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Friendship

For the past 5 years, I have lived in a cul de sac with wonderful neighbours. Everyone is so friendly, we

often get together for BBQs, holidays or just coffee on the porch. Two weeks ago, I sent out invitations

to everyone in the cul de sac for a cookie exchange and tonight was the night. I had received the RSVPs

back, and it looked like everyone was going to come. My excitement about this evening, was not just

about houseful of people expected, it was about one person, the one person I was really hoping would

come or my plans would be ruined. My thoughts were interrupted by my son Darren running past me

with the puppy in his arms, “Move mom, she has to go!” I quickly stepped aside as he exited the back

door to deal with the puppy emergency. I just smiled and thought about how adorable puppies are and

how they work their way into your heart, leaving a permanent pawprint there. My thoughts turned back

to getting ready for the party, they would be arriving soon. Looking at the table, I had plates, cups,

serviettes, cutlery for the small cold buffet I would serve. On the side table I had 6 small boxes

containing my cookies to swap with the neighbours, each box had a name tag so I would be sure my

special guest would get the right box. The doorbell rang, first to arrive was Holly and Bill with their

daughter Julie who was close to my sons age, they lived next door to us. “Welcome, come on in” I said,

“There is a card table set up to put our cookies on.” The rest continued to arrive, Ken and Donna, Jeff,

Sue and son David, Rita and her wife Christine, and Kevin the neighbourhood bachelor. I was getting

worried that my final guest Henry had not arrived yet, he was my favorite neighbour. Henry was the old,

retired guy who twice a day had walked his old dog Charles, around the circle, always stopping to chat,

sadly a few months ago Charles passed away. Henry was broken hearted and no longer went out for

walks. Everyone was gathered in the living room socializing as usual, chatting about work, kids,

upcoming plans when the doorbell rang. I almost ran, I opened the door and there stood Henry. “Come

in, come in, I’m so glad you made it” I grinned “So good to see you Jan, it has been a while” I took his

coat and hung it up. Entering the living room he held up a shopping bag “I hope its okay that I cheated

and bought cookies” he said, everyone laughed. Holly said “As long as you came, I don’t think it

matters.” Rita chimed in “I should have done that, baking is not my strong suit, I’m probably going to

poison everyone” we all laughed again.

Just as Henry sat down in the arm chair the kids all returned, the puppy who was following closely

behind went straight to Henry’s feet, looked up and whimpered. “Oh my little fellow, what seems to be

the problem?” he bent over rubbing her head. The puppy stood up scratching Henrys knee, begging to

be picked up, which of course he did. Henry gently put her on his lap and instantly received a chin full of

puppy kisses while the tail wagged in high speed. “What’s her name?” “We haven’t decided yet” I said.

The look on Henry’s face was both sweet and heartbreaking, with a smile, a twinkle in his eyes and a

small tear sliding down his cheek, which was promptly licked away as if to say, “I understand your pain”

Henry hugged her without any resistance from the little furball. Throughout the evening Henry was

followed by the four-legged shadow, if he got out of site the puppy would whimper, and Henry would

come back for her and say “Well you coming or not?” the pup wiggled and followed. The rest of the

evening she was on Henrys lap. It was time to exchange cookies, each person got up and retrieved their

cookies from the table and handed them out. Henry and his shadow went second last, they it was my

turn. I handed each box out, saving Henry for last, reaching for my glass I raised it “I would like to thank

all of you for coming tonight, I am so blessed to live surrounded by wonderful friends. I raise my glass to

you all” everyone cheered. Then I spoke again “I know it is not tradition to actually eat the cookies until

we are home, but would anyone object to having Henry open the box from me?” Everyone smiled and

quickly said “Good idea Jan” “Yes Henry open it” they all knew what the evening was about, as a matter

of fact, we were all in on it together. Henry looked a little puzzled, but agreed, he moved the pup to the

side, picked up the box from me and opened it. Inside were 3 chocolate chip cookies and 3 dog cookies.

He raised his head and looked at me “I don’t understand, you know Charles passed away.” I walked

towards him, touched his shoulder “Yes I know, we all know, which is why we got together and decided

to get this little girl for you” I paused, he looked around the roomful of smiling friends, then down at the

furball who was looking up at him “For me? You did this for me?” I spoke again “If you want her?”

looking up again, this time with tears in his eyes “Oh my, I can’t believe it, yes of course I want her.” He

raised her up to hug and she snuggled into his neck. “Thank you everyone, I don’t know what else to

say.” Kevin spoke up “Well you could tell us what her name is so we can all stop calling her pup” he

laughed. “Hmmmm” Henry said looking her in the eyes, “I think, Cookie is the perfect name for you” at

that she barked, everyone laughed and cookie barked again.

The next morning I looked out the window and saw Henry proudly walking the bouncy little Cookie

down the sidewalk, Things were backs to normal.

July 16, 2022 18:17

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3 comments

Anne Zubrick
13:48 Dec 01, 2022

very sweet and appealing story Thank you

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Tricia Shulist
15:06 Jul 23, 2022

What a nice story. The kindness of others … thanks for this.

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Rhonda Allen
03:18 Jul 24, 2022

Thankyou, I am happy you liked it.

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