1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
Cream butter, sugar, molasses and egg until light and fluffy. Mix in remaining ingredients. Roll in floured parchment and chill overnight.
Roll and cut out. Bake at 35o degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes
Jessie sniffed around the glass pumpkin. She licked her lips and wagged her tail ferociously. It was full of caramel corn and Jessie loved caramel corn. Jessie looked over her shoulder at Santa who was talking to Pete the postman. Surely, she thought, one piece before breakfast wouldn’t matter.
Jessie delicately picked a piece of the sweet corn from the pumpkin and crunched down. She immediately cried out in pain. A sharp pain filled her jaw where she had bit the treat. She cried and tried to spit out the contents of her mouth. She cried and ran to Santa and rubbed her face against his leg.
“Jessie, what’s wrong?” Santa leaned down, held the dog firmly, and opened the dogs mouth. Blood trickled out of the opening. He grimaced and looked at the pumpkin on the stoop. “Calm down girl. It looks like the trolls have been playing tricks again. They hate Halloween and do everything they can to ruin the fun. I know it hurts, girl. The vet’s out of town but I have a friend who might be able to help.”
Santa picked up the dog and hurried her to the sleigh. He spoke softly to the reindeer and flew up into the sky as Jessie whined in the seat behind him. It didn’t take long before they landed at the tip of a peninsula darting out into the sea. On the end of the rocks there was a small cottage painted in purple and pink with colorful flowers blooming over the ledges. Santa stopped the sleigh,picked Jessie up and hurried to the cottage. He rang the bell. “Wanda, I need your help. Open quickly, please.”
The door soon creaked open and a small woman stood in the opening. Her face fell into creases as she smiled at Santa. “Hello my friend. How can I help?” A look of concern replaced the smile as she listened to Jessie’s cries. “This must be Jessie. What happened to her.”
“The trolls left tainted candy Wanda. Can your good magic help her?”
“Of course I can help. Come in and put her on the table.”
Wanda hurried over to the corner as Santa put Jessie on the table and firmly held her there. Jessie put her head on Santa’s arm and stared at the woman across the room.
Wanda had picked up a wand and was approaching the dog. Afraid and in pain Jessie struggled with Santa to get loose but Santa was strong and he held her tightly.
Wanda held the wand over the dog . “Wand of the winds. Bring forth your magicand blow over this poor creature. Destroy the evil placed upon her.” Wanda held the wand against the dogs soft fur and concentrated on the dog. She placed a wrinkled hand on her forehead.
Jessie felt her entire body vibrate. Then slowly her mouth began to stop hurting. From her mouth several needles floated out and fell harmlessly onto the tabletop.
Wanda waved her wand over the dog once more, frowned and then shook her head. “That was a nasty trick the trolls played on you. Well, when they come for some of my magic I won’t be giving it to them freely. That’s for sure. Are you okay, Jessie?”
Jessie wagged the tip of her tail and shrunk into Santa’s arms.
“She’s fine, Wanda. Thank-you.”
Jessie wagged her tail a little more firmly and licked Santa’s hand. She sighed and nudged Wanda’s hand to thank her. Jessie was grateful to Wanda for her help and she wondered if she would run into the trolls again. She leaned against the woman’s legs. Jessie knew instinctively Santa would do something about the trolls. Now, she thought, what’s for breakfast.
Jessie’s tail shot up and a growl rose from the back of her throat. She edged her way backwards.
“Jessie, we’ve talked about this. I’m sorry but I thought the businesses wouldn’t have decorated as much as the elves. The decorations won’t hurt you, girl. There just put up for fun.” Santa gripped Jessie’s leash tightly.
Jessie whimpered and pulled hard on the leash pulling Santa into a window pane. Santa grunted and Jessie ran around the decorations and ran into a man dressed in a coloured wig, a rainbow coloured jumpsuit, big shoes and thick gloves. The man reached out and grabbed the dog’s collar stopping her in her tracks.
The dog whimpered and cowered away from the man.
“Relax, Jessie. It’s me, Ed. Ed the department store manager. You know me. We shared a biscuit at the summer barbecue. “
Jessie looked up and the tip of her tail wagged at the familiar voice. She timidly walked forward and sniffed the man’s feet. Satisfied she relaxed and thumped her tail on the floor.
“You’re not afraid of some plastic and glitter are you? Come with me, girl. Let’s go see Santa.”
Ed gently pulled on the collar and led the dog towards Santa. As they got closer to the Halloween display she began shaking. “Jessie, sniff this witch. It’s paper and plastic. See?”
Jessie was pushed up to the witch. She yipped and struggled to escape but Ed firmly but gently held the dog in place. Jessie quit struggling and raised her nose to the sky. She sniffed the face of the witch and then began sniffing around the straw she was sitting on. Behind the figure was a plate with candy corn on it. Jessie licked her lips and looked at Santa.
Santa winked. He stepped up and grabbed a piece of candy for the dog. “See girl, Halloween’s not so bad.”
Jessie wolfed down the candy and then wagged her tail. She began searching around the skeleton and mummy for something else to eat.
“Well, Ed. I guess you cured her of her fear of things Halloween. Thanks. By the way what are you supposed to be?”
“I’m supposed to be a scary clown. But don’t tell Jessie.”