The water tower was on a hill, so Ridley could still make out the tree on top of her apartment building, Winthrop Place. The tree had been lit just a few minutes earlier in a big ceremony that was very pretty. It was a good night.
Ridley laid in the grass underneath the water tower. The ferret sat sniffing around next to her. She was still deciding on a name, but in lieu of a collar she had tied a red ribbon in a neat bow around the little rodent’s neck (so she’d be able to recognize him if he ran off)
Earlier that evening, Ridley was shuffling home in her yellow rain boots and a big white parka, and just starting to get her annual sadness around the holiday season. It goes like this just about every year: Ridley loves the holidays; She gets swept up in the twinkling Christmas lights around town and the snowmen and the sleigh bells, and then she gets home on Christmas Eve. It’s been 4 years since Ridley’s father has gotten her a Christmas present. Her mother used to be the festive one.
But this year, just as Ridley was starting to get bummed out, she found a red box on the floor in front of her apartment door. The girl’s mood skyrocketed back up to the levels of, well, a child around Christmas time. The box had no tag on it, and as she carried it inside, she heard a wild scratching sound coming from within the box and almost dropped it in her shock. She ran inside and tore open the box, and out sprung a wiry brown and white ferret. This was turning out to be the best Christmas Ridley could have ever asked for.
Carol. That’s what Ridley would name him. Carol.