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Dakota December by Lauraine Snelling
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Sheriff Caleb Stensrude of Soldahl, North Dakota, notices that his faithful dog Sam senses they have company; Johanna Carlson, who has come a long way from home with her young son, fights for consciousness and cries out in pain when she hears Caleb's voice.



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Sheriff Caleb Stensrude looked out the window at the storm, & left Sam, the dog, out. He was all alone on Christmas Eve. He'd left Max out of jail after he sobered up, & Dag had given hom his job back...good thing or he would have frozen in the cold! The dog came back to the front door & wanted Caleb to follow him. He dressed for the cold, realizing that Sam usually had a reason when he wanted to be followed. He found a mother & her child in the snow, and helped them back to his house. The mother moaned in pain, & he realized she was in labor. Caleb helped the boy undress so he'd be warmer by the stove. Then he went back out in the storm to get their horse. He took the horse into his barn...she didn't even have a saddle! What happened to the wagon? He fed & watered the skinny horse. On the way in the house he picked up some wood for the fire. The boy was asleep using Sam for a pillow. After he introduced himself, she introduced herself as Johanna Carlson & her son as Henry between contractions. He was attracted to her, but she might have a husband. Caleb put the boy in bed & left the dog with him. When the infant was born it left out a howl...it was a girl! This lady would probably never want to see him again! He tore off a piece of old sheet to cover the umbilical cord, and used a bigger piece to wrap the baby in. After he named her "Angel" both mother & child fell asleep...and Caleb Stensrude wrapped himself in a quilt to go to sleep. ( )
  CAFinNY | Apr 26, 2019 |
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