Santa Thumb

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.
–Edna Ferber

The doorbell rang.

I crossed the foyer and parted the lace curtain. I flinched. A pink snout? Someone was holding it up in the air, pressing its fuzzy white cheek against the glass. I opened the door. “What the—”

“Sorry to startle you.” The guy tucked the tiny pig under his arm. “Found this pig in the road. Is she yours?” Over his shoulder, an 80’s model van idled in my driveway. A prism dangling from its rearview caught the last beam of daylight and shot a hundred florescent daggers into my eyes.

Dazed, I shook my head. This was too weird… Only a few people knew about my obsession for teacup pigs, and they thought it was a joke. They had no idea how much time I spent crawling mini-pig websites, downloading photos, learning their unique behaviors.

I lifted the piglet’s chin gently. Her belly swelled and she let out an adorable squeal. The guy dropped her into the crook of my elbow. Her hooves were caked with mud. She needed a bath. Even her shivers were dainty. Fine white lashes curled above her black nascent eyes.

I looked up. “It’s my daughter’s pig,” I lied shamelessly.

“Cool,” he said, hiking up a thumb. It wore a costume. The skin had been marked with two black dots for eyes and a long cotton beard dangled below a squiggled smile. A teeny red hat with a white ball topped off the ensemble.

He patted the piglet’s head, spun around, and vanished into my yard.

“Wait!” I said.

“Merry Christmas,” he shouted, raising the thumb.

I stood on the porch, bouncing my piglet, wondering how I’d explain her to my husband. He’d never believe this. Then the sound of wind escaped, as if a valve had been twisted in the sky; a contortion of tiny specks shimmered ephemerally, and snow began to fall.

 The End

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