“No more food for you. If we don’t be careful you’ll be sick.” Molly shooed the dog out of the kitchen where she was putting the final dollops of whip cream on a pumpkin pie.
Jessie raised her nose in the air as the door closed on her. She jumped on the little couch Santa had provided for her to sleep on. It was placed near the fire and Jessie found herself very sleepy. Soon her feet were moving, and she was yipping in her sleep.
Santa smiled as he watched the dog. When he had brought Jessie home he had never thought he’d become so fond of an animal in such a short period of time. Yet, it had barely been two weeks since he brought her home and he couldn’t imagine the house without her. At the same time, she did have a tendency to get into mischief, and Molly thought they should be stricter with the animal. She didn’t agree with Santa allowing the dog to follow her around the facilities. It wasn’t that she was unkind; it was just that as she had to negotiate with the Elvin union. Consequently, she had had to deal with several upset guilds. They weren’t happy about having to clean up the kitchen and the ribbon area after Jessie’s mishaps.
Santa sighed. He didn’t want to rein in the animal. She needed to be close to people who loved her. He’d just have to watch her to make sure she didn’t get into any further trouble. With that thought Santa was satisfied with his plan, and decided that he should have a nap too. He lay down on the other couch in the room, and soon the pair were snoring in tandem.
Later in the afternoon, Jessie woke up and stretched her long legs. She wagged her tail at Santa, but he was still sleeping. Jessie jumped off the couch and went looking for Molly. As she neared the kitchen she raised her nose. There was a fascinating smell coming from the room. Jessie entered the kitchen. Molly was nowhere to be seen. She sniffed again. The delicate smells of roast beef, potatoes and carrots filled the room. To the dog it smelled like heaven.
Jessie trotted to the kitchen table and climbed on her chair. A large roast lay on a platter carved and ready for supper. Since, coming to the Clauses, Jessie had been allowed to eat with Molly and Santa at the table. Now, as Jessie salivated, she assumed that the food was meant for her. She stood with her back legs on the chair, and her front legs on the table, and began woofing down the meat. She was half way through the platter when Molly came into the room.
Jessie had never heard the sound that Molly made before. It was a high pitched sound that ended with “Nooooo! Jessie get down. Christopher, your dog has eaten our dinner!’
Jessie got down off the table and ran into the living room. She jumped up onto the couch, and scrunched her way in behind Santa. Santa woke with a start and looked at the dog behind her.
“Uh, this can’t be good. Now Jessie, what kind of mischief have you gotten into today?”
“That dog has eaten our dinner Santa. Now what are we going to do? The Frosts will be here any minute.” Molly held up have of a platter of meat for Santa to inspect. She glared at Jessie who pushed herself further back behind Santa.
“Now Molly, where did you leave the meat? Was it somewhere that she could have gotten it? She is a dog after all.” Santa shifted his position and petted the dog.
‘Christopher Cringle, you are besotted by that animal. If I didn’t know better I’d be jealous. The Frosts are going to be here any minute, and their expecting dinner. What are we going to do?” Molly looked at Santa. Tears fell down her face.
“Now Molly, there’s no need to cry. We’ll take the Frosts out to that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try in the village. Wipe your eyes and come pet the dog. You scared her when you shrieked.”
“Santa, you’re too easy on that animal.” A smile flickered across Molly’s face. She reached around her husband and stroked Jessie’s long back. “I guess it was partially my fault. She’s used to eating off the table. It’s all right Jessie. If I knew all it took to get Santa to take me out for dinner, I would have left a roast out for you earlier.”
Jessie wagged her tail and looked around Santa’s back. When she saw Molly was smiling, she licked Molly on her face and belched as Santa and Molly roared with laughter.