Benjy and the Belsnickel

by Bonnie Swinehart

 

The Belsnickel is coming…

 Dressed in black from head to toe.
Porcupine quills in his hat. A whip in hand.
And bells that jingle with every step.

Benjy, a lovable eleven-year-old in the 1930s, just can’t seem to help himself from pulling pranks and letting people down. His target is most often Miss Nettie, the schoolmarm at the one-room schoolhouse where he gets into more trouble than she’s willing to tolerate. Maybe he’s pulled one too many practical jokes…because everyone keeps telling him he’s going to get a visit from the Belsnickel.

 Although Benjy believes the Belsnickel is just an old Pennsylvanian folktale told to scare kids into better behavior, deep down he fears the grim legend is real.

When the Belsnickel comes knocking, Benjy quickly learns he is no fable.

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