Thursday, December 22, 2005

Grandma's revenge?

Those are caribous -- not Santa's reindeer -- hanging outside store

MORAVIA, N.Y. (AP) - Children in an upstate town can rest easy. Despite the rumors, those aren't Santa's reindeer hanging outside a local hardware store.

That rumor -- likely started by older kids -- made the rounds in the Finger Lakes town of Moravia after hardware store owner Phil Franklin and some friends returned from their annual hunting trip to Quebec, where they bagged ten caribous.

Before the carcasses are processed for meat, Franklin hangs his kills in front of his business in the neighboring town of Locke. That sparked rumors at the elementary school in Moravia that the carcasses were those of the reindeer who pull Santa's sleigh.

Franklin says for someone driving past his store, the animals can be mistaken for reindeer. So he understands how children could mistake them for Santa's herd -- especially if an older kid is telling them so.

One of his hunting partners says parents have been helping squelch the rumors by telling kids the animals are caribou from Canada and not Santa's reindeer.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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