Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Bertie's Christmas Eve" by Saki 1908

I noticed Mel u in a rare display of good taste on his part has posted on a number of stories by the great gentle Edwardian satirist of upper crust society Saki.  Saki's central characters are often adolescents or adults stiff chaffing at the constraints of social adulthood having fun with their elders.

"Bertie's Christmas Eve" begins at a Christmas Eve dinner with the members of a large extended family.  Everything is as John Bull as it could be and everyone is happy but Bertie.   Bertie, his parents have evidently passed, is at his uncle's for Christmas.  Bertie has been over much of the British colonial world in the tradition of young male relative people don't want around much and he finds this family fuss dinner a huge bore.  Then someone says that the Russians belief that on midnight on Christmas Eve for one hour animals can talk.  One of the more dottie Aunts, though I doubt she is a match for my Aunt Euphemia, suggests they all  go to the cow barn to see if this is true.  Compressing a bit, Bertie locks the whole family in the barn for several hours, just for a lark.  Of course the family sees little humor in this and I will leave the rest of this really fun story unspoiled for you.

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