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Mr. Grimly had wandered around the house, making notes and tut-tutting until the sun started to peek over the horizon.
By the time he left, the elve’s nerves were frayed and they barely had time to finish the cereal display.
“Well,” asked Joe. “Did he find anything?”
They had told Joe that it was routine for the DFFF to send in an auditor and that it was nothing to worry about. But they knew he didn’t quite believe them.
Pixie forced a big smile. “We won’t know for a few days.”
Figgy flew to the table with a bag of carrots and a box grater. “Nim and Lil will find out first, so let’s just focus on the plan.”
Figgy was taking the audit especially hard. He’d been in a foul mood ever since Mr. Grimly asked him what he did before becoming a Mischief Maker.
“Mr. Frost, what was your position at the North Pole prior to joining the Mischief Makers?”
“Uh, well…”. Figgy glanced back at his friends.
Eyes downcast, he whispered, “I worked in…Reindeer Relations.”
Mr. Grimly tapped his toe. “And what, exactly, did you do for that department?”
“I, er, removed…waste.”
“And your title?”
Figgy harrumphed. “I was the Premiere Pooper Scooper, ok? Are you happy? I scooped poop!”
Figgy had been mortified. Thankfully, no one had laughed. Although, Pixie did hide a smile. But that may have been nerves. At least, that is what he told himself.
“Figgy, what is that for?” Pixie pointed at the box grater.
“You’ll see,” he said with a smirk.
“Yes, you’ll see.” Joe giggled and smiled secretively at Figgy.
Pixie arched her brow. “What are you two up to now?”
“Why don’t you two go build the snowman in the living room and I’ll set up the craft.” Figgy winked.
* * *
When Pixie and Joe came back to the kitchen after building the biggest blanket Snowman the world had ever seen, Figgy had finished setting up his big surprise.
He sat atop the box grater with marshmallows, candy canes, chocolate chips and licorice ropes all around him. A small sign next to him read “Snowman Nose Rejection Department” and a carrot was processed halfway through the grater.
“Oh Figgy!” Pixie laughed.
Joe clutched his stomach, giggling uncontrollably and Figgy’s smile lit up the room.
It was just the cheer-up they all needed.