It’s nearly Christmas day and I’ve been sniffing at my stocking under the tree for a while now. I can tell what’s in it because the scents waft and swirl around it like the rainbows you humans see in the sky. So I know that inside it there’s one of my favourite tooth cleaning bones and some dog biscuits. Great! Mind you, the tree smells weird, not like a real fir tree. I love the ones outside in the garden because they smell of the wind and the earth and all the other animals that rustle about on the branches, the birds and squirrels and sometimes our cats too. They think I don’t know they’re there, but I can hear and smell them from the back door. Right now the wind is howling up the hill and round the garden; the trees are bent double, the beeches stretching out their skeleton arms to snatch at the birds who soar above the firs that billow like ships’ sails on an ocean of winter. If I lift my nose, I can scent all the different soils, the heavy mud in the marsh, the rich leaf mould in the woods. I’m sure I can smell frost and snow in the air too. Maybe the scent has travelled on the wind from the frozen north and maybe, just maybe it’ll blow here and make the world sparkle. I love winter and I love Christmas.
Happy Christmas to all the dogs in the world ( may they have great people to look after them) – and all the cats and other animals – oh, and all the people too.
Mistress got thinking.
Here’s an idea or two:
The stocking - Imagine you find one in the attic. It could be a Christmas stocking long forgotten and unopened. It could be strangely decorated, something from two hundred years ago. It could be a fisherman’s heavy woollen stocking. Whatever it is, you find something so attractive, so strange, so wonderful inside it that it changes your life. What is it?
Voyage - On Boxing Day your parents announce that they’ve packed your things and the whole family is going on a voyage – a voyage of discovery. You’ll be gone six months and no phones are allowed on the journey. Where do they take you? What happens?
The creature of a lifetime - You are given a creature for Christmas, one that will stay with you for many years. Your other presents are food and equipment for it. What is it? How do you feel and how do you and the creature respond to each other?