This little Christmas story was born from a “tub tale” invented by myself and my youngest. (Tub tales are short stories that we play while she’s in the tub.) Hope you enjoy!
“Only four more days till Christmas!” Jaguar clapped her paws, “My VERY FIRST Christmas! I wonder what we do?”
Jaguar was new to Christmas Forest. And she missed her jungle. In the jungle, the sun was not a bright, yellow ball. Soft, fluffy sunbeams floated to the jungle floor. In the jungle, she could hide underneath the leaves all day. Her spots blended in. In the jungle, she was wrapped in a warm blanket of heat.
On the other side of Christmas Forest, Little Horse whinnied.
“Jaguar needs the perfect present – I want to help her have the best first Christmas EVER.”
Little Horse thought.
“I know! Soft, green grass. She will love it.”
Further into Christmas Forest, Wolf emerged from her den.
“Just four days left till Christmas. I must find the perfect present for Jaguar.”
Wolf sat perfectly still on her thinking rock.
“What about snow? Fluffy, powdery snow for her to play in.”
Later in the morning, Water Rat peeked out from his hole.
“Hmmm…Jaguar’s first Christmas. What gift would she like best?”
He dipped his fishing reed into Holiday Stream.
“That’s it! Water to swim in. She will love that.”
In a field at the edge of Christmas Forest, Little Horse neighed with delight.
“I found some! The last green grass in this cold, cold winter.”
Prowling through the woods, Wolf caught sight of white.
“Powdery fluff. Just right.”
Water Rat shuffled along beside the sliding stream.
“Just around this bend, the stream should widen into a still pool. Is it there? Yes!”
Water Rat dove into the water and sighed.
“Jaguar will love this. Now how to wrap it?”
Christmas Day dawned bright and clear.
“Merry Christmas, Jaguar!” Little Horse, Wolf, and Water Rat cheered.
“Open my present first!” Little Horse pawed impatiently.
Jaguar unwrapped a packet of soft, green grass.
“Me next,” growled Wolf.
She passed Jaguar a pretty bag. Inside was fluff-cold snow.
“Follow me for your gift,” motioned Water Rat.
The friends followed him to the still, cool pond. A bright, red bow hung from a nearby tree.
Jaguar was quiet. And her three friends realized something.
“Jaguar, I am the one who loves to eat and to run in the soft, green grass.” Little Horse’s neck curved sadly.
“And I like to prowl and prance in the fluff-cold snow,” murmured Wolf.
“Do you even know how to swim?” Water Rat wondered.
“We have given you gifts that we wanted!” the three friends cried.
Jaguar looked at each of them.
“Little Horse, how did you know that I have missed having a place to curl up to sleep? And Wolf, how did you know that I have never felt snow and I have always wanted to? And Water Rat, how did you know that I have wanted to learn to swim?”
“You mean…you like our gifts?” Water Rat asked. “Your gifts are perfect! They show me that you love me and that you welcome me to the forest.” Jaguar purred, “And that is the best gift of all!”