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The Innkeeper’s Wife

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on The Innkeeper’s Wife

The Innkeeper’s Wife

She was known simply as “The Innkeeper’s Wife,” though her husband had been dead for years, killed in a wagon accident, no doubt due to intoxication, which had become habitual with him. It had been an unfortunate marriage. But she did remember a saying of his, and knew how true it was: “in the Innkeepin’ business, you’ve got to be all’ round handy!” Which is why he had married her: she knew the skills of midwifery, and how to cure sickness. So she carried on the business alone of tending the only decent inn in...

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on

    There was this woman Rebecca, thin as could be, with long hair down her back, beautiful hair—thick and shiny. You just couldn’t believe such a thin woman could grow all that hair!  And this hair she combed out, and braided, every day, for it was her glory, this hair of hers. But her husband he didn’t like that, for he was to be her glory, by his way of thinking. She ought to stir the fire up, he said. She ought to plump up the pallet bed with more hay, he said. She ought to bring in more wood. She ought to be boiling the water...

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Axle the Ox

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Axle the Ox

Axle the Ox

A ox, though strong and durable, is a big animal, costly to maintain. And a yoke of oxen? Well, only a prosperous landowner could afford to feed such a pair! Which is why Axle was so valued. For he was reputed to have the strength of a pair of oxen. This was mainly based upon a story, widely supposed to be true, in which his former driver, while intoxicated, had inadvertently tied the back end of his wagon box around a tree, after which the driver settled down against this tree and went to sleep. When the driver woke up, the front half of the...

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Dante, the donkey

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Dante, the donkey

Dante, the donkey

“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, for I will give you rest.” That is what Jesus would say, one day, and no creature on earth—man or beast—was more deserving of rest than the donkey, which for untold centuries had stoically labored in the service of humankind: hauling baskets of bricks,  bales of hay, cages full of chickens, or just about anything that could be got onto its back, in any combination that would balance. Sometimes the loads were so awkward and heavy, the animal fell down and could not get up. Yet the donkey had...

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Isaiah, the Prophet

Posted by on Nov 16, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Isaiah, the Prophet

Isaiah, the Prophet

Isaiah was a piece of work. By turns garrulous, and then taciturn, sociable and then solitary. He could be humorous, though maybe he did not intend that. He spent such time in his study writing out his scrolls, that when he did break himself away, he could be a very likeable character. But then after awhile he was apt to become too much a character, with his opinions, and always very dogmatic about these opinions,  and you’d wish there was some way to tell him to just give it a rest and go home. Still, women liked him, or most did,...

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Old Melchior, and the boy Aljamal

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Old Melchior, and the boy Aljamal

Old Melchior, and the boy Aljamal

Old Melchior rubbed at his bad leg. What had possessed him to leave his pillowed divan and playful grandchildren to follow a star! It was madness, at his age. He chastised himself, yet again, for this foolish journey. Ah, but he had not always been an old man leaning upon a cane! He had once been a warrior! Mounted upon his stallion Talamar, his robes flying and scimitar aloft, Melchior had been magnificent to behold, and fearsome to encounter. But in an ambush by traitors one windswept evening, he was speared in the hip, barely escaped, and...

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King Gaspar of Persia

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on King Gaspar of Persia

King Gaspar of Persia

  King Gaspar could turn in a circle, and know that all the lands which lay within his sight bowed to his authority. No man dared stand in his presence; all fell on their faces before him. Whatever he demanded was brought to him. Whatever he desired, was found.  But he was tired of his power. The business of government no longer interested him. In the late afternoons, his Counselors would assemble, and beg his blessing upon yet another contract or treaty. On this afternoon, when all had been duly completed, the eldest Counselor said:...

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Balthazar, Prince of the Kingdom of Azum

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Balthazar, Prince of the Kingdom of Azum

Balthazar, Prince of the Kingdom of Azum

     The “Wise Men.” As though they were possessed of wisdom already. No, they sought wisdom. They knew they lacked wisdom—some essential insight into the Mystery of the World, and studiously applied themselves to finding it. Sometimes at considerable personal risk. Take Balthazar, of the Kingdom of Azum, in what we now call Ethiopia, in Africa. The son of a king, and the grandson of a king. He had his ‘Eureka’ moment when his calculations of an anomaly in the heavens, and the prophecies in the Old Books synchronized. He rushed...

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Horace, the Roman Senator’s son

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Horace, the Roman Senator’s son

Horace, the Roman Senator’s son

“What the devil was the son of a Roman Senator doing in these hills, herding sheep?” That was the question among the shepherds. To get away from his family’s wealth, the young man had said. “What?”  said old Uzziah, “so he can sup on poor bread and weak beer, and suffer such miserable company as we are?” There was much laughter at this. “I wish I could be a Roman Senator’s son,” said Jonah, pulling his tattered cloak around him. “I would know what to do with his money!” Everybody agreed, with some satisfaction, that he made a poor...

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Ram, and his dog, “Pup”

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Blog, Nativity | Comments Off on Ram, and his dog, “Pup”

Ram, and his dog, “Pup”

He was well-named, Ram was. For he looked like a ram somehow, with his muscular build and hair curled like a ram’s horns. Mostly, he was known for his little dog, “Pup,” whom Ram had found wild, and raised alone, and taught to herd, and warn of wolves. Man and dog were inseparable. It was the shepherds of the big flock, Azor’s flock, who were visited by angels that night. Ram saw the sky light up, and putting Pup in charge of the flock, had hurried to the ridgetop to see, and stood there transfixed.  In a hollow below, Azor’s...

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