by Angela Smith 

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the other end of my cellphone. Someone had been cutting down the Colorado blue spruce trees, Fraser fir trees, and even a couple of Balsam fir at the Mapleton’s Christmas tree farm. The trees on that farm had been around my whole life, and my grandfather’s too. I remembered going there as a boy. Pine and spruce scents never left your nose. Trees were living, breathing, beings to me. I roamed the trails of saplings until they turned into a forest of magnificence to behold. There were light green needles, dark green needles, and some with a hint of blue.

“Beautiful as they are, they have a prickly side; so be careful.” Grandfather always told me. Growing up in Colorado was very special too me. The mountains and trees were sacred.

“I know, Sheriff, but that’s what old man Mapleton told me.” Jane said. I could feel the emotion in my deputy’s voice, she was as upset as I was. “I promise you I will find who is behind this.” Ray replied.
“Thank you, Sheriff.”

It was going to be a long night. I settled my tired brain into that notion. The Mapelton’s tree business sustained them for the whole year. They were a delightful old couple. Who could steal that many Christmas trees? Why? So many unanswered questions. I would sit all night at that farm waiting on the culprits if I had to.


Christmas was in a few days and my gorgeous, pregnant wife was at home waiting at home for me. She was round as Santa, we were to have a New Year baby. The smells of fresh sausages rolled, cut up, and baked in fresh puff pastry rolls; is what I came crashing into. Marie was putting sprinkles of white sesame seeds and mint on the pastry’s she was about to put in the oven. There was a bowl of egg next to her that she had used to make the wash, that made the rolls melt in your mouth. Her long light brown hair was put up in a messy bun. She had her red and black checkered Christmas apron with a polar bear in a green bow tie next to a Christmas tree on. I brushed my mouth over her velvety lips and tasted the butter she had put on her gourmet pig and a blanket.
“Yum,” I said

“Back atcha,” Marie said.

“I got to go on a stake out tonight, at the Mapleton farm.” “Why on earth?” exclaimed Marie.
“Someone’s been stealing the trees,” I said.

“Well, just be careful and take the dog,” Marie demanded. “I will. Love you,” I said.
“I love you too, here’s a dinner to go, and some hot cider for the cold.”

I hugged my beautiful angel, and kissed her belly, softly whispering sweet nothings only my daughter could hear. As I left the porch door slammed shut with a creaking groan. I wrestled Duke my brown hunting dog into my old trusted truck, and off we went.

Duke and I sat for hours in the barn keeping each other warm with warm food and snuggly bodies. I had a good perch from the loft. Old man Mapleton had brought hand stitched quilts and a space heater for us. This farm was magical at night with dew drops dancing on the trees. It played with my nose and captivated it with the aroma from the forest. The barn smelled of hay and pine boards. The boards were new and kept me awake with their odor. I had to stay diligent. I told Duke stories as we sat; he listened.

And then it happened, lights bouncing in the distance. Duke sat up alert, his hair standing straight up. This was the moment we had been waiting for. I creeped around, urging my canine companion to keep low and quiet. Duke moved like a beacon, obeying my every command.
Pride swelled in my chest.

I ran up as fast as I could grabbed the perp by the back of the collar, swung him around and landed an uppercut to his jaw. Duke had the second perp by his shirt, near his jugular.
Slamming his body on the ground with a crash; cuffs slapped around his wrists with a satisfying click. The perp Duke had a hold of was shaking like a leaf, he slowly offered his wrists. I gladly snapped the cuffs shut. Adjusting my eyes, I noticed these men were strangers.
“You men won’t be stealing from our town any time soon.” I threatened.

Duke growled deep in his throat, as if to demonstrate my point. Duke pursued so close to each man, he barely missed ones leg with his snarling teeth. Hauling these men into the station, brought cheers from all the deputies. Old man Mapleton came and shook my hand ferociously.
“Thanks so much, Ray!” he exclaimed. “Anytime,” I said.

Christmas day cinnamon and spices filled my nose. My lovely wife was tossing pans around and mixing up a storm. A plate overfilled with french toast was waiting for me, along with crunchy bacon. I layered my plate with french toast, butter, and maple syrup. The food melted into my mouth.
“Oh!” Marie cried out.

“What’s wrong, Babe?!” I asked.

“I don’t think this baby is waiting for New Year’s!” Marie exclaimed. “I will get the hospital bag!” I yelled; running to grab it.


That day on Jesus’s birthday, the most precious angel was born. My Charlotte Ann barely made a peep when she came into this world. Marie glistened with sweat and exertion. I had never been more proud of her. Mother and daughter cuddled up together on the hospital bed fast asleep. My phone was blazing from overuse. I made sure a nurse kept an eye on my precious pair; while I slipped out to the house. I grabbed the tree, presents, and swooped up some tasty morsels. That Christmas in the hospital was so special, I was bursting with joy. The tree bandits had been caught; and a little baby had stolen my heart.

About the Author:

Angela Smith: I am currently enrolled in Creative Writing for Movies, at Full Sail University; obtaining my bachelors degree. I am a Veteran of the United States Army. Reading and writing are my passion