Santa, Molly, and Jessie sat in the front row in front of the stage. On the stage were local amateur performers competing to win the title King/Queen of the carnival. The king or queen would be crowned, and then on the next day, travel on an especially designed float for the carnival’s parade.
Jessie watched as an elf took the stage. He was dressed in a miniature tuxedo, and held a monocle in his eye. He cleared his throat. “Everyone come to attention please. It’s time to begin the talent show. “
The elf waited for the sound in the audience to quiet. “Welcome to the 150th annual amateur talent show. Rather than give you a speech let’s begin but first I’d like to introduce the judges for tonight. Please give a hand to head of the North Pole Orchestra. George Wand, and the head of the town theater Greta Toesend.”
The audience erupted in applause and Jessie jumped. Santa reassured her by petting her back and she lay down on the floor and curiously watched the stage.
“Let’s begin. This group calls themselves ‘Pack Attack’. The group is made up of packers from our famous shipping department. They are going to play a song that they composed. Everyone, please welcome ‘Pack Attack’.”
Jessie sat up as the curtains rose. Eight elves appeared on the stage. Two played steel drums, two played large packing crates, two played packing boxes, and the final two played packing tubes. They began to bank on their improvised instruments to the rhythm of Jingle Bells.
Jessie listened for the first few minutes but found the sound of the song dull. She yawned and turned around in a circle so she was facing the audience. She saw Chloe , the girl he’d played hockey with, watching her.
Chloe waved at Jessie, and the Jessie thumped her tail on Santa’s chair..
The MC came back and introduced a group of young Elvin children who danced to a song about hummingbirds, and then a group of clowns flung water at the MC. The show also had acrobats, singers, magicians, face painters, balloon blowers, and poets performing.
Jessie enjoyed the colours of the performers costumes and liked the children dancers. But the performances seemed to be never-ending and she was tired of the event. Jessie liked Santa’s hand and then lay down and fell into a deep sleep. She snored through the rest of the program.
Jessie didn’t know how long he had slept. She just remembered Santa leaning over her and smiling. She felt Santa reach down and pick up the leash. He then gently tugged her awake. “Come on girl. We’re being called to the stage.”
Santa led Jessie up and stood beside the MC. The MC held a card in his hand, and to Jessie’s surprise he knelt down so that he was at her eye level. Jessie licked the elf on the face and a chorus of laughter erupted throughout the audience.
“Thank-you Jessie. The judges have voted and have chosen an unusual winner to the King/Queen of the Carnival this year. Jessie, in recognition of your bravery in saving the elf Flora, the judges have decided to award you the title of Queen of the carnival. Congratulations, Jessie.”
The audience clapped, and stood up and gave Jessie a standing ovation. Jessie wasn’t sure what she had won, but she saw Santa’s proud face and knew she should be pleased.
She leaned against the MC and patiently waited as the he placed a silk ribbon around her neck.
Almost immediately she was surrounded by all sorts of people. Everyone wanted to pet, and congratulate her.
Everywhere Jessie looked there was someone and they were all pressing towards her. She started to shake when Santa reached down and picked up the dog. “We have to get Jessie home everyone. On behalf of Jessie, I’d like to thank everyone for this honour.”
Santa carried Jessie out of the carnival grounds and back to the Claus’s home. By the time they walked through the door the dog was once more snoring in his arms.