Sam had been dozing in front of the kitchen’s open fire. Little flames gently crackled this way and that from the slow-burning wood. He was as excited as Zachariah and Sophie.
The noise of field mice scratching under the wooden floor was usually a comfort to Sam. He knew all the usual cabin sounds, smells, and sights. As a proud defender of the Brockman family and their home, he had to know all these things.
That’s why his guard went up when an unfamiliar aroma suddenly passed over his nose. It somehow reminded him of Christmas – a little pine, a touch of peppermint and a dash of gingerbread. But, the Christmas Day festivities wouldn’t start until tomorrow, and all the Brockman family were still fast asleep.
So where was this ‘Christmas’ aroma coming from? And why was the ceiling creaking and moaning right now? Sam picked himself up and began his investigation.
Sam followed his perceptive nose, leading him to the newest and furthest room of the house. It was Mr. Brockman’s recent addition, one that many other townsmen had helped him with. He’d hoped to finish it by Christmas day as a nice surprise for Mrs. Brockman and the kids. And it was almost there… all complete except for the new chimney.
Sam entered the large room, sat in the middle and sniffed the now stronger ‘Christmas’ scent. He put his nose in the air, took one long whiff, and marched right over to the partially completed chimney hearth.
“How strange,” thought Sam as a few small pieces of debris fell from the chimney, right onto his nose! He perked up one of his long floppy ears and now heard a distant muffled voice. Sam did what he thought best as a guard dog, and gave a short warning bark!