I stomped my feet and stretched out my hands to receive the warmth of the fire. As the heat jumped into my fingers and made them tingle, I watched my breath evaporate.. Beside me stood my best friend Bill. He was smaller than me. As he stood there, his cheeks and fingers red with the cold, I wondered how he could brave the cold so well. He looked up at me.
“Come on Tommy, we should get moving again.”
As we trudged on through the snow and ice, I noticed Bill rubbing his bad leg. It must be hurting him again. It was almost three months ago that it happened: a speeding carriage had run him down. He was lucky to escape with his life! But his leg was never the same again. The carriage had totally crushed it. As I looked at it now, hanging there all dried and dead, I marveled that he had gotten so well adjusted to it already. He couldn’t run, but he could manage really well. I sighed.
“Bill, you’re not well enough to make this trip. I think we should go back to the fire and snuggle up for the night.”
Bill shook his head with a smile on his face.
“I already told you Tommy. I have to go tonight. This could be my only chance to hear about Him.”
“Hear about who? You don’t even know this guy’s name. All you know about him is that some little girl told you he was a good friend!
“Tommy, the girl said that he loves children! He doesn’t care if they’re poor, he loves them anyway. He wants to be my best friend! She said that if I wanted to hear about him to listen to the Christmas carols tonight. I need this friend Tommy. Don’t you see?”
“I thought I was your best friend!” I pouted. This was only the third time we had been through all of this, and still Bill was determined to push on. Oh well. I couldn’t very well leave the poor little kid out here alone could I? I might as well go along with him. It was only for tonight anyway.
We finally came to our first stop. A group of carolers was singing out on the sidewalk in a more busy part of town. Bill and I stopped to listen.
You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout
I’m telling you why;
Santa Claus is coming to town.
I leaned over to Bill and whispered in his ear:
“Is that the friend you’re looking for?”
Bill shook his head. “I don’t think so, this sounds more like someone to be afraid of. Like he’ll only be your friend if you’re good. Let’s move on.”
So we moved on and soon found another group. This one was a bunch of kids. We stopped to listen to their song.
Frosty the snowman was a jolly, happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose and
Two eyes made out of coal.
Frosty the Snowman is a fairy tale they say.
He was made of snow but the children know
How he came to life one day.
I looked at Bill. He shook his head. “This sounds like children made him out of snow!” So we trudged on. I noticed that Bill was getting pretty tired so I carried him on my back for a while. We listened to many carolers.
Finally, Bill let me head for our home alley. Before we got there Bill shouted: “Stop Tommy! Let’s sit under the window of that house. The people inside it are singing something!” So we sat down. This is what we heard:
What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, Whom
Shepherds guard and Angels sing.
This, this is Christ the King, the Babe,
The son of Mary.
I couldn’t believe my ears! A King?! Kings are rich and I don’t like rich people, but this one was kind to shepherds? They were just as poor as Bill and me. This King was important enough for angels and he still liked poor people! I looked over at Bill. He was smiling.
“Tommy, I think we’ve found him!”
As we sat under the window and listened, we heard many carols.
That night, Bill and I discovered what real Christmas Carols are.
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