Jessie watched as mountains and pine trees whipped by her window. She was travelling on the train to go to an opening of a Christmas village park, and Jessie was excited. Santa had told her that the owner of the park had a small zoo, and in the zoo had some moose. Jessie had always wanted to meet a moose. She’d seen several on a nature program on television and was amazed by the size of the animal.
Earlier in the day, Santa had settled the sleigh by a train station and he had said he had a treat for Molly and Jessie. Santa had rented a train car for the three of them to travel to the theme park.
Jessie had excitedly watched animals flash by the train windows all day. She’d seen deer,and even some cows. Each time they passed an animal she raised her nose to the air, sniffed and wagged her tail excitedly.
The group traveled in silence until Santa’s tummy began to rumble. He chuckled when Jessie looked at him with a startled look on her face. “Time for lunch I think. Let’s go to the dining car Molly. Jessie, you’re not allowed out of this car. Molly and I will order you a dinner and have the attendant bring it back to you.”
Jessie sighed heavily and flopped down on the seat. She turned her mouth up in a pout and looked ruefully at Santa.
Santa laughed. “You’ll survive Jessie. It’s not very often that you can’t come with us. I promise we’ll send back something good.”
Jessie wagged the tip of her tail as Santa and Molly went out the door. She sat up and began looking out of the window again. If she couldn’t eat in the dining car then at least she could look for more animals.
Jessie was looking at a man riding a horse beside the train when the door slid open at the front of the cabin. A steward laden with a tray came into the room. She struggled to close the door behind her. “These rich people. Renting a car for a dog and then sending back steak for their dinner. I can’t believe what some people will do. Dog, come here and get your dinner.”
The steward took the lid off of the platter and put it on the floor with a clang. She then produced a bottle of spring water and poured it into a china bowl she had brought with her. She eyed the dog accusingly and sat down on one of the benches in the room. She pulled out a cell phone and began to text someone.
Jessie’s mouth watered. She jumped off of her bench, and approached the food. She kept on eye on the woman and sniffed the platter. It contained steak, potatoes and green beans. Surprisingly enough, Jessie loved steak, but she loved green beans even more. She devoured the food quickly, slurped up the water and then curiously watched the steward.
The steward’s face was red and she was furiously typing on her phone. She stood up, threw her phone across the room. She then slumped back into the bench and began to cry.
Jessie jumped when the phone shattered against the wall,and backed up away from the woman. When the woman began to cry Jessie whined softly. Jessie slowly approached the woman. She gently put her head on the woman’s leg and looked sadly into the woman’s eyes. The woman placed her hand on Jessie’s head and then grabbed the dog and hugged her tightly.
Jessie was startled. She didn’t like being held so tightly but she could sense that the woman needed to hug something. So, she sat patiently while the woman hugged her. The woman did not let go of Jessie until Santa swung open the door.
When the door opened the woman quickly let go of the dog, wiped her face and said “Will there be anything else sir?” Her voice trembled as she fought to spit out the words.
“Yes Amelia there is, “said Santa. He motioned for the woman to come and sit on the bench across from him.
“How do you know my name?” she sniffled.
“It’s on your name tag,” smiled Santa.
Jessie looked at Santa. Somehow, she suspected that Santa already knew Amelia’s name.
Amelia plopped down on the bench, crossed her arms and stared into Santa’s eyes. Her face was now ashen and her eyes red.
“Remember when you were a child Amelia and dreamed of going to school to be a doctor. I want you to become a doctor. You have a special gift and people need healers.”
“How do you know? I never told anyone I wanted to become a doctor. Who are you?” She moved to slide away from Chris
Chris quickly held his finger to the side of his nose and a small doctor’s kit appeared magically on the table in front of him. It contained a stethoscope embossed with a reindeer.
Amelia eyes opened wide and she looked at Santa with an astonished expression. You can’t be. I mean… Santa gave me one of these when I was a child. He was the only one that new I wanted to be a doctor. But, I thought my aunt brought the toy. Are you, I mean are you really Santa Claus?”
“Yes Amelia, I’m Santa Claus and I’m telling you that you have a special gift. You were born to be a doctor and when you’re done getting your degree I’d like you to come and work for me. Ever since you were a child, you had a kind heart. Sometimes too kind. “He looked at the broken telephone on the floor. “Do you understand what I mean?”
Amelia looked deeply into Santa’s eyes and then glanced down at Jessie who was now nuzzling Santa’s leg.
“I guess so. Thank you…er, Santa. I have to go. You have a very kind dog.” With those words, Amelia stood up, hurried to the tray, picked up the contents and hurried through the door almost knocking Molly over.
“What was that about Santa?” said Molly.
“Just someone who needed a gift from Santa Claus and his dog. Am I right, Jessie?” Chris asked.
Jessie barked in agreement. The woman seemed happier now Santa didn’t perform Christmas magic in front of others too often so the girl must have really needed his message. Jessie wondered if Amelia really would become a doctor at the North Pole. She didn’t know but she did know that Amelia would never forget that day on the train.