The Christmas Story as Told by the Donkey
Today we are continuing our Christmas Character Series. Sister Erin Light wrote today's creative composition, called "Carrying a Miracle: The Donkey's Tale," and Brother Jared Scolaro provided the artwork.
My young caretaker came into the barn more nervous than usual this morning, and he didn't attach me to the cart that carried wood. Instead, he placed a few blankets on my back, straightening out the wrinkles.
A petite young woman walked over and fed me a carrot, which I munched happily. The man strung a few bags under my belly, and then he surprised me by lifting the young woman to sit on my back. He patted my head and said something I didn't understand, but I could tell by the way he motioned to the woman I was carrying that he wanted me to be careful.
She must be very important.
He led me out of Galilee, through the hills toward Nazareth. Sometimes he walked beside me, holding the woman's hand when the path was easy. We made many stops along the hard trek. The young woman I carried was kind to me. She rubbed my ears and patted my neck sympathetically when I had to trudge up steep hills, not knowing I traveled more slowly so as not to jostle her about.
I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure she was getting heavier by the day.
We arrived at the small town of Bethlehem one night. It was dark as the young man led me from house to house. Light poured out of a few opened doors, but they closed soon after a brief exchange of words. The young woman sighed, exhausted, and wove her cold fingers into my mane to keep warm.
Finally, the man led me to a stable. Instead of leaving me there to eat and rest with the other animals, he lifted the young woman off my back and placed her in a soft pile of hay. She patted her large stomach and smiled endearingly, stroking the worry lines from the man's forehead with a gentle hand.
Later that night, the young woman's cries awoke me, and I tried to stand to my feet, alarmed, but the young man rushed over to calm me down and then returned to the young woman.
Hours later, I witnessed a miracle. The woman's crying was replaced by a baby's whimpers! She had given birth in a stable, of all places. The baby was beautiful, and his mother wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in the food trough by my head. I didn't mind. I listened to his soft breathing as he slept, his tiny face aglow in the light of a new star that shone in through the stable window.
I don't know how they found us, but many shepherds and even rich men on camels arrived to see the baby. They knelt before him with such joy on their faces and left gifts with his parents. Maybe he will be a king someday. Whoever he was, he was adored by all.
Years later, I am carrying the baby again, now a young man, into the holy city of Jerusalem. Turns out he was a king. Crowds are placing palm fronds on the ground in front of me to walk upon. They cry "Hosannah," worshiping him. I am honored to bear him upon my back once again, truly realizing how important he had become.