Monday, December 22, 2008

Dolce's Story Chair - Jingles and the Furry Helpers (pt 2)

Dolce: Dad, what is happening with the Christmas Story?
Dad: Dolce, you know how busy everyone in the house is. Mom and Grandma and I are trying to get Smudge and Chloe settled in. Not to mention trying to earn green papers so that you and your brofurs and sisfurs have a warm home and food to eat.
Dolce: But I promised my furriends a new story, and you haven't being helping me.
Dad: I'm sorry Dolce. I did get some more written and the rest will follow shortly. We are probably going have to speed it up so that it will be done in time for Christmas.
Dolce: You better finish it or I will do what Max says and poop on your pillow.
Dad: Sounds like someone is bucking to be on the Naughty List.
Dolce: Dad...
Dad: Yes, Dolce?
Dolce: I'm sorry. Please tell me the story.
Dad: You get your story chair already to go and I will start the next part of the story...
Dolce: Thanks, Dad.

Jingles and the Furry Helpers
Part 2: Its Always Preparation

Taylor Tailorson looked down at his pocketwatch. It was already fifteen clockmarks past Last Breakfast Call. He had decided to give Jingles a bit more time to sleep but the young cat was starting to take advantage of the privilege of being the only cat to ride with Santa. To a North Pole Elf, sleeping in and a lazing about was unconscionable and insufferably rude.

Taylor went to the room where Jingles’ wicker bed had been moved from Santa’s office. He took in a deep breath and let it out in a very loud harrumph as he steeped into Jingles’ room. He had expected to see Jingles’ all curled up and sleeping. Instead, the bed was empty. Taylor walked over to the bed and placed his hand on the plush red pillow. It was cool to the touch. Whenever Jingles was, he was not in his bed and he had not been there for several hours. Taylor realized that he had not checked on Jingles when he woke up this morning.

The bells on the front door suddenly rang out.
“Taylor.” Jingles called out. “Are you home?”

Taylor quickly stepped out of Jingles room before he answered.

“I am just down the hall.” Taylor answered.

“Ah.” Jingles smiled as he took his new scarf, a gift from Taylor, and draped it over one of the two small chairs.
“Checking to see if I was up yet?” Jingles chided his friend.
“As a matter fact.” Taylor attempted to fake some indignation, but could not as it went against his Elfin nature. “I was. You have been pretty sleepy and lazy since your big trip with Santa.”
“And you thought I was still sound asleep.” Jingles stated. “Well I wasn’t. Santa said he wanted to meet with me to discuss something very important. So I got up real early and went down to the Toy Production Office to get all of my cat toy plans ready to show him.”
“Up early?” Taylor said somewhat dumfounded. “Preplanning your production orders? Are you sure that there isn’t a little elf blood in you somewhere, Jingles”
“Nope all cat.” Jingles jumped up onto the little wooden stool next to Taylor’s eating table. “By the way, is there any cream left?”
Taylor smiled at how fast Jingles thoughts returned to his stomach.

Jingles left the house after consuming two whole bowls of cream. He was in extremely high spirits. Santa’s request to meet with him made Jingles feel like a real part of the team at the North Pole. As Jingles walked down the candy lane lanterned street, he noticed the different groups of elfs and of the other creatures. There were the Reindeer hanging out at RedNosedBucks. There were the various Elfs going about their daily tasks, the Toymakers were drawing sketches of their newest ideas in the snow, the Lightkeepers were checking every Christmas light on every post and window frame, the Craftsmen were all carrying bundles and satchels of various tools and materials, and Tailors and Seamstresses were hauling bolts of brightly hued fabric to and fro. Jingles took a second glance around the street and then it dawned on him. He was the only cat at the North Pole. There was no one else for him to debate the proper stalking technique for a ball of Indigo No.2 Dyed Yak Yarn or whether the Catnip was better this week or last. Jingles was very happy at the North Pole, but suddenly for the very first time, he suddenly felt lonely.

Jingles marched into Santa’s office and gingerly hopped up on the surface of the desk. He pushed his nose under Santa’s arm and rubbed his cheek against Santa’s hand.
“Well hello, Jingles.” Santa smiled. ”Good to see you here on time.”
“It’s not everyday that you get to have a meeting with Santa.” Jingles purred proudly.
“Jingles.” Santa replied with a slightly raised eyebrow. “You sleep over there next to the iron stove everyday.”
“That’s different.” Jingles politely corrected Santa. “Sleeping is sleeping and meetings are meetings.”
“I think I understand.” Santa said.
“So I am here for our meeting.” Jingles stated. “Not that I won’t be sticking around for a nap, but first the meeting.”
“Ahh. Yes” Santa replied softly as he fingered a tiny gold scroll in his hands.
“If it is about the plans for next year.” Jingles started talking excitedly, “I have a great idea for a toy this year. A feathered ball that flies like a little bird when you throw it. It is filled with catnip of course. Here are the plans and the estimated production runs necessary.”
“This is very good, Jingles.” Santa said approvingly as he looked over Jingles’ plan. “It is very good. But this is not why I asked for this meeting.”
“Okay.” Jingles sat back on his haunches and looked at Santa puzzledly. “What is the meeting for then?”
Santa placed the tiny scroll on the desk and pushed it towards Jingles.
“A very old friend brought this for you.” Santa said. “But before you take it, I want you to understand something.”
“What is it, Santa?” Jingles looked at Santa, then at the scroll and then back to Santa.
“Now that you are my helper, you need to understand where the Lists come from.” Santa explained. “How people and creatures are added to the list, how they move from the Nice List to the Naughty List and back again, and How they are removed from the list.”
“I don’t think I like that last part, Santa.” Jingles replied sensing the sadness in Santa’s voice.
“As each person professes a belief in Christmas and in me, their name is added to the List automatically.” Santa explained. “Creatures by nature are added the moment they take a breath for the first time. From that moment on, whether it be a person or creature, their own actions determine which List their name will be found on.”
“Except for cats.” Jingles interrupted. “I still think there is something wrong with the criteria on the Naughty List.”
Santa chuckled slightly and then continued. “Once on the List, their names are never removed, even if they stop believing in me or in Christmas. This due to the hope of all hopes that they might once again find their belief. But a name can be removed from the Lists if one thing and only one thing happens.”
“What thing is that?” Jingles shuddered. “It sounds terrible.”
“It is not terrible, Jingles.” Santa explained further, “People and creatures not blessed as you and I and all of the elfs and creatures of the North Pole have only a certain amount of time on the Earth. It is part of their nature. They are born. They grow up. They learn. They laugh. They love. And when it is time, they die.”
Jingles sat and thought about what Santa said.
“Will I die?” Jingles asked Santa.
“You and I have been given a gift.” Santa said. “We are allowed live well past the normal lifespan of our kind but it has a price. We will spend that entire life doing things for other people and creatures.”
“So I will live as long as I make toys for all the cats and kittens.” Jingles said somewhat relieved.
“Yes.” Santa smiled. “But we will see other people and creatures that we have loved and who loved us pass away. This scroll is for you. It will update your List and remove all those cats and kittens who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge.”
Jingles reached out his paw to touch the scroll. He was stopped by Santa suddenly placing his hand over top the scroll.
“Jingles.” Santa explained as weariness crept into his voice. “Part of the magic is that it will happen as soon as you touch the scroll. Also you will remember each and every one of the creatures on it. You must be prepared.”
Jingles swallowed hard. Santa removed his hand from the scroll. Jingles looked at the scroll and was somewhat loathe to touch it.
“You do not have to take it now, Jingles” Santa said. “I can hold onto it for a while until you feel you are ready. But you must take it before you finalize your production for next year. For as much pain as it causes us, the pain of a gift arriving unwanted and unbidden for a lost love one is far worse.”
“I understand Santa.” Jingles nodded. “I think I will wait a little while before I take it. If that is okay?”
“That is fine.” Santa smiled at his feline helper. “It will be here on my desk. You can come and take it whenever you are ready. Now let’s take another look at that Feathered Ball of yours. Have you run it past Safety and Play Hazard?”
“Not yet Santa.” Jingles stated. “I wanted to run it past you first. Then I will have the Toy Modellers build a mock up for some…uhh…quality tests.”
“Quality Tests?” Santa asked with a raised eyebrow.
“To make sure it has the right amount of playability.” Jingles said sheepishly. “You know quality.”
Santa nodded back knowingly.

Jingles spent four more hours working with Santa. It was more like fifteen minutes of work and then Jingles retired to a large red high backed chair for a three hour and forty-five minute nap. As he slept, a feeling of loneliness hung over Jingles and a twinge of worry. Jingles wondered whose names were on the scroll and who would not need a Christmas gift this year.

To be continued...


  1. We unnerstand Jingle's reluctance to touch the many of our frends are not with us anymore. At least we know we will see dem at da bridge when our time comes and den our beans will come fur us too...oh, we'z making ourselfs sad. Dis is shaping up to be a really good story. Thanks fur da cookies and milk.

  2. Sammy ::whispers:: Billy, you be good and sit and lissen. no running around.
    Miles ::settles in with a nip cookie and a mug of hot milk::
    Billy ::looks around with big eyes:: ME loves the story chair!!

    Oh MrDolce'sDad, this is a great story!!! We cannot wait for the next part!!

    Dolce, thank you for the cooies and milk. you are a very good hostess!

    Baci, after the story does you want to PLAYPLAYPLAY??? (Billy)

  3. Oh this is so good. Thank you for the milk too. I love these stories...

  4. Today's chapter is quite thoughtful. I think I will take a nap now and dream of this tonight.

    Thank you Dolce's Mrdaddy for this wonderful story.

    Merry Christmas
    love, Princess

  5. This is a very interesting story, but I think it is going to get really sad next time. I will remember to bring my hanky. Thank you for the cookies and milk.