What the Mouse saw in Bethlehem. Part 2:
This what I saw from my tiny nest in that little house in Bethlehem.
(If you missed Part 1, on Christmas Day, click here to read it, before you go on to Part 2.)
Remember how we ended the first Part like this:
‘…in the days that followed, those outcast shepherds guarded that little ‘trinity’ of people, – the woman, the child, and the man with the boots. The child was at home with all those shepherd smells.
Other folk passed by my home, those days, and never bothered to come in, but the ones of no importance were our VIP’s, our most special visitors, each day…’
And now we continue the story:
Time passed; the child grew a little stronger, still tiny, still crying for his food. The woman and the man were warmer now,- not only because of their child, but through the little kindnesses of the gentled people of the open spaces.
But now, as I remember more of what happened in the weeks that followed, I’m back there in that moment, once again.
I hear a jingling, in the dark of night. It’s the jingling of tiny bells, such as people put on the tassels of fine cloths, or the coverings for their camels. I scurry to the hole in my wall and peep out. Some giant camels are plodding along in the dark of night. I see their huge feet which are so caring of the ground with every step. The stars are twinkling still. Some travellers are passing by. I’m listening to the sounds,- strange voices to me, strange accents. Just as I’m about to return to my nest in the straw, the procession stops outside our little house. People are huddling together in conversation: now, they are leaving their camels and belongings: they are approaching our place. What’s happening? I’m tense with listening to every sound. And now Joseph, the man with the big boots, wakens and goes to the door. He lifts the latch and opens the door a little. He is speaking with these strange travellers. Now, he is lifting back the old door, and inviting them in. ‘Come and see for yourselves’ he says, and then he stands aside. The woman, Mary, rises to greet them with her child.
Again, there’s that sense about that child of ‘Someone Special’,- an excitement in the air, a discovery, the end of some long Journey, a time of some great Arrival. The travellers come in from the dark and the cold. There’s a silence, great and deep, as they too gaze and gaze and gaze at that child,- they are somehow beyond all words. Now, they are taking the child from the woman’s outstretched arms, they are holding the child close, then passing the child to each other, again as if it is one of their own. It seems like an eternity, – a wonder-filled eternity. The whole place is lit up with the joy of all of them. And I too share in their joy,- my feet dancing, my tail wiggling like mad.
They talk and talk for a long time, and when they rise to leave, there are gifts there, fit for a king!
All is quiet now again. I’m back in my straw, but full of questions. ‘What child is this that makes rough men gentle? Why have these rich and wise people come looking for this Child, in this place? Why are the men and women in this rich caravan of peoples brought to such deep silence? Who is this Child that brings music to the air, and light into dark? Who, indeed?’
Once more, I’m alone with the child and his mother and the man Joseph of the big boots. I’m left with many things to ponder, in a mood of bewildered joy. All I know is that this home of mine has been truly blessed.
The morning sun is rising in the east. The light creeps in beneath our door. A new day has begun. Our home will never be the same.
Must go and tell my friends!
Thanks for listening. I had to tell someone. I couldn’t keep such joy to myself.
Mus, the Mouse.
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R. firstname.lastname@example.org