By Enola Jones

The door of 1334 Beechwood rattled as a snarling Babbitt kicked it shut behind him. "All right, boys," he growled. "It's four days till the first!"

"We know," Davy chuckled. "As a matter of fact, we were going to come over later."

"To make more excuses," Babbitt sniffed.

"No, sir," Mike said. He handed Babbitt an envelope. "Last month's rent. In full."

Micky handed him a second. "This month's rent. In full."

Peter handed him a third. "And half of next month's rent."

Babbitt stared. "How'd you--"

"A couple of lucrative Halloween parties and three part-time jobs," Micky answered.

Mike nodded. "Thanksgiving will have to be PB&J's, but at least we made it."

Peter smiled. "Happy Thanksgiving, sir."

Babbitt sniffed again. "What's there to be thankful for?"

Silence fell for a moment, then Peter said softly, "We're thankful for you."

Babbitt blinked. "....what?"

Peter nodded. "You didn't have to give us a place to stay. But you did. You put up with a lot from us --- and we're thankful for you."

"He's right," Mike said softly. "He's absolutely right."

Shocked into silence, more so as Micky and Davy nodded, Babbitt left without a word. But with his money.

Two hours later, a delivery boy arrived at the Pad. He was laden with boxes of fresh produce, canned food, frozen food, two whole turkeys, and fixings for two huge feasts.

He also handed Mike a note.

Nobody should have PB&J for Thanksgiving. Christmas dinner is included as well. Pay me February's rent February 5. You owe me nothing till then. Consider this a holiday gift --- and don't expect it again. ---Babbitt


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