|Martha was in the kitchen preparing Ralph's favorite breakfast of waffles, eggs, and bacon when the doorbell rang. Startled, she moved her left wrist up and down, closer and further away from her face until the numbers came clear enough to make out.
Hmmm...seven o'clock, kind of early for visitors, she thought, grabbing her cane from the kitchen door handle.
She hobbled her way to the front door, "who is it?" she shouted through the door. There was no answer, "Who is it?" she called again and again there was no reply. Martha hesitated for a few minutes before she inched the door open. There was no one there. The street was covered with snow, quiet and empty. Then she saw it! On the porch was a large box.
She pushed and tugged the box until it rested in front of the fireplace. "Ralph! Ralph! Come here and look! Ralph!"
In his red, thick robe and his matching night cap, Ralph dragged himself into the livingroom, scratching his right butt with every step he took. His wrinkled face and stubbled beard clearly indicated his age. "What's the problem, Martha and what does a guy have to do to get some sleep?"
"Look!" she said pointing to the box.
"Look! It has no return address and a red sign telling us not to open till Christmas!"
"Then we'll wait till Christmas."
"Well, I guess." They both started back toward the kitchen.
"Wait! Did you hear that, Ralph?"
"Hear what?" Martha and Ralph, both stared down at the box.
"I think that there is something alive in there and it is scratching at the box," Martha whispered.
Ralph yawned, "we'll find out on Christmas, won't we."
"Ralph, it is only December seventh, it'll be dead by then. It has to have air so it can breathe!"
Ralph crossed his waist with his left arm and rested his chin on his right fist. "Wait, I have an idea!"
He turned and retrieved a small hand-drill from the top shelf of the book case. "Here, drill a hole in it, and I'll be right back."
"HUH? Um...ok," replied Martha.
Ralph returned wheeling the oxygen cylinder attached to the nasal cannula tube, "Here, shove that through the hole and it will be able to breathe."
"What about food?" Martha cried.
"Drill another hole and I'll be right back."
After a few minutes, Ralph returned carrying a bag full pf formula attached to a long tube.
"Here, shove that in, just be sure to feed the thing three times a day."
"What about water?" Martha pleaded.
"Drill one more hole, and I'll be right back." Ralph returned carrying an IV bag attached to a long tube. "Here shove that in and whatever it is will be all set till Christmas.
Ralph yawned and stretched both of his arms out. "Well, Luv, I think that I will go back to bed."
"Wait, you can't! I made your favorite breakfast. Don't you want it?"
"Nah, feed it to your mother."
Ralph climbed the staircase and re-entered the bedroom. Once snuggled back under his electric blanket, he closed his eyes and smiled.