Chapter 11: Christmas Day
Christmas day had arrived!!!
WHOO …. PEEE!
Despite Raoul’s condition, Mom and Aunt Florence were determined to make it a special day for everyone.
After all, Christmas comes but once a year!
We excitedly dashed downstairs to check out our gifts under the tree.
Fromage had received a great mound of French cheese and a spiffy new blue beret brought over for him from France by Aunt Florence.
-Ditto, for Charlotte-
For once, Mom let them have their fill of cheese.
Cara and I had received matching shawls and a bag of ping-pong balls.
We immediately started playing football with one of the balls, racing after it and knocking each other over.
“Out you go,” said Mom after Fromage nearly knocked over our Christmas tree.
We rushed over to Solo’s house to wish Monk and Terrance a merry Christmas.
Christmas dinner preparations were going on in full force in the kitchen.
The Applebees had taken over the catering for the Christmas party in Solo’s kitchen with the help of Hobbs.
Mrs. Applebee was busy cooking up a storm for Christmas dinner. Together with Hobbs they had made a long menu of fancy-fare.
The Applebees had been thrilled to bits that Raoul had been rescued. On his return, they had rushed to introduce themselves to him. Since the Señora was away, they had taken him on a visit to his own house in the hope that he would recognize the place.
Unfortunately, this was not to be the case.
Still, Raoul was making good progress health- wise.
Solo was determined that the dinner party would go ahead despite Raoul’s condition. Mom thought that the best remedy for both the Señora and Raoul was to have good friends surrounding them at this uncertain time.
Fromage had great plans for the Christmas dinner of the furry crowd. He had made his special Blue-Cheese Cake. A cherished recipe.
He had stayed up all night making it with the help of Charlotte and Monk.
Fromage insisted I included his special recipe in my Diary for future reference.
I have done so. I have added the last point about Fromage eating the lion’s share as that’s exactly what would happen.
Fromage’s Special Blue-Cheese Cake
-The ripest and strongest blue cheese stolen from our cheese shop;
-Rich Cream borrowed from Monk.
Smash the blue cheese with his paws with Charlotte doing the same;
Jump on it and lick it to keep it moist (According to Fromage that was the secret to his amazing Blue Cheese Cake);
Pour the rich cream over the smashed blue cheese;
Monk to jump on the cream and blue cheese mixture to give it a good stir;
Put the end result in one of Mom’s Pyrex dishes and leave near the fire place for one whole night.
Fromage to lick his paws and those of his assistant cooks – Monk & Charlotte.
YEP, PAW Licking Good!
Share with everyone, ensuring that Fromage got the lion’s share.
Cara read Fromage’s recipe and wrinkled up her nose.
“You must be dreaming if you think I am going to eat your blue cheese cake,” she said.
To make peace, I said that we would have other stuff to eat as well. Hobbs would make sure of that.
To appease Fromage, I said that his blue cheese cake would be the main dish of our Christmas dinner.
I needn’t have bothered.
Fromage’s one thought was that there was one less person to share it with.
He couldn’t have cared less if Cara didn’t eat his fabulous blue cheese cake.
The Señora came back home with Polo.
Mom and Aunt Florence went over to greet her and break the news of Raoul’s return. They warned her not to be upset if he did not recognize her and explained what had happened.
The Señora broke down in tears and clung to Aunt Florence her old friend, shaking with relief and joy.
Without much ado, they walked back to Solo’s house.
Of course, we followed closely behind.
Polo came back with us, yapping about his recent trip and how they had stayed in a lovely hotel where he had met many other small dogs like him.
Polo was a chatterbox.
I well imagined that he would have been very happy with the other doggies while Señora was taking her cure.
We entered Solo’s house and Raoul who had been told that his wife would be brought back was slowly descending the stairs when we came in.
Polo who had been chatting away to Fromage and Charlotte about the fun time he had had and the friends he had made, suddenly stopped at the sight of Raoul.
He seemed struck dumb for a whole five seconds.
Had he lost his tongue? I wondered surprised by his silence.
There was a strange hush in the room as everyone had stopped talking.
Polo suddenly recognized Raoul as the person standing before him and went completely wild.
YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP!
Which actually meant - for those who cannot read doggie yaps:
RAOUL! RAOUL! RAOUL!
His little body shook with joy.
Yapping excitedly and wagging his stumpy tail non-stop, he dashed past the Señora and ran up to Raoul.
Raoul stooped down and lifted Polo in the air.
“Polo, you rascal, where have you been?” he shouted with joy.
Raoul started laughing out loud, his memory rushing back.
Everyone looked on amazed.
Polo’s enthusiastic sharp yapping and evident delight at seeing his master had jolted Raoul’s memory to the full.
With Polo in his arms, he rushed to the Señora who hugged him with tears running down her face.
Solo, Aunt Florence, and Mom quietly slipped out of the room to leave them alone.
Not us, of course. It was too good a scene to be missed.
There was much love and happiness in the room.
We couldn’t resist watching them with delight.
Polo looked over Raoul’s shoulder at us grinning from ear-to-ear.
“I have my family back together,” he yapped at us happily.
Polo had the best Christmas present he could ever want.
We all met at Solo’s place for dinner.
Everyone was dressed to the nines and the big dining room was all lit up.
The long table was heavily laden with all kinds of delicious food.
An enormous Christmas tree reaching up to the ceiling had been set up by Hobbs. The whole house was lit up and was all golden and warm with every fireplace in the house merrily burning bright.
We furry friends occupied the library where Monk was playing his jazz music.
Surprise, surprise! Fromage’s blue cheese cake had been delicious.
Even Cara had to agree.
Of course, we had received only a tiny bit as Fromage had eaten most of it before carrying it proudly over to Monk’s house.
We had eaten a special Christmas dinner prepared for us by Hobbs. We then sat down and enjoyed having a good old gossip.
Terrance had told Polo about how they had found Raoul in the distant village near the Himalayas.
Polo looked gratefully at Terrance.
“Thank you Terrance,” was all he could say in a choked yap.
Terrance just wagged his tail. Terrance is a great guy, I thought.
The emotional and serious feelings in the room suddenly transformed when there was a change of tempo in the music.
My favorite salsa music came over the air.
I looked up and saw Monk mischievously looking down at me from the stereo set that he manipulated so well.
Everyone looked at me expectantly. “What now?” I said.
“Come on Inca!” shouted Monk. “Dance for us!”
I tried to be modest like Terrance, but somehow it never worked for me.
I didn’t need to be asked twice.
My feet twitched to the salsa beat and I felt my body swaying to the familiar music.
I threw my head back and gave one of my best performances as I danced the salsa to the beat of the rhythm humming - OLE! OLE!
My friends and family clapped in glee!
YESSS! Christmas is the most fun time of the year!!!
I hope you enjoyed reading my diary!
I Wish my ‘fantastic’ readers -
A Fun Christmas!
My troupe and I look forward to you reading our future adventures! Until then – We wish you A Happy, Meowy, Bow- Wowy Christma
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