Worth the wait, not the waste (part 1)

With a tip of the hat to great serial writers like Charles Dickens, we present our Christmas gift to you–a holiday tale of good solid waste management practices for celebrating the season. Here’s part one of, Worth the wait, not the waste!

Wintertime dusk was beginning to settle all around the land where the big house sat. If the little boy and his little-bit-bigger sister had looked very carefully, they might have noticed a few gleaming specks of brightness. Under the brittle, bare twigs of the shrubs next to the barn door, several pairs of tiny eyes watched the big house and waited.

Before long, the tiny eyes saw the heavy back door swing open, and chatter, music, and laughter began to flow out. The little boy, his sister, their mother, and their father began the first of many trips to the barn. They carried folding chairs and tables and boxes filled with plates, cups, and forks from their kitchen. They carried brightly colored bags and strings of tiny lights. Then more people arrived, carrying food, drinks, and a few brightly wrapped packages into the barn and shouting happy greetings.

“How long do you think they’ll be in there?” chitter-chatted an annoyingly impatient Squirrel. “I’m getting sleepy!”

Raccoon sleepily answered, “I’m tired, too, Squirrel. I’ve gotten fat, and it’s time to settle in to a cozy spot until I need to eat again.”

Cardinal chirped good-naturedly, “I don’t mind staying up a little later tonight. It’s hard to find food in the winter. The people will leave behind their wasted treats, and we will have a feast!”

A squeaky voice spoke up, “Well, I’m wide awake. In fact, I can hardly sit still from excitement. They are sure to leave behind some of that paper, and maybe even a box or two. Raccoon, you can take one of the bigger boxes for your long nap, and I’ll nestle into a small one under the packing paper. With shelter and the food scraps they’ll leave behind, this is going to be a great winter!”

The critters continued to wait with happy hope as the night grew dark, waiting for the people to leave. Finally, Mouse could stay put no longer and scampered up to a crack in one of the barn doors. In pairs and small groups, people said their goodbyes and made their way home. Soon after the last guest left, Mother, Father, Brother, and Sister came out of the barn carrying the last of their loads to go back into the house. When Sister, who was last, passed the shrub, a parade of fur and feathers rushed through the closing doors, each creature trying to be the first to see the banquet that awaited.

But, dear reader, will a banquet await? Will the family leave behind their party waste? Check back next week to find out!

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