The Dog’s Wish
Wish Star, Wish Star,
This wish of mine.
Bring me food, a fire, a bed
Warmth and love to rest my head.’
It was a very excited group that set out that evening from Mrs Porfitt’s house. Lisette stepped carefully through the snow in her boots, a pair of cream slippers in a bag hanging from her wrist. Under her warm wool cloak she wore the new red velvet dress and her heart sang with pride. Mr Bonn waved at passers by in his Santa suit. He wore a thick leather belt round his middle and had stuffed a cushion into the front of the suit to make himself look more rounded. He remembered that he was going to spend the night with friends, and his heart sang with joy. Mrs Porfitt carried a tray of gingerbread baked by her daughter for the great feast. In a corner, the wish star’s wish twinkled. Mrs Porfitt was so happy to see Mr Bonn and Lisette smiling on this Christmas night, and so glad that the Mayor would have his longed-for party, and her heart sang with thankfulness.
The snow was beginning to fall thick and fast around them, and there were icy patches on the ground. Lisette held onto Mr Bonn’s arm to help him through the streets, and Mrs Porfitt tried her best not to slip on the glass-like pavements. As they passed one particular corner the wish star’s wish went to work once more. Mrs Porfitt lost her balance on a piece of ice and the tray of gingerbread tipped over. One of her gingerbread rounds fell to the ground and rolled out into the road.
The dog that was hiding under the hedge, trying not to think about how cold the snow was on his paws and his nose, smelled the warm gingerbread as it rolled away and dashed out after the scent. Lisette cried out in alarm as the dog raced past her and away down the street. The wish star’s wish sparkled as it went round and round on the gingerbread, bouncing over the cobblestones, gathering speed as it went. The dog ran faster and faster, but he could not catch it.
When the gingerbread reached the end of the street, it collided with the foot of a young man who was on his way home from work, dragging behind him the tree that would be set up that night in his front room and decorated for Christmas Day. He felt the gentle knock of something against his ankle and looked down. The first thing he saw was a warm round of gingerbread lying in the snow. The second thing he saw was a bedraggled dog, looking at him with hungry eyes.
The young man bent down and picked up the gingerbread, and offered it to the dog. The dog ate it in one gulp, enjoying the warmth of the spices and the sweetness of the sugar. He gave a little bark of thanks to the young man and wagged his tail.
The young man leaned over and patted the dog on the head. He was a friendly soul and out on a cold night, clearly in need of a good home. The young man had a kind heart and did not like to see an animal in need. There was food and warmth enough for all of them at his house. He made up his mind.
‘You are coming home with me,’ he said to the dog.
And the wish star’s wish twinkled where the dog would soon have a collar.