Mo Chara Animal Rescue
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little lord, Jesus, lay down his sweet head...
Hidden in the hay amongst the cows and sheep lay a small family, Momma dog and her two little ones, Jacob and Ruth. They had walked the streets of Bethlehem looking for a warm place to stay the night and in the light of a big bright star Momma had spotted the stable which looked very inviting. Finding a loose panel at the back she had entered and called softly to her children. "Come Jacob and Ruth, we will sleep here tonight, it's warm and cosy. Maybe tomorrow we will be lucky and find our forever home."
The three small figures wriggled through the hole and pushed their way into the warm soft hay. As the tired family snuggled together, their eyes slowly closing, heavy with sleep, little Jacob suddenly sat up "Momma, what is that?”
“Shush,” soothed momma, “It's nothing. Close your eyes and sleep, Jacob. We shall have a long day tomorrow."
“But listen, Momma,” Both Jacob and Ruth pushed their way through the straw to the front of the stable as Jacob whispered,
“Come back to bed, my children.”
“No, Momma.” said both children together, “Come and see.”
Before them they saw two human figures, a tall man who stood by the side of a woman his hand resting lovingly on her shoulder. The woman sat beside a manger caressing the cheek of the baby who lay inside.
“Momma, is that our new family?” said Ruth.
Momma's eyes filled with tears “No child, I don't think so.”
Suddenly the door opened, flooding the stable with bright light and beautiful music, and in walked three men.
“Momma, who are those men and what are the long sticks they are carrying?” asked Jacob.
“They are shepherds my son, brave, loyal men. They look after sheep on the hillside. Those sticks are called crooks, they use them to walk many miles and guide their flocks.”
“Wow,” said Jacob excitedly “Momma, I am brave and I am loyal… I want to be a shepherd.”
The family watched on as the shepherds knelt before the manger and looked upon the child. Again the door opened flooding the stable with light and beautiful music. This time in walked three tall figures each wearing fine clothes and glistening jewels.
“Who are they?” asked Ruth as she crept quietly forward.
“Come back here, Child.” Momma scolded, “They are kings, men of great power, and wealth - they live in castles and rule the countries of the world with kindness and wisdom.”
“Really, Momma? I am clever and I am kind, I would like to live in a castle too.”
The small family watched on as the kings knelt before the manager and presented their fine gifts to the child. The two puppies watched with excitement at the people in front of them. “What's happening, Momma?” Ruth asked.
“I'm not sure children,” Momma replied, “but it's something very special.”
Suddenly brave little Jacob ran forward and leapt into the arms of one of the shepherds. “Come back!” cried Momma.
“It's ok, Momma, I have found my family.” said Jacob. I am going to be a shepherd, I will look after the sheep and my family too. He snuggled tight into the shepherd’s arms and quickly fell fast asleep.
Little Ruth leapt forward and ran into the arms of one of the kings. “Look Momma!” she cried, “I've found my family too; I am going to be a princess and live in a castle.” Momma dog started forward but stopped as the men looked down at her pups, each smiling and cuddling them tighter.
As the dawn broke, the shepherds and kings left the stable, Jacob and Ruth went, both happy and content with their new families. Momma dog crept towards the door, she was lonely, tired and hungry, “Goodbye my children,” she sobbed, “be good, be loved and live the best lives you can.”
As she turned to go back into the hay, she looked into the manger, where lay the little boy child all wrapped up and fast asleep. Momma dog lifted her head and thought of her own children as she gently licked the sleeping child's face.
A warm hand rested on her head and a soft soothing voice said “Momma dog, you are so strong; you have given your children to the world, just as I too must give my child some day. Don’t be sad, Momma dog. Join us, help us teach our child about bravery, faith, wisdom and kindness just as you have taught children and teach me Momma dog, teach me about strength.”
Momma dog looked into the deep blue eyes of the boy's mother and whispered, “But your son is so special and I have no fine gifts to give him.”
“Will you give him your loyalty and love?” asked the boy’s father as he crouched beside her.
Momma dog nodded, her eyes glistening. The boy’s mother ran a hand through Momma dog’s fur and said “There is no greater gift.”
A long time ago, in a stable in Bethlehem, under a brightly shining star and a chorus of angels, the miracle of the first rescue took place.