Garbage lay strewn around the front yard for the second day in a row and Jessie could tell from the look on Santa’s face that was not pleased. Santa looked at Jessie and scratched his beard. He sighed, leaned down and began cleaning up the mess.
Jessie lowered her ears and plopped onto the snow. She hadn’t spilled the trash, but she was sure Santa thought she had. Jessie didn’t want Santa to be angry so she decided that she was going to find the culprit who was making the mess.
That evening when Santa and Molly went to bed Jessie pretended to snore in her dog bed. When all was quiet she opened one eye and looked around. No one was stirring in the little house. Jessie yawned and stretched. She then moved to the dog door and went outside into the cold night air. Jessie shivered. It was very cold out and it reminded her of being homeless, but Jessie was determined to find out who was knocking over the trash bins.
The dog trotted over to a nearby bush and hid behind it. She peeked around the bush make
sure she could see the cans. It was an excellent view. Jessie huddled in close to the bush so that she would stay a little warmer and prepared to wait. She sat for a long time. She was so cold that she was thinking about giving up her mission when she saw four eyes shining in the night. The eyes were low to the ground and scurried across the snow directly to the trash cans. Attached to the eyes were two very thin raccoons.
Jessie waited until the raccoons had knocked over the cans and then howled as loud as she could. The raccoons looked at her but didn’t seem to be scared. Jessie howled again and continued howling until she saw movement in the bedroom window. Within minutes the porch light snapped on and Santa came barrelling out the front door in his warm robe.
Santa immediately looked over to the trash cans. The raccoons were caught in the light and could not escape without walking past Santa. They huddled behind the plastic can.
Santa looked at the pair for several minutes and then called to Jessie. “Jessie, come in the house girl.” He then held open the door and waited for Jessie to come into the house.
When Jessie was safely inside he snapped the door shut and leaned down. “I’m sorry, girl. I thought it was you who pushed over the cans. I should have known better. Let’s let the raccoons finish their meal. I’m not sure how they made it up so far north but they look like their having a hard time finding enough to eat. I’ll have the pair trapped tomorrow night and sent to an animal sanctuary where they can recover. “
Santa rubbed his beard and thoughtfully looked at the dog as he talked to her. “It’s strange that we’ve had a white squirrel and the two raccoons in one month. I really have to have the elves look into contamination issues on our shipments.” Santa leaned down and patted Jessie on the head. “You’re a good dog, Jessie. You could have chased the animals but instead you called me. I appreciate that. Now, let’s get some sleep. Good-night girl.”
Jessie wagged her tail and wandered back to her bed. She turned around a couple of times and then flopped down onto the soft flannel blanket. She twitched her tail a couple of times before falling into a deep sleep. She dreamt of a messy lawn, gleaming eyes and a full tummy.