Clip---clop---clip---clop, went Small Donkeys hooves as he s-l-o-w-l-y climbed the last hill. Mary rode on Small Donkeys back. Joseph walked by Small Donkeys side. Mary and Joseph were very, very tired. Small Donkey was tired too. They had come a long, long way. From the top of the hill, O happy sight, they saw the lights of Bethlehem!
Joseph walked faster now. Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop, hurried Small Donkey, down the hill, through the gate, into the little town, where they would rest and sleep. At the inn, Joseph asked for a room. "We have no room," said the innkeeper. "Is there no place where we can sleep?" asked Joseph. "Only in the stable. . . . I am sorry."
Joseph led Small Donkey toward the stable. He opened the creaky old door. He held up the lantern the innkeeper gave him, and looked around inside. He saw Spotted Cow, and Woolly Lamb, and stalls that were empty. In one empty stall he tied Small Donkey. In another he made a bed of straw for Mary and himself. Soon they were fast asleep.
During the night the most wonderful thing happened -- Baby Jesus was born! Joseph filled a manger with clean new hay. Mary wrapped the baby in soft white cloth, and laid Him in the manger. The animals seemed pleased about Baby Jesus. Spotted Cow mooed softly, Woolly Lamb tinkled his bell, and Small Donkey looked and looked.
That night, in a field near the little town, shepherds were guarding their sheep. Suddenly a bright light, as bright as the sun, shone all around them. The shepherds were afraid and covered their faces. The sheep were afraid and huddled together.
"Dont be afraid," said a kind, gentle voice. The shepherds uncovered their faces. They saw an angel, all glowing with light. Said the angel, "I bring you good tidings of great joy! Jesus, your Saviour, is born. You will find Him lying in a manger." Then the sky was filled with shining angels singing the glory song -- "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
As the angels went farther and farther away, they looked like a twinkling bright star in the dark night sky above Bethlehem. "Come," said the shepherds, "let us go see." They ran all the way to the stable, and there they found Joseph and Mary and Baby Jesus in His manger bed.
In a faraway country, Wise Men saw the angel star. They said, "It is the star of the Baby King. Let us go worship Him, and take Him presents." The Wise Men made ready their gifts. One Wise Man filled a bag with gold. Another filled a jar with frankincense, the perfume of flowers. And another filled a special box with myrrh, the perfume of spices.
The Wise Men gathered up their gifts, mounted their camels, and rode toward the star. They crossed rivers and hills and sandy deserts -- sometimes it was hot, sometimes it was cold, but always they rode on, following the star.
Then one evening the star stopped above a house in the little town of Bethlehem. The Wise Men made their camels kneel in front of the house. They climbed off the camels humped backs, and taking their gifts, they knocked on the door.
Joseph opened the door -- and there inside was Mary holding Baby Jesus. The Wise Men bowed with their faces to the floor and worshiped the baby they called king. They gave Him their gifts -- the bag of gold, the jar of frankincense, the special box of myrrh. Then the Wise Men said good-bye, mounted their camels, and began their long journey home.
One dark night when Joseph was asleep, and Mary was asleep, and Baby Jesus was asleep, an angel whispered to Joseph. "Get up quickly," he said. "Take Mary and the Baby and flee into Egypt. The wicked king is trying to find the Baby to do Him harm. Stay in Egypt until I tell you it is safe to return." The king was angry because the people were saying that some day Baby Jesus would be king.
Joseph got up quickly. He told Mary what the angel had said. He went to the stable for Small Donkey. Mary wrapped Baby Jesus snug and warm. Joseph helped Mary on Small Donkeys back. He handed her Baby Jesus. Clip-clop, clip-clop, went Small Donkeys hooves as they went out through Bethlehems gate, and turned down the road toward Egypt. The wicked king couldnt find Baby Jesus now.
Joseph and Mary, Baby Jesus, and Small Donkey lived in Egypt a long time. Baby Jesus learned to walk and to talk. Then one night the angel again whispered to Joseph, "The wicked king is dead. It is safe to go home." Once more Mary rode on Small Donkeys back, but the Boy Jesus didnt ride all the way now. Sometimes He walked and helped to lead Small Donkey. They didnt go to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. They went to Nazareth, Joseph and Marys old home.
Joseph and Mary were glad to be back in their old home. Small Donkey was glad to be back in his own stable. When Mary tucked the Boy Jesus into His own bed, she told Him good-night stories. She told about -- Baby Moses and his basket boat, about when the angels sang the glory song, about the Wise Men following the star, and worshiping the Baby as their king.