Thursday, December 8, 2011

25 Days of Christmas: Day 18: The Donkey

This trip has been tougher than the normal trips from Bethlehem to Nazareth.  Normally I am carrying a pack with clothes and food and water for my master as he makes his trip to see his betrothed.  This time however, I am carrying his wife to Bethlehem so that they can be counted in the census.  For such a tiny women she sure is heavy. 

The road is rocky and very hilly.  In places there is barely room on the road for my master to walk next to us. He has to lead me along to make it through.  The days are hot and the nights are cold.  It is hard for me to make it long periods of time without stopping for a break.  My master does a great job of getting me water and food.  I don't know where he gets the hay from but it keeps me strong and moving.

There are long stretches of the trip where we walk in silence.  The master is concentrating on the road and although I am not sure because I can't see her I do believe that his wife is sleeping.  Every once in a while they will have a conversation and talk about where they are going and what they are going to do when they get there.  Every night when we make camp, I see them praying to God.  They are really thankful for something and but I can't seem to make out what it is for.  They keep me tied up a little ways away from the camp so it is hard to hear.

This trip normally takes about four or five days when it is just the master and me.  For some reason it seems to be taking closer to a week.  It is day six and we are running out of food and water.  I am starting to drag and as each day passes my passenger seems to be getting heavier and heavier. As the afternoon hits the sun is blazing and I can't go any further, I have to stop.  Master pulls at the rope but I am not budging.  We donkeys can be very stubborn.  As his wife is lifted off of me by my master, I fall to my knees.  Exhaustion has set in and I don't think I can make it any further.

I look up to see master's wife crying and him consoling her.  I look closer at them and for the first time I realize that she is pregnant.  I wondered why she was so heavy.  She continues to cry and I am not sure if it is for me or because they are stuck here if I can't continue.  I lift my head and with every ounce of strength I have I get to my feet or hooves.  I walk over and put my head down between master and his wife.  She looks up at me smiling.  I nudge her with my head and push her toward my back until she realizes that I want her to get back on.

She gets back on and we continue down the road.  We are going to make it Bethlehem because I just feel like there is something really important about this baby.  I will walk all day and night if I have to carrying this mother and child.  Maybe the baby is what the master and his wife have been praying about.  We will arrive safely in Bethlehem.  I will make sure of that!

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