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Mr. Wilson’s Christmas Carol – Stave 4 – Michael Morse

by Michael Morse, contributing writer

“What an odd creature!”

The booming voice woke Mr. Ebenezer Wilson from his fretful slumber.

“Half one breed, and half another, part of one and some of the other!”

“Well, aren’t you the clever one. Tell me Spirit, are you the one Cooper spoke of, the one that is scheduled to arrive as the clock strikes two?”

“I am indeed; I am the Spirit of Christmas Present!”

“Well, if you are who you say you are, where is my present?”

“You are surrounded by your presents you silly creature, look around you! This home is the greatest of all gifts, the envy of many and your reality!”

“It is this very reality I would prefer to skip. Come on; let’s get it over with so I can get some much needed rest!”

The Spirit of Christmas Present laughed then, a sound so infectious even crabby old Mr. Wilson Scrooge felt lighter of heart. The room swirled, slow at first, picking up speed as the laughter continued. Just when it seemed he could take no more the spinning stopped, and lo and behold the two stood outside of an old building nestled in the heart of the city.

“What is this place?” asked Scrooge.

“This is the place your owner disappears to five times a week. This is the place he goes to make the money needed to provide you with food and shelter, toys and treats.”

“Humbug, it’s the same dog food day in and day out, same treats every night, I sleep at the foot of the bed, not under the covers like a dog like me should, and have to pee outside. It’s barbaric!”

“Come with me you silly little fellow, and see for yourself what goes on outside your safe little world.”

Suddenly, bells shattered the silence, bright light filled the firehouse, loud voices filled the air and the doors opened, followed by a fire engine and a ladder truck, their shrill sirens causing old Scrooge to howl with them.

“What is happening?” he demanded.

“There is an emergency; a home is on fire, your owner responding to help.”

“Is that what he does?” asked Scrooge.

“It is. Open your eyes man, not everything comes easy!”
Mr. Ebenezer Wilson Scrooge sat on a snow bank with the Spirit, watching. People were trapped in a house that was burning. He heard a dog in there too, but his barks were quieting, and then they were gone. The truck carrying his dad arrived, and three firefighters ran toward the house, chopped the door down and went inside. Other people arrived and before long water was being sprayed everywhere and people in small groups went into the burning home.

“Can we help?” asked Wilson Scrooge. “I’m sure I heard a dog in there, crying for help.”

“That dog you speak of was not crying for help, he was alerting his masters of the danger they faced! He risked his life to save theirs.”

“Will he be okay?” asked Wilson, shrinking into the snow, wanting to disappear.

From the flames appeared one, then two, then three firefighters, each carrying a person. They brought the rescued family to a waiting ambulance and then did the most remarkable thing; they went back into the burning house!

“Where is my Dad?” asked Wilson anxiously. “Is he okay? And what of the pup that saved the family? Will he get out alive?”

“I am only the Spirit of Christmas Present my little friend. I only know what is happening, not what will.”

Just as Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge Wilson decided to run into the home to look for his master and the heroic dog, everything began spinning, and in a swirl of light and color he was gone, this time inside a lovely home festooned with lights and music. Three dogs lived there, and were happily playing with the people of the house, eating mini hot dogs wrapped in pastry and bits of cheese.

“Wait, what?” said Scrooge.

“This is your neighbor’s home. See the merriment taking place? You could be involved if you were not such a crab!”

“What do you mean? I know these dogs, and like them not at all! I bark at them every time they congregate in front of my house, and protect everybody from imminent danger!”

“There is no danger, only some dogs out for a walk with their people, and you, you buffoon of a creature, cannot stop barking at them.”

“I’m only doing what dogs do.”

“Yes my little friend, this is true, but cannot you find in your heart the ability to overlook what you think to be true and give these fine young fellows a chance? Perhaps a friendship could be found, and you could play with them rather than scaring them away?”

“I don’t know, I never tried, I just don’t like them, but I think I might…”

“Ignorance and want does not a happy dog make, Mr. Wilson Scrooge. Come now my time on earth is nearly through, I have 2016 brothers and sisters waiting for me, hoping that I was able to spread some goodwill and cheer in this most dreary place, and especially in that sour little heart of yours!”

“Sour? How dare you, I am a dog of the most impeccable character!”

But Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge Wilson was talking to himself, back on his smelly old chair, looking at the clock as it approached the hour of three.

“Humbug,” he said, but without much conviction.


Stave Five – tomorrow…


Read Stave One here:

Read Stave Two here:

Read Stave Three here:


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.