By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Colfax resident Missy Prince was born and raised in Colfax and is in her 20th year of teaching kindergarten at Colfax Elementary.
Missy and her husband, Jeff, have three children: Nolan, Brett and Hailey.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, working in her flower beds and spending time with family and friends.
During the “Truth Be Told — Holidazed Edition” event at the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium December 3, Prince told the following story about the first year they had a “real” Christmas tree after having an artificial tree for a number of years.
The Truth Be Told event drew nearly 150 people to the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium.
The event was hosted by Steve Russell and Kobi Shaw.
Here is Missy Prince’s story:
The story I’m going to tell, when I came home and told my husband about this opportunity, he thought he should be telling it because he tells it better than I do. But this is “Truth Be Told,” and it’s the story how I see it.
When Jeff and I were first married, for the first couple of years, we had a real Christmas tree. But then I soon realized he was gone hunting when I wanted to decorate and that didn’t work so well. We ended up with an artificial tree for many years.
When our daughter, Hailey, was in fifth grade, and this was about six years ago, she was really adamant she wanted to have a real Christmas tree. I was kind of on her side, so we decided we were going to do that.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Hailey and the kids and I went with my mom and dad to the local tree farm and picked out a Christmas tree. We brought it home, and for several weeks, we enjoyed sitting by the tree with the lights on after dinner, and all the fun that brings.
On December 19, and I remember the date well because it’s our son’s birthday. We’d had a birthday dinner for him, and we had cleaned up, and we were sitting in the living room watching television, and Jeff was laying on the floor, and I was lying on the couch.
And all of a sudden, we heard some needles drop off the tree onto the presents under the tree.
I thought, “Hmm. That’s weird. What was that?”
We went on watching the television show, and a few minutes later, a bulb dropped onto the floor, and a branch shook.
I jumped up off the couch.
I knew there was something in that tree.
And I started screaming.
The kids joined in the mix. We were running around. I started to run down the hall to the bedroom when the phone rang. It was Jeff’s brother, Rick, who lives across the street from us. He wondered what all the commotion was in the background. He couldn’t see into the house, but he could hear it on the phone.
Hailey had answered the phone, and she said, “There’s something in our Christmas tree!”
He said, “What? I’ll be right down.”
I ran into the bedroom and shut the door. With the door shut, surely it couldn’t come and attack me.
I stood there for several minutes, then I got brave enough, and I finally came out.
The furniture had been moved in our living room, and there was a big sheet of cardboard and there were tennis rackets.
Jeff had gloves on and his hood up. I don’t know why he had his hood up. It wouldn’t have got caught in his hair.
[The audience roared with laughter at this point. Anyone who knows Jeff Prince knows why the hair comment struck them as humorous.]
Jeff’s on one side of the tree, and Rick is on the other side, and they are poking into the tree.
Hailey was running the video camera.
All of a sudden Rick says, “There it is! I can see it! It’s looking right at me. It’s a squirrel!”
And I said, “What?!?! There’s a squirrel in our Christmas tree? No way!”
They continued to poke at it.
I think the squirrel was more scared than I was.
Finally it came out and flew out of the tree. It flew. Because it wasn’t just a squirrel. It was a flying squirrel.
And it flew down onto the floor and scampered around and then followed the little path the boys had made and ran over Nolan’s foot and out the front door it went.
There was a lot of cheering, and everybody was really excited.
What we figured happened is when we brought the tree home, the squirrel was hibernating in our Christmas tree. And after three and a half weeks of being warm, its heart rate came back up and it woke up and decided to surprise us.
We still get a real Christmas tree. But needless to say, we check it over very, very carefully before we bring it home. It’s made for a great memory for us, though.
Oh, there is a YouTube video of the incident, too.
Do a search for “There’s a Squirrel in My Christmas Tree.”