath the tree,
Had Milkbones for Petie to gobble up.
There were free boat tickets for Driscoll, Sue
Who goes back and forth. There were some, too,
For Vincius Souza, another commuter,
Who goes to Boston not by scooter,
But on the bus for English study.

There were car parts for DeBettencourt, Buddy.
Kirsten Mahoney got a magic flute
While Brian Athearn’s good Christmas loot
Was piglets for his mini-farm
While Violet Cabot got a charm
For a charm bracelet — that should please her,
And Cheryl Lowe got a book about Caesar
To read by the fire when the snow is high —
When the world is white and no one’s nigh.
She might have liked some other book
But Santa hadn’t time to look.
The day was passing very fast.
And it began to be overcast.
Yet there was so much more to give.
For Nancy Whipple was a sieve
To help prepare good things to eat
And keep the kitchen floor quite neat
For her new grandchildren who are small.

Jim Norton’s gift was a trip to Bengal.
For Linda Hearn there was fabric to quilt,
While for Jack Martin — completely built —
Came a Camp Ground cottage to move into,
Painted in white and in pink and blue.
There were motorboat rides for Yoseph Bayer,
While for Carol Loud there was a lyre,
And Jeff Ciciora got a new kayak
While for Tom Thatcher was bric-a-brac
For his new digs far from Viet Nam;
At Love House he should be quite calm.
And windless days came for Merriman, Tim,
So sweeping chimneys won’t, for him
Be quite so hard a job to do
When he’s on a ladder cleaning a flue.
Then Shelby Ponte got figure skates
That show how much she really rates.

For Lidgerwood, Bill was a book of cartoons,
Old-fashioned ones, while on the Lagoon,
For Dr. Bob Franklin and Renear, Jackie,
A trip to some place really wacky.
Not round the corner but far away —
Perhaps to Tibet or Mandalay.
Then Jeremy Laffan got a new two-wheeler,
And Ernie Boch Jr. — that auto dealer —
Good wishes in the year ahead
And for James Seccombe was a sled.
The Water Works Building went to Chris Scott —
Admittedly, that is a lot
But St. Nick wanted to make sure
Even if keeping the water pure
No longer was the function it had
It didn’t end up with a fate that is bad
Though that is unlikely, it appears,
So Tisbury folk need have no fears.
Indeed, Santa had for that live wire
Who is Lorraine Pringle, full of fire
Accolades for all she’s done
As the Water Works have been under the gun.

There were accolades, too, for Andy Berry
Of whom developers should be chary
When planning buildings sleek and new
Destroying the landscape and the view
As happens so often nowadays
On Vineyard hills and old byways.
Barb Day got the Mill Pond free of weeds
And Andrea Hartman all the beads
She needs for a year to keep her happy
While for Corey Dean with a house on Chappy
Was a barrel of wishes for a Happy New Year
And plants that will grow despite the deer.
Paul Leonard got clubs for his golf game —
If he didn’t have new ones ’twould be a shame.
Bob Hagerty had a desert vacation
In some exotic foreign nation
Where there were no trees for him to tend:
’Twas surely a gift that would not offend.

Then for Trish Ing there were two kittens
While Charlie Pachico got warm mittens
To keep him cozy as he works outside
And for John Goeckel who likes tides
And harbors and boats and nautical stuff
Came a boat that will sail outside Oak Bluffs
To faraway places he’d like to see
With that fellow sailor, who’s Miss Reekie.
A trailer for horses was in Santa’s sack
For Sylvia, Anne but hard on his back
There was a carved camel for Isenstein, Sandy
While Matthew Coggin, who’s just dandy,
Got his own aquarium for fish
And Laura Silber got a chafing dish
While her son, Isaac, got a train caboose
And Brian Cioffi a big moose.
Then Dr. James Weiss got a coat that was cozy
For outdoor games, while there was a posy
For Teresa Hall to make her happy.
For Jimmy Morgan there was nothing sappy
But CDs of chanteys he likes so well.

Then Steve Soriano for his Page,
A dog that never seems to age,
Were dog biscuits that will keep him happy
And Eric Sundin who’s on Chappy
Got a water pipe since his had burst —
Without it, he would surely thirst.
Then for Pat Rose there was a sack
Of bottles and cans she can take back
To help raise money for the Edgartown libe,
The good she’s doing is hard to describe.
A trip to Las Vegas was on Santa’s sled
For Bobby Carroll while for Belisle, Ed
Was holly and ivy in the Christmas way
And for Fred Fisher was a one-hoss shay
To add to the vehicles he drives.
While for Fred Thornburgh in his beehives.
Was honey aplenty to keep things sweet
And then there was for Bettencourt, Pete,
A hammock to sun in when he reads a book
And there was a golf cart for Huck Look.

Then Vince Iacono who likes planes
Had a helicopter, while for Leslie Baynes
To help build his fence were plenty of boards
And for Mike Caldwell were scabbards for swords.
Tia Sequeira got toys for her kittens
And for Tim Clark there were woolly mittens
To keep him warm when he sells his trees
Which he does with grace as he aims to please
Each Christmastime in Tisbury town
And Nancy Smith got a dressing gown.
Tom Mello got a new PFD
So that he can safely put out to sea.
And Buddy Mayhew got sugar and spice
And everything else that is very nice.

For Billy Dias was a new green truck
That in the snow will not get stuck,
And Ray DeBettencourt got a scarf warm
To wear when he keeps folks safe from harm
On SSA vessels at the passenger ramp;
In winter the docks are so cold and damp.
By then it was dark and the moon was up
And for fluffy cats and for cuddly pups
It was time to go inside to rest:
It had been a Christmas that was one of the best
For the animals at their MV home
Who now no longer need to roam
And for human Islanders as well.
So hang out the holly; ring the bells!
St. Nick is off into the sky
Waving to all a fond goodbye.