Image from fanpop.com
Elijah paused. He stared at the train in his hand, then peered at the tracks. Glancing around the living room, he eyed the tree.
The tree twinkled back.
Shrugging, Elijah continued to push the train around the tracks.
Elijah stopped. The train stopped. He twisted toward the fireplace. ”Hello?” he whispered.
The stockings trembled. ”Chestnuts.”
Elijah gasped. Leaping to his feet, he padded over to the chimney. ”Hello?” He stuck his head in the fireplace opening.
“Santa?” Elijah’s toes wiggled with excitement. ”Is that you?”
Only the dark chimney loomed above him. Something scratched against the stones and black ash rained down on his head. ”Chestnuts.”
“Chestnuts? Santa wants chestnuts?” Elijah brushed soot off his head and shrugged. ”Ok.” Scrambling up, he raced across the living room. ”Mom! Do we have any chestnuts?”
The next morning, when Elijah awoke, the plate he’d slid onto the fireplace was empty. As he picked it up to take it to the sink, he heard another whisper. ”Pecans.”
“Santa likes pecans?” Elijah pondered. Then he shrugged and took the plate to the sink. Whatever Santa wanted, Santa would get.
And every day, the same thing happened every morning. Elijah would pick up the plate, and the mysterious whisper would request another nut. “Walnuts.” ”Pecans.” ”Pistachios.”
On Christmas Eve, after baking oatmeal cookies with plenty of nuts, Elijah slid the plate of nuts on the fireplace. He curled up on the couch and waited. He couldn’t wait to see Santa.
Just as his eyes were beginning to flutter, scratching and scuffling perked them wide open. Holding his breath, he watched as the scratching and scraping grew louder and louder. Something small and round thumped against the base of the fireplace, a cloud of ash making him cough. Waving the grey dust away from his face, he peered through the cloud. ”Santa…squirrel?”
A ridiculously obese squirrel, his stomach so large his tiny little feet barely poked out, froze over the plate. Two nuts were shoved in each cheek while his hands held more.
“You’re not Santa!” Elijah accused. ”You tricked me! What do you have to say for yourself?”
The squirrel wordlessly shoved another nut in his mouth and scurried back up the chimney before Elijah could make a move. Hopping onto the roof, he hurried back to his tree where his stash of nuts lay.
He was simply nuts about Christmas.
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! A new week of whimsy awaits! And if you’ll be in the area, I’ll be in New Braunfels at the author fair at the New Braunfels Library Saturday!
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