“Dashing through the snow, on a one horse open sleigh.”
Vanik stopped in the middle of the store at the sound of the singing. He glanced around for the source of the singing.
“O’er the fields we go, laughing all the way.”
“Vanik? What are you doing?”
For the moment, Vanik ignored his uncle calling for him.
Of course his uncle, Spock, hadn’t even wanted to take him to the department store on Van Ness. He’d agreed, rather impatiently Vanik thought. But since they’d arrived, Spock had been rushing him through the store. At this rate, he would be unable to find gifts for his parents.
“Bells on bob tail ring, making spirits bright.”
Spock reached his side and took his arm. “Come, Vanik, I told you I do not have a lot of time. I have a meeting scheduled and…”
“What does it mean bells on bob tail ring?”
His uncle, tall and regal, gazed down at him. He arched a brow. “To what are you referring?”
“The song. Someone is singing. Can you not hear him? He has a very nice voice.”
Spock shook his head. “I do not have time for this. You told me that you wished to acquire gifts for your parents, though I am at a loss as to why, and…”
“For the holiday.” Vanik sighed. “I know that you and grandfather find the celebration of Terran holidays illogical and a waste, however, just as your mother is, my mother is human, and she does celebrate Hanukkah.”
“And Sybok indulges her.” Spock paused. “And you. Yes, I know.”
“I need eight gifts for each,” Vanik told him.
“What fun it is to laugh and sing, a sleighing song tonight.”
“There.” Vanik headed to the right.
There, standing next to a rack of sweaters, was the man who had, apparently, been singing the Terran tune. He was tall with golden hair and bright blue eyes, his fair skin flushed red, probably from coming inside from the cold.
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh.” He stopped and looked down at Vanik. That was when Vanik noticed that the man wore a name tag, Jim, and looked like he was possibly an employee of the store. “Oh. Hello.”
Vanik tilted his head. “Hello. Jim.”
Jim looked up and past Vanik to Spock who had come up behind Vanik. He smiled brightly at both of them. “Can I help you?”
Vanik nodded. “Do you work here?”
“That is fortunate,” Vanik said. “My name is Vanik and this is my uncle, Spock.”
Jim’s smile grew brighter. “Spock, Vanik.”
“First, I have a question.”
“What does bells on bob tail ring mean?”
At this Jim laughed. It was a good laugh and Vanik noticed that his uncle seemed to appreciate it too for he flushed a light green. Spock blushed when he liked someone, Vanik knew.
“It’s something they do to the horse. They tie up his tail when he’s leading the sleigh and they hang a bell so it rings when the horse and sleigh move.”
“Oh. That is logical. Then is it really fun to ride in a one horse sleigh?”
Jim laughed again and it had the same effect on Spock and Vanik as before. “I don’t know. I haven’t actually done it.” His blue eyes shined as he glanced at Spock. “I’d be willing to try it someday though.”
Very interesting, Vanik thought. Jim liked Spock, too.
“And finally, as you work here, can you assist me in determining eight appropriate gifts each for my parents for the celebration of Hanukkah?”
Jim looked back at Vanik from gazing long at Spock. “I’d be delighted.”