The Magic Sleigh Bell

      "What's what?" said Natalie, her eyes growing with wonderment as her brother pulled out a short piece of leather strap with a small, single enclosed bell attached to it. He shook it, but it made no sound because the inside was packed with dirt and dried leaves.
      "I wonder where this came from?" queried Travis, as he wiped away some of the caked-on mud, revealing a shiny chrome-like surface.
      "I know... it's probably off Santa's sleigh!" proclaimed Natalie. She was quick to relate everything to the holiday season. "It must have fallen off last year when he landed on the roof to deliver the presents. It's been lying in the eavesdrops ever since, and now we've found it!"
      "They're called eavestroughs, Miss Know-It-All, and I hardly think that this old piece of junk is from a flying sleigh, because as everyone knows..."
      "Okay, that's all of it," interrupted their father, as he descended the ladder. "You kids finish bagging the last pile, and I'll put the ladder back in the garage."
      "Oh, Daddy, guess what Travis found... one of Santa's sleigh bells!" exclaimed Natalie, as her father lifted the ladder onto his shoulder and headed off for the garage.
      He made no reply, as he didn't want to think about anything to do with Christmas. Out of work for nearly a year, he was beginning to doubt his decision to give priority to his family over his job. The more worried


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