Some people believe that animals can sense when something is wrong, different or amiss. Dogs bark at strangers, for example, while birds are also said to stop singing before a storm approaches. In fact, one little girl’s cats even thought it best to alert her to a situation by directing her into her family’s barn.
That girl was Annie, who crunched through the snow behind the orange and black-and-white felines, not sure of what they were leading her into. But behind those doors was something she had probably never expected, nor would it be something she would likely ever forget.
Like most children her age, Annie probably had trouble sleeping the night before her big discovery, too. That’s because she had her barnyard surprise on Christmas morning – a holiday that kids look forward to all year long.
She may have even spent a little bit of time opening gifts under her Christmas tree before heading out to the barn. And as their daughter uncovered the gifts that they and Santa had left for the little girl, her mom and dad may have watched her and shared a few smiles.
Afterward, though, Annie headed outside to enjoy the rest of her picturesque white Christmas. She slipped into her snow boots and threw a jacket over bright pink pants – possibly the pajamas she’d woken up in on Christmas morning.
“Is this the best Christmas ever?” Annie’s mom asked as she filmed her daughter frolicking through their icy yard. And while Annie didn’t answer, she nevertheless let out a loud, cheerful giggle – which her mother appeared to have taken as a “yes”.
Then Annie is captured on film seeing her two cats, Jake and Chrissy, slinking out of the slightly ajar barn door. Possibly not thinking anything of her cats’ behavior at first, she runs up, greets them and pets both of them. Even her mom wishes the animals a warm “Merry Christmas” from behind the camera lens.
After that, however, the orange cat makes a 180-degree turn and heads straight back toward the barn from which it had just exited. And the young girl follows right behind her pet, her short, sandy hair blowing in the wintry gusts.
As the cat disappears through the crack between the barn door, meanwhile, Annie tries to do the same. Unfortunately, though, she can’t get the heavy, sliding entryway to open. Her mom therefore lends a hand, opening the door to reveal a man who seems to be Annie’s dad sitting on the floor of the barn.
Like her mom, he is holding onto a camcorder and recording Annie as she enters the barn, too. But the little girl seemingly has no idea that there is a surprise in store for her – she can only chatter excitedly about presents she had discovered before she made it to the barn.
“Construction paper and regular paper was the one, and then the other was markers. It was awesome,” Annie reports that she’d found that morning in her playhouse. It’s only then, though, that she turns around and realizes that something suspicious is lurking.
“Santa probably left a bow for the horses,” she speculates as she investigates the giant piece of fabric tied decoratively onto one of the enclosures. “You think?” her mom says, although Annie apparently doesn’t pick up on her mother’s knowing tone.
“He did leave treats!” Annie replied, after looking just beneath the bow to find a woven basket full of equine-centric accessories. Then a smile creeps across the young girl’s face as she innocently hypothesizes, “Those might be mine.”
Annie subsequently peers into the basket, examining its contents; these include a pink horse brush and a book about horses, too. Then she discovers a scroll, which she decides to read out loud. “Merry Christmas, Annie! Love Santa,” she begins.
“Dear Annie, I hope you like all of your presents, but this one is the most special-est… special present of all,” she continues, correcting herself as she goes. Soon, though, she hits upon a word she can’t read, and her mom has to jump in to help. “I do not us-a-fully…” she attempts, before her crafty mom says, “Usually, probably.”
But despite that setback, Annie ploughs on. “Deliver presents,” she reads. Then, however, her mother interjects, “I don’t think it says presents.” Upon re-reading the word, though, Annie finally gets it. “Ponies,” she corrects herself, going so fast it seems to take a second for her to process what is on the paper. Then her long pause makes it clear that she now finally knows what Santa might have brought her. Needless to say, she immediately stops reading and starts looking around.
Meanwhile, Annie’s mom finishes reading the letter for her daughter, the joy apparent in her voice. “His middle name is Snowflake, so his full name is Pepper Snowflake Klepper,” her mom says aloud to an ecstatic Annie. “I got my pony!” the girl then screams at the top of her voice, causing her mom’s voice to crack again from the morning’s emotion.
“Mommy, would you open the doors?” Annie goes on to ask in a much calmer tone, apparently very ready to meet her pony. Her mother obliges, of course, sliding the wooden gate open to reveal a content-looking gray horse – who seems just as happy to be united with its new owner.
“Oh, Snowflake!” Annie coos upon seeing her very own pet. Then, with seemingly no trepidation whatsoever, she reaches her arms up and nuzzles the animal for the first – but almost certainly not the last – time. With that, she starts her Christmas on the highest of notes – and so do her parents, who watch on as their daughter gets what she wanted in such a heart-warming way.
And after capturing Annie’s 2010 Christmas surprise, her mom posted the resulting video on YouTube, which has gone on to become a hit with viewers who love watching the child’s unbridled joy. More than 4.7 million people have witnessed her discover Pepper Snowflake behind the barn doors, in fact. Furthermore, many have also since seen the pair out and about, as Annie competes in dressage competitions with the horse who has clearly become her best friend – just as Santa predicted.