A lot of elves and songwriters will tell you that the reindeer can fly (which, as we know, would make them birds). This is a widely spread misconception. It would not be the first falsity elves and songwriters passed off as common knowledge.*

This raises the question of why the reindeer was chosen as the mythical flying animal of Santa “Fred” Claus. The easy answer is that it lives in the Arctic Circle. But so does the polar bear. Can you imagine the sleigh of Father Christmas pulled by polar bears? Can you imagine that thing descending with the moon at its back, an automatic weapon in Santa’s free hand? DO YOU DARE IMAGINE IT?

Special powers

The reindeer’s most immediately dangerous feature is its antlers, sharpened bone constructs attached to its cranium. It has also been known to fire concentrated light (see “Historic shames”).

Beyond these, the reindeer has crazy eyes. I do not mean that the reindeer’s eyes appear crazy, as if it were some common horse. I mean that looking into the eyes of the reindeer for too long can actually drive a man to madness.

Eye of Reindeer



The reindeer continues to further disenfranchise its already disadvantaged societal sectors. The rich get richer; the poor get poorer. All the while, the reindeer government is under the thrall of Big Antler Wax. The reindeer system has failed.

Number of legs

Four to sixteen.

Oh I’m sorry

I didn’t mention that antlers count as legs.

Historic shames

In 1937, a reindeer was born suffering from a rare case of Radolfe Syndrome. The reindeer community excommunicated him. Little did they know that the same freak genetic error that gave the reindeer a red nose would, by puberty, allow him to fire light beams. The young reindeer, having fallen in with radical anarchists, returned to the North Pole and murdered twenty-one reindeer with his nose-laser before his neck was snapped by the Abominable Snowman.

The story was the loose basis for the harrowing stop-motion cartoon “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

What if it fought a bear?

The bear would win, but it would be shaken by the encounter.

Is it noble?


Final rating

The reindeer is mostly a good animal, but must be knocked down a few notches for its racisms.





*The first was that Santa’s sleigh has bells. It actually travels in complete silence whenever it is not blaring the horn from the General Lee.

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3 thoughts on “Reindeer

  1. Charlrene says:

    Never did I know about the gruesome history of the reindeer. I feel like Radolfe was to Rudolph like St. Nicholas was to Santa Claus in that there was a much more gruesome origin story (if you didn’t know, one folklore about St. Nicholas involved resurrecting three dead children who had been slaughtered and put into barrels to cure like ham).

    Are you going to keep doing more exotic animals in your ratings? Or move onto more domestic animals?

    • nscranor says:

      Mmm… ham.

      I’m doing all kinds of animals, which naturally means the wild outnumber the domesticated (though the farm down the road would have me believe that the reindeer counts as domesticated). I’m not sure yet just how I’m going to handle Dog what with all the breeds.

  2. […] onto a beluga whale… namely a large spiral-design horn. A rejected design closely resembled reindeer antlers, which allowed the narwhal to fly but made it look a dang […]

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