Wednesday stood on the mat just inside the door, dripping snow in fat white globs. Lurch grumbled under his breath as he helped her remove her black beret, red coat, and bright yellow overshoes.
The door opened again and Pugsley entered. Or at least a mound of snow, roughly Pugsley-shaped, entered. Lurch grumbled another 'errr' while he shook his head before getting a whisk broom.
"Hello, children!" Gomez cried, leaping into the anteroom with an epeé, busily slashing at Cousin Itt who was chittering happily while slashing back with a matching epeé. Gomez was wearing a red plaid bathrobe, red fez jauntily tilted on his head, and bunny slippers. The bunny slippers had fangs. Cousin Itt was wearing a huge, floppy Musketeers hat topped by an ostrich plume.
"En garde," Morticia said, without looking up from the Ming vase in which she was arranging beheaded American Deadly roses.
"TISH! That's French!" Gomez flung the epeé wildly to fly across the room where it stuck in a hat rack, quivering. He threw himself at Morticia, kissing his way up from her headless rose holding hand to her shoulder.
"Did you enjoy the snow, children?" Morticia said while continuing to snip.
"I did," Wednesday said. "We recreated the Bohemian Girls' War. I was Queen Libussa. Pugsley didn't want to play."
Pugsley sneezed. "All of Queen Libussa's men had their right eyes and thumbs removed so they couldn't fight! I couldn't do that! We're playing masked hockey killer tomorrow, I'll need my thumbs to hold the chainsaw."
Gomez was still kissing his way up Morticia's arm, when she patted him on the head and said,"Dear, not in front of the Ent."
"Oh, right." Gomez stopped kissing and turned to their guest with a beaming grin. "I see you're all dressed up for the holidays, Entgar!"
The Ent sighed and waved its arms which were festooned with strings of lights, silver skulls, jewel-colored plastic bats, and gold werewolf fangs. After a moment, it drooped. "No one to see."
Wednesday went to the Ent and took one branching hand. "I see you," she said solemnly.
"And so do I!" Pugsley declared, shaking off the last of the snow.
"But I have no Ent-wife to see me. She is lost," Entgar said sadly, drooping further.
"What?" cried Gomez. "You've lost your wife! That's very sad." He tilted his head to one side and grinned in a conspiratorial fashion. "I could introduce you to a nice hemlock in the garden."
Entgar's wilt continued. "It wouldn't be the same. Entsmeralda was so... very....leafy."
Morticia's eyes softened. "How romantic. Gomez, we must help our friend."
"Yes, yes, my precious! But how? Put an ad in the personals?" Gomez grinned. "Come home, Entsmeralda, all is forgiven?" He whirled to look at Entgar. "You do forgive her, don't you?"
"There is nothing to forgive," the Ent said. "She went away with the rest of the Entwives to grow flowers. They said they'd get a ride home with Sir Francis Drake, when he wasn't busy, but they never did return."
Cousin Itt had been listening and making sad noises. He tugged on Gomez's bathrobe, and when Gomez noticed him, he chattered excitedly.
"Excellent suggestion, Itt! Santa knows where EVERYONE is! I'll just go to the North Pole and ask him to find Entsmeralda!"
"Can we go, too?" Pugsley asked, beating out Wednesday by a moment.
Morticia shook her head. "Not on a school night. Pugsley, did you feed Kitty? I heard him roaring at the neighbor's Pekinese. And Wednesday, your Venus fly traps have indigestion."
The children sighed and stomped off to take care of their pets.
"Lurch, go fetch the sleigh!" Gomez clapped his hands together gleefully. "I've been looking for an excuse to wear my new fur coat!"
Thing popped up out of one of his boxes, holding a pair of mittens. "Thank you, Thing!" Gomez took the mittens and then bent over Morticia's hand to kiss her fingers. "Farewell, my little turtledove. It is a far, far better thing I do than I have... well, actually, no, I've done much better things! And probably will again!" His eyebrows waggled suggestively.
Some time later, Lurch grunted and tugged on the reins, halting the polar bear pulling their sleigh. "Wait right here," Gomez said as he climbed out of the sleigh and went over to the candy striped pole set in the snow. He brushed off a plaque affixed to the side revealing the words 'North Pole, Santa's Workshop'. "This is it!" He looked around wildly. "I think it's it. Which way do I go now?" The fox head dangling from the collar of his coat rose and pointed off to the right with its nose. "Right! Thanks! I'll be back soon, Lurch, keep the engine warm!" He floundered off into a snowbank, yelling, "Yoo Hoo, Santa!"
Lurch grumbled and got out of the sleigh to put a paisley shawl over the polar bear.
The fox head directed Gomez to a door set in a snow-covered slope. The sign on the door read, "No Solicitors. We're Elf Insured." Gomez pounded on a big gilt reindeer door knocker until it opened. "I'm here to see Santa. He missed someone at Christmas," he told the scandalized elf who held the door. "Very bad for his reputation. I'm sure he'll want to rectify the situation." He grinned. "Oh, and if you have any leftover eggnog, I wouldn't mind a cup."
Much later, Gomez returned home and sipped a cup of hot cocoa with Morticia at his side. They looked out the window into the snow-covered garden filled by a crowd of dandelion-fluffy haired Entwives surrounding the much taller Entgar. "They were in Holland, developing new kinds of tulips. They'd completely lost track of the time, so they told Santa. And forgot their names, too. I can understand that. What with all the branches and leaves and all it's hard to tell one Ent from the forest. So Santa sent them all here for Entgar to choose his bride. Or harem. Whatever." He grinned maniacally.
Morticia tilted her head and cupped a hand to one ear. "Listen!"
"What? What is it?"
"I think I can hear the pitter-patter of little ent-seeds." Morticia smiled.