January 26th – Santa, Jessie and Daniel have a talk.

Santa put his arm around Daniel’s shoulders and shook his head when Daniel pulled away.  “Daniel, we need to talk.  I know you’re a good boy.  My Christmas Magic tells me you are.  But, you’ve been behaving badly in the past few months.  You’re mother is almost sick with worry and she ended up in the hospital yesterday because you kept her up almost all of the previous evening.  You also threw a snowball at Jessie and hit her.  Do you want to tell my why you’re so angry.”

Santa leaned back on the park bench.  He had taken Jessie and Daniel to the skating rink to have a talk with the boy.  He looked at Daniel and frowned.  Daniel did not say anything.  He just began to cry.

Jessie looked at Daniel and moved the tip of the tail.  She still didn’t like the boy.  He had hurt her yesterday.  But, she couldn’t stand it when people cried.   She timidly walked up to Daniel and placed her head on his knee.  She was surprised when Daniel hugged her and began bawling.

Jessie, Santa and Daniel sat on the bench for a long time until Daniel stopped crying.  He sniffed and wiped his nose with his mitten.  “It’s not fair,” he said.

“What’s not fair Daniel,” asked Santa?  He handed Daniel a  handkerchief and patted the boy on the back.

“My dad’s gone.  He moved out.   She pushed him away and now I’m all alone.  I miss him so much and she doesn’t care about me at all.”  Daniel rubbed his eyes and clung to Jessie.

” I didn’t know you’re dad had moved out.  I knew your parents were having problems but I had no idea that your father had left.  But, you are wrong.  You’re mother loves you Daniel.  She’s worried about you.  So much so that she ended up in the hospital.”

“But, she’s the reason he’s gone! I hate her.”  Daniel let go of the dog and stomped his feet on the ground.

“You don’t hate her or you wouldn’t be so upset.  You love her but you are confused and upset.  You’re mother didn’t push your father away.  They just couldn’t get along that’s all.  Why don’t we do this Daniel.  Whenever you’re missing your dad and you need to get away from your mother for awhile, why don’t you come and visit Jessie and me.  Your welcome to visit us at any time.   Maybe, if you spend some time with us you won’t feel so alone.  I know we can’t replace your father, but until he visits you we could do some things together.  What do you say Daniel?”  Santa rubbed his clean shaven chin and watched the boy’s face light up.

“You mean it?  You mean I could really come and visit.  I can see the reindeer and everything? ”  Daniel jumped up and down excitedly.

“As long as you are respectful yes.  But if you hurt Jessie again you won’t be able to come.”

“I’ll behave.  I promise. ”  Daniel

“And Daniel … be nice to your mother.  She loves you.”  Santa stood up and picked up Jessie’s lead.

“I’ll try, ” said Daniel.

Jessie thought that Daniel didn’t sound too convincing but she supposed it would take time.  Change wasn’t easy but with Santa as his friend Jessie thought that Daniel would eventually learn to cope.  She leaned pushed Daniel’s nose with her hand to get him to stand up.  He stood and the three walked hand and hand back to the Claus house.

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January 25th – Jessie meets Daniel

“Sybil is fine.  She was dehydrated and fainted from exhaustion  The doctor wants her to be monitored for twenty-four forty-eight hours to make sure she gets the rest she needs.  I couldn’t leave her in the hospital so I  offered to have her stay with us.  Of course, that means that her son Daniel will be visiting as well.  I hope that’s okay with you Molly.  I didn’t have time to call and ask.”  Santa took a gulp his tea and wiped his brow.

Jessie thought that Santa looked as tired as Sybil had the previous night.  Santa worked long hours too and often worked too much.  Jessie didn’t want Santa to get sick too.

“It’s fine Santa.  I’m surprised you had to ask.  I like Sybil and it will  be nice to have young Daniel visiting.  Won’t it Jessie,” Molly replied as she refilled Santa’s tea?

Jessie wasn’t sure if Daniel visiting was a good idea or not but she wagged her tail and looked up at Molly anyway.

Sybil and Daniel arrived together shortly afterwards.  Sybil was immediately shooed to the couch where she was entombed in blankets and fluffy pillows.  Molly fluttered about around Sybil leaving Daniel to himself.

“Welcome, Daniel.  We are pleased to have you visiting us.  this is Jessie.  Why don’t the two of you get some exercise and play ball outside.”

Jessie reluctantly jumped off her couch and picked up one of her older tennis balls.  She moved to the door and went through the doggy door.  She waited on the sidewalk for Daniel.

Daniel came out of the house and stomped his foot.  He grabbed a branch off of the pine tree and yanked.  It was too strong for the boy and it did not move.  He did, however, strip many of the needles off of the branch.

Daniel roared and then stomped to the gate overlooking Mangles department store.  He tried to open the gate but it was locked.  The gate was high and the lock was a magical one Santa had installed to keep Trader Mike out.

Daniel shook the fence then shrieked in frustration.  He looked around the yard and spied Jessie.

Jessie timidly wagged her tail and dropped the  ball on the ground.  There was no way she was going to get close to Daniel.  She lowered her tail and shifted her gaze away from the boy.  she slumped her way back towards the door to the house.

Daniel picked up some snow and formed it into a snowball  She threw it at the dog.  It missed her by inches.  He picked up another ball and threw it at Jessie again.  This time it hit its mark and Jessie yelped in pain.  She ran back through the doggie door and jumped on her couch.  She hid her head under her foot and trembled.

“What’s wrong, Jessie,” asked Molly.  She then spied the coating of snow on Jessie’s back.  Her face turned red and she came over with a towel to sponge off the dog’s coat.   She stroked the dog and gave her a kiss.  Jessie stopped trembling and leaned against Molly’s arm.

Christopher Cringle  You brought that child into this house now you take care of him.  It’s no wonder Sybil is sick.  You need to have a talk with him.

“Fine, Molly.  But let him blow off some steam outside today.  I’ll talk to him in the morning and straighten things out.  Meanwhile, I think Jessie deserves a treat.   I’m sorry the boy hurt you Jessie.  I wouldn’t have sent you out with him if I thought he would have thrown snow at you.  Why don’t we play a game of ball.  We can play in the hall.”

Jessie barked and ran to her toy box.  She picked out her best ball and returned.  She dropped the ball at Santa’s feet and sat waiting expectantly.

Santa laughed.  “Okay, girl.  Let’s play today. I’ll take care of Daniel tomorrow.”

January 24th – Jessie and Santa visit Sybil’s sleigh Shoppe

There was a loud clang as the technician dropped a wrench onto the cement floor.  Jessie jumped and shook her ears. She moved closer to Santa and wagged her tail when Sybil came into view.

Sybil owned Sybil’s Sleigh Shoppe and she was the only person that Santa would allow to fix his sleigh.  He said that Sybil could feel when there was something wrong with his main sleigh  More than once he had been woken by a phone call from Sybil telling him he needed to have the sleigh checked out immediately.  The last time he had done so the left runner was split and would have come off if it had landed once more!

Jessie liked Sybil.  Sybil was always friendly and had gone out of her was to add things to the sleigh for Jessie.  She had already added a dog biscuit dispenser, a blanket holder and a heater.  Today, she had called Santa to the shop telling him that she had added more features and Jesse couldn’t wait to see what they were.

Hello, Sybil.  You look tired.  I hope you haven’t been staying up too late working on my sleigh.  It is the off season after all.  Why don’t you take a rest while you get the chance?”  Santa looked genuinely concerned at Sybil.

Sybil was very pale and her left arm was shaking as she filled in a purchase order for one of her technicians.  She smiled at Santa.  “I’m fine Santa.  I just had a rough night last night with my son.  He kept me up until three a.m. and I’m quite tired.  I am planning to take a vacation.  I just have a few things to finish first including showing you the improvements I made to your main sleigh.”

Sybil led Jessie and Santa to the corner of the building where Santa’s sleigh sat on a bed of wheels.  She hopped up on the runner and motioned towards the front dash.  I’ve increased the range of your radar system so that if your communications go down with the North Pole you’ll be able to function by yourself.  To prevent this I’ve also improved the communications system.  Not only do the messages bounce off the various satellites at the speed of light but they also are automatically translated into English!”

The sled had been shone until it gleamed but Sybil took her cloth and rubbed a scuff mark off the arm rest.  “And don’t think I’ve forgotten about you Jessie!  I’ve added  something new for you as well.  You must get thirsty traveling with Santa so I’ve added a drinking fountain for you.  It’s heated so the water will not freeze in the Northern countries and it’s chilled in the Southern climes.  To activate it you just push it with your nose.”  Sybil demonstrated the fountain for Jessie.

Jessie wagged her tail, and pressed the lever with her nose.  Warm water filled a small trough in the back of the sleigh.  She lapped up the water and then licked Sybil on the face.

“I think she likes it Sybil, and I’m certainly impressed with the new additions to the sled.  But they could have waited.  I’m concerned for you.”  Santa reached out to grab Sybil’s arm as she staggered slightly moving away from the sleigh.  She tottered for a moment and then fell on the cement hitting her head on the hard surface.  She lay unconscious on the floor.

Jessie whined. If something happened to Sybil, Jessie thought, who would take care of the sleigh.

Santa extracted his cell phone and called the ambulance.  “They said they’d be here soon Jessie.  My magic tells me she will be okay.  Maybe though the medical professionals  can help us to convince Sybil to take it easy for a little while.”

The paramedics were at the shop quickly.  They bundled Sybil up onto a gurney and put her in a waiting ambulance.

“Jessie, I’m going with Sybil.  Sybil’s technician Climey is going to take you home.  I’ve already called Molly and she knows you are coming.  Don’t wait up girl.  It’s late and I may have to stay at the hospital all night.  I’ll let you know how Sybil is in the morning.”

Santa patted the dogs head and then jumped in the back of the ambulance.  The doors closed quickly and the vehicle quickly sped off into the distance.

January 23rd – Jessie vs the white squirrel

Molly lost hold of the squirrel and it flew to the ground in mid stride.  It quickly ran across the floor and clawed its way up Molly’s freshly sewn curtains.  Molly shrieked, ran to the curtains and tried to bat the squirrel off of the curtain rod with a yardstick.

The squirrel looked down at Molly and chattered.  It pushed itself back towards the wall and hid behind the cloth.

Jessie couldn’t stand it any more.  She didn’t like squirrels and hadn’t been happy when Santa had insisted that the animal live in the Claus house until it was transported home.  She had tried to be good all morning even though she wished the squirrel was elsewhere.  Jessie had even sat quietly when Molly had crooned over the squirrel.  But now Molly was upset and it was time to take action. Continue reading January 23rd – Jessie vs the white squirrel

One dog's Chronicles of a year in Santa Claus's life

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