Mangle’s department store was set at the very center of town just across from the Claus house. Jessie loved to look out the front window and watch the Elves busily going in and out of the building. It wasn’t strange for Jessie to see one of her friends entering the building. Everyone in the North Pole went to Mangles. There was no better place to shop.
Each morning Santa had his coffee and then took Jessie for a walk through Mangles. He always joined one or two of his friends at the Mangle’s coffee shop for tea and scones.
Mr. Mangles, the store CEO, ran the coffee shop himself. Just for Jessie he had a bag of dog chewies behind the counter. Mr. Mangles was one of Jessie’s favorite people.
This morning Santa took Jessie across to the department to meet Claudia the town’s cookie baker. She was sitting in a little booth at the back of the coffee shop and Jessie thought she was peculiar looking. She had black hair with an orange streak dyed down the side. She was dressed in shorts and a tunic even though the weather was frigid. Jessie’s mouth watered as she saw that Claudia had a platter of Christmas cookies in front of her. They must have been cookies from Claudia’s shop thought Jessie as. the dog knew that Mr. Mangles didn’t sell cookies.
Jessie trotted over to Claudia, nudged her on the leg and then pointedly looked at the cookies but Claudia did not respond. She just stared at the Susie’s Soda sign above the counter and torn her napkin to tiny shreds. Jessie whined but Claudia still did not respond..
“Hi, Claudia,” said Santa. He frowned and looked at the pile of shredded paper napkins on the table. ” How’s the cookie business?”
“My sales are fine Santa but I’ve got a mystery and m glad to see you. I was hoping that you could use your Christmas magic to solve my problem.” Claudia grabbed another napkin and began shredding it as well.
I’ll do what I can do to help but my Christmas magic only works to fabricate and deliver presents for children. I can’t use it for personal gain,” said Santa.
“That’s too bad. I have a real problem. My sprinkles are going missing. My green sprinkles are delivered in the morning but no matter what I do they disappear by the next day. The problem is getting costly and I’ve even tried locking them in a cupboard to try to keep them from disappearing. Unfortunately, when I looked this morning they were gone. I was hoping you would have some ideas how they could go missing..”
“I can’t think of any ideas right now Claudia but Jessie and I will be happy to come over to the bakery tomorrow and see if we can help you figure it out. Won’t we girl?” Santa stroked the back of Jessie’s head.
The dog moved her eyes from the cookie plate to Santa’s face. She licked Santa’s hand, then walked over to Claudia and bopped her with her nose. Jessie then placed her paws and chin on the table looking at the plate.
Santa laughed. “I think Jessie will be glad to help Claudia as long as you pay her in cookies.”
Claudia looked at the dog and smiled. “I’m sorry girl. I’ve been so distracted I brought these cookies for the two of you. I won’t tell Molly that you’ve had them. ” Claudia grinned and gave the dog a small shortbread.
Jessie gobbled up the cookie and then rose to follow Santa who had moved towards the door.
“We’ll be by in the morning tomorrow Claudia. Don’t fear. Santa and his dog are on the case of the missing sprinkles. We’ll figure out what is going on.” Santa smiled at Claudia and winked. The pair disappeared through the door into the frigid Arctic air.