Jessie rubbed her nose on Molly’s skirt, and whined. She had come indoors from sniffing the roses in Aunt Marge’s garden.
Molly’s aunt Marge had fallen the previous evening and broken her hip. Molly had hurried to Marge’s side and brought Jessie with her. Molly was busy getting her aunt comfortable and had left Jessie to entertain herself.
Marge lived on a large farm in Alabama and Jessie had found interesting things all around her. She had watched a bunny rummage rummage under a hedge and had fun chasing it away. Jessie had also visited the barn and made friends with Tilly the cow. Jessie explored Marge’s large flower and vegetable garden. She had eaten fresh berries from the vines and sniffed the glorious odors of fresh earth. When she reached the edge of the garden she found a patch with all different colors of roses intermingled with butterfly bushes.
Jessie thought the flowers were beautiful. She sat and watched as butterflies hovered around the butterfly bushes collecting nectar from the delicate flowers. She playfully batted at the nearest butterfly. It gracefully flew up and around her head before landing on another flower a few inches away.
Jessie wondered if she could get the butterfly to move even further so she nudged a flower close to the butterfly again. the butterfly rose and flew further down the patch but something else flew out from the flower as well. Jessie heard a buzzing sound and was curious. It striped and not nearly as beautiful as the butterfly. Jessie wasn’t sure what it was but if it mingled with butterflies she thought that it couldn’t be that bad.
Jessie moved forward and prodded her nose at the wasp. The wasp turned on the dog. It dove around Jessie’s head. Jessie tried to get away from the buzzing insect but her movement caused the wasp to strike. It buzzed down and landed on her nose. The wasp’s stinger bore into Jessie’s sensitive nose. Jessie whimpered in pain and ran into the house to find Molly.
At first Molly didn’t know what was wrong with the dog. Jessie kept whining and rubbing her head against her clothing. But shortly Jessie’s nose began to swell. It was twice the size it normally was.
Molly grabbed an ice pack and tried to hold the squirming dog still as she applied the ice to Jessie’s nose. Jessie continued to squirm but when Molly wouldn’t let go she slumped to the ground. Her soft brown eyes looked sadly at the garden outside.
Molly sighed. The last thing she needed was for Jessie to be sick. She had enough to do to get Aunt Marge settled before they went back to the North Pole and if anything happened to Jessie Santa would be crushed. Molly was afraid by the swelling that Jessie was allergic to the wasp’s sting.
Molly held the ice pack to the dog’s nose until she thought she couldn’t hold it any longer. She then pulled the dog’s head into her lap and stroked the dog’s soft fur.
The swelling had gone down and Jessie seemed to be more comfortable. Molly smiled. “You scared me Jessie. I thought you were sick too. I don’t know what Santa and I would do without you. “
Molly stared into face and a single tear rolled down her pudgy cheeks. “I don’t know what we’ll do without Aunt Marge. She’s comfortable now but she’s getting old. She’s been like my mother and I can’t bear to see her in pain either. I couldn’t bear to lose you too. Promise me that you won’t leave me so soon.”
Jessie licked Molly’s cheek and put her head on Molly’s lap. Jessie had already lost a human and she knew what it felt like to deal with loss. She knew she was very lucky to have Santa and Molly as friends. Jessie had no intention of leaving Molly anytime in the near future. She lifted her paw and put it in Molly’s hand in an unspoken agreement.
Molly smiled and gave Jessie a hug. “Now Jessie, let’s go back out to the rose garden and watch the butterflies. I need a break This time I’ll watch for wasps for you.”