Below is the winning submission in the 2023 Peppermint Tale short story contest. A Story Walk version of “Lost on The Peppermint Trail” was displayed during The Peppermint Trail event on December 9.
Lost on The Peppermint Trail
By Mel (and Jupiter) Sadeghpour
BE A GOOD BOY. I WILL BE RIGHT BACK.
She walked through the door of the shop.
Of course, I’ll be good! I am always good…
Except for those times when I’m not.
Up on my back feet to peek in the store.
Wow, that is one handsome pup!
Oh, that’s just me looking out; now I see.
In the shop there is so much to love!
I see boxes and bows and candy and clothes.
And a man in a red fluffy hat.
I can see a tree, all covered with lights!
And I see where She is in the back.
She’s talking with friends, they’re getting a drink
And what? They are eating a snack.
Well, good dog or not, this isn’t quite fair.
Besides, I can be right back!
I look up the street. There’s a sign on a pole.
I can’t read, but can picture the shape.
INGERSOLL, it looks like. I can find my way back.
I can follow the tracks that I’ve made.
I follow the crowd to see what I can see
As I amble my way down the street.
Someone gives me a treat. Peppermint! Not for me!
Perhaps something made out of meat?
BAD DOG someone yells, and I scamper away.
Only sometimes, is my inner thought.
I am mostly good. I’m a good dog. I am!
Something else that I am… I am lost.
Thinking of treats is making me hungry.
What is that amazing aroma?
Look, little houses all made out of cookies.
I’ll just nibble this little corner…
I see some nice people all dressed for a walk
And decide they might help me get back.
All of a sudden, they burst into song!
I guess I’ll just try to backtrack.
I think home’s that way. I run up the hill.
Now I’ve got the lay of the land.
Wait, this doesn’t look right. These buildings are huge!
The word on this sign looks like GRAND.
That building down there looks familiar to me.
It’s the magical place with the cheese!
I stand by the door, watching people walk by.
A nice girl pets my snout, and I sneeze.
ARE YOU COLD IN THIS SNOW? She asks, and leans down
And wraps up my neck with her scarf.
WHERE ARE YOUR PEOPLE? she asks, and I answer,
I DON’T KNOW! She just hears BARK.
I KNOW SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP YOU GET HOME!
She announces, HE’S RIGHT DOWN THE STREET.
WE CAN TAKE THE TROLLEY. I’M SURE THEY WON’T MIND.
(BUT JUST IN CASE, HIDE BEHIND ME).
We ride down the street, and soon we jump off.
THERE HE IS! It’s that man with the hat.
SANTA CAN FIX IT. HE’LL HELP YOU GET HOME.
HO HO HO, WHO’S A GOOD DOG? He asks.
The man with the hat says, YOU MIGHT NOT BELIEVE IT,
I THINK THAT I SAW YOU BEFORE.
YOU PEERED IN THE WINDOW, RIGHT OVER THERE.
He points; She is right by the door!