After the humiliation of the failed newspaper interview, Rudy arrived at Brown’s Hotel on the brink of collapse. His campaign for Europe’s elks was entering its ninth week, and if he heard another mention of reindeer, he wouldn’t be afraid to use his antlers.
Spotting his flagging spirits, the team at Brown’s designed a special sightseeing itinerary to rekindle Rudy’s good cheer. At this time of year, there wasn’t anything like London to lift a tired elk’s spirits.
Rudy, who was always one for a good bit of tourism, did not object. He’d always had a soft spot for the royal family – although elks, being liberal-minded creatures, had deposed a reindeer monarchy many centuries ago.
After trotting from palace to palace, Rudy came to Horse Guards, where he met a mare that longed to go home for Christmas. Rudy, full of renewed festive cheer, offered to take up her post – after all, he’d look rather smart as part of the Queen’s Royal Guard.
And smart he was… until the end of his sentry duty, when his antlers got stuck in the portico. He was eventually rescued with a liberal application of goose fat from the Household Cavalry’s kitchens – but not before the paparazzi had arrived.
On Rudy’s return to the hotel, the Brown’s team did all they could to distract him from this latest embarrassment. They hung Fortnum’s decorations from his antlers to match the hotel’s Christmas tree, and let him have one of his presents early – a turkey carving class with renowned chef Mark Hix. In spite of his hooves, Rudy proved to be a natural carver – so good, in fact, that he was invited to help serve Christmas Day Lunch at Hix Mayfair.
Still, Rudy being Rudy, he couldn’t go three days without googling himself. He tapped in his name, and found compromising shots of the Horse Guards episode all over the tabloid websites:
REINDEER IN RIGHT ROYAL MESS
He sighed. He was to be guest of honour at the New Year’s ball in Munich next week – surely then he’d be recognised as an elk…