The Present

by Christian O'Kane

It had been a very exciting evening but Misha's famous Yule evening parties always were. Many long hours of partying and revelry had finally come to an end. Misha and Caroline had at long last been able to retire to their apartment for some private time. There they had time to relax together.

"This is for you honey," Misha said and handed Caroline a large bundle wrapped in fine blue paper.

The otter morph opened the package excitedly revealing a beautiful dress of purple, white and gold. "Oh . . . This is beautiful." She hugged him tightly and kissed him again and a again.

"This is for you!" Caroline said producing a small package of her own. She handed it to Misha who eagerly accepted it.

A few seconds of pulling and opening revealed a finely made silver figurine of a sitting fox. Ever whisker and tuft of fur was finely crafted in sterling silver.

He hugged her tightly and kissed her. "This is perfect! Beautiful. I love it!"

"I'm glad you love it. You're so hard to find a gift for," she said.

"Whatever you get me is perfect," Misha answered.

Caroline pointed to a package that rested on the table next to Misha. "And who is that for? It's been sitting there for a week."

"For me!" Misha barked happily. "My niece Amanda sent it to me. Made it herself."

"Well," the otter morph said excitedly. "Then open it!"

He picked up the package and carefully opened it to reveal a small wood box. Misha opened the box. resting on a large amount of tissue paper was a small card. "Dear Uncle Misha. I hope you like your present. It will keep you warm. Love Amanda."

"How sweet," Caroline said cheerfully.

Misha carefully peeled back the tissue paper inside. He paused for a moment and stared at the contents. Then using only two fingers he removed the gift inside. "How . . . " he paused. "Nice."

"I think it's cute and a wonderful gift," Caroline commented. "You have to wear it tomorrow."

"No," Misha barked.

"Misha your niece made it for and you WILL wear it. She'll be disappointed if you don't."

"Caroline . . ." he whined.

"No arguments on this dear. Besides. I think you'll look cute."


Misha was late getting up that morning. Usually by 7am he was in his office but it was now almost 9am and he had not yet shown for the day. With some reluctance the fox morph left his apartment and slowly walked down one of the countless hallways of Metamor Keep.

Danielle and Finbar were slowly walking down the same corridor. The two mustelids were walking arm in arm. In front of them suddenly appeared a sight that made them both stop short.

There in front of them was the leader of the Long scouts; Misha. The fox morph was wearing a pair of pants colored a nondescript brown. But he also wearing a wool sweater dyed the brightest shade of pink with small blue, green and brown fish all over it.

"Misha," Finbar said. "Where did you get that sweater. It's the ugl . . ."

"MY NIECE MADE THIS FOR ME," Misha snarled and curled his lips revealing a muzzle filled with sharp teeth. "And I think it's nice."

Danielle put both hands around Finbar's muzzle shutting him up. "We think it's very nice," she said calmly.

Finbar just nodded his head slowly in agreement.

"Finbar's taking me to on a picnic," Danielle said hastily. "We want to get the food and down to the river. Good bye!"

"But it's winter!" Finbar complained.

"Quiet!" With that she pulled the ferret morph by the arm and the two ran out of sight quickly.

There was a group of a dozen people clustered around the doorway to Misha's office when he arrived there.

"Misha," Oberon said cheerfully. "Good morning!"

"Misha!" Meredith said. "Where did you get that sweater."

Misha's lips curled in a snarl and the hackles came up. "THIS IS A PRESENT FROM MY NIECE FOR YULE. ANYTHING WRONG WITH IT?"

The group went silent instantly.

"No," Georgette said softly.

"It's . . . " Meredith stuttered. "Very nice. "You'll stay warm with that on."

With that Misha turned and walked into his office without another word.

The door closed behind him leaving the fox scout in his office with just Caroline as a companion. "Can I take this off now?"

Caroline nodded and hugged him. "Yes you can. Now that wasn't so bad was it?"

"YES!" he paused for a moment. "Well. No, I guess not," Misha said as he looked down at the sweater he was wearing. "And it is warm."