When Santa says no, ask grandfather

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 29, 1999

Features Editor

Nov. 28, 1999 7:00 PM

Christmas doesn’t always come in the bag of jolly ol’ St. Nick. Sometimes it comes roaring down the road behind a Chevy truck, swaying from one side of the dusty road to the other.

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That’s the way early Christmas came to Kayla Causley this year.

Kayla had made her Christmas wish and she expected it to come true just the way her birthday wish had come true.

For her fourth birthday, Kayla had wished for ducks and, along came her granddaddy Brian Strohm, bring four fluffy ducklings behind him all the way from central Florida So, why bother ol’ Santa at the busiest time of year, when granddaddy would surely lean his ear her way.

So Karla made her wish for a pony known to her granddaddy and sealed with with a smile and a kiss. And the deal was as good as done.

"Kayla doesn’t get everything she asks for but we live a long way off and I enjoy doing special things for her," Strohm said. "Maybe I do spoil her a bit – but why not?"

Strohm and his wife Pat began looking for just the right pony and just the right pony came along – a Welsh pony that was looking for a good home and someone to love it.

"He’s a party pony," Strohm said, with a smile. "His owners rented him out for children’s parties and so he was used to having children around him and on him. He was a perfect pony for Kayla."

Strohm called his daughter Vicki Causley of Springhill to tell her that he and her mother were on the way north to Alabama with a pony present for Kayla.

Vicki was slightly surprised and a little envious.

"All of my life I asked Santa Claus for a pony and I never got one," she said, laughing. "Kayla asked one time and she got a pony."

Maybe Kayla just knew who to ask. Her mom had asked Santa. She asked her granddaddy!

The day the pony was to arrive, Kayla dressed in her best Western attire – boots, hat and all – and waited and waited.

Maybe she wouldn’t get her wish after all. Long after sundown, she could wait no longer and she fell fast asleep.

What Kayla didn’t know was that "Santa" Strohm was having a little trouble along the way. Not accustomed to driving animals from state-to-state, he whizzed right by the

Florida agriculture weigh station with a pony wagging its tail behind him.

"I didn’t know you had to stop at the agriculture station if you were transporting animals," Strohm said.

The horse trailer gave them away and an inspection station policeman pulled them over.

"We were detained for a while until they checked out all of our papers and then they let us go," Strohm said.

It was long after dark when "Santa and the sleigh" arrived. Kayla rubbed her sleepy eyes and ran into the night to give her pony a hug and ask for a ride.

Kayla was one happy little girl but mom and grandmom were left wanting.

Vicki never got the pony she wanted but her husband Matt enjoys riding so a horse is in her future.

And, one is also in Pat’s future because she has gotten bitten by the horse love-bug.

"We went to a tack auction and I walked away for a few minutes and, when I came back, Pat had bought a bo x of bridles for the horse she doesn’t have," Strohm said.

"But the one I will have," Pat said, laughing.

"This pony will cost me a lot of money by the time it’s over," Strohm said. "Now, I’ve got to buy Pat a horse, build a barn to house it and buy land for it to graze on."

Santa Strohm has just outdone himself, his girls said, laughing.