Jessie’s tail slumped. She pushed her way forwards through the woody stems as a trail of golden pollen flew down on her back. Jessie looked up as high as she could but the flowers were just too tall. She had lost Santa in the field five minutes ago and had to admit she was lost.
The dog whimpered. Her ears pointed towards the ground as she tried to sniff the dirt for Santa’s trail. She smelt rabbit, mold and something like skunk but not the distinct odor of her friend.
Jessie began to bark hoping to catch Santa’s attention. She sped up her pace and zig- zagged from side to side sniffing for her friend. She was so panicked that she didn’t see a rut in the ground before she walked into its side. The earth below her feet gave way and she flew down a slope into a ditch. She landed on her tail and yelped.
The dog shook her head and stood up. Jessie wiggled her back to get the feeling into her behind. She tried to claw her way up the bank but her feet slid on the lose dirt. Frantically, she barked and then she sat down and howled. Her high pitched voiced traveled across the sunflower field to where Santa was talking to the seed farmer.
Santa looked behind him searching for his friend but Jessie was nowhere to be found. Santa’s heart skipped. The dog sounded like she was in pain. His stomach churned as he tried to focus on where the sound was coming from.Santa moved forward and followed her calls into the field. The farmer followed behind.
Taller than the dog, Santa could see over the tops of the flowers. Initially he couldn’t see anything, but he pushed his sunglasses up his nose and was able to see a small path made between the heads of the sunflowers.
Santa followed the path carefully moving through the curving route. The sound of Jessie’s howl tore through his head. “She must be terrified,” he shouted to the farmer.
Santa’s pace turned into a run as the dog’s voice went silent. Santa was so focused on finding the dog that he had to dig his feet into the dirt to stop himself from falling into the ditch Jessie was in. The farmer, who was right behind him, banged into Santa’s shoulder.
Santa looked down at the dog. She lay in the dirt facing the opposite direction. Her fur was covered in dirt and pollen. She held her paw over her nose and she panted. She raised her head once again and began to howl again.
“Jessie, it’s okay. I’m here.” Santa knelt down and reached into the ditch. He felt the dog’s coat to see if any bones were broken. Santa closed his eyes and exhaled in relief. He gently reached down and lifted the dog up and out of the ditch. Santa placed her on the ground away from the edge.
Jessie stood and shook her coat. She pounded her tail on the ground and moved to lick Santa’s face. Jessie yipped in joy as she rubbed her back against Santa’s hand.
Santa looked at the dog and gently rubbed her head with the back of his hand . He felt a surge of joy. His friend was okay and he had found her. Jessie had become a prominent piece in the puzzle of his life. Santa stopped to wonder how a bundle of fur had become so important to his well being. The man smiled and shrugged to himself. It really didn’t matter. As long as the pieces of their lives fit together everything would be ok and at that moment sitting in the sunflower field with his friend everything was perfect.