On a cold and dreary winter's night someone is searching for the perfect present...
"A Candy Cane for Christmas" is a story I made up, out of the blue, on a long car-ride to entertain my little brother... that was many years ago. I have only recently polished and published it. I am working on both illustrations and a sequel, "A Jingle Bell for Christmas" which I hope to post before the end of November. Enjoy the story!
A Candy Candy Cane for Christmas
It was a lonely December night, the air was cold and the entire city was covered in snow.
Sammy was all shivers from his toes to his whiskers, this was no night for a little mouse to be out on the city.
But Sammy wasn’t ready to go home. You see, he was getting ready for the big Christmas party that his family had every year. And he had yet to find the perfect Christmas gift.
Sammy looked high and low and spotted in a big window a tiny little sleigh, painted red and filled with colorful boxes. He scurried into the store and found his way to the window in excitement.
“Oh this is perfect!” he squeaked, “It even has a rope so I can pull it along. It would make such a beautiful decoration at the party, my family would love it!”
So Sammy took the little rope in his hands and started to pull the little sleigh across the window display.
But the man who owned the store saw the mouse in the window was very upset. He started running and yelling, “I don’t want mice in my store!” Sammy wanted to explain that he wanted to buy the sleigh and he took off his little cap and pulled out three shiny nickels. Still the man yelled and shooed the little mouse away.
Sammy ran out of the store and then turned and watched as the man fixed the sleigh. He took the rope and gently wrapped it around a small figurine of a beautiful white horse.
“Obviously,” Sammy thought to himself, “The sleigh is not for sale.” And with that he returned to his search.
As he walked along the sidewalk Sammy saw a toy store, it was bright and cheerful and filled with wonderful things. He went inside to try and find his gift but he didn’t get very far. As soon as the man behind the counter saw Sammy he announced “Mice are not allowed in this store!”
Sammy wanted to explain that he was shopping for a Christmas gift, but the man came around the counter with a broom and chased the little mouse away.
“I may never find a gift for the party!” said Sammy aloud. Then he fixed his little cap and straightened his scarf and went on his way, down the sidewalk.
As he went, Sammy walked past an alley. He hurried by as quickly and quietly as he could, not wanting to catch the attention of any alley cats. But just before he reached the other side he felt something grab his tail.
When he turned around Sammy saw a big orange tabby cat, with one big paw wrapped around his little tail.
“Good evening,” said the cat, smiling and licking his lips, “And where are you headed to, on such a cold day?”
Sammy did his best to smile and tipped his cap as he replied, “I’m shopping for a Christmas gift,” he explained. “You see tonight is the big family Christmas party and so far I have nothing to bring.”
For a moment the cat said nothing and little Sammy only shivered, partly from the cold and partly from his fear. He was unsure what the tabby cat was going to do but could not run, because his tail was still in the cat’s paw.
Finally it spoke again, “Have you thought of bringing cake or pie?” he purred. “There is a bakery just around the corner with beautiful Christmas cakes.”
“I hadn’t thought of it,” Sammy squeaked, “But it’s a splendid idea and perhaps the perfect gift for everyone to share.”
“There’s only one problem” Sammy squeaked quietly.
“What problem is that?” the cat asked, leaning into hear the mouse better.
“I can’t leave without my tail,” He whispered.
With that, the tabby cat let go and wished Sammy a Merry Christmas. The little mouse was happy to see that even the alley cats had caught the Christmas spirit and he skipped off down the sidewalk.
When he made his way around the corner he saw that the cat had told the truth. There in front of him was a display like no other, with cakes that were seven and ten layers tall. They were covered in fluffy white frosting and red and green candies. It was a wonderful sight.
These cakes were far too big for Sammy to carry home to the party, but perhaps they had a little cake he could buy. Maybe, they had something just big enough for him to share with his family.
He strolled inside and removed his cap, Sammy counted his nickels and then set out in search of a tiny cake. But just as he climbed up on the counter to start his search there was a scream. The woman behind the counter threw her hands in the air screamed again, saying “No, no , no! No Mice are allowed in my bakery!”
Before she could say or do anything else Sammy jumped from the counter and scurried out the door. His search was looking hopeless. It seemed that there were many things in the stores that his family would like to have, but there were no stores that allowed mice inside.
Sammy walked on slowly, sniffling both from the cold and because he was sad. How could he get his family a Christmas gift if he couldn’t even get into the stores?
It was getting dark and the party would be starting soon. Sammy looked around and couldn’t help but smile as the city streets lit up, one store at a time, with Christmas lights of every style and color.
He turned around as the store behind him turned its lights on and saw in the window a beautiful Christmas tree. It was covered in red and silver decorations, with popcorn strings and candy canes and pine cones on its branches. He shivered as the wind blew harder and straightened his cap and his scarf once more.
But as he did, his scarf was caught in the wind and blew out of his tiny paws. “Oh, no!” he squeaked and he ran after it as fast as he could. The scarf landed on the sidewalk just outside of an open door and was stopped by a big brown paw.
Sammy’s eyes followed the paw, up to the leg and past the shoulders to find the face of a very big dog. At first Sammy was worried and sat quietly, looking up.
“Merry Christmas,” The dog barked happily.
“Merry Christmas,” squeaked Sammy, “May I have my scarf please?”
The big dog smiled and moved his paw. Sammy grabbed his scarf and dusted it off before wrapping it around his neck again. Then looking up at the dog once more, he smiled as cheerfully as he could and squeaked, “Thank you, and have a good evening sir.”
But as he turned to go a man came to the door saying “Oh my!” Sammy was afraid that he’d done something wrong again and was ready to run away. The man didn’t yell at him, he didn’t pick up his broom and he didn’t close the door, instead he knelt down and scooped little Sammy into his hands.
“You look awfully cold,” he said, “And your scarf and cap are sopping wet. I’ll take you inside so you can warm up for a moment.”
The man brought Sammy a piece of Christmas cookie with green frosting and red sprinkles. He dried off his cap and scarf and let the little mouse sit under the Christmas tree while he ate and got warm.
When it was time for Sammy to go he said “good-bye and thank you” to the man and his dog and looked up at the tree one last time.
“I wish I could take your beautiful tree to my family party tonight. Oh, how the others would love it!” he squeaked. “But I only have these three small nickels and I’m sure that’s not enough for a big Christmas tree.”
The man thought a moment then held out his hand, “Might I see those nickels?” he asked.
Sammy pulled them out of his cap and placed them in his hand. In turn the man pulled a long, red and white striped candy cane down from the tree with a smile and placed it on the floor.
“It’s not enough for the tree, but it is enough for one candy cane,” The man said, still smiling.
Sammy hurried to put his cap back on and picked up the candy cane. “Oh, thank you!” he squeaked and then he scurried out the door and back down the sidewalk. He was hoping that he could make it home in time for the big family party.
He ran around the corner slipped on a patch of ice, his candy cane flew from his paws and into the alley. Poor little Sammy couldn’t see where it had landed and was still quite worried about being near the alley. He rubbed his paws and stared into the shadows, unsure of what to do.
Suddenly he felt something grab his tail again “Did you not find a Christmas gift?” he heard from behind. It was the same tabby cat as before, smiling and purring at his new little friend.
“I did find a gift,” Sammy squeaked, “But I’ve lost it in there and can’t get it back.”
Without another word the cat let go of Sammy’s tail and trotted into the alley. He searched until he found the red and white striped candy cane; surely this was what the mouse had lost. He carried it out and gave it to Sammy who thanked the cat for his help before hurrying on.
Sammy made it home and was happy to see that the family had just arrived. He pulled his candy cane in through the little door and squeaked a cheerful “Merry Christmas!” The others were thrilled to see such a wonderful treat and they all gathered around to share Sammy’s Christmas gift.
Now Sammy goes back to the same little store every year. He visits with the man and his dog and sits under their tree and he always brings home a candy cane for Christmas. There is something else Sammy now gets at the store, which he shares with his friend the cat on his way to the family party… but that’s an entirely different story.