Away From the Manger

Nick awoke to a clattering on the lawn. He jumped out of bed and ran to the window. He couldn’t believe what he didn’t see.
“Oh, no! Someone stole baby Jesus,” he shouted.
Nick got dressed, slid downstairs, and went out on the lawn.

The clattering had stopped.

In the stillness of the morning, with a dusting of frost on the ground, Nick saw that
Mary had a little lamb but that was about it. Joseph, the three wise men, and the shepherds stood immobile next to the empty manger.
Nick’s sister, Holly, arrived muttering,
“Why would someone want to steal baby Jesus?”
“Holly, we need a sign.”
“Let’s do it.”

Nick and Holly grabbed markers and poster board. They wrote:

Whoever took
Baby Jesus
Bring him back

Out to the barn they went.

Nick looked for a stake to nail the sign to. Holly peeked into the stall to check on the animals.
“Nick, come look!”

There on the stall floor lay Fred, the herding dog, with all the animals gathered around. Fred slept peacefully upon the blanket that baby Jesus had been wrapped in. Baby Jesus lay on the hay next to Fred.

“Better find another blanket.”
“Let’s do it.”


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