"I know you're sorry, Ronnie. But I want you to think, really think, about all the problems you've caused. Half the elves are sick now because of your foolishness, and we're in danger of not finishing the toys by December 24th. What are my brothers Kris and Nicholas going to say when I can't cover my territory? What's our dad, Father Christmas, going to say when I fail? We can't afford another loss this year. Imagine the world without Christmas, Incorporated. Imagine!"
"I know, dear, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."
He put his arms around her, turning her so she could weep into his massive chest. He petted her hair, saying, "Shush, it's all right now, it's all over, and of course I forgive you. I know you try very hard to be good, and I also know you had the best of intentions when you ran out in the sleet to grab the mail."
"I only wanted to help," she cried. "So many letters from so many little children to be answered, categorized, and filed. I thought I was doing a good deed."
"I know, Ronnie, I know. Hush, now, it's all over. I love you."
"I love you, too."
He placed a kiss on the top of her head. "Why don't you take a moment to pull yourself together before you make dinner? And don't burn the meal tonight, hon; keep your mind on your work. I'd hate to have to spank you again today."
Her husband left the room. She wiped her face and blew her nose one-handedly while the other hand soothed her burning bottom. She opened the window and grabbed the tube of aloe she kept hidden in a snow bank, and applied it while thinking about her problem.
Why did everything she tried to do turn out wrong? Was she just a ditzy chick? It wasn't that she was dumb or anything, just ... scattered, somehow. She couldn't keep her thoughts together when things grew hectic ... My, but that aloe gel cooled the sting nicely!
There she was, distracted again. She tugged her underwear into place and rearranged her skirt. She could make dinner and keep her mind on it, she could, she could and she would.
Holding her head high, she marched to the kitchen, her hands firmly clasped on her throbbing butt cheeks. As she passed the table on which the mail was always laid before sorting, she noticed an envelope on the floor, nearly hidden by the table's hanging cloth.
Picking it up, she turned it over in the light, frowning at the return address.
She put the teakettle on. While she waited for it to whistle, she considered what the envelope might contain.
When the kettle was steaming freely, she placed the envelope over it. Soon the flap came unglued. Before she withdrew the contents, she looked around quickly. Opening her husband's private mail, if he caught her doing so, would earn her a week of bottom-blisterings.
She read. She gasped. Stunned, she replaced the letter and resealed the envelope.
Her Sannie was in deep trouble, and she had to find a way to help.