Monday, December 5, 2011

25 Days of Christmas: Day 21 The InnKeeper

This week has been crazy.  I don't think this Inn has ever been so full.  So many people have come to Bethlehem because of the census.  I have families of 10 or more in rooms that fit 2 people.  It is a good thing we don't offer free continental breakfast because I don't know how I would feed all these people.  One person did get mad because the ditch in the back of the Inn that we fill with water doesn't look like the pool in the brochure, but I fixed that with a complimentary sandal cleaning and a free copy of Bethlehem weekly magazine.   I think they were pretty happy. 

We don't have any more space in the Inn but I think there are a lot more people that will be coming in and needing a place to stay.  I wish I had listened to my wife and built that addition last year.  She said she thought a census would be coming soon, but no I didn't listen.  Instead I upgraded the stable so that people had a place to keep their donkeys and we would have a safe warm place to keep our animals in the winter time.  It does stay pretty warm year in there but I could never rent it out because it is so small.  I guess I could call it a studio apartment and get a few coins for it, but who would want to stay outside with the pigs, sheep, goats, and donkeys? 

Today started out as any other day.  I did my chores, went and got water from the well for our guests to clean themselves, fed the animals and worked through the books.  There is some nice income coming in, but there is no privacy in this Inn.  I actually took a nap out in the hay today just to get some peace and quite.  The funny thing is with all the people in here it smells worse in here than in the stable and that is saying a lot.  I can't wait till people are counted for the census and go back to where they came from.  I am getting a little claustrophobic.  It is so hot in here.  I think I will go for a walk.

Tonight as I was finishing up a few things and getting ready to head to bed, there was a knock at the door.  I went and answered it and this really nice young man was standing there.  Behind him was a beautiful young pregnant woman sitting on a donkey.  He asked me if there were any rooms available and showed me the frequent renters card he had from my brother's Inn in Nazareth.  It looks like he goes up there a lot either on business or to visit.  I usually honor these cards because my brother honors my cards.

Sadly I couldn't offer him a room because there was literally no space in the Inn.  He was very persistent and stated that his wife was about to give birth.  He asked so politely.  I had to tell him no again but I told him about my recent nap in the stable and told him that if he was truly desperate he could stay in the stable.  I told him I wouldn't charge him since he had the card and all I had available was a drafty stable with lots of animals.  He was so very grateful and thanked me several times.  He then took hold of the donkeys harness and led it around to the back of the Inn to the stable.  I smiled and said good night as I shut the door. 

I hope they sleep well tonight and don't get too cold.  I will make sure I go out to check on them in the morning, but for now it is so late and I am so tired, I am headed to bed.  Tomorrow will be another long day, an Innkeeper's work is never done!

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