And The Animals Speak At Midnight

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And The Animals Speak At Midnight

The big dog lay underneath the piano, his head resting atop his furry white paws. From this vantage point he could keep an eye on the house and, more importantly, he could see if anyone neared the front door holding his lead in their hands. He wouldn’t mind a walk just now. It was appropriately cold for this day before Christmas and he’d even heard talk about snow.... perfect walking weather.

But mostly, he’d love a distraction to take him away from his thoughts, which had begun to veer off into worry. For in a few short hours, his moment would come. That once a year gift of magical speech would be his, indeed would be granted all animals, at least to those who were paying attention. And the big dog was worried. When one has such a gift at one’s disposal, one must take it seriously and choose one’s words with care.

So just what would he say? He wondered. And wondered. His furry black housemate never bothered with preparation for this momentous event. He seemed to remember that last year she had muttered something nonsensical about chipmunks and cheese and trotted off promptly to bed. To be sure, he considered that a severe waste of a rare opportunity and later he had told her so. But sometimes, privately, he had to admit he rather admired her nonchalance about the whole thing. Perhaps that was the point. Not to take it all so seriously. But somehow, he doubted it. Somehow, he thought the gift of speech on Christmas Eve was a wondrous occurrence that each and every animal should greatly respect with appropriate contemplation and planning. He was certain the Lions had been ready for days. And without a doubt the Elephants, with their proficient memories, would recite whole passages of something divine. He had to think of something wonderful, and he had to do it fast.

So here he lay. Underneath the piano with his head on his paws. Thinking. He considered uttering a prayer for the Polar Bears, as he’d heard the lady do many times before. He thought about reciting a line from Dylan Thomas, or Carroll. He did love the Jabberwocky, after all. But no, that just didn’t fit. From hours spent alongside The Songwriter, he knew every Beatles song by heart. Perhaps he could quote from one of those. No, no, somehow Ob La Di, Ob La Da, although fun to hum on an ordinary day, just wouldn’t work for this one nights of nights. He sighed.

Just at that moment, the big dog heard the lady call out his name. His ears perked up and his tail began spinning. Grateful for the distraction from his circling thoughts, he sprang out from under the piano and trotted into the kitchen. The lady stood there, bundled up in all those wooly things that take the place of fur, with his lead held loosely in her hand. He glanced around the room, sniffing the holiday smells in the air. His brown eyes took in all the flowers on the tables, the Christmas cards in a stack by the door. His black nose twitched at the roast chicken now cooling on the counter, and he could smell winter in the scent of the fir trees that were dressed up and shining in many rooms of the house. Along with the tick tock of the clock by the fireside, he could hear the soft sounds of carols and bells. And suddenly, just before the lady opened the front door for his walk in the cold, it hit him. The big white dog knew just what he would say when that clock by the fireplace struck twelve.
Just two words, but true ones.
Two words he’d often heard uttered this time of the year, two words that summed up his deepest heart song.
He said them over and over in his head as he went down the front stairs.
He smiled.
He was ready. He knew just what to say....

“Comfort and Joy”
“Comfort and Joy”


Edward and I thank you for reading and we wish you all Comfort and Joy this Christmas.
May all your dreams come true.