Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Christ child's first ever smile

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
oldbearnews editor


Stories by Karl Heinrich Waggerl

Loosely translated by Reinhold Muller

Why the Christ child had to smile.

As Joseph with Maria from Nazareth was on his way to Bethlehem, so as to witness that he was a descendant from David, which the learned people as well we should have known anyhow, as it had already long been since written down, - to this just time came the Archangel Gabriel secretly once more down from heaven, so as to have one last look in the stable to ensure that everything was just so and right.

It was even for an Archangel in his own wisdom hard to understand, why it must be in the most pitiful stable in which the Lord should be born, and his crib should be nothing more then a simple manger. But at least Gabriel wanted to command the winds that they did not blew too roughly through the gaps, and that the clouds in the sky did not again break in emotion and thus showering the baby with its tears, and to what the light in the lantern concerned, he once again had to reinforce to light with a modest amount, so as not to blind or to shine brightly just like the Christmas star.

The Archangel also rummaged round for all the small animals to be taken out of the stable, the ants and spiders and the mice, for it was not to think what might happen if the holy Mother Maria got horrified beforehand over an errand mouse. Only the Donkey and the Ox could stay, the donkey because later he needed to be close by anyhow for the flight to Egypt, and the Ox, because he was so big and so lazy, that all the angles in heaven could not have moved him from his place.

Lastly Gabriel sprinkled groups of angles around in the stable and on the roof trusses; they were of the small and fine kind and consisted almost only of a head and wings and their job was to sit still and stand guard and immediately give directions if the child in his naked poverty was exposed to any threat. One last look around and the mighty angel lifted his wings and flew away.

All’s well.

But not quite, because on the floor of the manger, in the hay, there was still sitting a flea, fast asleep. That tiny monster was missed by the Angel Gabriel, of course one understands, since when has an Archangel anything to do with fleas!??

So, since that expected miracle has happened and the child lay there on the hay in the crib, so full of loveliness and so touchingly poor, the angels under the roof could hold no longer back, and being so enthralled, they flew around the manger just like a swarm of doves. Some smiled to the boy pleasant balsam smells and others plucked and moved the hay just right, so that not one string of hay was poking or pushing against the baby.

With these noises around the flea awakened in the hay. Straight away he became most frightful for his life, because he thought someone was after him, as usual! He drove around the manger and tried all his tricks and finally, exasperated in his greatest need, dived into the holy child’s ear.

“Forgive me” whispered the breathless flea, “but I cannot help it in any other way, they surely will kill me if they catch me! I’ll disappear shortly, your holy grace, just let me see, how.”

He eyed around and straight away had a plan. “Listen” he said “if I take all my strength and if you can hold still, then I could perhaps reach the bald spot on the holy Joseph, and from there I can catch the window sill a n d the door …..”
“Please jump!” said the Christ child inaudible “I will hold still!”

And so the flea jumped!

Unfortunately, it was just not avoidable, that he tickled the child just a little, as he put his legs under and crouched ready. In that moment Maria woke her betrothed from his slumber.

“Why, look now,” said Maria blissfully, “he smiles already!”

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