Christmas is upon us and in news rooms up and down the country, the search is on for stories with festive cheer.
This week, The Westmorland Gazette presented me with the tale of a reindeer. One which had escaped from a local garden centre, where it was giving rides to gnomes (or something).
My first sketch (see below) caused consternation in the news room. The last time the Gazette hinted that Santa MIGHT NOT EXIST, it unleashed a flood of letters from angry readers, e.g.: “How dare you upset my little Timmy, who I had vowed to keep in ignorance of the truth until he was 37.”
Now, I'm all in favour of telling the nation’s young that their parents are peddling a big fat lie. It’s good preparation for when they find out there’s an even bigger whopper being put about.
However, I was overruled. * In any case, of course he exists - the U.S. Military tracks him every year via radar.
Elsewhere in the news, protestors are getting their veins in a knot about Cumbria being used as a dump for nuclear waste. Campaigners lit a candle on the stump of Brockhole’s ex-monkey puzzle tree for unspecified, possibly magical, reasons. (They don't seem to have noticed that we've been dumping nuclear waste in the area since the 1950s.)
And finally, someone put a cat in a wheelie bin. Possibly a copy-cat incident.
Here are my cartoon sketches. Which would you choose to grace the front page? Let me know in the comments box below. You can find out if you were right on Thursday by visiting my website.
* Wait till they see next week’s Gazette investigation: WHAT REALLY LURKS AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR GARDEN: THE GREAT FAIRY MYTH!