Jessie’s face was buried in a pile of red tissue paper. She sniffed around the ground zigzagging back and forth under the electric lights above her. She walked away from the paper and continued sniffing down the aisles of the warehouse.
Jessie was searching for Molly’s shortbread cookies. Her sensitive nose told her that there were some cookies packed somewhere in the warehouse, but she couldn’t find them as hard as she tried.
Jessie sniffed around the office door and stopped abruptly. Her tail banged hard against the cement of the floor. She could smell the cookies closer now. They were somewhere in the packer’s office and the door was open.
Jessie peeked around the corner of the door. She couldn’t see anyone in the office so she cautiously entered the room. She sniffed her way to a tall table near a window. On the top of the table she could smell Molly’s cookies. Her delicate nose told her that the cookies were exactly 3 hours old and had been decorated with maple icing.
Jessie licked her lips and glanced up at the table. It was higher than she had expected. Jessie jumped up on her back legs and tried to reach the plate but she couldn’t reach. She jumped again and fell backwards and landed on her paw. Jessie yelped in pain and limped over to the corner where she lay down and licked her sore paw.
Although Jessie’s paw hurt, her stomach was rumbling and she was still was thinking about the cookies. She tried to find a way to get the plate off the table. Jessie stared at the table. She looked from one end to the other looking for a chair or a stool.
At the end of the table Jessie noticed that the table runner hung down half way to the ground. Jessie’s ears perked up and she limped to the runner. It was white and was embroidered with miniature elves and packages.
Jessie grabbed the ear of one of the elves and pulled at the cloth. She slowly backed up away from the table pulling the runner and limping as she moved. As she watched the cookie plate came closer and closer to the side of the table. She was so fixated on the plate that she didn’t notice the can of paint in front of the plate.
Jessie tugged and the can of paint flew off the table. The lid flew off and the paint sprayed across the room and over Jessie’s black and tan coat. Jessie began shaking the paint off of her coat when a hand reached downand gently grabbed the dog’s collar to stop her from spraying the pigment on the walls.
Jessie looked up into Santa’s concerned eyes. “Jessie, what have you gotten into now? I know you love Molly’s cookies but you’ve hurt yourself and you’ve painted the entire room red. When you want something to eat you just need to find Molly or me and we will give you something. Okay, Jessie?”
Santa lifted the dog and carried her to a wash basin in the corner where he proceeded to clean the dog’s fur. He dried her carefully and then bandaged the dog’s foot with a clean cloth. He gently placed Jessie down on the floor and retrieved a cookie for her.
“Remember, Jessie. No more raids on the cookie plates.”
The tip of Jessie’s tail quivered and she looked down.
“It’s okay Jessie. You’re not in trouble. But, I suggest we don’t mention this to Molly. I’ll tell her you slipped on the ice and hurt your paw. She’ll bring out the medicine and have you feeling better soon. Now, let’s go.”
Santa and Jessie slowly walked to the snowmobile where Santa lifted the dog to the seat and climbed on behind. Jessie licked Santa’s face and the pair headed through the snow to the warmth of the Claus’s manor. Back to Molly’s gentle hands, Santa’s kind words and Molly’s tempting shortbread.