Ampersand stepped out on the back porch. His front feet slid out in front of him and his back paws slid out on either side of him. Ampersand did not like slushy ice. He did not like snow, and he definitely did not like cold mornings. He picked up his paws one by one and tried to move forward. Mrs. Green found it amusing to watch him walk across the icy grass. It was as if he was trying to walk without touching the ground. One paw at a time, he lifted each foot, shook it a bit to remove the slush and proceeded to do the same with the next paw until he got where he was going.
While Mrs. Green found Ampersand’s stride amusing Mr. Green thought it was down right funny. He laughed until tears came to his eyes. Ampersand looked back over his shoulder at the back door as if to remind them he knew they were watching him and he was not amused.
School was delayed that day so everything started a little later. That gave Mrs. Green time to prepare for Juliette’s visit.
Juliette walked in the door, took off her coat and quickly went over to the comfy chair and patted Ampersand on the head. She knew he did not like cold icy mornings.
Juliette tucked the green and purple quilt over his paws and moved it a little. Ampersand buried his nose under the covers. Juliette knew this was how Ampersand comforted himself.
Mrs. Green was all ready. The crock pot sat on the kitchen counter with three mason jars full of melted chocolate.
Juliette looked up at Mrs. Green. She turned her head a bit and said, “Chocolate.”
“Yes! Juliette, today we will be making chocolate for your Mama for Valentines Day!”
Mrs. Green motioned for Juliette to follow her into the kitchen. She pulled up a stool and showed Juliette the three jars of milk, dark, and white chocolate all melted and looking silky and temping in the jars. Mrs. Green had all kinds of things ready for Juliette to dip in the chocolate sitting on a plate right next to the crock pot. Mrs. Green pointed to each item and Juliette told her what it was.
“Banana, strawberry, pretzel, marshmallow.”
There was one item Juliette did not know the name of, so Mrs. Green helped her.
“Pineapple,” Mrs. Green said.
“Oh, pineapple,” Juliette repeated.
They had a lovely time dipping pretzels, strawberries, and pineapple, laying them out on wax paper and sprinkling sprinkles on them. The marshmallows were messy but Juliette seemed to enjoy those most of all.
Juliette pointed to the strawberries and pineapple covered in thick white and dark chocolate and said, “Yum!” Juliette loved chocolate just as much as Mrs. Green did.
As the chocolate sat drying on the wax paper Mrs. Green wanted to take Ampersand outside. She did not want him slipping on the back stairs again, like he had earlier in the morning. So she asked Mr. Green if he would help Juliette with a taste of some of the chocolate treats they had made. Mr. Green and Juliette were great friends and he was happy to oblige.
Mrs. Green put Ampersand’s leash on and walked out the front door saying,
“I will be right back Juliette. Mr. Green will help you. Only one taste of chocolate. Understand?”
Juliette nodded her head.
Juliette and Mr. Green stood frozen in the kitchen until the front door closed behind Mrs. Green. Juliette looked at Mr. Green and Mr. Green looked at Juliette. They both ran to the front window to watch Mrs. Green walk Ampersand with his funny kicking paws down the street. Then Mr. Green motioned to Juliette back to the kitchen.
It was common knowledge that Mrs. Green loved chocolate, and Mr. Green loved snacks.
Mr. Green opened the snack cabinet and started pulling things out. Juliette clapped her hands.
When Mrs. Green and Ampersand returned from their walk, Juliette had chocolate from ear to ear. On the wax paper, next to the chocolate dipped strawberries, pretzels and marshmallows were the most interesting array of chocolate covered snacks Mrs. Green had ever seen.
There were chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered fruit snacks, chocolate covered licorice, chocolate covered popcorn, chocolate covered chewing gum, chocolate covered bacon, and chocolate covered plastic spoons.
Juliette looked at Mrs. Green, held up her chocolate covered index finger and said, “Only one.”
Mr. Green finished chewing what was in his mouth, swallowed and said, “Of each.”
Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015
Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.