Jessie awoke abruptly wheels in the plane lowered. During the flight from Thunder Bay to the North Pole, she had slept happily beside Santa Claus
in the cockpit. Santa Claus had proven to be an excellent pilot and turbulence had only woken her once. Now, she jumped on the vacant seat in the cockpit, and looked out the big windows in the front of the plane. She yipped in surprise. They were taxiing down a road made of ice. It led past mounds of high snow directly into an ice fog.
Jessie looked at Santa Claus. He did not seemed concerned. Jessie whimpered and put the paws over her eyes.
Santa Claus laughed. “There’s nothing wrong Jessie. Just wait. Just past the ice fog is our home. Welcome to the North Pole girl.”
As his words faded the plane entered the fog, and Jessie raised her paw and looked out the window. The fog seemed to go on for ever, but after a long time the plane skidded to a stop in front of an ice blue building. All around the building people were busily pushing dollies onto waiting planes. The planes were all different and they were all from different countries.
‘We ship our goods from here to many countries where we store the toys in warehouses until the Christmas season,“ Santa Claus said. He unbuckled his seat belt and patted the dog on the head.
“Come on Jessie. Let’s go meet Mrs. Claus.”
Jessie wagged her tail and jumped off the seat. She followed Santa Claus as close as she could. She’d found a new friend and was not about to lose him in the hustle and bustle of the airport.
Santa Claus grabbed a cart and told Jessie to jump in. The dog complied and they began whizzing across the airport towards the north end. Jessie was smiling and her tongue was waving in the wind. They were going so fast across the airport that the people whizzed by. Everyone who saw them smiled and waved and said hello to Santa Claus.
At the North end of the building Santa Claus hopped down. Jessie followed and jogged past Santa Claus out the doors. She stopped in surprise. On the white tundra a large town was surrounded by clouds of fog. The fog floated just above the tops of the buildings hiding them from the view of the outside world. The buildings were painted in bright blues, reds and greens.
Santa Claus began walking down an ice road whistling a jaunty tune. Jessie jogged with him looking from side to side. There were lots of people but they looked different from the people of Thunder Bay. They had beautiful faces with rosy cheeks and two different coloured eyes. Their ears were pointy and they were rather small. Jessie was not a small dog but she wasn’t humongous either and the people were only about twice her size.
“The people here are known as Elvin people Jessie,” said Santa Claus. “I found them living in a village south of here when I built my warehouses and workshops here. Their stories say that their ears became more pronounced from listening for the Arctic Hare, Polar Bear and Wolves. They also say that the people had a hard time feeding themselves this far north and they became sickly. I believe that’s why they are so small. Over the past 100 years they have been getting larger with each generation but they still must seem strange to you. They are merry people though Jessie and if you don’t bark at them or chase their pet hares you should become fast friends with them.”
As Santa Claus talked, they reached the centre of the town where a park was laid out. Ice sculptures of animals and children playing surrounded a huge tree made of steel. It was painted green and lit up with thousands of mini LED lights. At the base of the tree was a small house. It was green and had gingerbread on the windows and doors. From a cracked window Jessie could smell the most delicious smell of cookies. She licked her lips and raised her paw to tap Santa Claus’s leg.
Santa Claus laughed a heartily and the door slammed open. From it emerged a blonde haired woman dressed in jeans and a red and green polka-dotted hoodie. She took one look at Santa Claus and frowned.
“Cristopher Cyle Cringle. Where have you been? You were only supposed to drop by Thunder Bay to visit your father for a couple hours. We’ve been swamped with calls from the warehouse in Florida. The hurricane has caused the warehouse to flood. The toys are safe but the workers need to know what you want them to do.” She stopped abruptly when she saw Jessie who had hid behind Santa Claus’s leg when Mrs. C had started berating Santa.
The woman’s face softened and she smiled showing a row of white teeth. “Who is that beautiful creature behind you Santa Claus? Is she going to stay with us? Bring her inside and I’ll get her some food. She must be hungry after your wandering about.”
Jessie wagged her tail and her ears perked up when the woman mentioned food. Santa Claus motioned the dog to go through the open door into the house.
Jessie happily pranced in and took a sugar cookie from the woman. The woman leaned down and began ruffling the dog’s fur, petting her and complimenting her.
Santa Claus cleared his throat. “Now, Molly you know that dad works on plans all year to help us at the plant. I know I’m late getting back but he had some really good ideas. Besides. It’s a good thing I was late or I wouldn’t have found Jessie. She was hot and starving behind the Moose Café. I gave her a meal and asked her if she wanted to come live with us. Don’t be angry Moll.” He lowered his eyes.
Jessie walked up to Molly and licked her hand. Molly looked down and smiled. I see that you’ve already made a friend Christopher. Jessie wants me to forgive you. For her sake I guess I’ll have to. She smiled again. “Jessie, let’s get you settled for the night. It’s already midnight and it’s way past a young dog’s bedtime. I’ve got a warm blanket for you and we’ll put it just out of reach of the fire. You should be warm and toasty there. Tomorrow you can explore the town.
Jessie yawned and then daintily walked over to the blanket. She turned around several times in a circle and then rested her head on a small pillow Molly had left for her. Soon she was snoring and dreaming of sugar cookies and little people dancing under the light of the moon.