Dear Jolly Red,
Thanks for the presents,
take a minute to relax your gift-hauling back
and pour yourself a nice tall glass
to complement the cookies you’ve been eating
(for there’s nothing worse than
a dry mouth of sugary crumbs
without something to wash it down the gullet).
I’m not judging, I know you need the energy
to make your transatlantic/pacific flight in just one night,
but you might want to reconsider your beverage of choice.
The story goes that long ago,
us humans were kind of weak and feeble.
Not the Monday-Sunday kind, but like
the feet of ballerinas after their first rehearsal.
With brittle bones, we didn’t have the agility
to catch sweetmeats in the bush
(not to mention casts weren’t invented yet),
so we relied on the scraps of predators.
Sad story, but don’t hold your breath,
us scavengers turn out alright.
Like orangutans, half of which have fractures
from constantly falling from trees,
we survived with these bone problems.
Vitamin D used to be liquid gold,
and calcium solid pearls,
found in sparse patches of vegetable roughage,
but only seasonally. And bones.
We used to eat bones for calcium.
But no longer.
Some time ago, depending on
religious affiliation and scientific skepticism
how long ago and for what reason is up for debate
(but not the presidential kind,
more like a bar-time argument),
we emerged from our scavenging cocoons
into farmers soon adept at growing our own food.
Our bones grew strong,
and we founded a new foodstuff for sustenance: Milk.
For the purposes of this argument,
milk will be defined as the glandular secretions
produced by bovine mothers
and consumed by the species homo sapiens sapiens,
as well as the young of Bos primigenius.
True, we too had been breastfed,
but apparently not nearly long enough.
This silvery liquid of sacred cows
soon named our galaxy,
grabbed us by the Old Testaments,
and even became a dirty word
that lovers whisper to each other in the bedroom.
It would do to ask yourself, bearded man,
do you really need another glass?