In Which Miss Hickory's Family Grows

 


Miss Hickory has received a letter from Hitty Joy and Cousin Ida.
She reads it aloud to Aunt Hickory.

 

"Dear Miss Hickory,

This must come as a great surprise and I do apologize! But the situation at hand calls for extreme measures.
I can only hope you will be receptive to our proposal.

Recently it came to our notice that you have a lovely home, a large establishment with all the creature comforts. We are
of course quite impressed and we do out best not to begrudge the good fortune of others. It is now
our fervent hope that you will welcome these two waifs into your lovely home.

These tiny Hickory tots were found wandering the fields clad only in remnants of leaves and vines! Quite shocking. Cousin Ida and I have contrived to clothe
them modestly and neatly. We do hope you will approve. We do not know how they came to be alone in the world. They are very good little children.
Quiet and obedient, eager to please, and very loveable. I must advise you that they are subject to the occasional nightmare
about squirrels! We are not sure what that is about? Perhaps it is a Hickory thing?

Cousin Ida and I regret that we can not provide them with a home. Much to our mutual dismay we currently reside in a box! What
sort of life would that be for a child? We do not have a proper bed or dresser or even a window!!!! But I digress. Surely you will agree that we are not able to properly care
for these tykes. They deserve better!! For that matter, so do we!!

We are sending them with their new acorn cap dolls. we trust in your good nature and generous spirit to make them welcome in your home.
Thank you so much for assisting us in their placement.

Sincerely, Hitty Joy and Cousin Ida."

It takes Miss Hickory and Aunt Hickory about 3 seconds to shout "children in the home for Christmas! Hurrah!" and get busy.

 


First, they go into a frenzy of baking.
"I hope they like my donuts!" says Aunt Hickory.
"Do we have enough candy canes?" asks Miss Hickory anxiously.
"Children love candycanes."

 


Miss Hickory has made a fresh, hot Nut Pie.
"It's so cold out today," she says, "and this will warm their little tummies."

 


Aunt Hickory makes gingerbread cookies from her Mother's recipe.
"Good and gingery!" she says, rolling out another batch.

 


Suddenly, a timid knock comes at the door.
"Goodness! They are here!" cries Aunt Hickory.
"Is my apron clean?" asks Miss Hickory.

 


The two little Hickory children come into the cabin, clutching their dollies tight.
"Im Sister Hickory," says the older girl. "This is Baby Hickory."
Baby Hickory gives a shy smile.

Miss Hickory smiles and reaches out to the children.
"Welcome to your new home. I am Miss Hickory."

Aunt Hickory rushes forward and gives them big hugs.
"I am your new Aunt Hickory!" she says, beaming.

 


Miss Hickory settles the Sister Hickory into a chair, and offers
her some donuts. "Thank you very much," says Sister Hickory.
She looks around the room. "I love your Christmas tree."

Miss Hickory smiles. "We thought we would go with
something non-traditional this year," she says.

 


Aunt Hickory has noted that Baby Hickory has sleepy eyes.
She is rocking her by the woodstove, a very warm
cozy place to be. Dolly has slipped to the floor as
Baby Hickory slips into dreams of sugarplums and hugs.

 

So, who are these little Hickory Children?
Thanks, Sherry, for this most wonderful surprise!

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