A Pug Christmas Story

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Today’s post is the third short story in the series: The Legend of Zelda. Once a month I post a short story here on the blog. The first story is The Legend of Zelda: Part 1 Beginnings and the second is Zelda vs the Leaf Pile. Today's story is Christmas themed. I hope you enjoy!

The Legend of Zelda: A Pug Christmas Story

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The trees are barren, the air is cold, and the cool breeze creates an uncomfortable chill. The sun is out for less of the day.  The morning grass is crunchy, and the puddles on the edge of the yard are frozen. All of these signs point to the unfortunate truth. Winter is here.

I am not built for winter with my short hair and small body. I return from walks with a nasty case of the chills, so my time outdoors is limited. Luckily, I have Ben and Lucy to keep me busy. My favorite toy is the purple owl. The owl has the loudest squeaker. To top it off, the wings of the owl crinkle. I love playing with it.

As usual, I take my afternoon nap while the family is gone. I wake up mid-afternoon to the front door opening. I slowly wake up and greet Hannah, Ben, and Lucy.

“Ben, grab Zelda,” Hannah says. Ben scoops me up as Hannah opens the front door. Nate walks in carrying a pine tree, and he places the tree in front of the big window.

I have seen flowers and small plants indoors before, but never a full-size tree. I search my brain for a reason to plant a tree inside our home, and the only idea that pops in my head is squirrels. Maybe we are getting a pet squirrel? I walk over to the tree and sniff for clues. My sniffs turn to sneezes instantaneously. I back away. The tree top almost touches the ceiling. Compared to the trees outside, it’s a small tree, but in our home, the tree is huge. But I find no trace of squirrel in the tree. Hmmm…

A few minutes later, Nate brings boxes from the basement, cluttering the living room. Hannah, Nate, Ben, and Lucy spend the next hour playing with the tree. First, they wrap strings around the tree. On the strings are small colorful lights. Next they place balls, other objects, and statues on the tree. Everything they put on the tree resembles a toy.

“Does Zelda have an ornament?” Ben asks.

“Here it is,” Nate says and hands something small to Ben. He hangs it on the tree, but I can’t see it from my vantage point.

I investigate the tree a second time. My sneezes and itchy nose return. I find a little man with a red hat, red coat, and a long white beard hanging within my reach. I stand on my hind legs and use the windowsill to maintain my balance. I knock the little red man with my paw, and he falls to the ground. I grab him with my mouth and run to Lucy.

“Hi Zelda,” Lucy says. “Mom, Zelda has something.”

“Zelda, what is that?” Hannah asks. “Nate, can you help me out? I think Zelda has Santa.”

“Maybe Z is trying to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas,” Nate replies with a grin.

“Zelda, drop it,” Nate commands. I drop the statue on the floor immediately. “This isn’t a toy,” Nate picks up the statue and places it back on the tree above my reach.

I run to the tree and find a small, red ball hanging low on the tree. I grab it and bring it to Ben.

“Zelda, give me that,” Ben says. I run away, and he chases me.

“Mom, Zelda has another ornament,” Ben yells in between breaths.

“Get it from her Ben. She can’t have them,” Hannah yells back.

“I’m trying,” Ben shouts.

I run until Ben pins me in a corner.

“I have you now!” Ben grabs for me. I start squirming to avoid his reach, but in the process, I drop the red ball.

“Ah hah!” Ben says. “I got it Mom!”

“Thanks dear. Bring it back to the tree. Let’s move the ornaments up so Zelda can’t reach them,” Hannah says.

“But then I can’t reach them either,” Lucy says. She has her bottom lip turned up.

“I’m sorry Lucy, but we don’t want Zelda to break the ornaments or to hurt herself with one,” Hannah says.

“It’s not fair,” Lucy cries. She walks into her bedroom.

“Not again,” Ben says. “Lucy is always crying.”

“Be nice to your sister,” Nate says. “She’s young. You cried a lot at that age too.”

I run up to Ben with one of my tennis balls.  We play until I get tired. I lie down on the couch, and I fall asleep.

I awake to some noise outside and an empty house. From my perch on top of the couch, I see a man walking three dogs on the sidewalk. I sprint to the window. I stand up, resting my front legs on the windowsill. I start barking. One of the three dogs sees me and barks back. Soon all three dogs are barking. I am pumped. I race to the other side of the tree to get a different view. I stand up on the windowsill, and my front feet slip. I fall into the tree. I hear something hit the floor, but I regain my balance and stand up on the windowsill. The dogs are far down the street. I return to the floor to see what I knocked down. It’s a very little boy.

I pick it up. It’s a little hard for a toy, but it will work. I take it to the back bedroom and bury it in the blanket on the bed next to a milk-bone.

After an afternoon away, my family returns home with bags and boxes. They cover the boxes with colorful paper, put them under the tree, and call them “presents.” Over the next week, more presents appear under the tree. I use the presents to reach more toys on the tree. I’m gathering a collection of the toys. I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself.

Everyday when my family leaves, I look for another toy to collect. So far, I have a small red ball, a small green ball, one little boy, and one little girl. I hide the toys in my favorite milk-bone spots. I have one in my crate under a blanket, one sandwiched between cushions on the couch, and two under the blanket in the spare bedroom.

“Hey Z, what are doing?” Ben asks when he arrives home that afternoon. Hannah joins us in the living room.

“Ready for Christmas Eve dinner?” Hannah interrupts.

“Yes Mom. Can we bring Zelda?” Ben says.

“Sure, why not. My family loves Zelda.”

We spend the evening with Hannah’s family. I love their home, especially when I know the visit is short. I run and sniff all corners of the house while the family eats, drinks, and laughs together. When we return home, I am exhausted. I head straight for bed and drift to sleep.

I hear Hannah and Nate wake up early the next morning. They are normally slow to get out of bed, but not this morning. I get up from Lucy’s bed and follow them into the living room, being careful not to wake Lucy. Hannah and Nate put more presents under the tree and just as they finish, Ben and Lucy wake up. The whole family gathers around the tree. They pass each other the presents and open them one by one. They smile and laugh throughout the entire process.

“Zelda, do you want your Christmas present?” Ben asks.

Ben grabs a stocking hanging on the wall and places it in front of me. I walk over and sniff it. Inside, I see something green. I stick my paw in the stocking and try to get it out. It is firmly jammed in the stocking, but I am able to wedge my paw in the stocking and move it towards me. As I put pressure on the green thing, it squeaks.

I recognize that sound!

I move it a little further; I can grab it with my mouth. I pull out a brand new green owl with a perfect squeaker. I run sprints with it through the house. I bring it to Ben, and we play tug of war.

“What is this?” Hannah asks.

“Huh?” Nate says.

“Come here Nate,” Nate walks over to Hannah.

“Look at this,” she says. She lifts the pillow on the couch to reveal the small green ball from the tree hidden next to a milk-bone. “Zelda must have hidden this ornament here.”

Hannah found my hiding spot. I’m in trouble.

“So our pug hides Christmas ornaments?” Nate says with a big smile.

“I guess so,” says Hannah chuckling. “I wonder if we will find any more around the house.”

“Probably. Oh well, it’s Christmas,” Nate says.

“That it is,” Hannah says. She leans over and kisses Nate.

“So what would you like for Christmas breakfast?” Nate asks.

“Pancakes!” Hannah says. Nate goes into the kitchen and starts cooking breakfast. I follow him into the kitchen. Maybe he will accidentally drop some pancakes or bacon on the floor. If not, it’s still been a great morning. I got a new owl, and I didn’t get in trouble for hiding the tree toys. But I still have no idea why we have a tree in our living room!