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Is There a Santa Claus?
Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in the Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, Is there a Santa Claus?

- Virginia O'Hanlon

115 West 95th St.


your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable their existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world, and not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.



August 19, 1999

Bulut Ozturk
Apartment 503
2224 Pass Road
Biloxi, Mississippi 39531

Dear Bulut*:

Thank you so much for writing to me. I'have been touched by the many expressions of encouragement and support I have received from young people across our country and around world.

I send my very best wishes.


Bill Clinton

* Bulut is my youngest brother.

Dear Mr. Tommy Franks:

I am Omar

From Basra

You might not know Mr. Franks

So I decided to write you

First democracy came from the sky

Then freedom ran over us

Pallet by pallet

And human rights

from the machine guns

of the men with masks on their faces

I could not count the bullets

Democracy hit our house also

I understood one day later that I lost my feet

They counted exactly 18 counts of

Human rights

on my father’s dead body

I lost my mom long ago

when she gave birth to me

She died because there was no medicine

They said there was an embargo

I could not get it

With my childish brain

Is peace the same in your country Mr. Franks?
Human rights children are alone?

Do they leave them footless?

Do children see the moon on their blood-made pond?

Does democracy hit the marketplace at the day light?

Do birds leave the sky?


It was the last time I was pray

with my pop

I left my foot at the hospital

My new shoes at my hand

Is democracy?

Is freedom like these?

in your country

Mr. Franks?

Could please write me asap

Sincerely yours.

Omar, Basra

Note: This is a simple translation of a poem from Bekir Coskun, Turkish Daily Hurriyet. You may work on it!

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