The Halloween Garden


Jessie sniffed the ground around her trying to reach as far as she could on the lead.  Molly, Santa and Jessie were walking through Claus park to enjoy the Halloween celebrations.

First, they had visited the Kooky kitchen where they had eaten caramel apples and drank blood soup (Watermelon juice).  Then, they had visited the craft center where Molly checked on the children and the giant glow in the dark skeletons that they were painting.  Now, they were on their way to something Molly called the Halloween garden.

As Jessie turned around the corner, she ran face first into a display with scarecrows, pumpkins and flowers.  Jessie snorted, shook her head and then began pulling her way towards the creek down at the end of the park.  Santa pulled back on the lead.  “Not today, Jessie.  We’re going to look around the garden.  Tomorrow we can go see the ducks.”

Jessie immediately turned and hurried over to the path towards the inner gardens.  She sniffed on each edge of the sidewalk smelling the scents of other dogs.  She could even smell that Angel, the husky, had been by.  In a hurry, she turned the corner and faced two huge feet sticking out off the bushes.  Jessie nudged the boots but they would not move.  She whined and pushed again.  The right boot fell off a long stick and landed on Jessie’s foot.  Jessie cried out and ran behind Santa where she stood trembling.

“It’s the foot of a scarecrow, Jessie.  A scarecrow is a dummy dressed like a human being.  Traditionally, they are used to scare birds away but there here to decorate the garden.  There’s nothing to be afraid of.”  Santa petted the dog on her head and led her forward to investigate the boot.

Jessie sniffed the foot and nudged it forward.  When it did not move by itself she shoved it into the corner and then started sniffing the side of the path again.  Jessie pulled the couple forward through the maze of a garden.  There were hundreds of pumpkins, scarecrows and flowers all decorated in vignettes but Jessie was not impressed.  She would have much rather gone down to the creek to visit the ducks.

Jessie turned a corner and came upon another set of boots. This time she was not going to be scared. She growled and bit the bottom of the boot pulling as hard as she could on the sole. But, the shoe would not come off.  Instead, she heard a roar from the bushes and a large man jumped out.  He was holding a shovel and a lawn bag and he yelled at the dog “Oiy.”

Jessie jumped back and whined.  The man’s face was contorted in a frown and his hands were clenched around the spade in a fist.  He looked like he was going to hit her.

Santa stepped forward.  “Klaus, were sorry to bother you while you’re working.  You’ve done an amazing job with these gardens.  Jessie has just been exploring and has mistaken you for a scarecrow.She meant no harm.”

Klaus grunted something under his breath and then turned back to the bushes.  He gestured towards the dog as he turned.

Santa reached down to the dog.  It’s okay, Jessie. Klaus works here tending the plants.   You scared him as much as you scared yourself.  I think we’ve had enough strolling for today.  Let’s go home.”

Jessie didn’t have to be told twice.  She hurried towards home pulling Santa on the lead and looking behind her every couple of seconds.  When they reached the hedge that was the opening to the gardens, Jessie breathed a sigh and then flopped down on the ground where she turned on her back and began to rub herself on the soft earth..

Molly and Santa smiled.  The one thing they loved about the dog was that no matter how scared she was she was always able to calm down and enjoy life.  Santa was grateful the dog had such as wonderful temperament.  when she was abandoned she could have become mean but instead it had just made Jessie love everyone even more.  Santa’s heard swelled and he glanced across the park.  The dog deserved all of the happiness he could give her.  “Maybe, we do have time to see the ducks today, Jessie.  Come on, let’s go!”

Countdown to Christmas Eve!



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