It was a cold Christmas Eve, the wind was howling and the rain falling in sheets so thick it could be cut with a knife. Puppy lay by the fire of his den, the crackling sound and smell of toasting marshmallows calming his nerves against the harsh winter gale. All curled up with his favourite toy, he was sad that his Christmas Eve would be spent alone. Master had his flight delayed and wouldn’t arrive until tomorrow, but this did give puppy time to raid the treat tin. With a merry wag puppy chewed eagerly on his toasty marshmallows and thought of all the lovely treats and presents master would soon be bringing before running to the kitchen to find masters secret stash. He raided cupboard and draw until he found masters purple treat tin. Puppy eagerly opened the lid exposing the...empty contents. Puppy barked and whimpered, of course master would never leave puppy alone with treats, with a grumble and a huff puppy plodded back to his blanket and toy and lay down wrapping himself in his blanket. Closing his eyes puppy slowly drifted to sleep chasing winter cats and licking snowflakes as they fell from a starry sky.
Puppy jumped up with a start. “What was that?” he asked himself. Running to the window puppy quickly looked outside the rain had stopped and the skies were clear, but there was no sign of the rude noise that had awoken him. “Could it be master?” Puppy stared out of the window his panting fogging the glass so much he had to keep wiping it with his paw. A jolly laugh broke pup from his window haze and spun him round. Intruder!
“Well, well Puppy, someone has been a little naughty this year”
Puppy stared at the large man standing beside the dying embers of the fire. The man was dressed in a suit redder than strawberries, with a shiny black belt and golden buttons. His boots covered in soot, marked the carpet where he had stood. His face was old and warm, a beard as white and crisp as snow with golden rimmed half-moon glasses perched upon the bridge of his nose. The man’s crystal blue eyes stared down at the startled puppy as he tried to compose himself.
“You know who I am don’t you Puppy?”
Puppy looked round the room at the decorations and back to the man, nodding slowly. “But surely this couldn’t be the real Santa Claus?” Santa laughed and walked towards the puppy slowly. The nervous pup backed against the window closing his eyes in fear as Santa extended a hand towards him and gently petted him between his ears. Pup opened his eyes and waggled his head, real or not pettings are always a good thing!
“Now then puppy I have a problem I need your help with.” Santa sat on a small foot stool as he continued to pet the now content puppy. “You see some of my reindeer are frightfully ill and aren’t able to pull my sleigh tonight and as I’m sure you heard, my landing on your rooftop was far from quiet and jolly.” He chuckled and continued, “That’s why I need you pup! A good strong pup like yourself could help pull my sleigh and if you help I’m sure we could get you off that naughty list so you can have a wonderful treat filled Christmas, without you I’ll never be able to deliver all the presents.”
What puppy would need to hear more? The keen pup quickly leapt up and wagged with all his might running towards the front door. “Ho Ho Ho! Slow down little pup, we don’t go that way!” The puppy turned his head and before he could blink was whooshed up the chimney with a spiral of embers and sparks. Yelping the pup clung to the rooftop fearful he would slip, carefully Santa carried the nervous puppy to the front of the sleigh and attached his harness to the reins. “Ready to go?” Puppy nodded and set his sight forwards, already he felt a little lighter as if he was hovering above the rooftop slightly. “Are you ready pups?” called Santa. “Pups?”
Puppy looked round and found himself not surrounded by reindeer, but seven other puppies all looking happy and shiny, their tails wagging in the air. With a kick and a glide the sled set off into the night, gliding high above the clouds the jingling of sleigh bells and puppy tags resonating though the now clear night air. Through the hours the puppies guided the sleigh over hill and over sea from house to house delivering presents to all the other pets and humans that had been good, or maybe just a little bit naughty. Puppy was very tired after his long night and soon found himself curled up in the sleigh itself as Santa delivered the last few presents slowly puppy’s eyes drifted closed and he resumed his snow kitten chasing dreams.
Puppy yawned and looked round, he was back in his den, master standing over him looking down bemused. “Did puppy feel a little bit festive last night?” Puppy looked up confused and then round at the room, the decorations were completely different, all bright and new with a brand new Christmas tree decorated in the finest dog tags, balls and bones. The table was set for Christmas dinner, all ready with dog bowls and outside puppy could already see thick snow. “I’m not going to ask how you afforded these decorations pup” Master said with a pat on the head “But I’ve never been more proud of you looking after yourself. Merry Christmas pup.”
Puppy cuddled close to his master, smiling at his little secret, of how a puppy saved Christmas.