Bethlehem
as told by the animals

Truffles: Oi, who's eaten all the food in my trough?

Candyfloss: Are you sure it wasn't you? Have you been sleepwalking again?

Truffles: No, it was full this morning; now there's nothing there.

Spud: No one's eaten it, Truffles, it's been moved somewhere else.

Truffles: Why? And where is it now?

Spud: Over in that corner. We need this trough for the baby.

Truffles: Baby? What baby? You're not having another lamb are you, Candy?

Candyfloss: What? No!

Spud: No, it's for the human baby. Old Carrot's master, Joseph, and his woman are having

a baby boy.

Candyfloss: Awwwww.

Truffles: His wife, you mean?

Spud: No, they're not actually married yet. 

Truffles:         }

Brie:               } What??

Candyfloss:   }

Spud: Joseph isn't the baby's father.

Brie: This gets worse. Mary's going to be in so much trouble.

Spud: No, it will be ok; Joseph is going to tell everyone that it's his child.

Brie:  Why would he do that?

Spud: Mary and Joseph both believe in God, and God gave Mary this baby.

But people might not believe the baby is from God, and they would try to hurt Mary for having a baby before she was married. So Joseph is standing by her, as the angel told him to.

Candyfloss: That's amazing!

Truffles: That's all very nice, but why can't they have the baby at their own house? Humans don't have babies here; this is our home.

Spud: Well I heard that Joseph had to come to Bethlehem to register under the census. So he had to bring Mary. They couldn't stay at an inn because they were all full up, and the baby decided it couldn't wait. 

Truffles: Well if God sent this special baby, couldn't he have arranged for them to have somewhere to stay? 

Spud: It's difficult to explain, but this baby is not just someone who was sent by God and will serve God; he actually is God.

You know that the One who made us also made humans?

Brie:   Yes

Spud: well it seems that our Maker actually wants to become a baby himself, so that he can get to know them and find out what it's like to be human.

Brie: Why would he want to do that?

Candyfloss: I think I understand. Our Maker is amazing; he is powerful and good and kind. We know this because he provides green grass, sunshine, water and food for us; but no one has ever seen him. Now, we don't need to see and know the One who made us, but humans are not like that. If they are going to believe in our Maker, talk to him and ask him to help them, they need to know that he is real and that he understands them and the things they are going through.

Brie: I see. So he becomes like them, so that they can get to know him?

Candyfloss: Yes, and I think that being born in a stable is part of that somehow. 

Truffles: You know, we can talk to babies and little humans in ways that the grown ups don't understand; maybe we can ask the baby when he gets here?

Spud: Good idea. And you don't mind giving up your trough for this baby?

Truffles: Not at all; I'm giving something to God, aren't I?

Candyfloss: That's a lovely thing to do.

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