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Karen Christine Angermayer

Hush,
it’s Christmas!

An Advent Story in 24 Chapters

Translation by
Sandra Nottingham-Müller and Tina Thrussell

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To Johannes, Nike and Pino.
You are my angels,
and the greatest gifts
anyone could ever ask for

Hush,
it’s Christmas!

Copyright © 2017 by sorriso Verlag GmbH (Publisher).

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address sorriso Verlag GmbH (Publisher), Fritz-Reichle-Ring 8, D - 78315 Radolfzell, Germany. www.sorriso-verlag.com

© of the German edition (hardcover and paperback) by cbj,
Random House Group, Munich, in 2013.

© illustrations (front cover and interior) by Annette Swoboda
Layout: Susanne Büttner, trust marketing

ISBN: 978-3-946287-74-2
eISBN: 978-3-946287-75-9

This book is also available as E-book.

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Contents

December 1st

December 2nd

December 3rd

December 4th

December 5th

December 6th

December 7th

December 8th

December 9th

December 10th

December 11th

December 12th

December 13th

December 14th

December 15th

December 16th

December 17th

December 18th

December 19th

December 20th

December 21st

December 22nd

December 23rd

December 24th

About the Author

Special thanks to

December 1st

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Bruno’s human Daddy and Mommy say that when a butterfly flaps its wings on the other side of the world, then something will happen here on our side, because everything is connected with everything.

Bruno is a dog who doesn’t believe in everything that humans say. He believes in trees where he can lift his doggy leg. He believes in two meals a day and very long naps and a big bone each Friday from the butcher, which takes him all weekend to chew into pieces. (He chews the bone into pieces, not the butcher.) But this year something really must have happened on the other side of the world, because Bruno’s peaceful world here is turned totally topsy-turvey.

It all started in India…

Hello, my name is Bruno and I am a Christmas expert. I have experienced six Christmases, which is like 42 Christmases, since one dog year counts as seven human years.

After 42 years, Christmas doesn’t upset me anymore, even though my humans go totally bonkers at Christmas time. They get what I call the ‘big barking’ in their heads. ‘Stress’ they call it. Sometimes it gets so bad that my Daddy forgets to bring my fresh Friday bone home, and my Mommy hardly has any time to snuggle and cuddle with me. She says she doesn’t know where her head is. Maybe her head is at the end of the world, where the butterflies are?

Anyway, I usually stay pretty calm during Christmas time. But this year is different. This year, Santa, the Christ Child, the Holy Three Kings and Scrooge have all conspired against me; they sent me a cat. A C A T!

A cat is the worst thing that can happen to a dog. This cat’s name is Tofu, um, I mean, Soy, like the milk she always drinks. Real yucky stuff that tastes awful. Even Daddy says that.

Soy is very picky when it comes to eating, and when she does eat, she makes sure to chew each mouthful 33 times. And she does yoga, oh my goodness! On top of that, she is a ‘know it all’. She seriously said that cats were the first animals on this planet. How hilarious is that?! Everybody knows that Adam and Eve had a dog. Why else did they need all the trees in paradise?

Soy will be staying here with us until Christmas Eve, because her human Mommy can’t pick her up until then. Soy’s Mommy had to suddenly go to India to help a friend that became very, very ill. India is on the other side of the world, and it’s still 23 days until Christmas Eve. That feels like forever! How in the world am I to survive?

But wait a minute, isn’t Christmas about making wishes? Let’s give it a try. I close my eyes and say, “Dear Christ Child, dear Holy Three Kings, dear cows in the manger, sheep, oxen and bed bugs, dear cinnamon cookies, gingerbread hearts and hot, roasted chestnuts… my wish to you is that today is already Christmas Eve. One, two, three!”

I open my eyes. My wish did not come true. The cat is still here, laying on my blanket. Today is the first of December. Still 23 agonizing days ahead, and at least as many cat hairs on my cuddle blanket. My nose is starting to tickle… Oh my gosh, I have a Christmas allergy! Achoo!

December 2nd

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Advent calendars are a neat thing. Every day you get to open a little door, and behind that little door there is a surprise like chocolate or a story or a toy.

Soy made an advent calendar for Bruno. She invented it herself. There is no chocolate in it – instead it’s something soooo much better!

Okay, Bruno didn’t like day one of our new relationship so much, but he will love today, day two! Well, maybe. Today begins with Bruno’s fitness-and-fur-nourishing-program. I made this program specifically for him. Every day he has to do a little exercise, and by Christmas Eve he will be the fittest and most handsome dog in the entire world! Okay, he hated the push-ups yesterday, but he definitely will like today’s belly exercise.

“Bruno, get ready, door two on your calendar is waiting for you!” I say.

He opens his eyes. “Is there chocolate today?” he asks hopefully.

“No, but you can keep laying on your back. You have to push your spine onto the floor. Push your heels, too. Lift the upper part of your body and push your front paws to the front, as well!”

“What’s a spine?” Bruno asks, surprised.

I sigh, but I better keep my mouth shut. “Chin on your breast, and lift your head!” I say instead.

He looks at me totally clueless, then closes his eyes again.