A small Christmas ficlet
Disclaimers: Not mine, never will be. ATF Belongs to Mog and ATF LB was started by others. Im so grateful to both of them for that first story.
A LB story for Christmas. Main characters are Josiah, Vin and JD
Rated G there's not even a hinted cuss word, well, maybe a hinted one off stage.
Thanks to Marnie for betaing for me.
Josiah, I dont know how to thank you for doing this for us, a tired Chris said as he leaned against the door jam.
Its no problem, Chris. Uncle Josiah is relishing the chance to have some quality time with his nephews. The big man smiled at his friend and boss.
It was Christmas Eve, and Buck and Chris had called, practically begging Josiah to take the boys for a few hours so they could finish things without hyper little boys with prying eyes.
Vin and JD, bundled up ran to the front door. Hi, Unca Josiah! they shouted.
Chris winced. Inside voices, boys.
Well, boys are you ready to go? Josiah asked.
Yeah! came the enthusiastic answer.
Uh, Unca Josiah, where are we going? JD asked.
Its a surprise. Ill tell you all about it as we go. Thanks for the loan of the Ram, Chris, itll help with the four wheel drive.
No problem. You do have your cell right? Chris asked.
Josiah grinned. Yes, I have my cell. Relax, you and Buck take a breather. He laughed as he got a yeah sure look from the blond and winced as he heard a crash and Buck yelling from inside the house.
Come on, boys, lets get going. The profiler hustled the boys to the truck and strapped them in. Once they were on their way with Christmas music playing softly he waited for the questions to start.
Where we going, Unca Josiah? JD asked.
To a place I know in the woods.
What we gonna do in the woods? We already got a tree. JD asked.
Vin, while listening, had been looking into the back of the truck. Whats in the boxes?
Theres all kinds of things in the boxes. I was reading a book the other day and it gave me an idea for starting a new tradition for us.
What kind of tradition?
Youll see. Lets sing with the radio. Loud but not very tuneful singing filled the pickup. Renditions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Here comes Santa Claus.
They stopped and parked on the edge of a camping area. It was closed for the winter so there were no people around. Okay, everybody helps carry stuff, Josiah said as he helped the boys out.
Okay, came two little voices.
Josiah handed JD a rolled blanket and Vin two Wal-Mart sacks to carry. Are those too heavy, Vin? He asked.
No, I can do it.
Okay, then Ill carry the box. The large man headed away from the truck working his feet so that his smaller companions would have a trail to follow. He stopped and set the box down after a few minutes. Here we are, boys.
Vin and JD looked around. Where are we, Unca Josiah?
Natures Christmas tree. Look, Josiah said pointing.
Before him stood a large pine tree, its branches covered with snow. I want you two to wait here while I go get more stuff. He said as he went back to the truck. Josiah was soon back carrying a bale of hay and another sack. Setting the bale and sack down he then took out his pocket knife and cut the twine that held the bale together. Spreading out the blocks of hay he took the blanket from JD and spread it out over the hay.
Now we have a place to sit. So I bet youre ready for me to tell you what were going to do?
Yep. What is all this stuff Unca Josiah? JD asked looking around.
We are going to decorate Natures Christmas tree. But not with bells and glass balls and lights but with things for the animals to eat.
Josiah started taking things out of the sacks. There were strings of popcorn and pressed grain balls and bells for the birds. There were apples and carrots and other vegetables that the animals would like to eat.
Now stand back Im going to shake the tree. Josiah reached into the center of the pine and began shaking it creating a mini snow storm. The boys laughed and giggled at their uncle covered with snow. JD clapped his gloved hands and jumped up and down.
Josiah shook his head and brushed the snow off his shoulders. Okay, now we can hang things on the tree.
They hung the seed bells and balls and apples on cotton string. Popcorn balls and strings of popcorn went round and round the tree. For under the tree Josiah cut up apples and carrots and let the boys scatter handfuls of crushed mullet, the boys giggling and dancing in the snow as they spread around the goodies for the wild animals.
Is that all, Unca Josiah? JD asked looking around.
Almost. Now lets sit down and I have some hot chocolate for us.
The boys sat down on either side of their uncle and watched as he poured two cups of steaming chocolate and handed a cup to each boy. Now be careful its very hot, he warned even though they could see the steam rising from the cups.
They sat and sipped the warm drink and enjoyed the sight of their special tree.
Will the animals really come and eat the stuff? Vin asked between sips.
I believe so. Probably not while were here though. But after we leave certainly. Theres enough grain for several days. So the animals will have a Christmas feast, too.
Josiah looked at each of the boys. You know there is an old legend that on Christmas Eve the animals can talk. Thats because there were animals blessed to be with Mary and Joseph when the baby Jesus was born.
Really? JD asked.
Thats what they say, Josiah answered.
Wow. Thatd be great. You think Milagro and Peso and Elvis and Ringo can talk too? Maybe Da will let us stay in the barn sos we can hear them, the little boy planned.
Josiah winced mentally. I dont know, JD, Im not sure theyd talk in front of you. Ive never seen it but I do believe it happens. Our Lord loved all the creatures of his world.
The boys sat absorbing this little tidbit of information until JD, never one to be quiet long asked, Unca Josiah, do you know what the snowmans singed to the other snowmans?
JD!!! Vin said in exasperation.
No, JD, what did they sing?
Freeze a jolly good fellow, JD said laughing so hard he could hardly get the words out.
Clearing his throat Josiah said, Thats pretty funny, JD.
I thinks so, but no one else does, he said as he stuck out his lower lip.
Josiah patted the boy on the back. It takes a special talent to appreciate a joke like that, JD.
JD beamed and stuck his tongue out at Vin.
Vin whispered to Josiah, Its a dumb joke.
Josiah smiled at him. Okay, now since we have a few more minutes before dark, lets sing a song. What would you like to sing?
Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, JD piped up.
Silent Night, Vin said.
Okay, how about we sing both?
They did just that with great enthusiasm. It was starting to get dark. Alright boys, gather the box and empty sacks and Ill get the blanket shook out and well head home.
Vin watched as Josiah shook the bits of hay from the blanket. Whats the hay for?
Its for the deer to eat, Josiah said. Lets head back to the truck now.
Vin followed the chatting JD and Josiah. Just before the tree was out of sight he turned and looked back. The small boy smiled to himself. He was sure he saw something small and furry sitting in the snow holding a piece of apple.
The boys climbed willingly into the truck and were relieved when the heater started to warm the truck cab. Josiah turned on the radio again and he hummed along with most of the songs while the boys dozed in the back.
It was dark by the time they reached the drive to the house. Boys, wake up. Were almost home, Josiah called as he slowly drove toward the house.
Waking, the boys stared out the window in astonishment. The house and barn were lit with an array of bright colored lights. It was bright as day as Josiah pulled to a stop and helped the boys out. The two dads stood on the porch grinning as the pups barked their welcome.
DA! You lighted the house, JD shouted as he ran to his father.
We sure did, Little Bit. Buck grinned.
Chris smiled down at his son. What do you think, Cowboy?
Its beautiful, Dad. You did all this while we was gone?
Josiah handed Chris the keys.
It was my pleasure, boss. I enjoyed every minute. Goodbye, boys, Ill see you tomorrow afternoon.
Bye, Unca Josiah, each boy said as they gave their uncle a hug. Vin looked him in the eye, You drive safe.
I will, Vin, you sleep sweet.
Vin nodded and joined Chris as they watched Josiah drive down the road. Did you have fun, Cowboy?
Yeah. Unca Josiah said we were starting a new tradition just for us, Vin answered.
That sounds great, lets go in and you can tell me all about it after supper. Are you hungry?
Yeah, kinda. We had hot chocolate, but Im cold again.
Lets go in then.
Much later that night Vin lay curled around Cat under a pile of blankets. He was supposed to be asleep, even Chris and Buck were in bed, but he couldnt go back to sleep. The boy lay on his side watching the almost full moon through the window. He thought about the Christmas tree theyd decorated that afternoon. In his minds eye he could see all the animals coming to snack on the goodies theyd left. There were deer munching the green hay and squirrels and chipmunks under the tree. Red birds, and blue birds would be pecking at the grain balls and bells. Maybe even an elk would come by and eat, the bright moon shining down on them as they ate.
Vin smiled to himself at the thought of all the animals having a special Christmas, too. He was so lucky to have Uncle Josiah, and Uncle Nathan and Aunt Raine, and Uncle Ezra. But most of all he and JD were the luckiest little boys alive to have his Dad and Buck, who were the best fathers in the world. Vin sighed, since Chris had found him hed been safe, and warm and hadnt ever been hungry. Chris loved him even when he was bad or scared and had dopted him making him his true son. He was the luckiest boy in the world and he knew it, he knew his momma knew it, too, and was happy for him, even if she had to stay with the angels, it was okay cause he had Chris now to help him grow up and be the kind of Tanner shed want him to be.
Yawning again Vins eyes slid closed and he smiled as he fell asleep. Tomorrow was Christmas.