I think I'll let you read Part 2 of yesterday's story. Hope you enjoy it!
Christmas Eve at the Backdoor
Last time . . .
Smiling, Mrs. Kabrick closed the door and went to call her children. It was good to be able to stay home today.
While the family were eating breakfast, a second knock sounded at the door.
“Mornin’ Mrs. Kabrick, children,” Officer Caldwell greeted everyone. “Merry Christmas. I was just ready to leave the house this morning, when the missus asked me to dispose of something. But it was such a mite of a thing, I didn’t have the heart to. Perhaps you’ll accept it as a Christmas gift.” With that he pulled from his pocket a small grey kitten and placed it in Cindy’s eager hands.
“Oh!” she exclaimed in delighted excitement, “Can we really keep him?”
“Can we, Mama?” echoed Ceddy while the other two added their entreaties.
Throwing up her hands, Mrs. Kabrick laughed. “Yes, yes, you can keep him.” Then aside to Officer Caldwell, she added, “Thank you for saving one for them.”
With a grin and a wink, the officer departed, closing the backdoor softly behind him.
It was difficult for the children to take care of their chores that morning, for no one wanted to leave the kitten, whom they named Jingle Bell. At last, having made a cozy bed for the kitten near the stove with an old towel in an apple crate, they reluctantly scattered.
Mrs. Kabrick was in the middle of washing up the breakfast dishes when another knock came on the backdoor. Drying her hands on her apron, she hurried across the room to find Edward Conway, the older son of the village grocer standing out in the cold.
“Well, Edward, what brings you out on a cold Christmas Eve morning?” the surprised woman asked. “Come inside and get warm.”
Pulling off his cap, Edward smiled. “Thanks, Mrs. Kabrick, but I’ve got to get back to the store. Dad has a few more deliveries he wants me to make before lunch.” He had lifted a good sized box from the steps which Mrs. Kabrick hadn’t noticed before, and stepped in to set in on the table. “There you are. Merry Christmas!”
Surprised, Mrs. Kabrick stared first at the box and then at her visitor who had turned to the door. “Wait a minute, Edward,” she called.
The young man turned. “Yes ma’am?”
“There must be some mistake. I didn’t order anything. The few supplies I needed Roger brought home with him yesterday. You must have gotten the addresses mixed up.”
With a shake of his blond head, Edward replied, “No mistake with the address since there wasn’t one.”
“The paper sitting on the box reads Mrs. Kabrick as plain as day. You are the only Mrs. Kabrick in town unless Roger or Ceddy have gone and gotten themselves married,” and the grocer’s son grinned at his own words.
“But I didn’t order anything,” Mrs. Kabrick protested again.
Edward shrugged. “Maybe not, but someone must have.”
“I wouldn’t know, but I do know that if I don’t get back to the store, Dad is likely to make me work this afternoon. Merry Christmas, Mrs. Kabrick!” he called, hurrying from the warm kitchen into the cold winter morning.
For several minutes Mrs. Kabrick stood and looked at the box on her table. Where had it come from, who had sent it and what was inside? Before she had a chance to do more than stare, the children raced into the room, stopping short as they caught sight of the box on the table.
“Where’d it come from?”
“Who brought it?”
With a laugh, Mrs. Kabrick shook her head. “I don’t know many answers. Edward Conway just delivered it, but he couldn’t tell me who had sent it. Let’s open it and find out what it is, shall we?”
There was a clamorous assent and Roger quickly brought a hammer to open the crate. Inside they found a turkey, cranberries, potatoes, flour, salt, sugar, apples, cinnamon and, in short, everything needed to make a Christmas Day dinner fit for the mayor of Clydesdale. For several minutes the Kabrick kitchen was in a tumult. Mrs. Kabrick had sunk down onto a chair with her face buried in her apron, while the children jumped and skipped around the room singing and shouting with excitement.
At last, Mrs. Kabrick dried her eyes and said, “Calm down, children or the neighbors will think we have gone crazy. I don’t know, maybe we have. Whoever heard of giving a whole Christmas feast away?”
“Oh Mama,” Ceddy exclaimed, pressing close to his mother’s knee. “Are we really going to have a feast tomorrow?”
Putting her arm around her youngest son, Mrs. Kabrick smiled through happy tears. “Yes, Ceddy, I do believe we are.”
Shortly afterwards, when the unexpected feast had been put away for tomorrow, the family gathered about the living room to enjoy the tree and make paper chains to hang around the room. The air was filled with laughter, snatches of Christmas carols and merry talk. Into the hubbub, came the sound of a heavy pounding on the backdoor.
“Now who could that be?” Mrs. Kabrick wondered, rising and setting aside her knitting to answer the summons. “Mr. Gardner,” she smiled at the mailman stood on the steps. “Have you been knocking long?”
“A few minutes, Mrs. Kabrick,” he answered. “I kind of figured you all must be busy, but I have a package I need you to sign for.” He held out his paper.
Mrs. Kabrick signed it and said, returning it, “I don’t know who could be sending me something that needed signed for.”
Mr. Gardner shrugged. “I wouldn’t know, but here it is and here’s your mail. Merry Christmas, Mrs. Kabrick. Merry Christmas kids!” The friendly mailman waved to the children crowding around the door.
“Merry Christmas!” they called back and the backdoor was shut.
“Brr,” Mrs. Kabrick shivered, “it’s gotten colder I do believe.” She looked down at the small package in her hand.
“Think we’ll get snow, Mom?” Roger asked eagerly.
Looking up, Mrs. Kabrick shook her head. “I don’t know, Roger. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
What do you think happens next?