As the winter sun set on December 24 a cold blast of air like a Manitoba Mauler raced down the hole where Freddy Raccoon lived. With a little shiver Freddy stretched his four limbs, twitched his tail and rubbed his eyes.
His ears felt a bit cold as the twilight wind howled. The pitch was as high as a banshee on the moors of the land of old.
From his bed of crinkly leaves and corn husks he rose to his feet. He munched on some cranberries from a stem he had broken off from a nearby high-bush.
As the mauler winds picked up in intensity, he wondered if he should venture out into such a dastardly night. However, he remembered it was Christmas Eve, and farmer Thaddeus Q. Jones, IV always left him a treat by the milk house.
Wrapping his red scarf with white furls around his neck, he scurried up his hole and out onto the ground. The ground was frozen.
The moon was full. He saw clouds moving in from the West.
They were snow clouds because it always snowed on Christmas Eve in those parts of his world. Freddy like snow because it tasted sweet, and it made his feet and hands tingle.
The Jones’ Farm was just a wee distance from his home. He could see the lantern on the barn and hear the neighing of the horses.
The milk cows would have been milked, but there was always a few drops he could find waiting for him on their udders. The barn cats envied Freddy because he had “hands” and knew how to get milk on his nightly visits.
Freddy understood proper barn etiquette. Being the perfect guest on every visit, he would not touch the bowl of fresh milk which the cats appreciated.
Going up to the milk house door, he found his Christmas present wrapped in tin foil with a green ribbon. Retrieving his present, he headed back to his domicile in the soft falling snow.
Snow, Christmas Eve snow, was magical in moonlight. The argentous rays of the moon touched each flake as it fell.
Reaching his destination, he entered his residence and pushed a piece of fence stone into place to block the entrance. Freddy was sociable, but he did not want visitors, especially the chipmunks who always left a mess in his place.
In the other seasons Freddy would chatter with them since they lived in the old sugar maple near-by. However, winter was not a time to be sociable.
Freddy placed his Christmas present near his high cranberry branches. He snuggled down for a peaceful night’s sleep and sweet dreams of opening his present on Christmas morning.
Morning came. Freddy moved the stone and went up the hole to check his environs. There was a good two inches of snow at the entrance.
Sticking his head through the snow, he looked at the snow-covered landscape. The sun was at just the right angle as its rays touched the white covering.
Pushing some of the snow down his hole, he went to open his present. He delicately opened the tinfoil.
He placed the green ribbon with his vast collection. The green went well in his home, but he especially like the peppermint ribbons.
His present was a sweet pickle which Mrs. Jones had made from her cucumber patch. He had watched those delicious cumbers grow all summer.
Taking some of the snow, he rubbed it over the pickle. There was nothing like a sweet pickle washed with Christmas snow.
Freddy Raccoon had a great Christmas day because the Jones’ took time to share with him. For Christmas is a time of sharing.
As we say good-bye to Freddy for now . . .
May you on Christmas morning find a “sweet pickle” present under your tree or in your stocking. Christmas snow makes a great snow cone with a touch of vanilla or a few sprinkles of peppermint.
May you be blessed with belief and hope this Christmas season! May all your dreams come true for the New Year.
G. D. Williams © 2014
All photographs of Freddy are the property of Loch Garry Blog. May be used if the reference is given to this blog.