Quite a few people asked Anne Flynn if they could have a copy of her latest piece for the Writers`Circle so she agreed to have it put on the blog.
A CHRISTMAS TALE
Honestly, mother its been a nightmare, an absolute nightmare. The last straw was having to go to Bethlehem for the census-taking but let me start at the beginning.
There I was busy sewing my wedding gown, when this white and gold apparition floated down and said I had been chosen to be the mother of the Son of God, but that I would have to remain a virgin as owing to a busy timetable it would not be possible for God to leave heaven. I said something along the lines of “What if I said no?” and the angel mumbled something along the lines that if I did not agree, swarms of locusts would cover the land and the rivers would be full of frogs, and blood. Politeness forbade me to mention that they had already tried that method once, but as I did not fancy drinking polluted water for the next year or so, I reluctantly agreed. Talk about Hobson´s choice!
Then another angel appeared to Joseph and told him that I would have a baby at the request of God, but that I would remain a virgin. Do you know what he said, mother? He said “If you believe that, you will believe anything” He went around sulking for a while , but after we had a big row I think he came to terms with the situation. Must remember to ask him if his angel threatened him with frogs as well.
So nine months into my pregnancy, Caesar Augustus decreed that we had to go to Bethlehem for the census. Nice timing, Augustus. I was pretty annoyed with Joseph because he had promised to put up some shelves in the kitchen and of course he put off doing the job for months, not to mention making a cot for the baby. “ Call yourself a carpenter,” I said, very sarcastically.
I had also asked him to book a room at the inn, but of course he forgot to ask cousin Matthew to do this when he made the journey to Bethlehem and – yes you have guessed it – when we arrived at the inn, it was full. I was in a right strop, I can tell you. “ No brownie points for forward planning then, Joseph,” I told him. It was fortunate that the innkeeper took pity on us and allowed us to sleep in his stable. Joseph trudged through the streets but there was no midwife available.What a fiasco! I will tell you something, mother, this baby will definitely be an only child. I am not going through that again, frogs or no frogs.
So there we were, just settling down for a nice cup of coffee with the baby asleep in the manger when a whole group of shepherds come calling. Yes you have guessed it. Yet another pesky angel had been spreading the word- Not content with that, a whole choir of angels arrived at the hillside and started singing. Must have frightened the sheep, no end. Anyway to cut a long story short, the shepherds came to have a look at their Saviour. One of them said to Joseph “the baby looks just like you” which gave me a the best laugh I had had in months. I told them the baby was to be called Jesus as my angel had requested. I had always liked the name Luke better, but my angel had a rather a forceful personality so I did not make too much of a fuss. By the time the shepherds had left my coffee was stone cold.
Joseph and I completed the census and started making plans to return home but just as we were ready to depart three kings from the east came wandering in. They had traveled hundreds of miles, they said, with the aid of a star which had showed them the way. Well, it makes a change from angels. They were very thoughtful and had brought the baby gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The first two would come in handy, but myrrh is a symbol of suffering. As if I had not suffered enough already!
So that´s the end of my tale of woe, mother. Joseph still has not put up the kitchen shelves, but at least I now have a cot for the baby. I wonder what the future holds for him? Whatever happens I hope he does not turn out to be a carpenter, like his father.