‘Twas the night before Squidmas

A mysterious person going by the name Red Mage sent me the following poem. If your kiddies are still awake and having trouble sleeping, you might want to read it aloud to them. Then they’ll really have trouble sleeping.

‘Twas the night before Squidmas, and all through the house
Not a cultist was stirring, not even a Dagon.
The sacrifices were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Cthulu would not pass past there.

The cultists were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of things man was not supposed to know writhed in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long eon’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny Old Gods.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Cthulu.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he burbled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Hastur! now, Ut’ulls-Hr’her! now, Zhar and Lloigor!
On, Eihort! On, Yig! on, on Nug and Yeb!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of horrors, and Great Cthulu too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each tentacle.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Great Cthulu came with a bound.

He was undressed all in tentacles, from his head to his foot,
And they were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of monsters he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how scary!
His cheeks were like squids, his nose like a cavernous pit of evil!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the tendrils of his chin was as dark as the city of R’lyeh.

The stump of a man he held tight in his teeth,
And the screams it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a not-so-little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jellied remains!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old Squid,
And I whimpered when I saw him, in spite of myself!
But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And killed all those he came for, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his tendril aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Squidmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


  1. andyo says

    Crap. Am I the only one here? You heathens don’t live up to your names. Actually, I’m about to go to work. Oh, well, next year I’ll have to pick a damn holiday to celebrate for sure.

  2. Pyre says

    He adapted this verse without care for a rhyme,
    And with lengthy interpolations that also violated metre half the time.

  3. andyo says

    He adapted this verse without care for a rhyme,

    And with lengthy interpolations that also violated metre half the time.

    I see what you did there.

  4. says

    I can think of no better time to reiterate that I, for one, welcome the new Squid Overlords.

    But, in a more serious vein, can we hope that when we get an atheist president, and the War on Christmas is finally won, we will have a new tradition for the Christmas White House Reading?

  5. RedMage13 says


    I didn’t think you’d post it. Maybe send a witty comment back, but not post it.

    And yeah, I forgot to put that it was supposed to be read like the poem, but breaking rhyme to kinda freak people out.

  6. RedMage13 says

    Aw, nerts. I can’t believe that I managed to misspell that. I blame the Firefox spell checker, and my inability to remember foreign spellings. Mostly the second one.

  7. says

    Heh, it’s funny that part of the Cthulhu mythos is the idea that mind beyond our own ken manipulates us, and our sense of control is an illusion:

    “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

    Neurology tells us that we are indeed under the spell of our reptilian lower brains, responsible for all sorts of creepy human conflict, racism, intolerance, and other evil and idiocy. Many of you think that “religion” is ironically part of such cortical primitivity, but of course we sublime philosophers of necessary and contingent being-hood and the like are above all that.
    An interesting new book about how our crappy brains trick us all the time is, A Mind of its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives by Cordelia Fine. Yes, that’s your brain too, not just your favorite dumb whatevers out there.

    PS, F.C., whence that capital H? I hadn’t seen it, and since Wikipedia uses the lower case, that proves … what? Of course, you can change that any time.

  8. noncarborundum says

    PS, F.C., whence that capital H?

    I think F.C. just put that there for emphasis. Lovecraft certainly didn’t use it.

  9. CalGeorge says

    The Pope has been seen wearing a pointy hat and saying:

    It is the holy day on which the “great light” of Christ shines forth, bearing peace!

    Still deluded, apparently.

    Have a merry, merry day, all!

  10. Rick T. says

    I loved it. My bladder leaked when I laughed causing jammy feet full of pee which now splashes when I walk no matter how carfully. Sorry, I can’t resist the urge to rhyme.

    His cheeks were like squids, his nose like a cavernous pit of evil! Now that’s better!

    That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jellied remains! This line put me over the top.


  11. F. Caccin says

    The capital H should have been in italics, but my mastery of format tags is all but nonexistent.
    Didn’t know the Firefox spell checker can scan for the Old Ones (caps on purpose)

  12. says

    This is interesting, makes Santa a lot more fun:


    This makes him look creepy:


    F.C: I want to explain how, but just typing in the right code would make it appear, not show you!
    Let me try trickery: pretend that parentheses are really < or >, then adapt: Cthul(i)H(/i)u,
    It should show like this: CthulHu
    But I still don’t get where your version comes from or what it means. The folks at alt.fan.rawilson might.

    Merry Allmess to everyone.

  13. bernarda says

    Here is a book you might want to get, “Proust and the Squid” by Maryanne Wolf.


    “Early on in Proust and the Squid, she had noted that infants and toddlers who aren’t told stories by their caregivers, who aren’t read to from a very early age, nearly always fail to learn to read well themselves. By implication, it may already be too late for many young people: They will never be able to read with the same thoughtfulness and comprehension as their parents. Think about that.”

    From a review,

    “The squid of Wolf’s title represents the neurobiological approach to the study of reading. Bigger cells are easier for scientists to experiment on, and some species of squid have optic-nerve cells a hundred times as thick as mammal neurons, and up to four inches long, making them a favorite with biologists.”