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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Step(s) (11/29/12)

TITLE: Step By Step
By Sandra Wells


The journey was hard, and long. The timing, he thought, could not have been worse. Though many others journeyed the same road, all heading toward one destination; his tiny group, a group of three, were far different than the others. The other travelers could not know, nor would they have believed if told, that they were indeed journeying in the presence of a King. But he knew. And still he wondered. Why he had been chosen for such a great task?

His steps were slow, the path rugged, and though his master’s hand was gentle, he sensed an urgency in the man’s voice. Time was running out, this he knew. He would run if he could, but the burden upon his back was heavy, and fragile. One cautious step followed another. Each step he knew caused her pain, yet she never uttered a protest. Her voice and touch encouraged him, as one mile turned into another, one day into the next.

His eyes sought those of his master from time to time, seeking confidence in their gaze. Silent conversations traveled between the two: concern, fear, encouragement, and trust. Though both were fearful that time would in fact run out, they also held onto the glimmer of faith, that all would be as planned. The two walked, side-by-side; mile upon mile, step after step, traveling toward their final destination, and God’s incredible plan. But all was not working according to plan, at least not the plan of the small group.

The hour was late when the three travelers finally walked the narrow roads of the tiny town. Relief coursed through each of them. She would finally be able to rest. But relief was fleeting. Her time had in deed come, pain gripped her body, and for the first time she cried out.

His concern escalated to dread, as his master ran from one door to the next, knocking and pleading; a room, a bed, a mat in the corner was all they asked. But time after time the answer was no. The tiny town was full. There were no more rooms. He knew the time was near. Her time had come; still his master pleaded. Finally, one man took pity. “No,” he said, “I have no room to offer, all I have is a small stable.”

The night was not a “silent night” within the small stable. He watched helpless, as she cried in the agony of birth, and as his master, with shaking hands and gentle voice, brought new life into the stable, and the world. A new light suddenly shone in the midnight sky. A star greater than any had ever witnessed, hovered high above the stable. Its beam cast a glorious glow upon the three weary travelers, and the newborn babe.

A new sound was heard above the rustling of the animals. The small donkey stood slowly to his feet, and one step at a time, ever so slowly, walked to his master’s side. The cry of newborn life wafted through the stable. All the animals rose to their feet, and step by step, ever so slowly, walked to the manger to gaze at the baby within. Each and every animal, including the donkey so young, bent their knees and bowed their heads; for they knew they were in the presence of The King.

The little donkey fixed his eyes upon the tiny infant, and listened to his sweet voice. Awe and wonder filled his gentle heart, as he looked into the face of the infant King; an awe, which would continue to flow within his grateful heart all the days of his life. The little donkey smiled, as only donkeys can do, as a new sound filled the stable; a sound so faint as to be barely heard – the sound of angels singing on high.

The donkey lay upon a soft bed of straw; as the newborn King slept peacefully in the manger. The soft stirrings of stabled animals comforted his weary bones. His eyes were heavy, as he pondered all that had brought him to this place, and time. It would later be told, that the shepherds were among the first to see the newborn King, but the young donkey knew the truth. Fore the eyes of those who could never speak the story, the gentle animals within the stable, were the first to see the King and hear his voice. With a contented sigh, the donkey fell fast asleep.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 12/11/12
I LOVE your story. It's perfect for the topic. You've told this with tenderness, putting the reader the splendor of the setting. Excellent!
C D Swanson 12/11/12
Sweet, and so enjoyable. What an easy and lovely read.
Thanks. GOd bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/11/12
This is a beautiful story all on its own but seeing it through the eyes of the donkey was a perfect touch. I could easily picture it all and even sensed the donkey may have stepped a bit softer or balked less than normal because he knew what it would take the world years to know.

I did notice you repeated some words. One example would have been: journeyed You could have subbed the obvious travel, but proceeded, pressed on, roamed, rambled all would have been good substitutes as well.

I think you covered the topic in an interesting and fresh way while still keep true to the original verses. I fell in love with your MC immediately. Using an animal for a MC would make it easy to have a POV shift where the reader hears and feels something the MC was not privy to and you didn't really fall into that trap at all. It was a close call when the donkey knew the master was worried. However since they were almost communicating I think that covered it. I'm impressed, it's not always easy to stay in just the MC's head but you make it look like it is. This is spot on topic, spot on a great beginning, spot on smooth transitions, spot on the ending, spot on creativity, and spot on crafting. Simply said you were spot on!:)
C D Swanson 12/13/12
Congrats! God bless~