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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pickle's Christmas Wonder Part One


In the spirit of the season (and because I’m lazy,) I’ve decided to reprint Will Wright’s story, Pickle’s Christmas Wonder as it appears in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s award-winning anthology, A Christmas Sampler. link

It might be a bit sappy – but go with it. As it’s a bit long, I’ll post it in two parts.

Pickle's Christmas Wonder

Part One

by Will Wright

The North Pole has the finest bear school in the world. Pickle, Thistle, Taffy, and Bowser were very excited to learn all about being bears. They were not going to be just regular bears, either. They were going to be Christmas bears!

Buddy Bear was the teacher of bear school. He had been a Christmas bear when he was new. Santa made Buddy the teacher because his friend, Lynn, read him every story there was about Santa and the North Pole.

You see, bears, no matter how smart they get, still need their people to read to them.

Pickle, Thistle, Taffy, and Bowser learned how to bring sweet dreams, and to keep the bed bugs from biting. They learned how to turn a smile into a giggle, and a giggle into a laugh. They learned how to soak up tears and turn them into love.

And they learned about the Christmas Wonder.

“Every year,” said Buddy, “each boy or girl who believes in Santa gets one Christmas Wonder.”

“Is it a warm feeling?” asked Pickle.

“Is it a funny tickle?” asked Thistle.

“Is it a happy sigh?” asked Taffy.

“Is it something to eat?” asked Bowser.

“It can be anything,” said Buddy, “though I never heard of one that was something to eat. As Christmas bears, it is our job to wish for our boy or girl to get the best Christmas Wonder possible.”

“How do we do that?” asked Pickle.

“We do it,” said Buddy, “by wishing what’s best for our boy or girl, no matter what – even if it’s not good for us.”

“Even if it’s not good for us?” said Pickle, Thistle, Taffy, and Bowser.

“A bear is unselfish,” said Buddy. “Because Christmas bears love so much.”

It was the hardest thing that Pickle learned at bear school. How do you want something for someone else even if it’s not good for you? He almost didn’t take his pie ursa bearra diploma at graduation.

“Don’t worry,” said Buddy Bear. “The secret is love.”

Holly the Elf led the new graduates to Santa’s great hall where there were many toys, puzzles, candies and treats waiting for Santa to decide where each gift would go.

“Today we learn the name of the boy or girl we will go to on Christmas day!” said Thistle.

Thistle went to a girl named Chrissy. Taffy went to a girl name Danielle. Bowser went to a boy named Spike. Pickle was happy for his friends, but was sad to see them go.

“Now,” said Santa, “This next list is for a boy named Willie. Willie is three years old and he believes in me.”

“That means he gets a Christmas Wonder,” said Pickle to the peppermint candy cane next to him.

“Shush!” said the candy cane. “I want to hear this!”

“On Christmas,” said Santa, “Willie will get Pepper the candy cane, Loopy the lollypop, Pickle the bear, and Reginald the fire truck.”

“My boy’s name is Willie!” said Pickle.

“He’s my boy too,” said the candy cane who had shushed him before. “But Willie’s getting a fire truck. That just means I’ll end up in a candy dish, and you’ll collect dust under the bed.”

Pickle didn’t think that Pepper was very friendly.

“Oh don’t mind him!” said a lollypop behind him. “He’s just an old stick in the mint.” The lollypop hopped over Pickle’s head, and balanced on his stick.

“I’m Loopy,” he said.

“I’m Pickle,” said Pickle. “It is very nice to meet you.”

“I wouldn’t know,” said Loopy. “I’ve never met me before.”

Pickle decided that Loopy was a little confusing, but he was a very friendly lollypop.

“Clang, clang, clang,”

There was a big red toy fire truck behind Pickle. It was one of the biggest toys in Santa’s hall – even bigger than most of the tricycles.

“My name is Reginald,” said the fire truck. “If your name’s Pickle, hop up on my running board and hang on!”

Pickle did just that, and Reginald sped off so fast that Pickle’s cloth ears folded back in the wind.

“You’ve got a good grip,” said Reginald. “That’s a good thing, ‘cause I think we’ll be doing this a lot when we get to Willie’s house. Clang, clang, clang!”

“Hey! Where’s the fire?” Pepper grumbled as they circled around him.

“That’s not much of a Yule spirit, Pepper,” said Loopy. “Are you sure you’re a candy cane and not a misshaped sour ball?”

Pickle very much liked riding on Reginald. He was a very fine fire truck, so big and fast and pretty. “Willie is very fortunate to get such a wonderful toy,” said Pickle

“Yeah,” said Loopy hopping up and down on his stick. “Willie will be crazy about him. He’ll be Willie’s Christmas Wonder.”

“Yeah,” said Pepper. “Willie will wonder why Santa even bothered bringing us.”

“Douse that kind of talk!” said Reginald. “Christmas is supposed to be fun. Willie will have fun with all of us!”

“But Loopy is right,” said Pickle. “You’re sure to be Willie’s Christmas Wonder.”

“I know you can sure lick me,” said Loopy.

“I don’t care what Willie’s Christmas Wonder is,” said Reginald. “I just hope that he likes to have fun – and go really fast! Clang, clang, clang!”

Holly, the elf walked up with a big sack.

“It’s time to go in Santa’s sack,” said Holly

Log in Monday for the conclusion.

Here’s a follow-up video from the last post – a series of Christmas light shows.