Bonus Santa Story - Rusty and the Christmas Jumper by Mark Pallis

It was a cold day. Rusty the dog was relaxing in her doghouse, listening to the happy singing of the birds. 


A single snowflake fluttered down from the sky. 


She ran into the garden, caught the snowflake on her nose, and SHLOOOP, licked it off with her long pink tongue. 


Snow meant it was wintertime, and wintertime meant it was… Christmas jumper time! 


Rusty’s Christmas jumper was fantastic. Red, blue, green. And gold. It wasn’t just colourful, it was soft and warm and as cosy as a Christmas hug. 


It was so precious that last year, she did what every sensible dog does with something they love: she dug a hole in the garden and buried it!


Rusty rushed over to her special spot, began to dig and there it was: the Christmas jumper. Except it wasn’t looking very Christmassy. It was covered in mud, and there was a worm on the sleeve.  Oh dear, she thought. This jumper needs a good wash. 


She carefully put the little worm back in the hole and carried the jumper into the house.


Rusty was a very clever dog. She was so clever, she could use a washing machine. She popped the jumper inside, carefully added just the right amount of soap and softener, and BE DA BE BOOP, switched on the machine. That sounds a bit like birdsong, she thought!


She watched patiently as the jumper sloshed round and round and round. It made her quite dizzy. After a while, the machine let out a BA DA DOOP and the door swung open. I just need to dry it, thought Rusty and she carefully put the wet jumper into the dryer.


While Rusty waited, she watched the birds outside collecting sticks and twigs for their winter nests. Finally, DIGA DOP. Rusty was so excited, it was jumper time! She opened the dryer door and… where was it? 


All she could see was fluff. Red fluff. Blue fluff, Green fluff. Even gold fluff.


My jumper! thought Rusty. It’s disintegrated. It was a jumper. Now it’s just fluff. She was so sad. She sighed. She shook her head. And then she cried.


Carefully, Rusty scooped all the fluff into a box. Oh well, she thought. Thanks for keeping me warm, jumper. I loved you.


Rusty left the box by the recycling. She was still feeling sad and decided to have nap.

Later that day, she was woken by the sound of birdsong. They seem even happier than usual, she thought.  She looked up and saw a tiny bird. Its beak was full of golden fluff. In fact, all the birds were carefully tucking bits of coloured fluff into their nests.


Rusty checked the cardboard box. It was empty. But Rusty wasn’t sad. In fact, she was very happy. With their fluffy nests, all the little birds would have their turn to feel that soft cosy feeling. As cosy as a Christmas hug.

Find more of Mark's magical stories on his website: