"No," Santa said firmly, "you cannot be a raspberry. I do not need any raspberries right now. You are a reindeer, a reindeer with a very useful glowing nose, and I need you to guide my sleigh tonight."
"My nose is red," said Rudolf. "Raspberries are red. Therefore I am a raspberry. It is my own self-image, after all, and you really have nothing to do with it."
Rudolf stood very straight on all four legs and looked up into Santa's eyes with all the dignity of one who has read *Recreating Your Own Self Image* and successfully applied it. Mentally, Santa roundly cursed all Self-Help and Inspiration books, all those who ordered them for Christmas, all the North Pole inhabitants who peeked into every book that went through, and all new automation techniques that allowed altogether too much time for reading.
"I can't concentrate on work right now, Santa," moaned a nearby elf. "I haven't even *found* my self-image. I need time to meditate."
Santa's thoughts scrambled desperately. "But, Elmo, working with the toys will help you explore your Inner Child."
Another elf piped up, "That's old, Santa. Nobody's talking to their Inner Child anymore. Now we're supposed to be working with our Inner Artist."
"Nah," chimed in another, "that's old, too. Now we're looking for our Inner Bird."
The first elf said thoughtfully, "I wonder if I have an Inner Raspberry?"
"Rudolf," Santa said, "you're right. Your self-image is none of my business. It is my business to get my sleigh guided tonight. I need you to show us the way. Can you do that as a raspberry?"
"Sure," said Rudolf.
Santa sighed in relief. Maybe he was getting the hang of this.
Now, what could he do with Elmo?
||Thalia's Fantasy Index