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The clock on the mantle moved slower and slower toward twelve. My eyes were growing very scratchy and tired but I wouldn’t give up. Dan sat quietly by the window peeking out through mama’s lace curtains and yawned while Nancy held her doll tightly and clutched the old Sears and Roebuck Catalog.

“ Aren’t you getting tired?” dad said to me. “How ‘bout turning in.”

“Heck no.” I lied, “I’m going to watch this and see that it won’t happen.” I felt smug and confident that it wouldn’t and dad just smiled.

The clock ticked on until it was but 10 minutes to twelve midnight. Christmas eve was almost here, and now we’d all find out that dad had made it all up and I’d have a great laugh. Animals don’t care who’s birthday it is, they just don’t.

We three and dad stepped to the tall window and bent close to the glass and looked out. Dad checked his watch then looked at the big grandfather clock. That little rapid clicking sound it makes as it’s going to strike began, my heart was in my throat and I began to breath hard. We pressed our faces closer to the glass. The glass was frosting up as the clock’s chimes began. I started counting, “One, two, three . . .”

It was telling us that it was here, that Christmas Eve was finally here. I began to rub a clear spot on the frosted glass. The window began to squeak and suddenly I saw Wooly come out of his big box of straw. He came right out of his warm bed and stood there on the porch looking around. I rubbed some more and then whiskers the cat stood and looked around.

“What are they looking at?” I said. My eyes were as big as saucers.

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Last Update: 11/21/2001

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