Jessie stared at at the flashy silver ball that turning around and around on the ceiling. It was sending waves of glittering light around the dance floor at the Polar High Prom. Jessie thought that the room looked like one huge strand of Christmas lights sparkling in the night.
Jessie was bored. Santa had gone on a fishing trip with his friend Constable Joe and Molly had insisted Jessie come to the prom with her. Molly was chaperoning the young students and had insisted Jessie come with her.
Jessie panted and shuffled away from a pair of young Elves who were dancing towards her. Jessie didn’t understand why humans liked to dance. It must be very uncomfortable to stand that close to each other on your back legs, she thought. She was fascinated by the different kinds of dances though. There seemed to be some sort of code to the moves and Jessie didn’t understand them.
When some music started for something called “The chicken dance” Jessie was startled by the young elves flapping their arms up and down.. She personally thought that they had had too much mulled wine at dinner.
It was getting late and Jessie was getting hungry. Molly had not made what Jessie considered to be a proper dinner. She had busily fussed with her hair and clothing and forgot about of dinner. Instead, Molly had put down a bowl of dog food for Jessie. Jessie had taken one look at the bowl and pushed it away with her nose. Molly had laughed and ignored Jessie’s pushing of the bowl around the kitchen floor. With a sigh Jessie had flopped down on the floor and woefully looked at Molly.
It was almost midnight,and Jessie hadn’t eaten since lunch. Her tummy was rumbling and she almost wished she had eaten some of the kibble. She decided it was time to head to the kitchen to see if the chef would give her any scraps before the midnight buffet.
Jessie trotted over to the swinging doors to the kitchen and waited until a server with a tray of glasses came out. When the door swung open she slipped inside and raised her nose to the air. The most wonderful scents of roasting meat, potatoes, gravy and stuffing was waffling down through Jessie’s nose. She took a deep breath and wagged her tail furiously.
A young chef stood at a table placing salad daintily onto silver and red plates. He took a look at the dog, grunted, and turned his back on her.
This was not the reaction Jessie had hoped for. She lowered her head and whined several times. After her third cry she looked out of the corner of her eye to see if the chef was paying attention. But, to Jessie’s dismay, he seemed not to be interested in her plight.
Jessie flopped down on the floor beside the table. Her long feet sprawled across the floor. She stared at the chef’s back hoping to make him uncomfortable. This did not work either and Jessie’s stomach rumbled even louder. She decided that there was no longer time to be polite. Jessie stood up, shook her coat, and walked up behind the chef. She shoved her cold, wet nose into the chef’s arm and pushed as hard as she could. She then sat back on her haunches and wagged her tail.
The chef grunted again and stared down at the dog. He looked across the room. “Zingle, come and get this dog out of my kitchen. There is no place for dogs in a fine eating establishment.”
Zingle was a small Elf woman with rosy cheeks and dimples. When she saw Jessie she smiled and clapped her hands together. “What a lovely creature. She must be starved. You can’t just throw her out of the kitchen.”
“Yes, I can. Feed her if you must but make sure it is out in the hall and not in my kitchen.” The chef turned his back on her. He began to grate cheese on the plates of salad he had so carefully assembled.
Zingle shrugged and walked over to a rack of plates. She grabbed a really big plate. It was so big it reminded Jessie of a turkey platter. Zingle walked over to the stove and cut up some roast beef. She put potatoes on the plate and poured several ladles of gravy over the food. She smiled at the dog and motioned for her to follow.
Jessie couldn’t believe her luck and hurried as quickly as she could out of the kitchen through the door that Zingle was holding open. She excitedly jumped on her back legs and wagged her tail as Zingle laughed. She placed the food on the floor for the dog.
Jessie zoomed forward and gulped down the meat and potatoes in huge chunks while Zingle watched. It did not take long for her to eat the food and lick every drop of gravy from the plate.
Zingle petted Jessie on the head. “I need to go girl and I think you’ve had more than enough to eat. Go, and have fun at the dance.” She walked back to the kitchen.
Jessie looked for Mollie. She was across the room confiscating a bottle of ginger beer from an Elf couple. Jessie trotted over to Mollie and sat at her heels.
“What have you been up to Jessie? I’ve been looking for you. Supper’s almost ready, and I’ve arranged for you to sit with me and eat as well. Would you like that girl?” She winked and stroked her back.
Just as Molly’s hand left the dog’s back Jessie belched. The sound could be heard several tables over.
“Ew,” said several of the girls. “Disgusting”
Molly frowned and leaned down towards the dog. She moved close to the dog’s nose and sniffed. “Gravy! Jessica, have you been in the kitchen without me?”
Jessie lowered her eyes and belched again.
Molly looked at the dog sternly but the corners of her mouth twitched. She tried to look stern but after several moments she laughed heartily. “Well, at least I know you’ll never starve. You are a resourceful one. Since you’ve already had your dinner why don’t you come with me and we’ll teach you how to dance. What do you think Jessie?”
Jessie barked and jumped up. She didn’t understand dancing but Molly wasn’t angry and if Molly wanted her to learn to dance she would. She wondered if she would be dancing at future Polar Proms. Just maybe she woul, and if she did she would be sure to look for Zingle again.