Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: Number Three and the Christmas Tree
By Karin Beery
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This is the tale of my younger sister, Number Three – the youngest of three girls. A mischievous, curious toe-head with more energy than Number One and I combined, her love of Christmas lights started early. She was three, and it was December.
It was early evening and Mother was out. Father bore the burden of watching all three daughters. As it was the season, I imagine my sisters and I were scarring our brains with the interminable whinings of a disgruntled would-be-dentist elf named Hermey. Father relaxed in the kitchen with a deck of cards.
At some point, Number Three wandered out of the den and into the living room. Being the protective, nosy, big sister, I followed. She stopped at the Christmas tree. I suppose it was a treasure for her young mind. She moved in for a closer look.
As Father tells it, he was playing a peaceful game of solitare when I sauntered into the kitchen. I stopped at the table and, being only four years-old, looked up at a Father. I told him calmly, “Number Three is playing with the Christmas lights.”
Father nodded and shuffled the deck. I returned to the living room. Over the next ten minutes I confronted Father twice more to explain the light situation. He was accustomed to the whiney tattling of three young girls, so he wasn't overly concerned. He was, however, annoyed by the interruptions.
Determined to play cards in peace, he followed me to investigate.
We walked through the dining room and into the living room. My sedate warnings could not have prepared him for the drama therein.
Number Three stood in the middle of the living room, four feet away from the tree, with a strand of lights taut over her shoulder. Curious about the bright decorations, she tugged and pulled at a strand that stubbornly clung to the branches. Pine needles scattered. Christmas ornaments flew through the air. The eight foot tree rocked dangerously, threatening to squash the tiny, twinkle-light terror.
Father gathered us together, herding us back into the den. He struggled to reassemble the tree, hunting down ornaments and rearranging the lights. Panic threatened as the minutes passed. He hauled out the monster canister vacuum to remove the prickly evidence. He couldn't let Mother know.
She would eventually find out, of course, though I don't know when or how. But since that time, the tale has become legend. Whenever we pull out the lights, we wonder what interesting things might happen. We also wonder if, someday, Number Three will have a child a curious as herself.
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