Crack-Crack - The Story of the Little Nutcracker By T.M. Kapper
Once upon a time there lived a sweet little girl named Amy. Amy was two years old and had big dimples when she smiled. She had a head of shiny brown hair that framed her face in a soft curtain of ringlets, and lived with her mother and father in a small town just south of the great river that flowed through the valley. Each day when Amy's mother would drive over the river on her way to pick up supplies in town, she would point out the window and say, "Look Amy! Look at all the water!" With delight Amy would burst out and point, "Wawa, Wawa!".
It was early winter and all the leaves had fallen
from the trees. The leaves lay on the ground forming giant colored lapping circles. It was getting
cold outside so a fire was kept burning in the family’s living room, not a huge fire, but a slow burning fire that
kept the house feeling soft and warm.
As Amy's mother sorted through the various boxes of colored lights and ornaments, Amy sat on the floor playing with strands of colored beads that seemed to sparkle and change colors as she tossed them about. To Amy's mother, each ornament had a very special meaning. As she carefully unwrapped each ornament from its soft paper wrapping she would sigh, "Amy look what Mommy found! Isn't this beautiful?" She would hold each ornament up in the air to show Amy, but Amy was mesmerized by the beads. Amy's mother showed her a little golden carousel with tiny horses, a pure white angel with finely crafted wings, and several shinny colored balls, but nothing seemed to catch Amy’s attention. Finally, with only a few ornaments left to unwrap, Amy's mother retrieved a small object from the box. This ornament had its own little box and on the outside was written, "Amy's first Christmas." Amy's mother slowly opened the box and there laid a small brightly painted red nutcracker. On the bottom of the little nutcracker’s foot was a small stamp that read the date that Amy was born.
Amy's mother held up the little red nutcracker and said, "Amy, Look what I found!” Amy glanced up at the little nutcracker, with its bright little red outfit and finely trimmed beard and burst out, "Crack-Crack!" Amy quickly crawled across the floor and lunged for the ornament.
Amy's mother laughed and with a big smile said, "No Amy, this isn't a toy!" She then carefully placed the ornament on the tree just out of Amy's reach. "Well now! Doesn't our tree just look beautiful Amy!” said Amy's mother. "Oh my, look at the time. I'll never get everything ready in time for our guests.” Amy's mother cried out as she looked at the time on the old beehive clock that sat on the small table just to the left of the fireplace. "Amy, be a good girl and stay here while mommy gets things ready." With that Amy's mother dashed out of the room.
As soon as her mother was gone, Amy crawled over to the newly decorated Christmas tree. Using the small stool that her mother had used to place the star on the top of the tree, Amy pulled herself up on her wobbly little legs. With one hand on the edge of the stool Amy stretched as far as she could to reach the little nutcracker. With one final lunge, Amy grabbed the little nutcracker tightly and pulled. The branch whipped back and Amy plopped to the ground. The little nutcracker bounced up and down on the branch a few times and then slowly slid off the branch right into little Amy's lap.
With delight, Amy held up the little nutcracker and whispered in his ear, "My wittle crack-crack." Amy then crawled over to a small wooden dollhouse that was sitting below a large painting of a Windmill and fields of dried hay. Amy introduced Mr. Crack-Crack to a small wooden doll that Amy loved named Molly, and several of her other small dolls. For the next two hours Amy played with Mr. Crack-Crack by showing him every corner of his new home. Finally, Amy decided it was time for Mr. Crack-Crack to take a nap. She placed the little nutcracker on a small wooden and straw bed, and placed a small piece of cloth over him so that only the top of his little black hat and the golden thread were visible. "Night, night Crack-Crack.” Amy whispered.
By the time Amy's mother returned, Amy had fallen fast asleep. Like a little angel, Amy lay there on the floor with her head resting on the back of her hands that were pressed together as if she had fallen asleep while whispering a prayer. At Amy's feet was her favorite blanket, a tiny quilt made of brightly color pieces of soft fabric. "You poor little thing! So much fun for one day," Amy's mother cooed. She then gently lifted Amy into her arms and carried her up to her room and softly laid Amy in her bed. Amy's mother kissed Amy on the cheek and said, "Good night my sweet angel."
Amy's family had a small scruffy dog that Amy lovingly called Woof. That night as the family slept, Woof began sniffing around the family’s house for scraps of food. It wasn’t long before Woof wandered upon Amy's dollhouse. First Woof sniffed the tiny kitchen, then the living room, and finally the little bedroom. As Woof poked his nose deeper into the dollhouse, he caught the scent of cookie that Amy had left for Mr. Crack-Crack to eat when he got hungry. Woof slowly grabbed the cookie and in the process snagged the little nutcracker hang string on his collar. As Woof pulled his head from the dollhouse Mr. Crack-Crack hung from Woof’s collar.
During the night a light blanket of snow had fallen. It was early morning and Amy's father was preparing to leave for work. As he stood in the small front foyer putting on his heavy jacket, gloves and hat, he called up the stairs to Amy's mother, "Honey the tree looks beautiful!" For a moment he stood there watching the sparkling colored lights slowly flash on and off, and then he left.
The house was quiet. Woof was asleep in front of the fireplace. Except for the glow of the low simmering fire and twinkling of the Christmas tree lights, the house was almost dark. Within an hour the house was busy with activity. As Amy's mother prepared to roll out the dough for an apple pie, Amy made her way to her dollhouse. It was time to wake Mr. Crack-Crack, she thought as she crawled closer to the dollhouse. Amy looked in each of the little rooms but he was no where to be found. She then looked at the Christmas tree and he wasn’t there either. Then she cried out, “Oh no! Where was Crack-Crack.”
What Amy didn't' know was that Mr. Crack-Crack was in Woof’s basket, safely hidden under an old blanket. After a few moments Amy began to cry. At first she sobbed slowly and then she began to wail. Her mother ran into the room and asked, "What's the matter Amy?" "Crack-Crack," Amy cried out. "Want Crack-Crack!"
"Do you want a cracker?" Amy's mother asked. Again all Amy could say was "Crack-Crack." "Alright, you just wait here and I'll get you a cracker." said Amy's mother. Amy's mother then headed toward the kitchen to get Amy a cracker. When she returned, she handed Amy a cracker and again Amy cried out, "Want Crack-Crack!" and threw the cracker across the room.
All the crying had awaken Woof from his lazy slumber. He got up and wandered into the next room to see what all the commotion was about. Amy was now crying hysterically, “Crack-Crack, want Crack-Crack!” “Alright little lady, I think it’s time for a nap,” said Amy’s mother. “Why don’t you come in the kitchen and stay with Mommy for awhile?” Amy’s mother then lifted her up and carried her into the softly lit kitchen. By then Woof had returned to his bed and was curled up in a ball with his head tucked under his front paw. Amy’s mother sat Amy gently on the floor and said, “Wait here for just a moment.” As Amy’s mother went to retrieve Amy’s blanket Amy crawled over to Woof’s soft bed and curled up next to Woof. Within minutes Amy was fast asleep. When Amy’s mother returned she could see Amy and Woof quietly sleeping. She carefully laid Amy’s blanket over Amy and went back to making her apple pie.
About an hour later, Woof got up and scratched at the back door to be let out. A few minutes later Amy woke up. As sleepy time faded from her eyes something came into focus. It was Mr. Crack-Crack. He was leaning against a soft fold in Woof’s blanket and was looking right into Amy’s big brown eyes. “Crack-Crack”, Amy whispered. She reached for the little nutcracker and held him close to her rosy cheek. She then faded back off to sleep with a big smile on her face.
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