We had a lovely Carol Service, with contributions from Dean Gibson School, Cenacolo, and a new Christmas Story.
There was a lot of preparation – musicians rehearsing, Eileen presiding over mulled wine. Then, while the church was filling up, candles were lit.
During the service, Dean Gibson pupils, Cenacolo friends and Daniel sang for us:
Finally, we heard a new story for Christmas.
A View from the Floor
The mouse had found the stable years ago, when he was dodging the innkeeper’s cat. The stable was dry and warm and full of hay. It smelled strongly of donkey. The mouse didn’t mind a good stink. He was a bit whiffy himself. The cat would hang around hopefully but the mouse usually hid under the manger. The cat didn’t like getting under the donkey’s feet.
But tonight the stable showed signs of overcrowding. For a start, there was an extra donkey, and a man in a panic and a woman making too much noise. And then there was a dratted baby, wailing till the woman shushed it and the man put it into the manger. The mouse shot into a corner. ‘Why aren’t the donkeys kicking up a fuss?’ he thought, chewing on a seed. ‘Huh! It’s only a baby. What’s special about this one?’ At least the man had stopped panicking.
Suddenly a brilliant light filled the air and the mouse flew into a panic himself. ‘Fire!’ he squeaked. But nobody was listening. More and more humans crammed into the narrow space. The mouse did not mind the new, rich sheepy smell but did the newcomers have to bring the lambs inside too? Everyone crowded round the manger. Everyone knelt down. What on earth was going on? The mouse’s whiskers twitched. Inch by inch, he crept forward. Nobody would notice him under the straw, or slipping under a donkey’s nose. In another few seconds he’d be there, at the manger, and then he would see everything.
A paw patted his shoulder. He froze. The cat’s hot breath wafted over him. ‘How did I let that happen?’ said the mouse, crossly. He had never been outwitted by the cat before. He waited for the inevitable.
But the paw just rested on his shoulder. Carefully the mouse turned his head. The cat was staring at the baby, just like everyone else. ‘You know, when I look at that baby,’ said the cat, ‘I see you in a different way.’
‘Oh, really?’ said the mouse, trying hard not to shake. ‘Like what?’
‘Well, not as dinner,’ said the cat. She sounded surprised. ‘I see a fellow creature.’ She licked her nose. ‘Can we be friends?’
‘Take your paw off my shoulder,’ said the mouse, ‘and then we can discuss it.’