“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 55: A Little Miracle

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

In the deep, gloomy dark Ebenezer Pooch patiently waited, watching for the spirit he’d long anticipated. Alone with his thoughts he huffed and he sighed, as uncomfortable feelings displaced his old pride.

“Bitty Bing and the others, what must they see when they look at me? Some sort of monster, or an object of pity…?”

A scent caught his nose but no footsteps he heard, just a smell like cold earth and one haunting word:

“Look.”

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A black dog he was, eyes bright as hot coals, that burned in the dark like two wandering souls. Ebenezer was shaken right down to his core, standing face to face with this ghost out of lore.

“If Past and Present have seen me this night, then you must be…what’s yet to come,” whispered Ebenezer, the last few words drying his tongue.

The spirit nodded with an expression quite grave, but unlike his predecessors, no answers he gave. His footsteps fell with a hollow sound as he led his poor charge on one final round.

Ebenezer’s Lodge was the scene, as two times before, but something was different…

…the dogs were no more.

No canines were splashing in the pools all carefree, nor happily barking or chasing with glee. The yards were left bare in a silence so eerie, Ebenezer’s wide eyes went wet and bleary.

“This isn’t right,” he said with a cry. “Where have all the dogs gone, why – ?”

The ominous specter’s lips remained sealed, but with the tilt of his head a new scene was revealed. Old Ebenezer, his face aged and gray, sat alone in the yard, with no one to play. His annual Christmas wish was brought to life in this vision, but the sight of it now filled him with great indecision.

“I was hostile to the others, I’ll admit it, I know. But was this what I wanted? For everyone to go…?”

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The spirit was unmoved, his ember-eyes gone cold, but this callous response made Ebenezer grow bold.

“This isn’t what I wanted, you must change it back! Only now that they’re absent can I see what I’d lack!”

The darkness burst through the dull colors of this dream, pulling Ebenezer back before he could scream. All spirits had faded as he fell to his bed, their messages strumming on the strings in his head. His eyes they shot open with one beat of his heart, and he found himself suspended in a work of art.

A tree lit the room with a magical glow, and the branches were dusted with glitter like snow. A tiny sock hung from the fireplace mantel, filled to the brim with delicious treats and kibble!

His father came down with his limbs all a flurry, and Ebenezer could see he was in quite a hurry.

“Merry Christmas, Ebenezer – do you like what I’ve done? This is just the beginning, oh no – we’ve got to run!”

He ran to the door and grabbed bags full of food and toys, his eyes come alive with a thousand new joys.

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So it isn’t too late, Ebenezer thought with a smile. I won’t throw away what I learned through that trial!

As they sped toward the Lodge, Ebenezer felt lighter, his spirits were bright and he held his head higher. Running into the yards he rejoiced when he saw all the dogs playing together and having a ball. Every smiling face, some old and some new, carved a space in his heart – he knew what to do.

“May I have everyone’s attention, please? Can you all gather round? I don’t have all day, hurry up! And don’t make a sound!”

The dogs came begrudgingly to hear his abuse, putting the rolling capability of their eyes to good use.

“Now listen up, all of you, every last one! I left something out yesterday, which I should not have done!”

At the front of the crowd sat the puppy whose words placed a seed in Ebenezer’s heart that he’d never deserved.

“To all those I wished would be gone from this place…”

The crowd didn’t breathe, didn’t move, didn’t speak. Their waiting went on for what felt like a week.

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“…I apologize from the depths of my heart. Though I know I’m unworthy, could you make me a space?”

The Lodge dogs were stunned, they just couldn’t believe that their crotchety neighbor would ask to receive.

“You have plenty of space, you don’t need more!”

“He’s mocking us now, let’s show him the door!”

But one little bark silenced all arguing – the teeny, tiny voice of their friend, Bitty Bing.

“Mr. Pooch wants our friendship, can’t you all see? And after he tried to apologize nicely! It’s the season of giving, so let’s all strive to be, what we already are: a loving family.”

The dogs bowed their heads, and they knew he was right. They welcomed Ebenezer gladly, no one put up a fight.

Ebenezer approached his small defender with great glassy eyes, who spoke up with courage in spite of his size.

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Pooch, and believe me when I say, we want you to play with us now, and always.”

Ebenezer Pooch nodded, he’d truly been changed. With the help of three ghosts his life was rearranged. He now welcomed strangers and gave what he could, and a kinder dog would not be found, if anyone should.

Running together and having great fun, Bitty Bing piped up gladly,

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“On this Christmas Day, God bless us, every one!”

…to be continued…