Dallin and Edith were enjoying the holidays.
Edith had baked all kinds of delicious goodies and they were eating them
as quickly as she could make them. When Dallin came home from a hard
day’s work, he’d walk in the house, only to find the aroma of pastries,
iced cherry cakes, treacle puddings, and gingerbread waiting for him.
That was just for sweets. Edith cooked and baked all day long, preparing
bannocks, smoked salmon, shepherds pie and homemade ginger marmalade.
Luckily she only cooked like this during holiday time, as she and Dallin
were gaining a lot of weight from eating so much.
Dallin’s kilt seemed
tighter around his waist and his socks were harder to pull up. His
helmet squished his head and wasn’t very comfortable to wear. Edith’s
dresses were not so loose anymore and it was hard to tie her scarf
around her now-fattening neck. As the festive season went into full
bloom, Edith baked even more. She took clootie dumplings with hot
pudding to her neighbors. She fixed bubbly-jock (turkey) with oyster
stuffing for auld Mrs. Macrae down the road. She fixed some Caledonian
cream for the Sinclairs, but kept some for Dallin and herself too. The
pounds kept piling on and Dallin and Edith got fatter and fatter.
Soon it was New Year’s
Eve. Edith spent the day baking Black Bun, Dundee cake, and shortbread
with caramel. She and Dallin were going out near midnight. They decided
to go and visit Betty and Andrew Adair and be ‘first-footers’ , right
when the clock struck midnight.
Edith made up a plate of
sweets and they headed out. It was cold and snowy so they had to walk
fast. Dallin had to keep tugging at the top of his kilt because it was
so tight on him now and seemed to be shorter, allowing a cold draft to
float up under his kilt. At last they reached the Adair’s house. Dallin
knocked before he opened the door. "Happy New Year!" he called out.
The Adairs shouted back,
"Welcome, Dallin and Edith. You’re the first to arrive. You’re the
year’s ‘first-footers’. Come inside. It’s cold out there."
Dallin and Edith tried to
go in at the same time. Because they’d gained so much weight, they got
stuck. They were wedged in the doorframe of the Adair’s house. "Come in,
will you," Betty called. "You’re letting in a draft!"
As hard as they tried,
Dallin and Edith couldn’t move. They were stuck and nothing was going to
Snow blew into the
Adair’s home. They started shivering. Betty had to get her woolen shawl
to stay warm. Andrew kept warm under a heavy blanket, sitting by the
fire in his chair. They couldn’t get out to push because Dallin and
Edith were blocking the only way in and out of the house. Luckily two
big burly men went walking by. They stopped when they saw Edith and
Dallin. One of the men, Jock McKenzie, grabbed hold of Edith around the
waist. The other, Angus MacFarlane, pushed Dallin. Before they could
count to three, the doorway was clear.
"I think you two had
better lose some weight," Jock laughed. "I’d stay away from the pastries
if I was you." Jock and Angus left, laughing as they walked down the
Dallin let Edith go into
the Adair’s house first and he followed her. They had a grand New Years
with the Adairs and all their other guests, once the house warmed up.
The next day Edith gave
all her sweets out to the neighbors. "Time to eat healthy," she said to
Dallin. Instead of eating all those delicious, but calorie filled foods,
they switched to salads and fruits and vegetables. By the end of summer
they had lost most of the extra weight that they’d gained during the
Dallin sat in front of
the fire one early winter evening. He started to smile. He could hear
Edith in the kitchen baking. He reached down and patted his tummy. "Here
we go again," he said.