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by Michael Morse, contributing writer
Mr. Wilson Ebenezer Scrooge woke with a start just as the clock struck one. He sniffed the room, looked about, saw nothing amiss and decided the spirit of Cooper was nothing more than his imagination. Nonetheless, he looked about his surroundings with great care once more before allowing himself the luxury of a good rest of the night’s sleep. Something moved!
“You there!” he said when a shadow passed his nose. “Show yourself!”
And just as he demanded the Spirit of Christmas Past slowly materialized. Little more than mist and haze the apparition nevertheless took form, resembling a kindred soul.
“Who. Are You?” demanded Scrooge when the fog had cleared and a kindly elderly husky stood before him.
“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past,” she said with elegance.”
“Long past?” asked Scrooge.
“Your past!” exclaimed the Ghost.
“What do you want with me?” asked Scrooge.
“To come with me,” she said, holding out her paw.
“I’d rather not,” said Scrooge, shrinking into the cushion of his chair.
The Ghost of Christmas Past opened her jaw, put her teeth into the scruff of Scrooge’s neck and carried him through the wall and into the snow.
“What madness is this?” Wilson Scrooge demanded.
“This is madness,” said the kindly Husky as the pair descended from the heavens and landed next to a deserted truck trailer surrounded by pine trees.
“What is inside?” asked Scrooge. The Ghost brushed the side of the trailer with her paw, and the inside of the truck was revealed. Row upon row of cages filled the cramped space, each cage holding either a sickly Schnauzer or a tired Poodle. The smell of the place nearly knocked Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge Wilson over, and the sight filled him with dread.
“See that one, in the corner, struggling to feed her pups?”
“Yes, said Scrooge.” “But what does that have to do with me?”
“Everything. That is your mother, forced to produce litter after litter of puppies so the public’s insatiable hunger for pets can be met.”
“My mother?” asked Scrooge, looking more closely at the poor dog struggling to feed her brood. The resemblance was remarkable and he felt an overwhelming desire to run to her.
“They cannot see you, or feel you, or even know you are here,” said the Ghost. “These are merely memories of things that passed. But know this my little friend; places like this exist in abundance. Puppy Mills they are called, and dogs like us are produced for profit, and our parents treated like crops, disposed of like rotting lettuce when they are no longer able to make money for the people who own them.”
“Surely you are mistaken,” said Wilson Scrooge.
“Sadly, I am not,” said the Ghost as she closed her jaw around Wilson’s neck, and as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone.
“I know this place!” said Wilson. “This is my favorite place on earth. Oh, how happy I was! Look there’s Tippy! and Cheri!”
Wilson, Tippy and Cheri inhabited the cozy one room home adorned with festive lights and pretty wreaths, ribbons and bows. Seated at the table was Cheri, wrapping gifts. Tippy and Wilson chased each other around the table as Cheri laughed, and lively music filled the space.
“Alright you two rascals, it’s time for the Fezziwig Ball!” said Cheri, and her dogs stopped their chase and waited. Cookies from above scattered on the floor, and a lively tune from centuries ago filled the warm space. Cheri led the dance, and Wilson and Tippy followed her every move, eventually falling exhausted onto the floor.
“Can’t I join?” asked Wilson Scrooge,
“They cannot see us,” said the Ghost, “or even know we are here. It is your past we watch and your happiness that needs to be witnessed.”
“Why have you shown me these things?” asked Mr. Wilson as the Husky picked Mr. Wilson up again.
“Because the past is the place we feed our soul, and find hope for the future while helping us to survive the present.”
“Present?” huffed Mr. Wilson. “Maybe for everybody else, but never for Poor Old Mr. Wilson!” He waited for a reply, but found himself alone, back on the smelly old chair where he had decided to spend his Christmas. Shaking the bugs from his ears, he collapsed in a huff.
Stave Four – tomorrow…
Read Stave One here: https://rinewstoday.com/mr-wilsons-christmas-carol-michael-morse/
Read Stave Two here: https://rinewstoday.com/mr-wilsons-christmas-carol-stave-2-michael-morse/
Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.