Every reindeer would like to be chosen to join Santa at the North Pole. Older reindeer tell wonderful stories about the places they visited when they flew around the world as part of Santa’s Sleigh Team.
Reindeer, you see, only fly with Santa for two or three Christmases before they return to their herds. The Christmas Eve journey is utterly exhausting, so Santa sends them home with his love and thanks for a job well done. The elves throw a huge party before a reindeer leaves, and another to welcome the new team member. The new reindeer is officially given his or her team name: Dasher, Vixen, Prancer, Dancer, Donnner, Blitzen, Comet, or Cupid. The names are like titles that are passed on from one reindeer to another. The new team member will be similar in size, strength, and temperament to the one he or she is replacing so the sleigh will be perfectly balanced.
For most new arrivals at the North Pole, however, the honor of actually joining the Sleigh Team is still a long way off. When they first arrive, they have a long period of training to look forward to. But first, Santa offers them a warm welcome, showing them to the cozy stables for the new arrivals.
- Adapted from Santa’s Reindeer by Rod Green
Meet two very special “Reindeer in Training” at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo this holiday season. Santa's "Reindeer in Training" will be at the Zoo until January 3, 2010.
All of us at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season filled with all the magic that is Christmas!