The Littlest Elves
There was one present left under the tree. The fact that it was too large to actually fit under the tree did not escape anyone in the house including Dash and Jenny, our two Jack Russell Terriers. In fact, ever since its arrival several days before Christmas they had been leaping up on it, sitting down on it and behaving like two merry pranksters around, on top and near it. I even joked that there must be a doghouse inside they way they were claiming it.
The white paper and colorful ribbon did not need a tag to give away the to and from. I recognized the wrappings from previous years, it was a present for me from my husband and although I did not know the exact contents, I guessed it was art from one of my favorite artist, Sticks.
My husband called all of us into the great room for the magic moment. As usual, Jenny and Dash raced in too, once again claiming the gift as their own by jumping up on top, turning around, sitting down and smiling their big bright smiles that seemed to say, “Aren’t we the cutest?”
"O.K. you two clowns,” my husband commanded, “off of mom’s present.” However, they refused to get off and instead just sat there looking at him. My son pushed them off the present, yet instantly they leaped back on. “Off you two,” My husband said again. Yet again, my son had to push them off. No sooner where they off when they hopped back on again. This on and off routine continued for a while as I sat in front of the present amused by their antics. It became apparent to me that the dogs were not going to stop with their game. Maybe what they really were trying to tell us is they wanted to help me open the gift. I gave them the command to dig. Immediately Dash hopped up on top and began ripping the paper with his paws and pulling the ripped paper with his teeth. As we clapped and cheered he felt encouraged to work harder. I helped him by carefully removing the colorful ribbon. Laughter and amazement filled the room as Dasher, now wearing an elf’s collar, tore, tugged and yanked the paper with his paws and teeth. Once all the paper was removed from the top, he started in on the cardboard box.
Eventually he worked a nice size hole in the box. I thanked him very much for his help. Then reaching inside, I pulled out a beautiful Sticks wine rack. It was colorfully painted and wood burned. As I placed it on the kitchen counter and arranged the bottles in the notches, I smiled. Dasher had brought the magic of Christmas alive. His excitement and joy needed no words. After all the simple pleasure of unwrapping a gift is a universal language.