Dear Editor:

This is a story my daughter wrote in 2001 when she was 13 while attending St.Joseph's grammar school in Jim Thorpe.

THE CHRISTMAS LAMB

It was late in December about two thousand years ago. It happened in a place called Bethlehem, a small village in the desert in the Middle East.

Early one sunny morning a soon to be mother sheep began to search inside a large manger where she lived. There were lots of other animals there too. Cows and oxen, donkeys and more sheep. All the animals watched as the soon-to-be mother sheep looked for the best, most quiet corner in which to give birth to her new little one.

Once she found just the right place, she nestled into the warm straw.

Soon a wide-eyed little lamb came into this world. The new mother licked and kissed it. Baa-baa it said very softly. The other animals gazed at it while it struggled to stand up. Then it wobbled a first step or two.

"How wonderful that you are here" said a cow.

"You are very beautiful", said a donkey.

"Your mother has always been kind and loving to our babies", said the dog to the new lamb. "We are glad that she now has a baby of her own".

As evening came it grew colder in the manger. The new lamb snuggled against its mother for warmth and for its evening meal of milk.

Outside the night grew still and very cold. All the animals tucked themselves together in family groups, settling in for a long winter night's sleep.

Not long after midnight the little lamb which hadn't learned to sleep very soundly yet, was woken up by the creaking of the manger door. Slowly the door opened. Two people tip-toed in very quietly. The young woman had a very beautiful face. Soon she would give birth to a child. She and her husband both looked very tired and needed a place to spend the night. They saw a small corner of the manger where no animals slept. There they lay down. As the silent night-time hours wore on, the woman, whose name was Mary, gave birth to a baby boy. Mary's husband, whose name was Joseph, wrapped the infant in some thin cotton cloth he had been carrying. The new baby whimpered softly, but none of the other animals saw or heard anything. They were too fast asleep. However the new lamb saw and heard everything!

Now Mary and Joseph placed the sleeping infant in a tiny crib they had found in the manger. Because they had traveled so far and because the child had just been born, they all fell fast asleep.

The little lamb was still awake. Although tired from his first exciting day in the world, he couldn't fall asleep. A very bright star was now shining its light through the window of the manger and it was twinkling right in the eyes of the little lamb. The lamb blinked several times because the light was so bright. Then it turned its head away and saw that the new babe was shivering with the cold.

Somehow the new lamb knew just what to do. Slowly he stood up and went over to the crib. Very gently he climbed into it and wrapped himself and his warm wooly coat around the infant. He could feel the warmth of his body giving warmth to the still shivering child. He sensed that his own warmth would keep the child alive until morning came. Now the little lamb was just too tired to stay awake another minute. And so, he too fell asleep in the crib with the new-born babe.

As dawn broke over the desert and the sun appeared on the horizon, the animals in the manger began to stir. The new mother, Mary and her husband, Joseph, also woke up. They went over to the crib and discovered their new-born son sleeping, with a peaceful smile, surrounded by the baby lamb. At once, they knew that the lamb had saved the baby from freezing in the night. Both the baby and the lamb now opened their eyes and saw each other. They also watched as a crowd of curious animals came over to the crib to see the amazing sight.

The sun had now risen and filled the manger with the warmth of the desert morning. Mary took her son tenderly out of his crib and into her loving arms. But before she did she and her husband both patted the little lamb and thanked it for saving the new-born child.

The mother lamb now took her day-old little lamb and snuggled it close to her. All the animals came over and offered their special thanks to the little lamb. The animals then gathered around the tiny crib and gazed adoringly at Mary's new-born son. They were the first to know that this was the most special child born on this very first Christmas Morning.

"PEACE ON EARTH. GOOD WILL TOWARD ALL MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ANIMALS."

By Karen M Fusco

Her proud father.

Vinnie Fusco

76 Longbrook Way

Albrightsville Pa 18210