“‘Twas the night before Christmas,” but not all was quiet in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Malkaney Mouse. It’s true, mice are known for being night-owls, but this night held more excitement than even our family of rambunctious rodents was accustomed.
We were making merriment in our den, located in a crevice of flooring inside of Katie Klakton’s bedroom; a precious little human girl. Our granddaughter, Melba, was trimming the tree. Our son, Martin, was out gathering gingerbread crumbs when I heard my daughter, Milly, calling.
“Oh Mother, Katie’s crying again. She’s in the next room peeking at the Christmas tree. There aren’t any presents there,” Milly sighed.
“I know, dear. Katie cries often since her mother went away. But there is one Christmas present,” I pointed to the high bookshelf where a box wrapped in red paper lay, just out of sight for small Katie.
Milly smiled, “Is that from the visitor? She talked about Jesus, love, and - gifts!”
“The visitor brought it,” I smiled, “it’s from Katie’s mother.”
“Katie’s Mother, how…?” Milly asked.
“Shhh, she’s coming,” we ducked away and watched while Katie climbed into bed. She wiped her tears on the tattered blanket and drifted back to sleep.
Abruptly, Martin came scrambling inside, “C-c-c-cat!”
“Cat! What cat?”
Martin explained, “I went to the window to see what was the clatter. I threw up the sash. The neighbor’s cat spotted me and came in the house!” We dashed to peek through our crevice and survey the scene.
“Clop, clop. Swish, swish. THUD!”
That’s all I heard before I saw the box wrapped in red paper skid across the floor, followed by pouncing feline feet, which batted it around before losing interest and leapt out the window from which it came. Thankfully Katie slept through the ruckus; otherwise she may have been forever troubled by the following occurrence.
Milly cried, “The paper is ripped and it’s probably broken!” When I saw tears bubbling in my sweet daughter’s eyes, I decided we should do what we always do in situations like this – pray. Our family bowed heads while Mr. Malkaney said a fine prayer. I wouldn’t say Mr. Malkaney is long-winded; nevertheless, by the time I heard “Amen,” I thought I’d fallen asleep and slipped into a dream. In front of me stood the most beautiful, frightening, astonishing creature, I‘d ever seen.
“Greetings.” He smiled and fluttered his wings.
I couldn’t speak, or move – or blink. So Martin, the inquisitive one, asked, “Are you an angel?”
Wide-eyed, Martin enquired, “You know God?”
“Are you here about that?” Martin pointed to the red box.
“Did God tell you?” Martin asked.
The angel smiled, “There’s a ministry called Angel Tree, much favored by the KING, with whom I work.”
“They hire real angels?” Martin asked.
The angel pointed to Katie’s gift, “Look,” he said. In a flash, the red paper became as new, shiny like glass with a gold ribbon. “Restored,” he winked.
“Wow!” Martin bellowed. “Will you help all children like Katie for Christmas?”
“That would be good, Martin. But the KING requires my work be done only through those who are willing, those who cheerfully donate out of their abundance.”
I thought I would die when Martin began pulling gingerbread crumbs from his cheeks. “Look here, I have plenty of this gingerbread to share!”
The angel scooped up the crumbs and threw back his head in joyous laughter. He began fading out of sight, but I heard him exclaim, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
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