A Christmas Story
by Randy Movold
This is a story about Emillio Mandou who lived during the very first Christmas.
Emillio was the son of a shepherd named Aehzad, who had settled near the town of Bethlehem many years ago. Christmas was still in the future during this time although some people knew a special day was coming but they did not know when it would happen or how.
One night Emillio and his two older brothers, Plutuspar and Herkinny, were going to relieve some other shepherds in the fields. As they trekked up the hills, they noticed a sharpness in the cloudless starlit sky. A distant light in the western sky awed Emillio, who was quite a dreamer. It couldn’t be the sunrise because he knew the sun rose in the east and it couldn’t be the sunset because that had already happened. He wondered why this light was there and what did it mean? It was also evident to his brothers and they all stared in awe. Just about that time, three sheep decided to head for another pasture on the far side of the creek, up the hill and on the edge of the forest where wolves hid out
Emillio and his brothers did not notice the three sheep missing until they heard the howl of the wolves and then the sheep crying. The brothers bolted in the direction of the noise yelling back to Emillio to stay and take care of the rest of the flock.
Emillio had never been alone with the sheep before let alone in the dark on this eerie quiet night. The glow he had seen earlier became a comfort to him and for security he gathered the rest of the sheep around in a huddle nearer to him.
As Emillio gained comfort in this situation, he heard his name being called. “Emillio, Emillio.”
“Yes, my brothers, what is it? Have you returned?”
The voice said, “Emillio, I am not your Brother but a Host from heaven, a servant of the living God, who has made heaven and earth, indeed who has made all things in the universe. Gird your self, Child, tonight is the night! Let me put it this way, Emillio.
“My name is Gabe,
And I’m here to tell you
Of a Babe
He came to earth this day for grace,
He came for the human race
Now go- don’t be slow, Grandson of Jo
Go west, young man and follow the glow
I know you’s tired and wants to sleep
But grab your staff and drive dem sheep
West, yeah west,
‘Cause God knows best.
“Excuse me, Host of Heaven, but are you trying to tell me something?” asked Emillio.
“Yes, Emillio, But I don’t think you’re ready for Heavenly Rap just yet. One day in the future, kids your age will understand the meaning of that rhyme. What I want to say to you is, follow that light in the sky. Take your sheep with you and that special box you have been working on. You will want to give it to the Christ Child as a gift, Emillio. Follow the star, Emillio and the light will lead you to true love. When you arrive open your heart and whisper your acceptance to this Christ Child.. Invite him to come and enter your heart. Go now, Emillio, Christmas is waiting for you.”
Emillio grabbed his staff, wooed the sheep to follow him and headed straightway for the light. As he came closer to Bethlehem, he noticed many people in the streets.
“How will I ever find the Christ Child, the angel told me about?” thought Emillio. Just as he wondered how he would do this, he saw the light, it was now a very bright star and he proceeded to follow it. As he made his way, he knew he was getting nearer. Emillio started running and leaping with his sheep following close behind.
As he drew nearer he asked a merchant if he was on the right road.
“Yes!” said the merchant, “Around the corner, up the next street, you will come to an Inn called the Way - Side Inn, that is where the star shines the brightest. And, Son, don’t forget your sheep. Also, tell at least one other person along the way about the bright light and the special Babe.
Emillio was so excited, he almost knocked a man down at the corner.
“Whoa,......Boy, What in Prophet’s name is this?”
“The star, sir, at the Way-Side-Inn!”
Looking towards the Inn, the stranger saw the brilliant light over the Inn.
“What are you waiting for, Son, the star awaits us. Is this your box? It must have fallen out of your carry pouch as you were running.”
“Yes, Sir, it is my box, I’ve been working on it for quite some time and I’m going to give it to the Christ Child when I see him. Inside the box are miniature turtles from Persia. They are precious to me, I’ve been collecting them for a while, they live a very long time and yet they remain small.”
“Tell me your name, boy.”
“Emillio Mandou, Sir.”
“So Emillio, I am sure it is you who is the first one to give a box of turtles as a gift.”
“Yes, sir. My grandfather always told me to give only what is precious and you will never be in want of anything.”
“Your Grandfather was a very wise man, Emillio.”
“And good too, Sir.”
So Emillio and the stranger entered the Way-Side-Inn leaving the flock of sheep outside. They inquired about the newborn babe. The manager of the Inn looked tired and extremely puzzled.
“I know nothing of this babe and please don’t ask me for a room, I have none. I even had to rent out my stable on the West side of the Inn. Come to think of it a young couple came in late on a donkey and by-Jove, that girl was pregnant! Come follow me to the stable.”
Out the door and around to the Inn’s side they went, and Lo! the star, which they had seen, went before them until it came and stood over where the child was. And they came in haste and found the child as he lay in the manger.
Emillio was honored to present him with the gift, which he had lovingly prepared for a very special occasion and he also felt compelled to give his heart and soul to this babe who he realized was really a King!
That evening, Emillio not only discovered the first Christmas but also was able to share it with the stranger and the Inn Keeper. And Emillio was honored to be the first one ever to give a box of turtles as a gift!