New Year's Eve in Smallville and the Lang house is all abuzz. Professor Lewis Lang, for the first time in three years, is home for the family's annual party. Another guest, in an even rarer appearance, is Lana's globe-trotting grandfather, making this holiday one of her most exciting.
In fact, the perky redhead is so excited that she isn't even plotting how to prove that her escort, Clark Kent, is secretly Superboy. Adding to her delight is her grandfather's belated Christmas gift - an antique music box.
"I tell ya, Lana, it was the darndest thing how I came across that little beauty," the elder Lang chuckled. "There I was, just a-strollin' through this little town in Germany, when I happen across this auction. The thing was just about windin' down, but I stopped to see if anything interestin' was on the block. Nothin' struck my fancy, and the auctioneer was down to just an old box with some odds and ends in it. Looked like junk to me, but the guy was askin' ten marks for it - that's what they call their money y'know, marks, not dollars.
"Anyways, no one else musta thought much of the crate 'cause right quick, there he was askin' nine marks, then eight, then seven and so on. When it got down to one - well, actually ein, that's what they call one y'know - I made the bid just 'cause I felt sorry for the old boy.
"Well, when I got back to my hotel, I dumped it out on my bed and out pops this beauty! A little dusty mind you, but the sound was just as pretty as could be."
As Mr. Lang continued his spiel, the traditional musical program playing on Smallville's only radio station was interrupted by a news flash. A train had derailed three miles north of town, and rescue efforts were being hampered by drifting snow and high winds.
Clark was in a bind. Midnight was nearing, and he had promised Lana the first dance of the New Year. Add to that the fact that everyone at the party heard the report, and his typical disappearing act would surely arouse suspicions other than Lana's.
What's a super-boy to do?
Just then the phone rang. Jonathan Kent needed Clark home right away. The cattle had gotten loose somehow, and Martha's flu was just too bad to allow her to help her husband herd them in.
As Clark left the Lang's house, a quick scan with his telescopic vision confirmed his suspicion. The cattle were right where they were supposed to be. Good old pa Kent was also listening to the radio, and rightly guessed that his boy might need a little help himself before he could aid the train passengers.
Superboy leapt into the sky, mentally steeling himself for the task ahead, yet was still able to muse over Grandpa Lang's tale.
"Just think, Lana never would
have received that beautiful music box, if not for old Lang's ein."