By Valerie L. Egar
On Christmas Eve, just before Daniel and Sara went to bed, they put three oatmeal cookies and a glass of milk on the dining room table for Santa. They’d made the cookies earlier that day, mixing plump raisins and cinnamon into the oatmeal batter. They knew Santa needed a snack as he worked all night delivering toys.
“What about the reindeer?” Daniel said. “They must need something to eat too, don’t they?”
Sarah agreed. But what might a reindeer eat? They looked in the refrigerator and decided that two carrots and an apple would be tasty treats for Santa’s team. They put them on a plate next to the cookies.
After midnight, when everyone was asleep, a little mouse crept from under the cellar door into the house. He was grey with a tiny white blaze on his chest and long whiskers that made him look wise.
The family had no idea the mouse slipped into the house every night to look for scraps of food. Though the family was much neater than the mouse would have liked, he could usually find a few good things to eat— a corner of toast the vacuum missed, a stray cracker in the cupboard.
As the mouse slipped into the dining room, his pointed nose sniffed something delicious. The scent grew stronger as he neared the table. Sugar? Raisins? He shimmied up a table leg and thrilled to the sight of three fat oatmeal cookies.
He nibbled the edge of the first cookie, delighting at the hint of cinnamon. Then, he tasted the second cookie. Maybe it would taste different. He bit into a raisin. “Mmmm!” Raisins were delicious. He thought he’d try the third cookie and took a big bite of oats. He was still chewing when he heard a swoosh near the fireplace.
The mouse stood perfectly still as he watched a jolly man in a red suit emerge from the fireplace, carrying a sack. Santa carefully arranged presents under the tree and the mouse realized, too late, that the cookies he nibbled were meant for Santa. How he wished he hadn’t tasted all three! He glanced at the carrots and apple. Maybe he should have nibbled them instead. The reindeer probably wouldn’t have minded, but he understood people never ate what a little mouse touched.
The mouse quivered by the cookies, too afraid to run, just as frightened to stay. Slowly Santa approached the table. What would he say when he saw his cookies were ruined?
Gentle eyes looked at the tiny mouse. “Hello little friend,” Santa said. “I see you’ve been enjoying some cookies.”
The mouse looked sorrowful as Santa sipped the milk. “Those look delicious. Are they?”
The mouse nodded.
“Good,” Santa said. “Make sure you finish them.” He rubbed his belly. “Mrs. Claus put me on a strict diet and this apple will be a perfect snack. The reindeer will enjoy the carrots.”
Three whole cookies? The little mouse could hardly believe it! He stood up and looked at Santa.
“Well, I know you’ve been a good mouse,” said Santa, “and it is Christmas.” Santa reached into his pocket and took out a few almonds. “Here, you might like these, too.” With that, Santa disappeared up the chimney and the little mouse spent the rest of the night eating the cookies and almonds, making sure wasn’t a crumb left when Daniel and Sara awoke in the morning.
Like the story? Please visit follow me on Facebook by liking my author's page, Valerie L. Egar.
Copyright 2016 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be copied or reproduced without permission from the author.