Jessie’s ears flew in the wind as she rode on Santa’s snowmobile out onto the frozen ocean. Jessie didn’t know where she was going, but so far the trip had been fun. She loved the wind blowing through her fur. That is, the fur that Molly hadn’t covered with her coat, boots and hat. Molly had even added a scarf to the clothes just to make sure she’d be warm. But Jessie didn’t care. If wearing clothes made Molly happy and allowed her to travel with Santa, then she would wear them every day.
Santa drove the snowmobile for nearly an hour until they came to a little village of huts built on the ice. Santa slowed the snowmobile and hopped off. “Come on Jessie we’re here. Let’s go in and have some fun.”
Jessie looked at the hut. It wasn’t very big. It didn’t seem to be any bigger than a small truck and she and Santa would barely have room to move around in the hut. She had no idea what they were going to do inside but she trusted Santa enough to walk through the door when he held it open for her.
Inside the hut was a small stove that was warming the surroundings so that Jessie and Santa could take off their coats. At the centre of the floor was a hole that went through the thick ice. When Jessie looked in the hole she could see a thin crust of ice over the water. Beside the hole were two chairs and a small fold up table. The rest of the room was empty.
Jessie looked at Santa with a quizzical look on her face, and he laughed. “We talked about going fishing the other day. I thought today was a good day for the trip. We’re ice fishing Jessie.”
Jessie liked fishing but she had no idea what ice fishing was. She supposed it had something to do with the hole in the floor. After all it did lead to the water. Jessie couldn’t imagine pulling a fish through that small hole. After all, she couldn’t swim in after the fish.
Santa opened a small satchel. He pulled from it a collapsible fishing pole, a small hammer, hooks, bait and a lunch box. He put together the fishing pole and baited it. he then he used the small hammer to break the crust on the ocean water.
Santa lowered the hook and bait into the water and then pulled from the satchel a small rug. “Here Jessie, I didn’t want you to have to lie on the ice all day.” Santa then sat on one of the chairs and put his feet on the other. The fishing pole lay on the ice beside him in easy reach.
Soon Santa was snoring with his toque pulled down over his ears. Jessie watched Santa’s beard moving up and down for a few minutes before turning in a circle and sitting on the rug. She wasn’t tired as she had slept all morning while Santa had been preparing for their trip. Her excitement over riding the snowmobile had now turned to boredom. There was nothing to look at in the tiny cabin. This was nothing like any fishing that Jessie had ever done before. Previously when she had fished it had been warm and she had jumped in the water and chased the fish down the river. It was too cold here.
Jessie wished that Santa would wake up and keep her company. She was thinking that maybe she would bark to wake him when the tip of Santa’s fishing pole moved. Jessie stood up and moved closer to the water. The tip moved up and down again. Jessie walked over to Santa and nudged him with her nose but Santa was so soundly sleeping that she could not waken him.
Jessie watched as the pole moved across the ice and made its way to go down the hole. Instead, the pole became wedged at the rim. The fish below was pulling hard but the fishing pole remained stably lodged into the top of the hole.
Jessie barked but Santa still did not wake up. She decided that she would try to pull the pole out from the hole before Santa lost it forever in the ocean. She walked up to the hole and delicately opened her mouth and bit down on the handle of the pole. Jessie had to dig into the ice with her feet and pull backwards in order to dislodge the pole. She carried it over to Santa’s side and then dropped it at his feet. The pole began to move again towards the hole.
Jessie bit down on the handle again and pulled the fishing pole back. She walked over to Santa, and nudged him hard with her nose repeatedly.
Santa woke with a start and looked at the dog. “What are you doing with the pole Jessie? It’s supposed to be in the water girl.” He took the pole from the dog and felt the tug on the pole and the line.
“A fish! Good work Jessie!” Santa began to reel in the fish. He fought with the fish before winding up the line. He pulled the fish up out of the water and Jessie yipped.
Jessie thought the fish was beautiful. It was large, silver, and floppy. It was just like the fish she remembered on her summer fishing excursions.
Santa lay the fish on the ground to pull the hook from its mouth and Jessie whimpered. She tried to grab the fish as it flopped by onto the ice.
“Easy girl. We have better things to eat. “ Santa picked up the fish and threw it back into the water. He pulled from the lunch pail sandwiches, sugar cookies and eggnog.
Jessie looked back down into the hole. She was disappointed that she didn’t get to play with the fish but she was excited about the possibility of eggnog again. Fishing really was different here and Jessie thought she liked it better.