Twas the night before Match Day, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Tyro.
The magazines were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that The MD soon would be there.
The shooters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of V-Bulls, danced in their heads.
And RO in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just climbed in our bunks for a long pre-match 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 the range floor below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be The MD.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Magpul! now, Elcan! now, Leupold and Aimpont!
On, Browning! On, Smith Wesson! on Sig Saur and Para!
To the top of the Matlet! to the top of the Frames!
Now Load Ready! Load Ready! Load Ready all!”
As range flag that before the wild hurricane snap,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the barracks roof, the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Range Stores, and the Match Director too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney The MD came with a bound.
He was dressed all in Camo, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Score Cards he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a cleaning rod he held tight in his teeth,
And his hat, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
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 bombed all the mags, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger 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 Shooting to all, and to all a Good-Match!”