Rachel watched as raindrops trickled down the pane of glass. The left one took a shortcut, veered to the right, and raced to the finish line at the bottom. These were the games of a bored six year old.
The temperature had spiked unexpectedly. The pristine blanket of snow that began falling on Christmas Eve was being slowly eroded by gloomy showers in the area. When the rain subsided to barely a drizzle, Rachel’s begging to play outside was met with little resistance.
She imagined herself as a frog, hopping between puddles, towards the safety of the next lily pad in search of prince charming. She always found the silver lining in everything. Everyone else saw the rain as a nuisance. Rachel playfully bounced through it. When she came to that coveted spot in the front yard, her cheerful smile transformed into an anxious furrow on her brow.
On the ground, in the same mound that she remembered depositing it a few nights ago, was the oatmeal. Rachel remembered Grandma telling her the reindeer liked it that way. It was easier to eat when it was in a pile. She scooped up the soggy flakes and scampered into the house.
“Mommy!” She screamed with dismay.
“What is it dear, what’s wrong?” Her panic subsided as she saw her daughter’s hands.
“Mommy, the reindeer must be sick. They didn’t eat anything at all.” Rachel held out her hand as pieces began to slip through her fingertips and fall to the floor.
“I’m sure they’re okay, honey. The neighbors must’ve put out extra this year. They were probably just full when they got to our house.”
“How do you know? They always eat. We should send them more, just in case.”
“Okay, sweetheart. Let’s do that.”
Grandma also said that oatmeal had magic powers that only reindeer could extract. In the right amounts, those oats would give them sustenance to last the entire time between their annual December journey.
Rachel’s mom pulled down the box of oats. Rachel retrieved the measuring cup. One quarter cup for each reindeer. An extra quarter cup for Cupid because he was Rachel’s favorite. They wrapped it up, and addressed it to the North Pole.
“Hurry mommy, he’s here!” Rachel ran outside.
Trotting behind her, Rachel’s mom called out, “Excuse me, we have a package.”
The mailman grimaced as the pestering rain dripped from the brim of his cap.
“Reserve oats. For the reindeer,” Rachel’s mom offered with a grin.
Upon inspecting the recipient’s address, the mailman promptly pulled the stamp from his pocket and branded the package with the words ‘First Class’. A proud smile appeared on Rachel’s face.
The two adults in Rachel’s presence couldn’t help but smile too. The drizzling rain caused both of them to blink. She found it odd that they blinked with only one eye, but Rachel was just happy to help those reindeer when they needed it most. Little did Rachel know that she was helping those adults even more.