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Case of the Homeless Holiday Dinner

The Case of the Homeless Holiday Dinner   [phone ringing] “Hello?” “Daisy! It’s Attorney Malkah!” “Hi Malkah! What’s up?” “Not much! I wanted to let you know that today we are going to visit a local homeless shelter to help prepare a holiday meal for all the people who live there. It would be great if you could come with us! Do you want to go?” Asked Attorney Malkah. [birds chirping & music] On a chilly, December morning, powdery snowflakes fell from the sky as Attorney Malkah chatted on the phone with her good friend Daisy Dolly. Malkah explained to Daisy that they would go with a couple of their other friends, Petunia Dolly and Rebecca Dolly. Daisy grew excited and curious about what this holiday dinner was all about.
Malkah and the doll girls wanted to help these less fortunate people who had no homes of their own and no families to be with during the holidays. This is why they lived in a homeless shelter. Attorney Malkah and the dollies could spread some holiday cheer by preparing a delicious meal so these less fortunate people could experience something very special.    Well, Daisy Dolly thought this was such a wonderful plan that her friends were doing this – a real act of kindness and replied to Malkah,     “This is such a lovely idea! I would love to go!” 
“Wonderful! We’ll all be together. In fact, we are leaving in one hour! Can you come to my house?” Malkah asked. “I’ll be there in a jiffy!” Replied Daisy. With that the girls finished their call. Daisy had been to Malkah’s house many times and in fact, lived just around the corner. So, she scurried to get ready. As Daisy headed out, Attorney Malkah gathered her thickest coat, fluffiest scarf and chunkiest boots and then prepared a list of duties to help the dollies get organized since they had a full day ahead of them. The doorbell rang just as Malkah was feeding her two cats, Boss Kitty and Jackie Clover, and giving the last snack to her small dog, Joselita. She greeted Daisy with a huge hug as the two were very close. Together, they walked toward the homeless shelter which was not far from where they lived. It was quite a sight to witness a doll seemingly alive as she held hands with a human! Albeit her walk was a bit stiff since she did not have joints like humans and animals. Heads always turned for folks could not believe their eyes! But for Malkah and Daisy, the friendship was as real as could be. They arrived just as Petunia Dolly and Rebecca Dolly approached. A round of warm hugs circled, as if Malkah and the dollies hadn’t seen in other in ages; even though they had all met for high tea just the day before. For a few moments, they chatted quietly amongst themselves before entering the shelter. Naturally, the dollies were quite girly in their own, individual ways, and enjoyed observing each other’s appearances. As the girls entered, they were quickly surrounded by disheveled people, some with alarming appearances. A lot of them didn’t look very healthy. And most wore shabby clothes that did not fit well and were dirty. Some did not appear to be very clean and were even a bit stinky. But there were those who smiled at the girls with kindness in their eyes and that was the gesture that touched them the deepest. Attorney Malkah and her dolly friends could tell that these people were quite poor, which made their hearts to ache. 
The disturbing conditions of these homeless people disturbed Malkah and her dolly friends. And yet, they all welcomed the girls with kind greetings which caused the girls to realize how lucky they were to have their families and live in nice, stable homes. The girls were touched and eager to create a holiday memory that these people deserved and would remember.   Making their way into the kitchen in the back of the building, they found a large, two-door refrigerator, a couple of massive sinks and tons of counter space and appliances.   “This feels like we’re in a restaurant kitchen!” Exclaimed Daisy Dolly “Wow! We’re gonna be cooking for a lot of people!” Expressed Petunia.   Attorney Malkah exclaimed to her dolly friends,    “Let’s get busy, dollies! We’ve got a lot of cooking to do!”    Cooking was one of Malkah’s hobbies, even at the young age of 8. Jeepers, she was a wiz in the kitchen and could cook her mother under the table with any of her amazing culinary creations. When she wasn’t busy cooking up solutions to drama situations with her dolly friends, she was in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes. Attorney Malkah’s eyes practically popped out of her head when she opened the refrigerator, for she saw so many yummy ingredients! There were all sorts of plump vegetables, colorful fruits, aromatic herbs, blocks of tofu, beans, and bottles of sauce to prepare an incredible meal. Most importantly, Malkah was impressed by all the generous people in the neighborhood who had donated these items to the shelter. “Dollies! Get a load of this!” As Malkah ushered the doll girls over to the refrigerator. “Do you dollies know what amazing dishes we can prepare with all these incredible ingredients?” Asked Malkah. Attorney Malkah and the dollies carefully removed ingredients from the refrigerator to begin preparations for the festive holiday meal. Daisy Dolly washed veggies in the massive sink while Petunia Dolly chopped fruits and nuts and shredded cheese. Malkah began to mix and sizzle ingredients on the stove top that released an irresistible aroma of home cooking, love and generosity. The girls’ cooking released a delicious aroma of kindness and belonging throughout founds its way throughout the shelter. One by one, some of the folks shyly approached and asked if they could help with the preparations. Attorney Malkah could tell that they were not accustomed to such generosity, out of the kindness of their hearts. “Madame, all this cooking is splendid. What can I do to help?” Timidly asked a very tall, boney man who seemed quite hungry. “Would you mind placing all these utensils in baskets around the main table?” Replied Petunia.    As she gathered heaps of forks, knives, spoons, napkins and plates, and handed them over to the skinny man. Another commented, “Dear, we are so thankful to have you here with us and appreciate all that you are doing. We don’t have much. But your generosity and care make us feel so special.” The lady must have been close to her mother’s age. Attorney Malkah was touched. An elderly lady limping with a cane grasped Daisy’s arm and claimed, “My dear dolly, who in heaven’s name sent you to us?! I’m Helga. You remind me of my daughter when she was a young girl. I haven’t seen her in ages. Thank you!” Both Malkah and Daisy noticed that the lady was not surprised that Daisy was in fact a living dolly! Then, Helga helped Attorney Malkah prepare all the containers in the cafeteria section so that when the food was finally ready it would stay nice and warm for the entire evening.  Attorney Malkah walked back into the kitchen and instructed the other dollies,    “It’s time to prepare the rest of the dishes because they might take some time to bake.”    However, upon opening the refrigerator, Attorney Malkah noticed that one of the big, brown grocery bags that contained the most important ingredients was missing. She closed the refrigerator and looked everywhere for any sign of the misplaced bag. She looked on the countertops, on the stovetop, in the sink and even on the floor. She noticed that Daisy and Petunia were still very busy preparing ingredients. Yet, she did not find the brown bag. Attorney Malkah replayed the day’s activities since their arrival at the shelter, and suddenly, it occurred to her that Rebecca Dolly was nowhere to be found! She thought that was odd. Concerned, she quickly walked back into the kitchen and asked Daisy and Petunia,     “Have you dollies seen Rebecca?”     To which the dollies replied,    “Why, no. We have not seen her.”    Attorney Malkah continued to question the dollies,    “Have either of you seen the big, brown bag that contains the main ingredients?”     The dollies were so distracted chopping and cooking that they replied almost in unison,     “No, we haven’t seen it! Where could it be?”   “I’ll be back in a jiffy!” claimed Attorney Malkah.    She threw on her coat and scarf, left the dollies in the kitchen, and ran outside wondering, where could Rebecca Dolly have gone?    Now, Attorney Malkah was in fact an attorney which meant that she was quite accustomed to digging into situations, asking questions, and solving mysteries and problems. Growing more and more suspicious, she asked herself,    “How can I find the missing brown bag? And why is Rebecca Dolly also missing?”  She suspected that there might be a connection between Rebecca and the missing brown bag. She certainly did not want to pass judgment against her dolly friend unless she had proof. If Rebecca Dolly had stolen the brown bag of ingredients, it was her duty to make it right!   Not sure what to do next, Attorney Malkah followed a tiny voice inside that told her to walk down the block toward her home. Surprisingly, she noticed Rebecca Dolly walking in front of her! It seemed that Rebecca was carrying something bulky, causing her to walk in an awkward sort of way.    Stepping up her pace, Attorney Malkah thought to herself, “Oh, dear! Please Rebecca Dolly…I hope you haven’t stolen the brown bag because that’s a bad thing to do!” Within seconds, Malkah was right behind Rebecca Dolly and cried out to her darling friend, “Rebecca! Is it you?” Startled, Rebecca twirled around at the sound of Attorney Malkah’s voice. In a split-second Malkah witnessed that Rebecca Dolly was in fact carrying a big, brown bag! And it looked identical to the one that had been in the refrigerator. In fact, Rebecca was so taken aback that she dropped the bag! Oh my. Out roled oranges, tomatoes, grapes, cheeses, nuts, cakes, and more! And many of the items rolled into the street. The girls gasped! In a matter of seconds, a car drove by and ran over everything. Even a delicious chocolate cake was now a flattened pile of smooshy frosting. The attorney and the dolly looked at each other in shock. They were both devastated! Neither knew what to do in that awkward moment – Rebecca because she had been caught red-handed, stealing; and Attorney Malkah because she had witnessed her dear dolly friend in the act of stealing. Now, they did not have all the necessary ingredients they needed to complete their holiday dinner!    Before Attorney Malkah could say a word, Rebecca Dolly confessed, “Oh, Malkah! I am so sorry! I was going to give the brown bag to my parents because they do not have the money to buy food for our holiday dinner.” As much as she cared about her parents, Rebecca felt guilty as tears swelled in her eyes. In that moment, the young, compassionate, Attorney Malkah felt bad for her dolly friend. But she also realized that stealing is wrong no matter the reason, and that the situation needed to be corrected.  “Rebecca Dolly, I’m really sorry for your family’s struggles. But that brown bag was not yours to take. It was for the people at the homeless shelter. Now, we don’t have the ingredients we need to complete the dinner.”   “What can we do to make this right?”  Attorney Malkah asked. To which Rebecca Dolly replied, “I know! Maybe we can walk down to the supermarket, and I can use my allowance to buy the same ingredients and return them to the shelter!”    “That is such a great idea! I am so proud of you, Daisy.” Praised Malkah. Though Rebecca had learned a valuable lesson, Attorney Malkah felt sad that her dolly friend might have to spend her hard-earned allowance to replace the missing ingredients for her family to enjoy a lovely dinner together. Yes, it was a lesson learned in doing the right thing but it also strengthened their friendship as Rebecca had Malkah’s full support. “Oh Rebecca! I feel bad for you and your family! I had no idea. But I want to help. Since you are willing to replace the brown bag, I will take some of my allowance and buy some fruits and veggies to give to you and your family for your Thanksgiving dinner.” Offered Attorney Malkah. Touched by her generous offer, Rebecca Dolly gave Attorney Malkah a huge hug and cried, “Oh, thank you, Attorney Malkah! You really are such a dear friend!” Once back at the shelter carrying two, big brown bags – one for the homeless and the other for Rebecca Dolly’s family – the other dollies curiously asked, “Where have you two been?” Malkah and Rebecca looked at each other in a moment of silence. Not wanting to embarrass her friend, Attorney Malkah replied, “We went to the supermarket to purchase ingredients for Rebecca Dolly’s family holiday dinner.” Before the other dollies could ask more questions, Attorney Malkah claimed, “Quick dollies! We need to prepare the rest of the meal! Who knows best what spices to use?” Knowing very well that both Daisy and Petunia would jump at the chance. “I do!” Replied the dolls in unison. “Ha!Ha! Great!” cried Attorney Malkah. “Rebecca and I will finish preparing the rest of the food!” A few hours later, the cafeteria with overflowing with the yummiest cuisine they had ever prepared. The delicious aroma filled the air as the homeless people lined up for the best meal they had eaten in a long time. Smiling and chatting with these nice people, they all thanked the girls repeatedly, as Malkah and the dollies filled their plates to the rim.

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