Beatrice had it all.
She lived in a tall stone mansion at the end of a winding, twisted lane that curved in a wide arch in front of the imposing building, wide enough for three Bentley‘s and a Rolls Royce, all of which could be found parked on the meticulously manicured lawn at any given time.
The only child of a baron and baroness, Beatrice had only to snap her fingers and she could have the pick of the litter. In fact, she regularly threw temper tantrums to get exactly that, as a small child. Christmas, birthdays, you name it, if she didn’t give the thumbs up on the present, it was whisked away and replace with something bigger and better and more grandiose, until NOW.
Christmas eve, of her eighth birthday. She was beginning to doubt the whole Santa Claus thing. Santa, real? Santa delivering presents everywhere? In one night? Snacking on cookies and fueling the reindeer with pounds of carrots and apples?
If it was all true, then this year, well this year she would gild the lily.
As was the family tradition, she placed a note in the cookie jar for Santa, along with a drawing of what she wanted for Christmas. To make doubly sure, she put a glass miniature in the cookie jar, from her zoo set.
Beatrice wanted a hippopotamus, a real, live hippopotamus for Christmas. This was the ultimate test. Sure, puppies could be hidden in Santa’s sack, but a hippo? Why the weight alone would cause the reindeer to crash. The sleigh would sink through the roof of even the sturdiest of homes. Their house was perhaps the only one that could hold the sleigh.
As to how Santa would get it down from the roof, well that was for the jolly man to figure out, now wasn’t it? This year, she would know, for certain.
But just in case, on Christmas Eve, she crept down the stairs, jumping the creaking one and left the door unlocked. She could do that much for Santa.