Characters: Barbara Kowalski, Dief and Fraser.
Word Length: 1,068
Summary: How did Dief get the scarf he wore in Call of The Wild?
Six years old Barbara Kats was sitting on the couch watching her mama crochet. Mama looked up and smiled, her blue eyes sparkled. Mama brushed blond curls from her face.
'You wanna learn crochet, Barbar?'
'Sure. It's not hard.'
Her eyes went wide. She thought crocheting was just something grown ups did.
Her mama had been right, it hadn't been hard at all. Her first project had been a potholder and while it was lopsided she had used it until it fell apart.
As she grew so did her skill. She made everything from socks and mittens to sweaters and vests. Some of her favorite times were when she would work on a project and her cat Pumpkin would chase her balls of yarn around the house.
When she became a teenager he father taught her how to box and Barbara combined her two favorite hobbies by crocheting hand warmers and a bag to keep her boxing gloves in.
She married Damien and wore a handmade wedding dress. The yarn was white, soft and delicate. Damien wore a dark suit and yellow crocheted tie.
When she found out she was pregnant she spent months making booties, hats, blankets and sweaters. When they brought Stanley home he was wrapped in a blue blanket (she had also made a pink one just in case) that brought out the color of his big blue eyes.
As Stanley got older she made him clothes. He wore his red sweater until it literally fell apart at the seams.
When Stella married Stanley, Stella wore Barbara's old wedding dress; she had wanted to give it to her daughter and Stella was the daughter of her heart.
Now, Barbara Kowalski was sitting in her favorite chair making a pair of mittens for Benton. He was very polite and enjoyed her cooking. That was good enough in her book. Maybe next she would make him a sweater, his old one was worn and frayed.
As she moved her crochet hook jazz played on the radio. She tapped her foot on the floor.
Diefenbarker was laying near her on the floor. Every once in a while she would reach down and rub her fingers through his soft fur. She always thought she was a cat-lady, but she had to admit half-wolves had their good points.
Once she finished her mittens she sat them aside. She ran her fingers over the soft brown fabric.
'Now what should I do?,' Barbara asked Dief. Benton wasn't the only one who could talk to Diefenbarker. Maybe that meant she was part Canadian.
Diefenbarker barked, his tail thumped on the floor.
She grinned. 'Wonderfulness! What color would you like your scarf?'
'Blue I can definitely do,' she said as she reached down and he licked her fingers.
Barbara got up and stretched. She moved her arms until they were loose and limber. Enough crocheting, now it was boxing time. Later it would be dinner time, she hoped Damien made his semi-famous spaghetti. Just thinking about it made her stomach growl.
Later that day, she went to the yarn store. It was in a small red brick building, with a bench by the door. A sign out front said Milly's Yarn Wear House in golden letters.
She said hello to the cashier Tom and went to her favorite section. She stood in front of shelves full of yarn skeins and looked at all the bright colors.
Her eyes went past reds, yellows and greens until she came to the blues. She picked out a light blue that was as soft as Dienbarker's fur.
A week later she had finished the scarf. Put in a brown paper bag and made her way to the Consulate.
Once there the butterflies in her stomach started flip flopping. She hoped he liked it, she had never made a scarf for a half-wolf.
When Diefenbarker saw her he ran to her. She wrapped him in her arms and buried her face in his fur. He smelled like fresh air and sugar.
'Hello, Mrs. Kowalski is there something wrong?' Benton asked.
'Nope. I just have a gift for Diefenbarker.'
Barbara pulled the scarf out of her bag and wrapped it around Diefenbarker's neck. She didn't know why she had been so worried, he said thank you and licked her face.
What a lovely scarf. Did you make it?' Benton asked.
Barbara stood up and wiped half-wolf slobber off her cheek. 'Yep. Yep. Would you like me to make you one?'
A smile pulled at the corners of Benton's lips. 'I would like that very much.'
'Cool. What color would you like?
'I would prefer yellow.'
'Yellow it is.'
She made Benton a scarf, but he left for Canada before she finished it. She folded it up and put it away. It would be waiting for him when he, Stanley and Diefenbarker got back.
Weeks later she was sitting at the small table inside her and Damien's R.V. Warm sunlight was shining through a small window and fell on a battered cardboard box.
She picked up a newspaper clipping and smiled. Stanley, Benton and Diefenbarker were staring straight ahead smiling. Even though the picture was black and white Barbara could see that Dief was wearing his blue scarf. She would know that scarf anywhere.
She opened the cardboard box on her lap and smelled a pine scent. She picked up a letter that was written in Stanley's sloppy script.
Me, Dief and Fraser are going to stay in Canada for a while, could you take care of my turtle and my car?
Love, ya. Ray
She sat the letter down and picked up what was inside the box. She pulled out a t-shirt that had 'I Went To Canada And All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt' written on. Stanley must have picked it out. Under the shirt sat a leather bound book full of blank white paper. She would give it to Damien, he was a poet on the outside.
She pulled the shirt on and it made feel close to Stanley, Benton and Dief.
She went over to her chair and picked up her crochet hook. She didn't know how long the boys were going to stay in Canada, but they were going to have lots of warm clothes when they came back.