There’s a reindeer on your roof

G. Sam Piatt

A post-Christmas note:

My good neighbors directly across the street don’t go much for outside lightening, just a big beautiful lighted tree in the bay window.

But me, I set our front porch railings and columns and white privacy fence down the left side of my property ablaze with multicolored lights – from Thanksgiving ‘till New Year’s Eve.

No icicles from the gutters though, nor lights in trees or bushes. Used to, but cracked ribs on a fall from a ladder put a halt to that.

Anyway, I looked across the street one dark night, when Mr. and Mrs. Bazzler and their three daughters had gone somewhere and left no lights on, and was surprised to see a lighted reindeer on the roof. Wonderful!

I walked down the middle of the street in daylight to look at their roof and see just how he anchored it.

There was no reindeer up there. Nothing at all.

Surely they didn’t take it down during the day and put it back up at night?

I enjoyed seeing it another night and wondered at this mystery, and the next day I asked one of the girls what happened to their reindeer on the roof during daylight hours.

She gave me a questioning look and said, “We don’t have a reindeer on the roof.”

The next night I knocked on their door and invited them to come see the reindeer on their roof. Mystified, they all came over for a look-see.

“You see?” I said. “There’s its horns, its feet…”

And they solved the mystery right away.

The girls have a basketball backboard standing at the edge of their side of the street. It’s raised to its maximum height – right at roof level, or so it seems when I’m seated on my front porch. The square backboard is either thick glass or clear plastic.

What I was seeing, and believing it was a reindeer, was – in that backboard – the reflection of my own porch lights.

I’m still trying to convince then I wasn’t pulling their leg, or legs.


Because of deteriorating discs and arthritis in my lower spine I had fewer outdoor adventures than in any other year I can think of. I had only maybe half a dozen fishing trips to our lakes and streams during 2017.

Probably the highlight of the year for me personally came on the second weekend of October when I managed to hook and boat one of Cave Run Lake’s famed muskies.

And it wasn’t much to write home about. It was 36 inches long and weighed 12 pounds, just 35 pounds shy of the state record caught eight years ago from those waters.

Posing him vertically in front of me for a photo cost me a chunk out of the side of my index finger from the vicious teeth the muskellunge is noted for.

I was on the lake for the fall outing of the Kentucky Outdoor Press Association. We stayed on two moored houseboats at the Scott Creek Marina. Creighton Stephens, suffering from recent surgery on his shoulder that kept him from fishing, drove the boat while Aaron Brown and I trolled crankbaits around the corner of the Big Cave Run cove. I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for two years to put Aaron on a Cave Run Lake muskie, and I would have gotten more pleasure from it if it had chosen his lure rather than mine.

G. Sam Piatt

Reach G. Sam Piatt at or (606) 932-3619

Reach G. Sam Piatt at or (606) 932-3619