It’s time to come home now

Me: Why do I have the feeling I’ve done something wrong?

Nell: Does St. Nicholas Day ring any bells?

Me: Oh no. It was yesterday. I forgot.

Nell: You did.

Me: Did you put your boots out?

Nell: We did.

Me: Did you clean them beforehand?

Nell: We did.

Me: Were you expecting to find presents in them in the morning?

Nell: We were.

Me: And were they empty?

Nell: No.

Me: No?

Nell: As soon as I realised you had forgotten I had an emergency meeting with Poppy, Malcolm and The Cat and we decided bacon was the answer.

Me: It usually is, although bacon in your boots might be a bit greasy.

Nell: Credit us with a little sense, please. Each animal received a note in their boots telling them to collect their present from the kitchen.

Me: Clever.

Nell: Poppy and Malcolm were waiting in their chefs outfits with bacon sandwiches and pots of tea while the Welsh corgi choir sang carols and The Cat distributed sequinned crowns.

Me: What about the non-bacon eaters?

Nell: Freshly shelled prawns, or a selection of garden leaves. We covered all bases.

Me: You saved the day.

Nell: There was a brief altercation with a bombastic Beefy in a bowler hat but it was dealt with swiftly.

Me: What did it do?

Nell: It joined the queue for bacon sandwiches with a forged note and a wet mackerel.

Me: What a cheek.

Nell: Poppy was having none of it. She said: ‘Go back to where you came from Mr Beefy. And take your smelly mackerel with you.’

Me: Good for Poppy.

Nell: It’s time for you to come home now.

Me: I will be back tomorrow afternoon. Will you be collecting me?

Nell: You know I will.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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