Sigmund and Beaumont: Have a Happy Christmas

Sigmund and Beaumont

Artwork by Sabrina Moody

Sigmund and Beaumont

Sigmund and Beaumont, a little house spider and a wee black cat who loved wearing bowties, were outside in the snow, playing.

It had snowed the night before, covering the rolling green hills with a sheet of white. The wintery air was nipping at his nose and the snow was frosty on his toes, but Beaumont didn’t mind. Beaumont was festive, wearing a white and red striped bow tie in his excitement for Christmas, which was only a few days away. Nearby, Miss Sally worked to clear the snow from the front walkway. Mr. Thomas had promised to come over later that morning to help clear the snow, then help decorate for Christmas, after he finished with the pies for the widow Mrs. Kathleen a few doors down.

But then, Beaumont heard a thud, followed by a small crash, and quickly spun around. Miss Sally was on the ground, shovel tossed aside. Beaumont grabbed Sigmund off the carrot nose of the snowman they had built and ran to Miss Sally’s side.

“Miss Sally!” Beaumont exclaimed when he saw her on the ground. “Are you alright?”

She had slipped on a patch of ice and had fallen. Holding her ankle with one hand, she pointed to Mr. Thomas’s house with the other, telling Beaumont to go get help. He nuzzled her hand gently then took off running. He was on a mission. Soon, he returned with Mr. Thomas in tow. He ran to Miss Sally’s side, worry and deep concern in his eyes and across his face. He gently picked her up, brought her inside, then went to the telephone by the door to phone for help.

The doctor came shortly after and examined Miss Sally’s ankle. It was surely broken and was badly bruised and swollen. He carefully assessed how badly it had broken before putting it into a splint. Mr. Thomas and the doctor helped her up to bed. Poor Beaumont was worried sick. He paced around her bedroom, swishing his tail in his worry.

Christmas was only a handful of days away and Miss Sally had no tree, no ivy, no holly, no candles nor ornaments decorating her home like she usually would have. Like she was planning to have. Like she always had. And now with her ankle broken. . . .

Beaumont sat in the window, looking outside at the hills of white as far as the eye could see. Evergreens, also dusted white, rose from the hills, reaching up to the sky in their eternal glories. Beaumont sighed. He could see the trees Mr. Thomas raised on his farm from the window. Then, he saw someone going out into the rows of trees, saw on shoulder and rope in hand. It was Mr. Thomas, out in the tree field!

Beaumont turned to Miss Sally. Seeing her asleep, he slipped from the room and found Sigmund.

“Sigmund my friend! Come with me,” Beaumont said, picking up his eight-legged pal. “We’re going to visit Mr. Thomas.”

“I loves me an adventure,” Sigmund said, holding on tight to Beaumont’s fur.

Beaumont headed outside, taking off running eagerly, with a flicking of his tail and puffs of breath in the frosty air as he ran. Down the path, he went until they reached Mr. Thomas’s farm. There he was, among the Christmas trees, all bundled up in a wool scarf and old coat, examining every one of them with great care. He turned when he saw Beaumont, and smiled. He pointed to a practically perfect tree he had been eyeing. He gestured for the wee cat to come over, wanting Beaumont’s approval. Beaumont walked around it, looking it over, up and down. When he had made several laps around the tree, Beaumont looked up at Mr. Thomas and nodded.

“That’s the one, Mr. Thomas. Miss Sally will love it,” Beaumont meowed in approval.

They had found an absolutely gorgeous tree. Beaumont and Mr. Thomas had the same idea. They would decorate it for Miss Sally and surprise her.

Mr. Thomas cut the tree down, then bound it up in rope so it could be transported. He put the tree on a bright red sled and began dragging it back to his house firstly. Outside on the porch sat a collection of holly, ivy, pine cones, brand new cinnamon apple candles he had handmade, fine ribbons, shiny new tree baubles, and a rather plump goose and a sack of potatoes to be made into supper, all sitting in wait in old apple crates. He hoisted the crates these things were in onto the sled, then put Beaumont, with Sigmund on Beaumont’s head, onto the sled too. He then started back to Miss Sally’s.

By the time they began to return to Miss Sally’s, the sun had begun to slip below the horizon, and a blanket of grey covered the sky. Snow was coming again, Beaumont could feel it and smell it in the air. They went back down the path to Miss Sally’s house, arriving just as the snow began to fall. Mr. Thomas carried everything inside, taking extra care to not wake Miss Sally. Between the three of them, Sigmund, Beaumont, and Mr. Thomas, the house was decorated in no time. Beaumont took the last strand of ivy and hung it off the fireplace mantle. But one thing was missing.

Beaumont ran up the stairs, climbing up into the attic. He dug through boxes, he dug through crates. Then, he found it. Miss Sally’s grandmother’s angel. It always sat atop the tree. He had to put it on this year too. He grabbed it in his teeth, then ran back downstairs. Mr. Thomas smiled and laughed a bit when he saw the angel in the little cat’s mouth. Beaumont went to the tree, holding it up and stretching.

He wanted to be the one to put it on. He meowed. Mr. Thomas picked him up, lifting him up to the top of the tree. Beaumont placed the angel on, and the three stepped back to admire their work. Then, Miss Sally called out for Mr. Thomas.

He went up to her room, Beaumont in his arms and Sigmund on Beaumont’s head again. Mr. Thomas smiled at Miss Sally as Beaumont dropped a small piece of the ivy on her lap. She looked, intrigued and questioning. Mr. Thomas gently lifted her up and carried her down the stairs. The sight of the beautiful decorations, and even more so the tree with its golden angel topper, brought tears to her eyes. Mr. Thomas set her down on the sofa and Beaumont jumped onto her lap.

That Christmas Eve, they were snowed in, but it didn’t matter. They were together and Miss Sally once more thanked her beloved Beaumont with a scratch beneath the chin and lots of morsels of the goose Mr. Thomas had brought and prepared. Outside it was cold and dark, but inside it was warm and bright. Doing nice things for others was Beaumont’s greatest joy and favorite gift of all.