Brant pulled the candy cane from his mouth to examine it.
It wasn’t quite pointed enough yet – still a bit stubby. He stuck it back in to continue the sharpening, then looked at the forest for his tree. The lane up to Brant’s door was a line of candy canes, all with the hook turned outward.
There were five holes still to fill, from canes that had broken over the year. He didn’t know if it was children, animals, or just time that did them in, but every December he filled in the holes.
A slight twinge in his mouth told him he needed to go in and get that cavity filled soon. He sighed, through his nose rather than his mouth. So many cavities, so little time. And the thousand-some candy canes would need replacing next year, and the year after, and the year after that, as well.
Brant had considered buying pre-sharpened canes, once. Or canes that weren’t made of sugar. Or just driving them in without sharpening them first. But none was as authentic as his way, so he left them to the side and continued his tradition.
Pulling the candy cane out, he examined it once more. Sharp, now, and he touched his finger to the point just to be sure. Definitely ready.
Brant opened the door, walked out into the cold morning air, and jabbed the candy cane into one of the holes. Four more to go, he thought. Maybe another, if that one on the end doesn’t hold up.
Brant walked back inside, grabbed another cane, and stuck it in his mouth.