'Twas the night before christmas, and all through my home, Not a critter was stirring--except in the tanks, where my fishies do roam! I snuck up nearby them to hear what they'd say, Only to hear them preparing for christmas day! Lily led the team with her typical cheer, "Hurry you bettas! Santa will soon be here! Panda, clean all the gravel extra well! Papa shrimp, keep those plant roots looking swell! Otto, do come out, there's no reason for your fright, Santa is big and fat, but he's a friend to all fish tonight!" Her orders laid out, she swam away fast, While her tankmates obeyed her orders to the last. Above the girls, the bachelors were busy, Creating splendid bubblenests, heads in a tizzy! "Mine will be greatest," Declared haughty Hati, As he flared at his rival, Joyful Kefentse just scoffed, and continued preparing for Santa's arrival. When out on the lawn, there arose a great clatter! I ducked behind the couch, but peeked out, to see what was the matter... The door swung open gently, and what did I see, But good old St Nicholas, headed for the fishies! He smiled as he neared the three betta tanks, and the little guys greeted him with plenty of thanks! "Welcome, Santa, we're glad you're here! We saved you an algae wafer, and some duckweeds for your deer!" Santa, bewildered, dropped his sack of toys on the floor, Evidently he'd never been given gifts from fish before! The sight was too much, I just had to laugh, and santa turned to meet me, removing his cap. "Forgive me, it's just, uh, I don't keep fish, But because of your fish's generosity, I will grant you a wish." I thought for a moment, the nodded and said: "If it's all the same to you, I'd like to go back to bed, But my bettas reminded me of what christmas really means, It's all about giving, and hope, and dreams, So my wish for this christmas is to make wishes come true, But before I say what it is, you have to promise to take my fish with you!" Santa scratched his head at the odd demand, but nodded and reached into his hat with his hand. He pulled out some powder, which sparkled and glittered, And put it into the water, when all the fish promptly shimmered! Each rose from the water in magical flight, and Santa said "you'll be my helpers tonight!" "Santa," I said, smiling and proud, "My wish is quite simple. If it is allowed, Could you give all the bettas in shops and in stores, The homes they deserve, the people they need, To live happy lives and sow joy like a seed, My bettas have made my life better, no doubt, So, I'm loaning them to you to help the others out!" "Ho ho," He replied, a smile on his face, "What a great idea! But we have to race, I've got the whole world to cover, you see, So hurry up bettas, you're coming with me!" "On Lily, on Kefentse, On Hati--oh please, Leave your brother alone, we really need to leave!" And with that they departed, took off into the sky, Too excited to even wave goodbye! All over the world they flew, bringing bettas and joy, To many little girls and little boys, They rescued so many bettas, both the great and the small, With fin rot, with fungus, they saved them all! Blue bettas, red bettas, bettas with spots, Only when there were no more left did Santa say "stop!" When they returned, Santa tucked them each in on a leaf, and smiled at me, saying, "I have to be brief, But your bettas did well, and so I'm leaving them a gift, But don't let Lily eat them all, lest the others get jipped." In front of each tank he left a tiny red stocking, and what was inside simply had me gawking! A whole bunch of bloodworms, fish pellets and treats! Best of all, there was enough for each! And for me and my family, he left candy canes, and treats for our other pets, beside the stockings with their names! When I turned to thank him, old Santa was gone, All that was left was Kefentse's snoring, on and on and on, But I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight, "Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!"