Many Christmases ago, all three sisters opened identical packages from Santa Clause. Each was wrapped in splashes of forest green and candy red as miniature Rudolphs navigated through layers of sugared joy.
My wrapping gave way to a one piece nighttime costume accosted with black cow-like spots and held together by cookie sized buttons. Shortened at knees and elbows, it transformed me into a flying squirrel dressed as a bovine.
Costumes donned, we ascended our Dad’s wooden staircase as a squirrel collective. Generations of socks before ours had worn the path that lead to our holiday perch. The youngest sister, Shelly, whispered to me, “It looks like a canyon between us and the bedroom!” Nodding, I stretched and fanned my wings.
Mary, third oldest, lead us in exercises to strengthen our feathers and soaring techniques. Finger to lips, we practiced in secret. How our Dad will smile when he sees us!
“Time to make our debut!” Sandy, the near oldest announced, “On with the show!” Knees and back bent, she shifted her weight and stretched her feathers. I watched in wonder, overcome with the magic of Christmas. She gave us a wide toothy grin and jumped.