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Christmas Callie

Story ID:7669
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Writers Conference:My Favorite Holiday Story
Location:Caldwell ID USA
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Christmas Callie

Christmas is coming. Ginny and I turn on the Hallmark channel and watch
Christmas movies. It’s the time of year to open our hearts and feel the love and life
around us. We both have soft hearts and love a good cry.

We paused the movie, as I yelled, “No, Callie! Get away from the tree!”

She was just a tiny ball of gray and beige fur living in the grass and brush behind
our apartment. I recued her a few months before Christmas. Ginny named her Callie,
because she is a calico.

A week after I rescued her, Ginny looked at me, “Mike, the Christmas tree!”

“Huh?” I looked at Gin. “What about it?”

“Mike, what about your tree? Callie will get in it.”

I thought about my precious ornaments. Many came from my childhood. Some
were gifts from a dear friend and expensive. “You’re right, Gin. I never thought about
that. I’m sure it will be OK.”

I was wrong!

Ginny and I took a trip to the storage shed, piled the boxes of ornaments and the
tree into her daughter’s van and brought them home.

As I put the tree together, Callie climbed the branches. Each layer I added, she
climbed higher. “Callie, no!” I yelled – my new mantra. I grew impatient and locked her
in the bathroom until I was done.

I spent the evening trying to keep her from the tree. She hid behind my shoes
and waited for me to look away. As soon as I turned my head, she ran to the tree, pawed
at the lower branches and sprinted away before I could get to her.

We found a water bottle. It could squirt water a good ten feet. It became my
weapon of choice to use on the little tree hugger. I’d notice ornaments swaying and know
our grey Christmas destroyer was in the tree again. I peered through the branches and saw
her looking back at me with a guilty look that said, “I can’t help myself, daddy. It’s even
prettier on the inside looking out.” A few squirts of water from my trusty bottle made her
climb out and slink away to lick her wet fur.

We can’t leave her alone in the room where our tree is displayed. Ginny made that
mistake once. She went shopping with her daughter one day. When she got in the car, she
remembered, but knew she’d only be out for a little over an hour, “How much damage
can she do in that little bit of time?” She reasoned.

When she got home, all the balls on the lower branches were missing. Callie
knocked them all off and played with them. Ginny found them in the kitchen and down
the hall.

Callie is a hand full, but we love her, tree climbing and all. She cried in the
brush. We saved her. It’s her first Christmas. She’s making the best of it.

Michael T. Smith