“The Big Day” | A Gift from Chapter XXI of Miss Missy’s School

Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School by Marica Bernstein.

Illustrated by Caroline Cooper. Old Schoolhouse Road Publishing.

Dear Readers and Their Grownups,

This is the last of the family reading short story gifts from Miss Missy’s School–and we’re skipping six chapters to the next-to-the-last. A lot happens in those six chapters! I can’t tell you much about it, but one thing I’ll share is that it snows. As you can imagine, Bebe loves snow! But it made Missy just miserable, until…

The door blew open and in ran Bebe and Tommy shaking snow all over the kitchen floor. “GET OUT! OUT!” yelled Marica. “Go shake off on the porch!”

“But you’ll never believe it! You’ll never believe it!” a very excited Tommy was shouting.

“He’s right! He’s right! You won’t believe it!” said Bebe.


“Okay. Now, what is it we won’t we believe, Tommy?” Marica asked, once they were allowed back in.

“Old Gus is coming up the road! Can you believe it?” Tommy asked excitedly.

“Old Gus?!?” Missy couldn’t believe it! “Old Gus is coming up our road? …”

That made Missy feel much better!

Remember all ten short stories (chapter excerpts) are listed here, with links to the complete blog posts, and printable PDFs. The link to the story from Chapter XXI: The Big Day is here. Please share these stories with your families and friends. Missy and her pack–including Tiger the Cat–are so entertaining, and with their people such an endearing family, that I know everyone would love to read Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School. Thank you!

XXI: The Big Day!

AS SOON AS JOHN turned on the kitchen lights Bebe came bounding through the back door with Tommy at her heels.

“Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!” shouted Bebe.

“Merry Christmas, Mr. John,” shouted Tommy.

“Merry Christmas to you, too!” John smiled and scratched them behind their ears.

“Did Santa come? Did I get a present? Did I? Did I?” Bebe was running around the kitchen table in circles and jumping up and down and chasing her tail and she slipped on the floor and fell right into the table leg!

“Owww,” she said rubbing her head.

“Bebe! Are you okay?”

“Owww. I’m okay,” Bebe said a little less exuberantly.

“C’mon. Let’s go turn on the tree lights and you can take a peek while I start a fire in the fireplace,” John said.

“Wow!” said Bebe and Tommy at the same time.

“It’s beautiful,” said Bebe quietly.

The Christmas tree that Jordan and John had chopped down, and that Caroline and Marica had decorated, was beautiful. So beautiful that Bebe forgot all about the presents. (Or maybe that bonk on her head made her forget.)

“Look at the star,” she whispered to Tommy, and they sat down, side by side, and looked up at the star on the top of the tree and didn’t say anything at all for a long, long time.

“Merry Christmas, John!”


“Merry Christmas, Missy,” John said. “Rocky Boy, you’re up early! Marica, here’s your coffee. Want some, Missy? Rocky, Earl Grey with milk?”

“Thanks! Merry Christmas,” Marica said and gave John a little peck on the cheek.

“Ruff?!?” Rocky did not care for public displays of affection.

“Oh, Rocky, it’s Christmas!” Marica scolded. “Where are Bebe and Tommy? I thought they’d be here at the crack of dawn.”

“They’re admiring the tree,” John said. “Hey, can you hand me that… .”

“Merry Christmas, everyone!” said Jordan, and then Aubrey and Gilbert as they came in. “Hey John,” said Jordan, “I’m putting this next to your chair. Can you do it first?”

“Sure, Jordan!”

“Great! I’m going back to the cottage to wake up Caroline,” Jordan said.

“She’s not awake yet?” Bebe screamed. “It’s Christmas morning! What do you mean she’s not awake? What do you mean? It’s Christmas morning!”

“Jordan, can you let Tiger in?” Marica asked. Christmas was the only day of the year Tiger was allowed inside the house.

“Merrry Chrrristmas,” Tiger purred softly as he came inside.

“Vánoĉka’s ready!” John called from the kitchen. “Come and get it while it’s warm.”

“C’mon,” Marica said. “You know the drill.”

“Come, My Dear,” Gilbert said to Aubrey who gave him a quizzical look. “It’s our Christmas present to Marica,” he explained. “Every year John bakes a sweet Czechoslovakian Christmas bread with raisins and other fruits and nuts, and every year Marica butters the warm slices and we go into the kitchen and Marica commands us to SIT, like common vulgar dogs, and she tosses half a slice to each of us and we jump up and catch it. It’s a Christmas ritual, and as someone once said, ‘At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year,’ so we put up with it.” Gilbert winked.

“Okay, sit. Sit,” Marica said. “Missy. Rocky. Gilbert. … Tommy. And Tiger,” she called out each name as she tossed the Christmas bread. (Of course, she tossed Tiger’s on the floor under his nose. No cat can catch a treat in mid-air.)

“The von-ach-ka was delicious, Mr. John,” said Aubrey who had lingered in the kitchen to thank him. “What are you doing now?” she asked.

“Putting the turkey in the oven, Aubrey,” John said, and he bent over and slid in the roaster.

Aubrey gasped in horror!

With such a cry John sprang up at once to see what was the matter. “Oh Aubrey, I’m sorry. It’s okay. This turkey comes from the store,” he said and gave her a little pat.

“Oh, thank goodness!” she sighed.

“Where is Caroline? Where is Caroline? Where is Jordan? Where is Caroli…”

“I’m right here, Bebe!” Caroline said as she and Jordan walked in with their arms full of presents.

“Yay! Yay! Yay! Come on everybody! Come on Tommy! We can sit up front by the tree.”

“I need coffee,” Caroline said.

“I could use another cup,” Marica said. “Oh no! We need a new pot!”

“AURGH!!” cried Bebe.

At last, everyone was sitting around the tree. …

Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School by Marica Bernstein.

Illustrated by Caroline Cooper. Old Schoolhouse Road Publishing.

Ages 7 and up. Grownups love it, too!
#Friendship #Countrylife #Talkinganimals #Animalstories #Familyreading

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