Santa rubbed his ankle and sighed. The pain was much better than the day before but he still winced every time he put weight on his foot. He had hoped to get back to fixing the manufacturing facility but he couldn’t walk far enough. He would have to leave the project for another day. He’d also cancelled his morning walk with Jessie. He didn’t feel well enough to walk to the corner cafe and back.
Instead, Santa pulled out a stack of paperwork and hobbled over to his desk. Jessie followed him and sat down at his feet where she immediately fell asleep and softly snored.
Santa wished he could join her but he had too much work to do. He concentrated on figures for over an hour until his hand became cramped from writing. He pushed the papers away and stretched out his hands. He let his eyes wander around his office.
Santa loved his office. It was filled with his most favorite things. In the corner was his bookshelf filled with all the adventure novels and by the window was a Christmas cactus still in pink perfection. The shelves on the opposite walls contained trinkets from his travels. A shell from Molly and his honeymoon, a pen that had been given to him by a famous author and a bowl of sand from his vacation in Florida . There were so many trinkets Santa couldn’t remember what was on the shelf.
Santa’s gaze shifted to the sideboard filled with a water jug a that Molly had brought for him earlier. The door in the sideboard was partially open and he glanced the colors red and white peeking out of the hole. He got up and hobbled over to the cupboard. Santa pried open the door and smiled. He was looking at the candy jars his mother had given him for his birthday. They were made of tin. One was filled with chocolate and the other with caramel.
Santa loved the tins. They made him smile when he looked at them both for the memory of his family and for the contents. Santa glanced behind him to make sure Molly wasn’t watching and then pulled out the tins. Molly had put Santa on a diet after Christmas and had hid the tins of candy. She wouldn’t be pleased if she knew he had found them.
Santa grinned to himself and silently congratulated Molly on her ingenuity. The sideboard was actually a good place to hide the candy. He never went into the cupboard except near Christmas Eve to retrieve his sleigh bells. Well today was an exception. It wouldn’t hurt to just have one piece of candy and he thought it might help with his concentration.
Santa felt a lick on his bare knee just under his shorts. Jessie had woken up and had smelt the candy from across the room. She panted and pushed the tin with the chocolate in it with her nose.
“No, Jessie. Chocolate is poisonous for dogs.How about a caramel instead? Just one mind you. I don’t want you to be sick.” Santa replaced the snowman tin with chocolate into the cupboard and carried the Santa tin back to his desk. He opened the lid and took out two caramels. He fed one to the dog and then popped the other in his mouth. He closed his eyes, leaned back and savored the taste of the sweet and salty confection. The candy was still dissolving in his mouth when Molly walked into the room and caught him with the candy tin.
“Santa Claus! You know you are on a diet… and feeding the dog sugar as well. You should know better. ” Molly clopped forward and dropped the papers she had been carrying onto the desk and tore the candy dish off of the table. Her eyes were red and her nose twitched. “I don’t mind you having the odd treat but the pair of you devoured an entire Lime Blueberry pie just this morning. Both of you are going. to be sick!”
Molly took away the tin and put the container back in the sideboard She left the room amd slammed the door behind her.
Santa coughed and looked at Jessie who was still chewing the sticky caramel. Maybe, giving the dog the candy wasn’t the best idea and he really had eaten enough already today. Maybe Molly was right and he needed to take better care off his health and Jessie’s as well. Molly was really upset. She never ended an argument without a discussion unless she was furious. Maybe now was a good time to start exercising. It would appease Molly and help with his increasing waistline.
Santa stood up and grabbed a cane he had borrowed from the hospital. “Come on, Jessie. I think it’s time to take that walk we cancelled this morning.”
Jessie jumped up and barked. Her tail wagged violently as she stood beside the door and waited for Santa to put on her lead. Jessie certainly didn’t think exercise was bad. Maybe, thought Santa, he could learn to like it as well.