Vinnie’s Home For the Christmas Holidays
Vinnie steps off the school bus, he slings his backpack over his shoulders and takes off down the street toward home as if a pit bulldog is nipping at his heels. Vinnie’s mom stands on the front porch watching him. She starts waving when she sees Vinnie step off the school bus at the corner of Mulberry Street. Dexter, the family dog, strains at the leash she holds in her hand, his nose pointing toward Vinnie. Dexter has two likely thoughts, one his friend Vinnie is home. And, more importantly maybe Vinnie didn’t eat all his lunch and he’ll give him what’s left. All Dexter cares about is food, it doesn’t matter if it’s cooked, raw, vegetable, dairy, meat, or road kill. Dexter starts howling when he detects food in Vinnie’s backpack. He hits high notes Pavarotti only wishes he could have hit in his prime.
Vinnie waves his arm at his mom and starts calling out to her two from two houses down, “Mom, Mom”.
His Mom smiles, she knows why Vinnie is excited. It’s Friday, December 18th. Schools are on holiday break for Christmas and New Years.
Vinnie runs up onto the porch. Dexter, Vinnie’s portly beagle, rises to his hind legs and stands against Vinnie’s leg. Vinnie bends over and hugs him, “I’m home buddy. No school for two weeks. I think you want what’s left of lunch.”
Dexter doesn’t have a clue what Vinnie said. Dexter’s world is simple, uncomplicated. All Dexter wants is a little love and little food. Vinnie unslings his backpack, opens it and reaches inside and pulls out a bean and cheese taco. He holds it up and says, “Sit, Dexter.”
Dexter sits, his tongue hangs out nearly to his paws, his eyes, laser fixed on the half eaten taco. Vinnie says, “Shake.”
Dexter sticks out his paw. Vinnie grasps it and says, “Good boy, here’s your taco.”
Vinnie lets go of Dexter’s paw, hands Dexter the Taco who drops it and consumes in three point two seconds. Vinnie laughs and gives his mom a hug.
Vinnie says, “Hi, Mom. Dexter is such a good dog, I wanted to surprise him. Think Santa will see how good I am to share with Dexter?”
His Mom steps back, “I’m sure Santa saw your good deed. That was so nice of you, Vinnie. Did you get enough to eat at school?”
“Oh, yah, Mom. It was Joey’s birthday and his mom brought in cupcakes and bought pizza for the whole class.”
“That was fun,” said Vinnie’s mom.
“I’ve got great news, Mom. Wait until you hear what happened to me at school,” says Vinnie.
Vinnie’s Mom says, “Great news? Better news than being on vacation?”
“For sure, Mom. But you’ll have to wait to hear it. I’m going to do my chores, you won’t have to remind me. Then I’m going to clean my room.”
“This doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas coming up, does it Vinnie?” says his mom.
Vinnie gave his mom a surprised look. “Mom, Christmas is still a week away. I’m always good, right, Mom? Santa doesn’t remember the bad stuff does he?”
Vinnie’s mom shrugged, “We’ll have to wait to see.”
When do I get to see Santa. I need to talk to him. I’m not sure he knows what I want for Christmas. I want to make sure he doesn’t forget. The only one I’ve told is Rupert and Rupert knows how to keep secrets,” Vinnie says.
“Get your chores done. Then, come and have your snack and tell me all about the good news that happened at school. I can’t wait to hear about it.”
As Vinnie walks into his room, his mom calls out, “After you tell me your good news, I’ve got some good news for you.”
Vinnie glances back over his shoulder toward his mom, but she already is walking toward the kitchen. Vinnie drops his backpack on the floor and dives head first onto his bed. He grabs hold of Rupert his stuffed grizzly bear and squeezes him. “Hi Rupert, I escaped from school. I’m out for two weeks. I pulled off a good one at school today. When Joey’s mom brought the pizza in from Tosca’s Pizza, in one of the boxes there was a packet of the red hot pepper. I opened it and sprinkled it on Freddy’s piece of pizza. You should have heard him hollering. He was saying his mouth was on fire. Mrs. Navis said she was going to call Tosca’s Pizza and complain.”
Vinnie tosses Rupert up in the air and catches him. He sets him on his chest and looks into Rupert’s glass eyes. He says, “Rupert, you got to help me come up with a good story for Santa about how good I am. I hope he doesn’t check with Mrs. Navis or Dr. Crossman. I’m not sure they like me.”
Vinnie’s mom interrupts his conversation with Rupert, “Vinnie, how are the chores coming?”
“I’m cleaning my room, Mom,” Vinnie climbs off the bed, places Rupert on the center of his pillow and carries his backpack over to his desk. He sticks the backpack under the desk, glances at it and says, “I don’t want to see you for two weeks.”
Vinnie hollers, “I’m done cleaning my room, Mom.”