Jessie jumped on the paper strewn across the floor. She loved the sound of crinkly Christmas paper under her nails. She moved her paws back and forth shredding the paper into little pieces. When the paper was shredded into confetti sized bits she climbed up on her couch and stretched her long legs.
Jessie was bored and was trying to entertain herself. Molly’s mother, sister, and her sister’s son were visiting. Since Santa was visiting with the group Jessie was confined to the house and had been left to entertain herself. Jessie was used to her daily adventures with Santa and Jessie was tired of amusing herself. Jessie picked up her stuffed bunny and threw it on the floor in front of Santa’s feet.
Santa absentmindedly threw the bunny back to the dog but otherwise ignored her. He was too was busy talking to young George to see she was upset.
Jessie flopped down on the floor and watched as Molly’s mother Penny walked over to the big upright piano. She sat down and began to play Christmas carols. Soon the group were singing in carols in unison.
Jessie twitched her ears. She liked music and she especially liked Christmas carols. When she had lived in Thunder Bay Jessie’s companion had played the carols all year long. Jessie had grown to love them and now the sweet sounds of the melodies eased her foul mood.
Jessie was enjoying the music when she noticed that George had taken a violin out from a case that Santa had brought in from his workshop.
George tuned the strings and began to play with Penny. Jessie cringed. George did not play well and his attempt at harmonizing with Penny was noticeably out of tune.
To Jessie, whose ears were very sensitive, the sound was unbearable. The sound reverberated through her head and hurt her ears. Jessie bopped George with her nose but he continued to play. Jessie wanted the sound to stop. She tried again but George ignored her.
In pain Jessie pushed George’s hand even harder with her nose. The bow flew off the the strings and hit the ground.
George turned red and stammered. “Go away, Jessie.” He picked up the bow and began to play again.
Jessie sat on the floor and put her paws over her ears. The sound was unbearable. She couldn’t stand the high squeaks and squawks coming from the instrument. She did the only thing that she could think of doing to make the music stop. Jessie opened her mouth and howled like a wolf. The sound was long and mournful. It drowned out every sound in the house
The group stopped the music and stared at the dog who continued to howl even after the music stopped. Santa moved to his friend and tried to console the her but Jessie was too upset. She had a headache and she did not want that violin to be played again. She ran over to George and grabbed the bow of the violin out of his hand. Jessie then ran out of the room into Santa’s office where she hid under the desk.
Santa followed the dog into the office, and leaned down under the desk. “I’m sorry Jess. I didn’t realize how much the violin hurt your ears. You can give me the bow. George won’t be playing anymore today. “
Jessie’s teeth clenched harder on the bow as she looked at Santa. When she saw Santa’s kind eyes looking back at her she dropped the bow on the ground, and nuzzled his hand.
“I know I’ve been busy today, but I promise we’ll do something together tomorrow. Okay girl?”
Jessie wagged her tail, and licked Santa’s face. She leaned against Santa’s chest, and dug her head into his stomach.
“Come on Jessie, let’s go into the kitchen. Molly’s serving dinner soon and if we go in early maybe we can sneak some roast.”
Once again together the pair walked side by side to the kitchen.