Jessie, Molly, and Santa were visiting Molly’s cousin in Australia for the weekend. Santa had flown them down overnight and they had spent the day in the cottage playing games, laughing, and having fun.
Jessie had never been to the beach before but as soon as they reached the shoreline she fell in love with it. On the sand she sniffed a myriad of wonderful smells. She had also met several children and had played a game of Frisbee with them and built a sand castle.
Jessie sniffed the air. The smell of water, sun tan lotion, and cooking fires filled her nose. She sniffed contentedly in the sand until she heard Santa calling.
“Lunch time Jessie. We’re having a BBQ. Hurry, let’s eat! ” Santa smiled at the dog. He looked strange today to Jessie Santa’s large stomach protruded out from underneath a purple and lime Hawaiian shirt. His belly button jiggled above his khaki shorts.
Jessie’s ears quivered and her ears shot up when she heard the word BBQ. Her mouth salivated as she trotted over to Santa. He had set up with lawn chairs, a tent, the BBQ, and a beach blanket on the sand.
Santa pulled a hot dog off of the barbecue and put it on a plate for Jessie. She raised her hand in thanks to Santa. He smiled, and bent down to shake it.
As Santa shook her hand, a grey and white bird swooped down from above, and grabbed the hot dog off of Jessie’s plate. The bird ziog-zagged up, and away with Jessie’s meal.
Jessie barked and whined. She chased the bird down the beach as it swooped up and down above her. She ran until the gull swooped out into the water and landed on a sand bar out in the lake. When the gull landed Jessie paced back and forth until the birds pecked at her meal. Defeated, Jessie walked back to the camp fire with her tail between her legs.
Jessie reached the campfire, pushed Santa’s legs with her nose, and whined.
Santa laughed. “It’s okay Jessie. I made extra. I should have known better to put the food down unguarded. Gulls will eat anything.”
Santa pulled out another plate and plopped a sausage on it. “With all that exercise I thing you need something more filling. Don’t you?”
Jessie barked and wagged her tail furiously. She liked her lips and waited for Santa to cut up the food and put the plate on the ground. Jessie watched every move that Santa made. She was not going to have her meal stolen this time.
As soon as the food had been placed in the sand, another gull swooped down and tried to grab the plate. This time Jessie was ready. She jumped and snapped. In an instant she found her mouth was full of a frightened gull.
Jessie opened her eyes wide in surprise. She hadn’t meant to grab the bird. It had just been instinct to snap when the bird flew by. Jessie very gently lowered her head and placed the gull in the sand. She backed up towards the plate and pushed it towards the gull.
The gull sat silently staring at the dog. When Jessie did not move towards it, the gull walked back and forth a few times. Then,hesitantly, it came forward and pecked at a piece of the sausage.
Jessie wagged her tail and gently began eating from the other side of the plate. She ate most of the food but left enough so that the gull had something to finish. When she was finished her portion she licked the bird across the head, backed up and trotted over to Santa looking for more food.
Santa greeted Jessie with a smile. “Such a kind, and smart animal you are Jessie. I think that deserves a reward don’t you? “This time Santa pulled out a piece of steak from the BBQ, and held it out for Jessie to see.
“This time girl why don’t you eat it in the tent. The gulls won’t bother you there.” Santa put the plate with the steak in the tent and Jessie sniffed. Her mouth watered and she could barely wait for the food. If all trips to the beach were like this then she hoped they could visit more often.