I have been nominated by my blogging friend, Mark Bialczak, to participate in the Five Photo Five Series Challenge.
Back when I lived in Colorado, way up in the mountains, I shared a house with my friend, two Great Danes and an Old English Sheepdog. Those were simple times. Every Christmas, we would take the dogs to the Mall, so they could have their picture taken with Santa. This was Alex’s first Christmas (she is the little Great Dane who looks like she has antennae, instead of ears – her ears were cropped – something I do not do with my Great Danes anymore – thankfully). Going to the Mall was a huge deal for the dogs. I don’t think it was seeing Santa that was so exhilarating, but the fact that they actually got to go into the Mall (with a Food Court) – that was the exciting part.
This one particular Christmas, we took all three dogs. Sophie (the Old English Sheepdog) was beside herself with the excitement. As usual, the appearance of these enormously large dogs, made quite a stir when we entered the Mall (Great Danes were not seen very much back then). We heard the usual comments (Oh, did you leave her saddle at home, or How much do those dogs eat). We made our way to Santa’s house, which in itself was a slow process, as Sophie had to stop and smell every garbage receptacle along the way. Waiting patiently in line, we stood and watched as all the little, tiny dogs took their turns sitting with Santa, and had their pictures taken. Most of the dogs in line were small enough to be held, but obviously that was not an option with our dogs.
Our turn came. We approached Santa, who sat in a big chair, under what was supposed to a rendition of his house in the North Pole. Santa’s eyes widened, and a little glimmer of fear flitted across his face as he saw Sophie and Sheila (the black Great Dane) walk towards him. I am pretty sure he was thinking to himself “Oh my goodness, I did not sign up for this.” But he was committed. He was in his Santa suit, ensconced in his Santa chair in the middle of his Santa house, surrounded by a picket fence. A crowd had gathered. They all wanted to see how the big Great Dane and the Old English Sheepdog would fare sitting with Santa or maybe they wanted to see if Santa was going to survive the attack of three cute a** puppies, all at once.
Things were going swimmingly well. We had all three girls lined up. Alex was on Santa’s lap, Sheila was at Santa’s side and Sophie was on the other side. Somewhere amongst the crowd a child let out a blood-curdling scream, which reverberated through the Mall. The shrill scream made Sheila (the black Great Dane) jump sideways, in turn causing Sophie and Alex to jump the other direction. With Sheila’s little sideway dance, a most curious thing happened. She managed to land on the picket fence surrounding Santa’s house, crushing it with her 170 pound mass. And then the domino effect began. The entire fence fell down, which in and of itself would not have been such a horrible thing, but apparently the fence was the stabilizing factor for the ENTIRE house. And in slow motion the house began to crumble. As the picket fence lay down flat on the carpet of fake snow, one side of the house tilted, the other side followed suit. Santa, with his big tummy, successfully extricated himself from his throne after several attempts, as the house crumbled with a loud crash onto the raised platform where his Santa chair stood. After the total annihilation of Santa’s house, the only thing that still stood amongst the rubble, was Santa’ empty chair.
Needless to say I was quite horrified, but I was also too busy trying to round up dogs, to really take in the enormity of what had just happened. We did finally get the photo, with Santa, in Santa’s chair sans Santa’s house, but it just wasn’t the same. Interestingly enough, Santa never came back to the Mall after that.
Rules of Engagement:
Here’s how this challenge works: You post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph that shares your insight or inspiration of or from the image. I am supposed to nominate someone to participate, but I know it is the weekend, and people have things to do. If someone would like to take part in this challenge, I will extend a nomination to them.
Photo: Please appreciate the look of fear in Santa’s eyes. Also note the ‘Yoda’ position of Sheila’s ears – that always meant she was really annoyed!