The flags were flying, the bells were ringing, and the villagers were dusting down their finery—the Feast of Midwinter had finally arrived. Tiny, Woodmint and Miss Mary Margaret had transformed the community maker-space into a magnificent carnival tent. Flags from every nation zigzagged across the ceiling, and bouquets of fruit and flowers bloomed from the center of each table.
But it was Woodmint’s Wall of Light that set Tiny’s heart on fire. Hundreds of candles brightened the room with a dazzling golden glow. From the center rose a kinara, beside which stood a menorah, a wreath of advent candles, a dozen delicate clay-pot diyas, and a crown of St. Lucia, all framed with a string of joyful Chinese lanterns. Tiny floated across the room in a bubble of happiness. She was desperate to join her friends on the dancefloor, but instead she gave a quick wave to Dana-bear who was garnishing his sumptuous global feast.
She headed for the mountain of gifts where Woodmint was distributing the presents, one for each resident of Treetops. She quickly found her box and smiled at the thought of breaking the rules. Her official ‘present-pick’ was Elektra Hinton-Lovejoy who was delighted to unwrap her hand-stitched feedbag earlier that morning. This box was an extra special something.
Tiny opened the lid; inside were hundreds of gifts that money could not buy, each decorated with a symbol to represent the gift inside: an ear for the gift of listening, an eye for the gift of attention, a heart for affection, a clock for time, and a hand for service. Tiny slipped them into pockets, under wings and into paws until the box was empty.
Outside, the stars silently cheered, and Mother-the-Moon blew her a kiss. All around her humans, birds and animals were living their lives in harmony. She was proud to call this place her home. The crowds whooped and stomped and beckoned her to join them. It was finally time to dance.