A family's holiday letter to their beloved postal worker and American icon. [Short Story]

Dear Abe,

Season's Greetings from the McKendrick clan! Can't believe another year has come and gone, but we are richer and wiser for the time, if a little saggier around the hips!! Must be all those Christmas cookies we've been getting. The war on drugs in our house is all about the controlled substances butter and sugar!!! Get caught in possession, spend 90 minutes on the treadmill!! LOL!!!

Speaking of all the Christmas cookies that have arrived this year (and who can stop talking about them, am I right?! Ruby's best shortbread yet!!), we wanted to take some time out to thank you, Abe, for being the best darn mailman we could hope to have.

We appreciate all the good tidings you bring. Thanks for carrying all those letters and birthday cards and coupons, but we could sure do without those bills! LOLZ!!

Randy says he's sorry about all the heavy lifting, but wants you to know that he's enjoying the heck out of the Vinegars of the World Club. He has his binoculars out looking for you every month when it's due, and wiggles like a puppy when you come zooming in.

(He's standing right behind me and wants me to tell you that he doesn't wiggle… but if it's not him wiggling either the whole house is shaking or my vertigo is back and I just don't have time for either.)

Anyhoo, 2013 has been another exciting year for us! Junior can't wait for all the college acceptance letters you're gonna bring him next spring! Can't believe he's 18! The years just flew by!! This momma bird is not ready for an empty nest!! :( :(

How did your wife deal with it when your lil' chicks flew off on their own? You should give me all her notes about how to cope with an empty coop.

How old were your kids when they left home anyway? I mean one day they were little puffy things squawking away, and the next, they weren't asking their momma bird for her handouts anymore.

You must be so proud. We want you to know that we are proud too. We are proud to have a mailman like you. I mean, the whole nation gets to enjoy the postal service mascot of the noble bald eagle, but we are the only county in the whole darn country that gets to have an actual, real life, American Bald Eagle delivering its mail.

The talon marks in our correspondence are a small price to pay for such a source of civic pride. And when we find the skulls of your prey in with our New Yorker, we feel like the luckiest house on the block.

Admittedly, Randy was a little sore a few years back, when his sister sent us a postcard from Paris, France and you ripped it to shreds on our doorstep with your fierce beak, but with the threat of terrorism looming over us all like it is (Never Forget) I knew the country was in no mood for that Frenchy, uppity attitude and you were just saying what we were all thinking. Besides, she badmouths my turkey every Thanksgiving, so I don't care much to hear what she has to say anyway.

(Randy is still right behind me and wants me to tell you that his sister is right about my turkey, but he better stuff it with stuffing it or he won't touch any of my light OR dark meat til turkey day 2000-and-never!!!)

We know it was the Stork who blessed the Johnson's this year, but we just can't stay mad at you for snatching that gift in your vice-like claws and soaring off into the sun with it. It was a colicky thing and probably would have grown up limp in the wrists. You know I can see their recycling from our kitchen window, maybe next time around Betty Johnson can bake a stronger bun in that oven of hers if she lays off the Chardonnay.

(Randy says I shouldn't make an ass out of you and me by assuming, cause men can drink white wine too, but I think maybe that's the kind of man who carries the limpy wristy gene. For example I can't imagine that a big tough thing like you would settle for anything less than a red. The red blood of your prey, you toughie, you!)

Speaking of prey, please accept and enjoy this parcel of meat. It's two voles and a squirrel, we know it's not much, but we hope it's enough to show we care… and we hope it's enough to slate your hunger so you don't eat our nephew when he comes to open presents on Christmas morning.

Thanks for a great year, and here's hoping for many more (should you choose to spare us). GO USA!

Randy and Judith McKendrick


You can find Caitlin on Twitter @ROBOTCAITLIN.

This story was written for Give Me Fiction, a prose reading series hosted by Ivan Hernandez. You can follow GMF on Twitter, check out the podcast on iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud, and Stitcher, and buy tickets for the live show which takes place the first Sunday of every month at San Francisco's Lost Weekend Video. The next show is GMF XV: Masculinity on January 4th.