“Children,” said Mother, about a week before Christmas. “Christmas is going to be tight this year. I don’t have much money.”
“Cecilia and I don’t need anything this year,” said Rat Boy. “We know things are tough.”
“I appreciate that,” said Mother. “I am not even sure that we are going to be able to have a turkey dinner.”
“Don’t worry so much Mother,” said Rat Boy, smiling at his sister. “Everything will be alright. We will get through these tough times. We always do.”
“Yes,” said Mother, proudly. “We do always seem to manage.”
Mother gave Rat Boy a kiss, ate a small morsel of cheese and left for work.
“Oh Rat Boy,” said Cecilia. “I am so happy that we saved up all of our money. Mother is going to be so happy.”
“Yes,” said Rat Boy. “She certainly will.”
Christmas morning finally came around. There were two small gifts under the tree. Mother had knitted a hat and scarf for both Rat Boy and Cecilia.
“We are the luckiest rats in the world,” said Rat Boy. “At least we are going to be nice and warm.”
“I am so glad you like them,” said Mother.
“We love them,” said Cecilia.
“We have something for you,” said Rat Boy. “Cecilia and I both saved up our money and we are going to take you out for a turkey dinner.”
“That is so sweet of you two,” said Mother. “I have the two best rat children in the whole world.”
Mother and the two children dressed up in their Sunday best and they went to the diner, where Mother worked.
“You just can’t seem to get away from this place,” laughed her boss, Allan, when he saw her enter the diner with her two children.
“I have never come here for anything other than work,” said Mother. “It is going to be nice to be waited on.”
The rat family had a wonderful turkey dinner. When Rat Boy went to pay for their meal, Allan refused to take his money.
“It is Christmas evening,” said Allan. “Take your mother and sister to the movie theatre. Here is $20 so you can buy the girls some treats.”
“Thank you so much,” said Rat Boy. “Merry Christmas!”
“The same to you,” said Allan.
“What was that all about?” asked Mother, once they had left the restaurant.
“Allan refused to let me pay for our meal,” said Rat Boy. “He told me that I should take you and Cecilia to the movies and he gave me $20 to buy treats.”
“That was so nice of him,” said Mother. “This is turning out to be the best Christmas ever.”
“It certainly is,” said Rat Boy.
“Merry Christmas!” shouted Cecilia.