Dreaming of Tigers
When I was six, I’d been with my mom shopping. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas. We walked through the toy department. I always loved stuffed animals. (Actually still do. My house is full of them. J.) Way up high on the top shelf, were huge, stuffed, orange tigers. I almost fell backwards, tipping my head back to see them.
They were beautiful! I wanted one for Christmas so bad! But wasn’t sure Santa would be able to find them in the store. I mean, that would be quite a climb for the old guy. I made out my list of what I wanted. I don’t remember doing this, but my mom told me later I’d put it in the refrigerator to make sure she saw it. Not sure what I was thinking, since Santa was the one who needed to read it. Would he think to check in there?
I thought about those tigers a lot. Big green eyes. Striped tails. Pink tongue showing as the tigers smiled. Would I get one? Was it possible? I even had a dream that I lived among those tigers. Out in the forest. Of course, if never occurred to me that stuffed tigers didn’t need to hunt for food to survive. J. We were just all happy to be together. The tigers and I.
On Christmas morning, I ran in to my teenage brothers’ room to wake them up. My method of choice was to climb on their beds and jump on them. They didn’t appreciate that. Especially at 5 a.m. But, it was Christmas. Everybody needed to get up. Now! They grumped and mumbled, and said they’d be down. Eventually. My sister’s bedroom door remained closed. I knew if I couldn’t get our brothers out of bed, there was no way our older sister was going to get up. I sighed. Oh well. I tried. But that wasn’t going to stop me!
I ran down the steps, almost tripping. Why were there so many steps? Had there been that many when I’d gone to bed the night before? I thought I’d never get down there to the living room.
Where the tree was.
And the presents!
I jumped over the last two steps, landing hard on my bare feet. I rounded the corner around the banister. And there it stood. The tree. And stockings.
And…could it be?
I ran to the tree, knelt down, and peeked behind the branches. There, sitting as handsome and polite as a prince. A tiger! I got a tiger! For just an instant, I worried that he might be missing his fellow tigers in the store. But, I would make sure he wasn’t lonely. I would make sure he was loved.
I sighed and smiled. Yes. Santa did get my list from the refrigerator. And he was able to climb the tall shelves in the store.
I had my tiger. Christmas had come.
Ruth J. Hartman spends her days cleaning teeth, and her nights spinning sweet romantic tales that make you giggle, laugh, and all-out guffaw. She, her husband, and their two cats, love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats, Maxwell and Roxy, sit in the people's recliners. Not that the cats couldn't get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else's. You know how selfish those little furry creatures can be.
Ruth, a left-handed, tooth-scraping, Jeep driving, farmhouse-dwelling romance writer uses her goofy sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women and the men who adore them. Ruth's husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her in spite of her penchant for insisting all of her books have at least one cat in them. Or twelve. But hey, who's counting?
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