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Picture Book
Happy New Year


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 move them.

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 street.

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 holidays.

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.


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