Tiny sheep, cows, donkeys, goats and even a horse were gathered around, some sleeping, some eating and some gazing at the sky. “It’s perfect, except for the people,” Alfred thought.
Alfred heard footsteps behind him. He turned to see a dark haired boy, about his age dropping to his knees beside him. He looked familiar. “It is perfect,” the boy said. Or did Alfred imagine that he said it? They admired the scene, watching the miniature animals lie down, one by one.
Alfred finally felt the cold of the snow pressing though his pants. He knew he had to go home, but felt glued to the spot and it was so pleasant kneeling there beside the stranger. Not looking at the boy, Alfred whispered, “Do you come here often?”
“I’ve never seen you before. What is your name?”
“I’m Manny, but Mother insists on calling me Emmanuel. That’s my real name.”
“Maybe we can play in my fort sometime. Where do you live?”
“Yes, I’d love that.” The boy paused before answering the second question. “I live on the other side…of the woods,” he finally said. “I have to go now, I have some gifts to prepare for my brothers and sisters. But I know we’ll meet again.”
Alfred was too stunned to say anything. An unexpected thought entered his mind. He jumped to his feet and ran back to his house. Rushing to his room he knew exactly what to do. Elsie and the sheep turned to him as he opened the door. As he lifted each one and patted its fur, tears sprung to his eyes.
“I love you guys, but you need to take care of my sister.” He carefully wrapped each one in shiny paper. “Be good, now. Watch over her.
The angel light smiled and Alfred was sure he heard heavenly music floating through his room.