Friday, December 9, 2016

Advent 2016

Donkey Daniel

 

(One of my favorite Christmas books growing up was Donkey Daniel in Bethlehem by Janice Kramer, copyrighted in 1970 by Concordia Publishing House.  It is the reason I jumped at this topic.  The full greatness of the picture book is incomplete without the images therein.)

 

Nearby the town of Nazareth, a long, long time ago

there lived a little donkey with a nose as white as snow.

His name was Donkey Daniel.  He was very strong indeed;

why, he could carry anything that anyone might need.

He loved his master Joseph, who was gentle as could be.

He loved his cozy, little stall.  He loved his favorite tree.

 One morning master Joseph came to Donkey Daniel's stall.

"I've brought your breakfast," Joseph said.  "Be sure to eat it all.

Today we leave for Bethlehem, and you must come along

to bring some things and carry Mary on your back so strong."

 The town of Bethlehem was filled with visitors that day,

so Joseph had to look and look to find a place to stay.

But no one had an empty room and so they had to sleep

on hay inside a stable filled with chickens, cows, and sheep.

They ate their supper, made their beds, and shut the stable door.

Then Mary fell asleep, and Joseph started in to snore.

"Good night," said Donkey Daniel to the chickens, cows, and sheep.

Soon all was calm and silent.  Everyone was fast asleep.

But Donkey Daniel wakened in the middle of the night.

"How strange!" he mumbled.  "Mary's up.  The stable's filled with light.

And Joseph, why is he awake?  Whatever can it be?

I must find out what's going on.  I must get up and see!"

He didn't quite expect to see the sight that met his eyes.

"A baby!" Donkey Daniel cried, with wonder and surprise.

"Why, Mary's had a baby boy and such a lovely child!

See there!  He looked at me just then.  I think he even smiled!" 

Then suddenly a knock was heard upon the stable door.

Three men came in, quite out of breath, and knelt upon the floor.

"We're shepherds," they explained.  "We've come to see the Son of God!"

"What do they mean?" thought Donkey Daniel.  "This is very odd."

He tried to understand each word the happy shepherds said:

how an angel had appeared to say that in a manger bed

they'd find the Son of God, a child newborn of holy birth,

a baby who was Christ the Lord, the Savior of the earth!

He tried but didn't understand the many words he heard.

How could a tiny, little babe be Christ, the mighty Lord?

But then a strange thing happened:  something made him bow his head

before the baby Jesus lying in the manger bed.

 

-- Scot Pool

 

 

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