Dan's Christmas Surprise!
What a fuss ! Dan the donkey rested from the hot sun under a small palm tree. Dan couldn't remember a time when all the donkeys in town were in such great demand. He had already been out twice today and now he had just been hired to go all the way to Bethlehem. 'Bother', thought Dan. This census of Caesar's didn't make much 'sensus' to a tired donkey.
'Well soon there'll be one more person to count,' thought Dan as Joseph helped Mary up on to his back. Mary was going to have a baby very soon. 'I'm going to have to tread very carefully on the rough road,' Dan said to himself.
Dan pricked up his ears when Mary chatted to Joseph about being visited by an angel. She also spoke about the special baby she was going to have. She called it 'God's Son'. Did the angel tell her it was to be a boy? Wow! This trip seemed as if it was going to be full of surprises.
Dan's small legs were very weary when they finally arrived at Bethlehem. He could tell that Mary needed to lie down soon. Lots of people had rushed past them on the road to get registered. It was going to be very hard to find somewhere to stay tonight.
'We're full up! No vacancy!' said the innkeeper. Dan turned his back sideways so the man at the door could get a good view of Mary. 'C'mon, Mary needs to rest. Joseph tell him, tell him, about the angel!' Dan wanted to call out, but all he could manage was a husky 'eeyor'. Joseph patiently asked if there was somewhere else they could stay. Finally the innkeeper pointed Joseph to the stable around the back.
Moonlight shone through the small stable door as Joseph settled Mary. No doubt the special baby was coming soon. It looked like it was going to be a long night. Dan munched on some hay as he rested his tired head. What a day it had been!
The cry of a baby woke Dan from a restful dream. He looked up and saw Mary wrapping her baby in strips of cloth, then she lovingly cradled him and lay him gently in a manger. Mary said, 'His name is Jesus, just as the angel said. He's the Saviour, the Messiah, the King! Dan felt kind of proud that he had carried Mary and the baby all this way. There was no doubt that God was doing something wonderful.
Angels and shepherds, and later wisemen and gifts - and of course the babyJesus. That first Christmas was such a surprise! Dan wondered where it all would end.
Perhaps this was just the beginning!
© Don Stott , 2004, http://eliab.com