Stanley smelt divine and felt amazing in his suit. Coffee had tied one of her patterned scarves around his eyes and they had walked him through to the Party Room.
As he got closer, smiling from ear to ear, he could smell soap suds but didn’t know if it was his fur as it hit the corridor air or something else. Maybe it was just his coat being washed.
“He’s here, he’s back!” Phoebe shouted as he arrived and she whipped off his blindfold.
“TA DA!” yelled Maisie, atop a table in the middle of the room. “Welcome to the Christmas Eve Eve laundry!!!!”
She jumped off the table and ran to Stan, “hello my gorgeous boyfriend, let me show you around.”
Maisie explained what had occurred whilst Stan was running away.
The scouts saw what happened just after and ran down to the barn, they called Bailey and Coffee and they went to assess the situation with Mac, Kiki and Lola. They picked up the teddy bears, squeezed and prodded them and realised that if they moved quickly they could have them washed, hung out to dry, brushed and as good as new by the time 'Team Christmas' arrived. It was the same with the blankets and cushions.
The treats were ruined, but Mac had a plan for that. He ran to Tzu Bakery and spoke to Jiro, Acting Head Baker, who called in his top team to bake trays of wholesome treats. By tonight, they would be gift boxed with ribbons and ready to go.
Together, as a team, they wheeled out the incident board and hatched a plan.
The bears and blankets needed to be moved down to the main building and piled up outside the Party Room where the laundry would be based. Kiki and Lola called for help and a shih-tzu-chain was formed. They picked up a bear at a time and passed it along hundreds of pairs of paws through the Kingdom grounds and back in to the building. A relay of wheelbarrows moved the heavy blankets in the same direction.
Back at the laundry dozens of buckets had been filled with soapy water, tarpaulin had been laid across the floor and clothes lines had been fixed from one side of the hall to the other.
They divided in to four teams and they would rotate, taking an allocation of gifts to wash, dry, hang and brush.
Alice & Pom Pom, Brickie & Hiro, Sammy & Percy and Louis & Colin would lead a team each with Phoebe and Maisie in overall charge.
The dry blankets were being folded and the dry bears would be redressed with neat bows and ribbons from Coffee’s haberdashery cupboard. Everything was loaded into the boxes Santa Paws Land Palace Manager Embry had sent through a few days ago, now with the contents listed neatly on the outside.
In the gift wrap department, paws were a flurry! Beth had drafted in her friends Bella and Millie to tie bows and brush teddy bear fur.
Scout Winny had joined Bentz in the café and they were ferrying in drinks and refreshments to order.
It was amazing to watch. The last lot were just going in wash buckets now.
Paddy hugged his pal.
“We’re a team here in Tzu Kingdom Stan, never forget that! Believe in the Kingdom right?”
“...and believe in yourself too Paddy,” he smiled.