- Hyacinths because they remind Jessie of the perfume that Mrs Claus wears.
- Fruit tree blossoms because the elves like to play catch with the fruit taken from the trees. Sometimes they let Jessie play and they have a game of baseball. Jessie gets to be an outfielder.
- Primroses because Jessie likes to see bright colors in the snow.
- Tulips because bees like to collect nectar from them. Jessie likes watching bees but she is careful to stay away so her nose doesn’t get stung.
- Snow Drops because she likes the sound of the name.
- Pansies because it’s a sign to Jessie that the warm weather is coming. Every year Mrs. Claus puts pots of pansies outside her kitchen window with the first gust of warm wind.
- Daffodils because Jessie likes bright things.
- Crocus because the plants name reminds her of frogs croaking in the spring. Jessie likes to listen to the peepers and watch the frogs jump and splash in the puddles.
Jessie placed her paws over her nose and lay down on the floor as far away from the
crowd as she could. She whimpered and peered out looking for Santa. Several trees were toppled on the ground with hundreds of shiny ornaments broken on the floor. Jessie hadn’t meant to destroy the contest but somehow she had managed to get in trouble again.
It started when they arrived at the convention hall. Santa was to judge the local ornament contest. Each year he picked a new ornament to give out to children around the world. The winner of the contest would have their ornament produced by the elves for Christmas.
At first Jessie had been happy to sit in the corner. Many people stopped to pet her and there were so many sounds and sights that it kept her occupied for almost half the day.
It wasn’t until noon when a food table was put out that Jessie moved from her spot. When Jessie smelt the glorious aroma of baked chicken and mashed potatoes her tummy rumbled. Very carefully she moved across the floor to the buffet table. She sat at the end of the table hoping for scraps and she wasn’t disappointed. Many of the people gave her bits of chicken as they moved through the line.
When the line dwindled Jessie’s tummy was full and she was content. She tried to cross the floor as carefully as she could. She didn’t want to disturb the hundreds of decorated Christmas trees. She wanted Santa to be proud of her and the last time she was near Christmas trees she destroyed the event.
Just then the entertainment began and a drummer began to pound on his bass drum. Jessie jumped in the air and turned around to look where the noise was coming from. She looked all around and finally spotted the drum at the front of the room.
Jessie shook her ears when the drum rumbled again and began backing away from the sound. When the drum let out a boom louder than thunder, she scrambled backwards forgetting to look where she was going. Jessie backed into the largest tree in the room. The tree shook and teetered and then fell into two others. The three trees came down with a crash breaking many of the precious ornaments.
Jessie cried and ran to the opposite side of the room where she sat shaking. She whimpered again and spotted Santa who was making his way through the angry crowd. “Jessie did you hurt yourself, girl?” Santa leaned down to look at the dog.
Jessie licked Santa’s hand and looked down sadly.
Santa sighed. “Well you do have a talent for getting yourself into trouble. Don’t worry though my friend. I have pictures of all of the ornaments so we can still have a fair contest. You didn’t ruin it and the people who are angry will calm down and eventually see the accident as funny. It’s partially my fault. I know that you’re afraid of loud noises. When the drum started I should have came and found you. IF you can forgive me than I can forgive you. Deal?”
Jessie rose her head and looked at Santa. She couldn’t believe he wasn’t angry. She yipped, stood up and wagged her tail.
Santa winked at her. He walked back to the trees whistling with a twinkle in his eye.
- Santa is allergic to cheese.
- Santa has manufacturing facilities in countries all over the world. He tries to visit them at least 4 times a year to ensure the quality of toys remains high.
- Santa used to stutter as a child. His mother sat with him for many hours as he read lines from Shakespeare to work on improving his speech.
- Santa has size 13 boots that he has specially made by a shoe maker in Finland.
- Santa worked for the circus when he was young. He worked as a clown. He liked the job because he brought great joy to children.
- Santa has a medal for spinning a hula hoop for the longest during a contest in Germany.
- Santa likes to work on crossword puzzles. He says that they improve his brain.
- Santa had a pony named Clarice when he was a child. He used to ride Clarice through the open fields on his parents farm. On his trips he imagined they were flying through the air.
- Santa created a snow glove with deer in it for Santa and Molly’s first anniversary. Molly adores the trinket and keeps it on display in her dining room.
- Santa learned to make small toys from his uncle Arthur. Arthur was a carpenter and enjoyed showing Santa how to build trains and planes from wood in his spare time.
Jessie lay on the couch and put her head on her stuffed dog. She yawned, closed her eyes and began snoring.
“I’m surprised she didn’t fall asleep in the sleigh after our adventure.” Santa rubbed his beard and reached for Molly’s hand. “It’s good to be home, Molly. Our Christmas travels tire me out every year a bit more. “
“I know you and Jessie ran into some trouble this year but you didn’t actually say what the problem was. What happened?” Molly pulled her hand away and moved to the stove. She filled two mugs with steaming hot chocolate and returned to the side chair. Molly placed the mugs on the table and stroked the sleeping dog before sitting beside her husband.
“Here’s the story It happened in the middle of the night while we were making our deliveries. We landed on the roof of a small home in Exeter, Ontario and I pulled out my sack. I had a tuba in it to be delivered to Christy James.” Santa took a sip of his cocoa and cleared his throat.
“I used my magic to start the descent through the chimney but something went wrong. The tuba got stuck half way up the chimney with me under it! I couldn’t go up or down. I tried reapplying my magic but it caused the tuba to grow bigger instead of smaller. “ Santa wiped his brow. “I didn’t know what was happening. In all my years as Santa Claus I’ve never had my magic fail me.”
Jessie stirred in her sleep and her feet began twitching as she whimpered. Santa reached down and stroked the dog gently. Jessie opened one eye and sighed before falling back asleep.
“I was wondering what to do when Jessie barked down the chimney. I called for her to stop, as I didn’t want to wake Christy, but she was frantic and just kept barking. Fortunately, the family were not light sleepers and didn’t wake. “
“ It was then that I knew I needed help. I whistled to the wind and called Silver Wynter to come and help me. Since she rules the magic of winter I knew she could get me out of the house and help me determine what had gone wrong.” Santa took another sip of his cocoa and frowned. “When Wynter arrived, she didn’t look like herself. Instead of young with crystalline features she had aged several decades. Her once silver locks were white and she had bags under her eyes. She coughed uncontrollably as she blew into the house. Since the source of my power comes from her magic I knew I was in trouble.”
“Silver’s immortal and has never been sick before. When I asked her if she was all right she answered me in a weak voice.”
“Hello, Santa. I’ve come at your request but I don’t know if I can help you. Some evil magic has made me ill. I’ve tried to determine the source but I haven’t been able to find it. All I know is that the more joy you spread this evening the sicker I have become. I feel nauseous. I need to get out in the cold.” Wynter slowly walked to the door and unbolted it. She went out into the snow and sat in a snow bank. Santa followed.
“I don’t know what is going on Santa but the closer I get to the presents the more tired I become. Did you change your toy magic at all this year?”
“No, Wynter. Nothing has changed for generations. “ Santa looked up on the roof. Jessie was tied into the sleigh and was whining. She had bumped against the toy sack and turned over the toys from the small town onto the roof. Amid the trains, dolls, balls and games something glinted in the star light. Santa frowned. “I need to investigate something, Wynter. Stay here.”
Santa walked over to the side of the house and pulled out a ladder that was leaning against the shed. He leaned it against the house and climbed up to the roof. He slid but rebalanced himself as he walked across the shingles. Santa reached the toys and began sorting through the mess. “Jessie, be quiet girl. Everything will be okay.”
Santa picked up a toy spaceship. It glimmered in the night but not like the object he had seen from the ground. He shuffled around the rooftop dodging the deer looking for the shiny object. He finally found it behind Blitzen’s hoof. Santa reached down and picked up the glowing object. He looked more closely. It was an amber amulet with inscriptions on the backside of the necklace. Santa read the inscription and turned red with anger. The amulet was designed to feed off the energy and goodwill he had generated that evening. With one of Silver’s strands of hair embedded in the amber, the inscription was a magic spell designed to destroy her.
Santa looked down at Silver below him. She had collapsed in the snow bank. He had to do something. If, he thought, he destroyed the amulet maybe it would destroy the evil magic with it. Santa placed the amulet on the roof and stomped down on it with his big, heavy boots. He stomped and stomped until there was only dust left lying on the shingles. He slipped and sat down with a thud on the edge. The soft snow that had been falling whirled in a torrent surrounding Silver in a blizzard. It lasted for a couple of minutes before the snow came to rest on the ground.
Silver sat up. Although her face was still grey the sparkle had returned to her eyes and her voice was strong and pure. “You’ve done it, Santa. You’ve saved me. Thank-you my friend.”
“It’s my pleasure, Silver. But someone wanted you gone. There was an evil talisman planted in my sleigh designed to take both of our magics away. I intend to find out who tried to destroy us. But for now I have to finish delivering the presents. Will you be all right?” Santa reached up and wiggled his ear. The presents flew up in the air and one by one flew into his magic sack. He looked down the chimney and waved his fingers sending the tuba under the tree.
“I’ll be fine. I just need to rest. I’ll help you hunt down the person that did this when I feel better. Safe journeys my friend.”
In a puff of snow Silver disappeared into the night sky leaving Santa and Jessie alone.
“Let’s go girl. We have many more stops to make before we can return home and sleep.” Santa jumped into the sleigh and steered the reindeer in the direction of the next house. For tonight he would forget about the amulet but after the holidays he would investigate.