In three days time there would be a council meeting. In the meantime, Nicholas and Kris Kringle agreed to consider the matter of Christmas on an overnight camping trip with supplies and lanterns, they trudged up into the hills where they looked for a spot to make camp. They followed a flock of birds into a small clearing in the pine forest and watched as they selected a certain tree in which to perch. The Kringle brothers were also drawn to this certain tree.

In the distance a lone, pitch black, raven perched in a tall pine tree and with cold, unblinking eyes took in the events.

A soft, sweet song was coming from somewhere above. The brothers looked up and saw a beautiful angel at the very top of the tree.

"What were you saying?" asked Nicholas

"On earth peace to men of good will," she sang her reply.

"Can you tell us about Christmas?" asked Kris.

Again she sang sweetly, "While shepherds watched their flocks by night, all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around...away in a manger no crib for a bed, the little lord Jesus lay down his sweet head..and on and on she sang until a feeling of deep contentment filled the two brothers.

"What is your name?" asked Nicholas.

"Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, Gloria," she sang and the birds in their diverse voices joined in. It was beautiful and unlike anything they had ever seen before.

After that the angel Gloria and the birds flew away leaving the campers in a state of amazement and happiness.

Then away flew the steely eyed raven to his mistress and reported, "Peace, a holy child, men of good will."

"You have done well, my fine feathered friend, Be my eyes and ears. You must away with your brothers and bring me more news. Let nothing escape you." commanded Witch Hazel.

"I do not like this, sister Hazel," said Warlock Basil, as they peered out of the tower window with a feeling of foreboding.

As for Kris and Nicholas Kringle, they were sure in their hearts that their hearts that their destiny would soon change forever to spread the light of Christmas to all.

To Chapter Thirteen - The Council Votes