You Ainít Santa Claus
by: E Walk

(© 2009 by the Author)
 

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 17

Puppies and Kittens Can Be Friends

 

I was awakened by the sound of the paper being delivered.  I disengaged myself from the little body who had his arm around me.  After a stop in bathroom, I put on a warm up suit.  As I was getting ready to leave the bedroom, I looked at my three guys.  I started to get tears in my eyes as I was thinking, 'Oh, what a beautiful sight.'

 

I started the coffee and retrieved the paper.  I decided to look at the financial papers that we had received from Mr. Lassiter, Charles and Ian.  I looked at them and all I saw was a bunch of big numbers.  I was scratching my head when my Dad walked in, "What's the matter, son?"

 

"Dad, I'm not a numbers person; these financial reports are meaningless to me.  All I see is a bunch of big numbers."

 

"Remember, Kirk, this is your Dad, the pastor.  The only numbers I understand are how many people are attending church each week and how much money did they contribute."

 

I started to laugh, "Gee whiz, Dad, I thought the most important number to you was 'How many souls did I save this week?'"

 

"Watch it kid!  Why don't you take the reports to a C.P.A. and have him explain what the reports are saying?"

 

Dad Thornton appeared just as Dad made his last comment.  "What reports?"

 

"Hi, Dad Thornton, after you left last night, Ian and Charles provided these financial reports to us.  They are like reading Greek to me.  I have no idea what they are saying.  The same is true of the reports we received at the bank yesterday.  Dad, was suggesting that we sit down and go over the reports with a C.P.A. so he or she could explain them in terms that Dan and I can understand."

 

"Charles Fort is a C.P.A.  Dan and I were talking last night, wondering why Charles, or Chuck, is working as a handy man around Belle Monte.  We have a great many questions that we would like to have answered.  I've decided that being the father of two well to do boys isn't going to be as easy as it sounds."

 

My Dad looked at me, "Kirk, if you have questions about what's happening, then be blunt and ask.  Now that we have two grandsons, you have an obligation to make sure they are provided for, properly."

 

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Ryan, "Daddy, are Hodge and Podge okay?"

 

"Yep, I gave them some warm milk and they gobbled it down like little piggies.  They're asleep in one of the baskets.  I think they went to bathroom in their litter box.  We'll need to clean it after breakfast.  Where's your brother and other Dad?"

 

"Dad Dan was shaving and Nate was still snoring."

 

Nate entered the kitchen, "I was not snoring.  Dad, if me and Ryan own Belle Monte, does that mean we get to decide what happens?"

 

I was sucking air because I had no idea where Nate was going with that question, "Nate, why did you ask that question?"

 

Nate put an arm around Dad Thornton, "When Grandpa and Grandma Thornton  and Granddad and Grandmother Richter have to go home, can we give them some fresh eggs?"

 

I sighed a sigh of relief, "Of course you can."

 

The two mothers appeared and I started to make scrambled eggs and had way more help than I needed.  We were just finishing breakfast, with Ryan still in his pajamas, when Will and Brandon arrived.  Did they knock?  No, they just walked in.

 

Brandon announced, "Guys, we're here to take the Santa tree to Belle Monte and plant it where you want it.  I have the backhoe to help us dig the hole to plant it in.  Ryan, you might want to get dressed while Will and I load the tree in the truck."

 

Ryan moved faster than Superman, after he excused himself.  As the guys were getting ready to leave, Ryan reminded us, "Dads, you need to bring Hodge and Podge to Belle Monte so they aren't lonely.  We'll find a place to keep them so they don't ruin any of the furniture."

 

"Granddads and Grandmas, you need to make sure our Dads behave themselves.  We'll see you at Belle Monte."

 

After the two boys left with Brandon and Will, we told the parents what happened after they left Belle Monte the night before.  I wasn't sure how my Dad would react when we told them about going to The Golden Nuggets."

 

His reaction was far different than what I was expecting, "We'll have to find out when the guys are performing the next time.  I've always wanted to go to club like that and see what went on.  This is the perfect opportunity, since no one will realize that I'm a man of the cloth."

 

My Mother was caught totally by surprise, "Stan, that's no way for a pastor to talk!"

 

Dan's Mother was laughing, "Mary, it might be fun to go check out the guys and see what we have been missing all these years."

 

Dan told the parents about the guys wanting to rent the condo.  Dad Thornton spoke immediately, "Guys, you sure don't need a third house and the other two are already furnished, so you can rent the condo furnished.  Besides you might be able to save on your taxes by renting the condo.  Check with Charles.  You can always move back in if the boys divorce you."

 

I chuckled, "Funny you should mention divorce, because just before Ryan went to sleep last night he wanted to make sure that we weren't going to 'vorce' them."

 

Dan and I were doing the dishes when the phone rang.  Dan answered, "This is Doctor Thornton. Ö What's wrong Nathan?"

 

He pushed the speaker button so everyone could  hear the conversation.  "Nothing's wrong, Dad.  Me and Ryan found a good place to keep Hodge and Podge here at the little house.  We want just the four of us to live here and be like a family.  We can use the big house like a hotel.  When people come to visit they can stay there.  If the weather is bad, we can always stay at the big house."

 

Ryan came on the speaker, "Dads, Mr. Cisco brought us two puppies.  He said they were registered border collies.  Make sure you bring all of the things for Hodge and Podge."

 

"This is Brandon, you better get here quick.  Ryan has us taking all of the baby furniture out of his bedroom.  He says he's going to sleep on one of the futons or in his sleeping bag until you can get him some big boy furniture."

 

Dan laughed, "We'll be there as soon as we can get everyone  properly dressed."

 

The parents were laughing and my Dad said, "It's becoming readily apparent who the "A" persons in this family are."

 

Dad Thornton chuckled, "I have a feeling that perhaps Bruce had something to do with the boys getting the two puppies.  You don't just give away two registered border collies."

 

Dan and I loaded a futon and a sleeping bag into our van since the guys were only using one anyway.  The Dads loaded Hodge and Podge and their things in Dad's car and the Mothers collected some things and put them in the Thorntons' car."

 

I grabbed the financial statements and we made our way to Belle Monte.  When we pulled up, Charles was outside checking something.  He looked at us, "It's a good thing you finally arrived.   Your sons are corrupting our sons."

 

I was confused, "What are they doing that's so bad?"

 

Chuck shrugged his shoulders, "They have Evan and Chase working in the hen houses and they aren't complaining.  The last I saw, they were helping to wash and pack the eggs."

 

"Chuck, would you have time to sit down and go over the financial reports that everyone keeps giving us, with us?"

 

Chuck shook his head, "Kirk, Bruce informed everyone here at Belle Monte that the two of you were in charge, so, of course, I will sit down and go over the financial reports and answer any questions that you might have.  We probably should have Ian with us, because he may be able to answer some questions better than I can."

 

I nodded, "We have some things that we need to deliver to the cabin.  We'll be back after we unload the cars."

 

We were getting into the car when the Belle Monte Express pulled up and the young guys jumped out.  Brandon sighed as he got out, "Dr. Richter and Doctor Thornton, you have two very active young boys.  They have been busy charming all of the people here at Belle Monte.  I need to get the backhoe back to the nursery."

 

I looked at Brandon, Will, Vince and Alex, "When are you doing the next performance at The Golden Nuggets?"

 

Brandon started to look at a little white, "Dr. Richter, do your parents know what happens at the Nuggets?"

 

My Dad answered, "Yep, and we decided to see if you are as good looking as the guys said you were."

 

Dan added, "We also think that we should take your parents with us when you do your next show.  It will enable them stop worrying about what you're doing.  Besides, they will want to know how you can pay the exorbitant rent we're going to charge you for the condo, fully furnished."

 

Vince interjected, "I think you're giving our parents too much credit.  I'm not sure my mother can accept what I've been doing.  In answer to your question, the six of us are scheduled to perform at the New Year's Eve bash."

 

Alex added, "After what happened to my parents when they found out that I was gay, I have no idea how my Mother and Step Dad will react."

 

A voice announced, "Everyone, I'll arrange to have a party at The Golden Nuggets on New Year's Eve and I'll invite the parents of you six guys."  Bruce continued, "Since I own the club, there will be no problem making reservations, even though it is one of the busiest nights of year."

 

Tears were streaming down Vince's face, "Uncle Bruce, you mean you've been paying Alex and me two times each month for the last three years?"

 

Bruce shook his head no, "Guys, I have paid you nothing.  Belle Monte is a corporation and I personally have very little to do with the finances.  As far as the club, it was an investment for me and it has paid off.  I do have a say in who is hired as entertainers and who is not, but that's about the extent of my involvement, other than I have Charles provide me the financial records each month.  Believe it or not, I can almost tell from the financial reports who has been performing each night."

 

The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of four little guys.  Ryan started, "Dads, we need to take Hodge and Podge to meet Snitch and Snatch. Come on Evan and Chase, get in."

 

The three cars made their way to the cabin on the mountain with our assorted cargo.  Shawn and Shane were following us on motorbikes.

I was concerned about what would happen when the two puppies encountered the two kittens.  Nate and Ryan handled it very well.

 

Nate and Ryan carried the two kittens into the little house as the guys called it and went to a sun room where two little puppies were waiting.  Nate leaned down first and introduced Hodge to the puppies and Ryan followed introducing Podge.

 

Ryan looked at the rest of us, "Dads, please get some milk for the puppies and the kittens and bring their beds and litter box in here.  This is going to be their home."

 

My Dad looked at Ryan, "We didn't bring any milk."

 

Shawn spoke up, "I'll be back before you can count to ten."

 

I watched as Shawn sped off on his motorbike down the twisty road.  I do have to note that he did put on his helmet before he departed.  We had the cars unloaded when Shawn came speeding back with a carton on milk, "Mom, wants to know who is going to be here for lunch?"

 

Dad Thornton answered, "Shawn, why don't you tell your Mother that we're going to take you guys to lunch wherever you want, after we get the kittens and the puppies settled."

 

Shawn pulled out a cell phone and called, "Mom, none of us are going to be here for lunch.  Mr. Thornton, is springing for lunch at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. Ö Okay, I'll tell them."

 

Shawn turned to us and announced, "Mother said that you were expected for dinner tonight."

 

When we left, the two puppies were laying on blankets that Ryan and Nate had found and the two kittens were snuggled up against them.  We were amazed by what was happening.

 

When we were going to the vehicles, Ryan led us to the Santa Tree,  Vince has a timer on the lights and they will come on by themselves  when it starts to get dark. 

 

We had to take three vehicles to the restaurant.  Dan and I were leading the way with Shane and Shawn as our passengers.  We found out that Shane was fifteen and was going to be a sophomore in high school.  He played baseball.  Shawn was fourteen and was going to be a freshmen.  He wanted to play basketball.

 

When we got to the restaurant, it was loud and noisy with televisions all around. Ryan was sitting beside me, "Dad, this place is noisy.  I don't think I like it very much."

 

The waiter came to take our orders and Dad Thornton started, "We'll have seven of the mini burger baskets with the trimmings.  We'll split a large serving of wings with the sweet honey barbeque sauce.  The four young men will have a chocolate shake and the two teenagers will have whatever soda poison you're serving these days and the six of us adults will have a glass of Chablis."

 

The waiter was standing there laughing, "Are you sure you wouldn't like to order some desert while you're at it?"

 

Nate looked at the guy, "We'll wait to see if we're still hungry before  we order any dessert."

 

Either the restaurant wasn't busy or we were receiving special attention because the drinks were delivered in a matter of minutes.  The waiter brought us some chips to snack on until the food was ready.  The waiter arrived and put a plate in front of each of us and put down three baskets with chicken wings.

 

The six young wolf hounds started to chow down.  Ryan looked up at me, "Daddy, you gotta try one of these.  They're really good."

 

The wings disappeared.  It was a good thing that Dad Thornton had ordered only seven mini burger basket meals because we were sufficiently full and none of the guys even wanted dessert.  The two teenagers were each able to finish their basket by themselves.

 

When we got back to Belle Monte, Shane, Shawn, Evan and Chase thanked us for inviting them.  Shane saw Ian, "We need to check with Dad to see if there is anything he needs us to do.  We'll get the motor bikes later.  Thanks again for lunch."

 

My Dad volunteered, "Ryan and Nate, why don't we go check on Hodge, Podge, Snitch and Snatch while your Dads talk to Mr. Fort.   Evan and Chase, would you like to go with us?"

 

The Dads left for the little house with four young boys, and the mothers announced, "We're going to check with Mrs. McTavish and see if there is anything that we can help with for dinner."

 

I looked at Dan, "Well Doctor Dan, let's go see if we can find Mr. Fort, shall we?  It seems as if no one else wants to talk to us." 

 

To be continued...

 

Editor's Notes: This is another very interesting chapter. 

 

Kittens and puppies often get along quite well.  People usually think of dogs and cats as enemies when in fact that is not really true. Many times dogs have raised motherless kittens, even nursing them when needed. If my memory serves me correctly, new animals of the same species who are brought together often have more trouble becoming friends than do dogs and cats for example.  The real key to it is to show love to both the newcomers and the pets that are already there.  If there is trouble at all, it usually starts because the original pet feels as though he or she is being replaced in the affections of their human. As long as they know they are still loved, most pets get used to having new friends living there pretty quickly.

 

I have had several different combinations of dogs and cats throughout my life, and I can't recall any of them having more than play fights. When one of our dogs had pups, our cat would watch them whenever Ginger needed to get away for a while. 

 

I wonder what kind of financial information they are going to get, and what it will mean. 

 

I want the next chapter, and I want it soon!!!!

 

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher 

 

Posted: 11/20/09