Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sylvia Celebrates Christmas

By Anne Sullivan

Sylvia dashed up the porch steps shouting, ”It’s done! It’s finished! Isn’t that wonderful!”
I opened the front door to ask, ”What’s done? And what’s wonderful?”
“The Moushelter,” said Sylvia, pushing her way into the living room, shedding snow and dirt in equal amounts on the newly-swept floor. “It’s ready for occupancy. And it’s before Christmas.”
“That is indeed wonderful news,” I acceded. “You’ve been working very hard. Now you’ll be able to relax a little before Christmas.”
“I can’t relax yet,” she cried as she raced into the kitchen. “I’ve got to get the mice resettled first.”
“How do you figure to do that?” I asked, handing her a small Iams biscuit.
“After a great deal of thought,” Sylvia began, taking a pompous stance, “I now know how to do it. It’s Christmas. We’ll invite all the mice with their belongings to the Moushelter’s Multi-Purpose room for a Christmas performance.”
“That sounds like a good idea. What’s the performance to be?”
“The Mouse King. It’s a very popular seasonal performance. You might know it as The Nutcracker.”
“Ah, yes.”
“The mice will all want to come for the performance, seeing as it’s about a mouse that’s king. We’ll have a bit of jolly cider and a Christmas dinner afterwards and they’ll be happy to stay.” She grinned at the thought. “I need to work on the apartment assignments now if you’ll lend me some paper and a pen.”
After grabbing the proffered paper and pen, Sylvia stretched out on the rug, pen in mouth, to think while I once more relaxed into the softness of my comfortable chair.
I must have dozed off for the next thing I knew, Sylvia jumped up on me, shouting, “There, it’s. done and I’m totally tired. I’ve got it all figured out and on paper. All the mice who lived in your bedroom have apartments in Pod A; those from the living room are in Pod B and those from the Guest Bedroom share Pod C with the kitchen mice. It’s all very logical. You see, they already know each other so they’ll be able to get along.”
“One hopes,” I said.
Sylvia ignored me and went on, “I must say, I’m exhausted with all this thinking. A little Christmas cheer would go a long way towards renewing my spirits.”
“I bet it would and it will come after you’ve figured out how to transport the mice from the house.”
“That’s already in the works,” Sylvia replied. “Hear that banging? That’s Gordo making a sleigh. The plan is to put all the mice and all their belongings in the sleigh on Christmas Eve and transport them up the hill to the Moushelter.”
“Who is going to pull the sleigh?” I asked with a sense of dread.
“Not you. Don’t worry. You’re too old. Brandy’s going to pull the sleigh.”
“Does she know about this?”
“Not exactly,” said Sylvia, “but she knows about the performance and the meal and she’s anxious to come to that. She told me she’s never been invited to a play before. As long as she’s going, she might as well pull a sleigh. I think she’ll enjoy it.”
“Let’s hope so. Who’s cooking the meal and what are you having?”
“Gordo and I are supervising the chef we’ve hired to cook for the Moushelter. He used to cook at a fancy restaurant in Albuquerque. The entrée will be a hearty helping of peanut butter ringed by a wreath of crackers followed by a delicate compote of American cheese. And we’ll have mulled cider to drink after the performance. We’ll have some hay for Brandy and some chocolate for you. It will be the biggest event of the year for Swingle Canyon and every mouse will be dying for an invitation. Do you know what would make it even bigger and better?”
I bit. “What?”
“If everybody who reads this column would come and have good cheer and peace with the mice and the rest of the world and celebrate Christmas and the opening of the Moushelter with us,” Sylvia said, adding, “They could bring their own food.”

No comments:

Post a Comment