Marshmallow Cup

"...after this tough, tough seven-game series, the Stars have truly earned this Cup..."

Fourteen-month-old Marshmallow Fluff wasn't listening to the television in the dressing room. She was listening for the squish-squish-squish to come down the hallway. When Daddy Jamie and Daddy Derian brought her to this room, they would put on the funny boots that made them taller and went squish-squish-squish when they walked across the floor. They would kiss and cuddle her, leave her with her nanny and then walk out of the room. Then they would come back, squish-squish-squish. If she let them know she was hungry, Daddy Jamie would lift his shirt and let her suck his chest. But not for too long. Then, they would go out. And some time later, they would come back, squish-squish-squish, and then she wouldn't be so hungry but either Daddy Jamie or Daddy Derian would still hold her and make her smile. But then they would have to go again, but when they came back, squish-squish-squish, they wouldn't have to leave again and they would play with her and talk to her and then they would get out of their funny boots and they would all go back to a place to sleep.

Marshmallow was extra alert now, for it was time for the last squish-squish-squish and she really wanted to see her daddies soon.

And then...squish-squish-squish-squish-squish, and then the door opened wide and there was so much LIGHT and NOISE, more than there ever was before, and all the men who were her daddies' friends exploded into the room laughing and dancing and smacking their palms against each other.

"Tar!" she shouted, raising her tiny fists. Daddy Jamie had told her that these men were Stars, but her mouth had trouble making S yet.

And then one of the Stars grabbed Marshmallow from her nanny's arms and brought her to the center of the room. She saw a big, shiny thing that she had seen in pictures of her daddies, before she was born. Daddy Derian had told her that this was the Stanley Cup, and that this was what the Stars worked for all year long, and it was more precious than gold or diamonds.

"You know what this thing needs?" asked the Star who was holding Marshmallow -- she thought she’d heard Daddy Derian call him Matty. "A sweet little Marshmallow."

He put her in the bowl at the top of this Cup, and it was cold where it touched her bare legs. A group of Stars surrounded her and the Cup, and one put a dark green cap on her head, the same kind of cap Daddy Jamie and Daddy Derian wore when they played with sticks and balls on the grass.

"Dallas Stars, Stanley Cup Champions. Doesn't that sound wonderful, Fluff?" said Matty.

"Tar Tan Cup," she replied.

And then came a giant POP! and Marshmallow covered her ears at once.

"Bring on the bubbles!" screamed Matty, but Marshmallow didn't want bubbles, she wanted Daddy Jamie and Daddy Derian, it was getting too noisy and scary in the room. And wet.

A Star was dancing around, holding a tube spouting a sparkling foam, and some of it got on Marshmallow. It was cold and sticky. She began to cry.

"Oh, for crying out loud."

Suddenly, Marshmallow was out of the cold Cup and in the safe, warm arms of her Daddy Derian, looking at her with happy blue eyes.

"Don't put her in that nasty thing!" he told the other Stars. "Dogs ate from there. People pooped in there. Do whatever else you want with it, but my Marshmallow only touches clean and sweet."

"You drank from there!" someone called out.

"That's all the more reason to keep her out."

Marshmallow didn't know what they were talking about, but she knew she didn't have to be scared of anything now. Not when she was with Daddy Derian.

She reached for his hairy chin. She liked to touch the rough fuzz, because it felt different. She didn't touch Daddy Jamie's chin so much, because it had no hair. It was also fun because Daddy Derian laughed when she touched his chin.

Now Daddy Derian had something else fuzzy in front of his face, and she reached out to touch that. It made a loud sound when she did.

"It looks like baby Marshmallow wants an interview, too," said the strange person who was holding the fuzzy something in front of Daddy Derian's face. He turned it to face her.

Marshmallow thought of all the words she knew.

"Tar Tan Cup! Da-dee Jamie! Da-dee Der! Tar win. Hoc-kee. Mallow Fuf. Wee!"

That wasn't all the words she knew. But she couldn't think of any more. The room was filled with Stars and that big, shiny Stanley Cup.

"Wee, indeed." The man with the fuzzy thing laughed, and so did Daddy Derian. But Marshmallow reached for Daddy Derian's chin again. It was much fuzzier and more fun to touch...especially when it went up and down as he talked.

"Hey, Der."

Daddy Jamie came over and put his hand on Daddy Derian's shoulder. Marshmallow let go of Daddy Derian's chin.

"Da-dee Jamie!" she cried.

"Marshmallow Fluff!" Daddy Jamie reached for her and gently took her into his arms. "How's my sweet baby tonight?"

"Tar Tan Cup!"

"Yes, the Stars have won the Cup. Matty said that you sat in it for a while."

"Cup cold."

"I'll bet it was."

Marshmallow saw a Star holding a small gold can. She knew that shiny cans contained cold drinks.

"Drink." She reached for the gold can, but Daddy Jamie carried her away from it.

"That's not a Marshmallow drink. That's a bitter drink," he explained. "Here..." Daddy Jamie took a red can out of a bucket full of ice and popped it open. "This is sweet stuff for a sweet baby."

He held it up to her mouth and let her drink a little. It was really sweet and tasty, and really cold. It made her tongue tingle.

"Jamie, you shouldn't be giving her that." Now Daddy Derian was near again, and the man with the fuzzy thing had gone away.

"A little soda on a special occasion won't hurt. Besides, my milk has dried up again."

"You think it's going to dry up for good soon?"

"Don't know. But maybe it's time to start mixing in cow's milk. Tomorrow."

Daddy Jamie let her drink from the red can again, and Marshmallow tried to grab on to it so she could drink it all. But Daddy Jamie put the can down on a table.

"Drink more." She reached for the can again, but Matty tugged on Daddy Jamie's shirt.

"Hey, we wiped the inside of the Cup. You think it's clean enough for Marshmallow now?"

"As long as you didn't use spit or beer," said Daddy Derian.

"We didn't," assured Matty.

Daddy Jamie put Marshmallow in the Cup again, and this time it wasn't so cold because there was a towel inside. All of the Stars surrounded her, her daddies the nearest of all.

She saw lots of flashing lights, but she really didn't mind, because she was inside the Cup and her daddies and all the Stars were happy and she had tasted a sweet drink and this was the best place to be in the whole wide world.

"Tar Tan Cup!"