Finally. It was the night before Christmas. Mommy and Daddy put “presents” under the Christmas tree. I didn’t know what they were, but they were pretty. They were all wrapped up in the shiny paper, with lots of bows and ribbons. My eyes got big, but Mama told me I needed to stay away from them. Too bad.
Ruthie sure was excited about the presents. She lay on the floor by the tree and looked at them for a long time, trying not to move them, but wanting to see as many as she could. “Here’s one with my name. Here’s another one,” she yelled and wiggled.
“Okay, okay, go to bed now, sweetie,” Mommy said. “I promise they’ll still be here in the morning.”
Jake still sat on the couch after everybody else was in bed, so I stayed with him. He poked his finger on the phone in his hand. “Hi, Mom.” This was magic. The people could talk to other people far away through those little phone boxes.
“It’s not too late, is it?”
I couldn’t hear the other person talk, but he listened for a minute. Jake picked up a piece of the stringy ribbon and started waving it back and forth. I jumped at it.
“No, I’m okay. I just wanted to tell you Merry Christmas.”
Jake kept swinging the ribbon from side to side, and I bounced at it, trying to grab it with my paws.
“Are you going to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner?”
I grabbed the ribbon in my mouth.
“Tell her I said Merry Christmas, and I love her.”
Jake held the ribbon tight in his hand, and I tugged at it.
“Yeah, I got the package you sent. It’s under the tree. Yeah, thanks.”
Jake yanked hard on the ribbon and pulled it out of my mouth.
“It’s fine. It doesn’t hurt much anymore.” He started swinging the ribbon back and forth again. “I miss you, Mom.”
I stopped chasing the ribbon when I saw a tear drip out of Jake’s eye.
“Yeah, I’m going to go to bed now. I love you, too. I’ll talk to you soon.”
Jake set down the phone and let go of the ribbon. I grabbed it between both front paws and chewed. It didn’t really taste like anything.
Jake sat quiet for a minute, then reached down and scooped me up. “Merry Christmas, Millie.” He rubbed my face and grinned. “I think I saw a present under the tree with your name on it.”
Oh, oh, oh, that sounded like fun. I wished he’d give it to me now.
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