Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)
TITLE: Dust and Cobwebs
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“Mother, Mother!” He had run so fast it was hard to talk.
“Yes, Timothy. What is it?”
“Someone is sleeping in our bed!”
“Yes, my son, I know.”
“You know? How could you? I just came from the stable.”
“Your Uncle Paul was here earlier.”
“Uncle Paul?” Timothy was confused. What does he know about this? Timothy’s Uncle Paul lived in the temple among the humans. The cats in the city thought highly of him because of his wisdom. He rarely ventured for a visit.
“Yes, he explained the situation to me.”
“But, Mother, where will we sleep tonight? That’s our bed.” Timothy didn’t care about any situation. He was ready for bed.
“Oh, we’ll find a nice warm spot somewhere. It’s just a bed, son, not the end of the world.”
Just a bed? Now hold on, Timothy thought. He liked their bed in the warm stable. He liked having the other animals nearby while they slept. He liked feeling safe. Now, a tiny human was in their bed. It just wasn’t right.
“Mother, why is there a baby in our stable?”
“Son, all of the inns were full. there are many, many people in the city today. Remember how busy the city was today?”
“Yes, I almost got stepped on when I was near the temple.”
“Oh Timothy, I’ve told you to stay away from there.”
“I’m sorry Mother.” Then he thought of something else. “Why is it so bright tonight? Its just like morning.”
“Look up, my son.” And they both looked up at the shiny star that seemed directly over the stable.
“Wow! That’s a big star. Have you ever seen one that big, Mother?”
“No, my son. It’s a special star, just like the baby in the manger is special.”
“In our bed, you mean.” Timothy snapped and bristled his tail. Mother looked at Timothy with a smiled that meant, ‘please be quiet until you hear the whole story’. Timothy settled back down and listened.
“Timothy, let me tell you what your Uncle Paul told me earlier today. Just last week he heard the humans reading a scroll about a king and he would be born in a stable.”
“But, Mother, there is only a baby in the manger; not a king.”
“Yes, he is small. But in time he will grow and be as large as the other humans. And so,” Mother Cat looked into Timothy’s green eyes, “that is why I volunteered our place for the human King to sleep and be warm.”
“Oh.” Timothy thought over what Mother said. Maybe he could let this baby sleep there for one night. After all, he was a king. “Can we go look at him, Mother?”
So they walked back to the stable. Once inside, Timothy and his mother quickly and quietly found a spot to gaze at the newborn king. Timothy thought the baby’s mother looked very happy. Looking around he saw the cattle munching on some hay. The goofy doves were surprising quiet in the rafters. There was dust and cobwebs everywhere.
“It didn’t seem very fitting place for a king, Mother,” observed Timothy.
“No, it doesn’t.”
As if on cue, several other humans came before the manger and bowed. One was even holding a baby lamb. Timothy heard a noise outside the door. He cautiously went to the opening and saw three camels approach. Their riders were dressed in fine clothing and had crowns upon their heads. Each rider held a gift.
Returning to his mother’s side he felt a warm tickle in his heart. He was glad Mother offered their bed to the newborn king. Together they watched as the tiny baby stirred, opening his eyes. He looked at Timothy and smiled.
“Look, Mother, he’s saying thank you,” Timothy said. Timothy stood tall and bowed,
“You are most welcome.”
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