Jessie and Santa were at the bakery door when Claudia pulled out her keys in the morning. Through the window they could hear a banging noise coming from the back of the store. The trio quickly hurried through the restaurant to the bakery kitchen.
The humane trap was bouncing up and down as a chubby white squirrel tried to work its way out through the mesh. The animal grew agitated when Jessie entered the room and began to chatter loudly.
Jessie growled at the squirrel and Santa reached down to pet the dog. “Enough, Jessie. The animal is scared. He’s far away from home and trapped in a cage. You’d be upset in the same circumstances.”
Jessie stopped growling and sat down roughly at the floor. She still didn’t like the look of the squirrel but if Santa said she should be quiet she would.
Santa quietly walked up to the cage with a velvet towel. He held the towel over the cage’s opening and opened the door. As the squirrel tried to run for freedom, Santa gently grabbed the squirrel in his arms. He held the squirrel up in front of his face far enough away so that the animal couldn’t bite or scratch him. He then began to blow softly on the squirrel’s nose.
The squirrel went briefly rigid and then it slumped loosely in Santa’s arms. It’s breathing began to calm and it sat quietly in Santa’s arms.
“How did you do that Santa,”Claudia asked? She stepped backwards as Santa came closer and moved to avoid the squirrel. Her nose wrinkled as she leaned against the counter.
“It’s Santa magic. I’m good with all animals. There’s something about the power of Christmas that allows me to communicate with them. Animals know that I can be trusted so they relax in my presence. Don’t worry Claire. I’ll take the squirrel to the Claus house for the night and then have one of the Elves return him home tomorrow. I do have one favor to ask though.”
“What’s that Santa? ” Claire looked at him quizzically.
“Could I borrow some green sprinkles. The little guy seems to have a taste for the candy and I’d rather not have to go to the manufacturing facility today. I’ll have the Elves bring some by in the morning.”
“Of course, Santa. It’s the least I can do. Imagine, having nothing to eat but sprinkles for a week. I’ll send you some tea cakes for him as well.’
Jessie’s tail pounded the floor when she heard the word cake.
Claire laughed.”Don’t worry, Jessie. I’ll send enough for you too!”