How Two Little Buckaroos Found Christmas Spirit
Inspired by a story I read in Brownies
Once upon a time, there were two brothers who lived on a ranch in Oregon with their mom and dad. Their names where Charlie and Garrett. They were best friends and seemed to always be getting into trouble together. It’s not that they were exactly naughty per say, but they did have a lot of energy and when it was cold out like Oregon is come December, they got into more mischief than usual. Their mother tried to get Charlie and Garrett to help her make Christmas cookies to take to their neighbor Mr. George who lived all by himself. The boys didn’t care that Mr. George was alone and had no grandsons to bring him cookies at Christmas time. All they wanted to do was crash their toy trucks into the kitchen wall, gallop their stick horses down the hall and jump off the top bunk bed and see who could make the most noise.
The boys didn’t notice they were making more and more of a mess in their mother’s house and she was getting more and more fed up with their antics. Until, that is, Charlie pushed Garrett off the back of the couch and Garrett started roaring when his head smacked on the hard floor. It hurt a little, but more than anything he was mad at his brother for getting the best of him! Both boys got very quiet though when their mother came storming into the living room. “Look at you two! You’re not being fun or nice at all! And not only have you made a mess of the whole house, but you haven’t entered into the Christmas spirit!” Their mom rarely got upset or raised her voice and since she was doing both, Charlie and Garrett were very nervous. “Since you two are so bent on being naughty, why don’t you go outside and see if you can’t find some Christmas spirit?” She stared at both of them very sternly with her hands on her hips. When she looked like that she even made their father nervous and he wasn’t even afraid of the big Angus bull out back! The boys sheepishly bundled up in their winter caps and boots, wrapped their wild rags around their necks, pulled on their gloves, zipped up their Carhartt coats and quietly closed the door behind them as they headed out into the snowy cold.
Charlie and Garrett headed down the trail of packed snow that led to the woods where the family had cut down their Christmas tree the week before. “What do you think she meant by Christmas spirit, Charlie?” Garrett asked. Garrett almost always asked the questions because he was littler and Charlie almost always had an answer because he was bigger. Sometimes he didn’t know the actual answer and just made one up instead. “I don’t know, Garrett.” As they continued walking away from the house, they spooked up some cheeky magpies. “Hey!” Charlie yelled at the black and white birds. “Do you know where we can find the spirit of Christmas?” but the birds had no answer and just flew off instead, cawing the whole time. Charlie and Garrett wandered and wandered, getting more and more tired and cold. When the windows of their house were lit up like a ginger bread house, the brothers slowly returned home, hands cold and hearts empty, with no Christmas cheer.
Charlie and Garrett were abnormally quiet during supper and sat in front of the fireplace while their mom put the leftover dinner away. “I’m tired and cranky and I’m just going to go to bed, boys.” mom said to the brothers. “I hope you have sweet dreams.” “Good night mom.” “Good night mom!”
After Charlie and Garrett’s dad had finished watching his football game and gone to bed, the boys were still curled up in front of the dying fire and maybe even nodding off a bit. All of a sudden there was a noise. An odd noise. A noise that seemed to be strangely out of place. “Charlie?” Garrett whispered. “Did you hear that?” Charlie listened hard. There it was again! It almost sounded like a yearling bull snorting in the cold, but it sounded awfully….dusty. All of a sudden the big buffalo skull that hung above the fireplace shook its head and CAME TO LIFE! Both Charlie and Garrett shot backwards like they had seen a rattlesnake! The boys had always called the old buffalo skull “Jerry.” Now Jerry’s eye sockets glowed blue in the dark living room and he fixed the little buckaroos cowering below him with a firey stare. “You boys,” the old buffalo said in a voice like thunder and the sound of hooves stampeding the range echoed in the distance. “Don’t have any Christmas spirit in you today!” Neither boy could speak from shock, but they nodded their heads dumbly. “I was watching you in here all afternoon, and I could see you out searching in the woods. Did you think it was something you could touch?” Charlie looked at Garrett and Garrett looked at Charlie. “I don’t know, sir.” Charlie spoke up bravely. “We were just looking I guess.” Jerry the buffalo snorted in amusement. “The spirit of Christmas isn’t something you can hold, boys. It’s in your hearts! You know how your mother wanted you to help make cookies to take to your neighbor Mr. George?” Since the old buffalo seemed to expect an answer Garrett said, “Yes sir?” “Showing others love is what the spirit of Christmas is all about! Just like the Christ child showed us love by being born to the Virgin Mary long ago in Bethlehem. Think of other’s more than yourself.” The boys knew the story well and looked at each other and smiled. “I think I have an idea,” said Charlie. “I think I do as well.” Garrett said and helped his brother to his feet. “Thank you for helping us find the spirit of Christmas!” they said to the now still Jerry and they tiptoed to the door.
All through the night, Garrett and Charlie worked hard to show others the spirit of Christmas. They shoveled the snow outside of old Mr. George’s house and stacked the wood neatly beside his door. They salted his front steps so the ice would melt and put new straw in the dog’s house. Once back inside their own home, Garrett and Charlie tried to show their mother that they had learned about the spirit of Christmas. They did the dinner dishes and swept the kitchen floor. They filled up the kindling box beside the fireplace and they put all their toys away. When morning light was showing, the boys were just falling asleep. When Garrett and Charlie’s mother got up in the morning, she was so surprised! “Merry Christmas, my little buckaroos.” She whispered. When the boys got up and helped their mom finish decorating the cookies they were all going to take to Mr. George, they could have sworn they saw Jerry the old buffalo skull wink in their direction.
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xo xo Elizabeth