It was strange to find myself once again walking up to Mr. Skink’s trailer. The idea of stealing his eye patch seemed ridiculous now. I had more important and more interesting things to do and that’s saying a lot for a town like Belliacre.
I knocked on the door. No response. With a shrug I pushed open the door and stepped inside. There was Helen, crouched on the floor exactly where she’d been when we first met.
“Helen!” I grinned at her “Do you still want to be the baby Jesus?”
“No, she does not!” Mr. Skink stalked in from the back, his eye patch sticking out behind his ear. He looked like he’d just woken up. Is that all he did in his trailer? “Now get out of here before I call the police.”
“Last I checked, Helen can answer for herself.” I pointed down at Helen who had three legs stuck straight up into the air. “What about the rest of you?” I called out. “Who wants to go to Bethlehem?”
There was silence and then a light whistling as the chameleons appeared quite literally out of the woodwork. THUMP! Sybil had dropped down from the pipe she’d been wrapped around and was slithering across the floor. SPLASH! Harold hoisted himself out of his tank and once again headed for my toes, though this time he respectfully stopped about a foot away. I looked and saw the house geckos, still wearing their filthy cotton balls, scampering over, ready to try being sheep one more time. RATTLE! I didn’t need to look to know that the rattlesnake still wanted to have a go at being the little drummer boy.
I placed my hands on my hips and used my best ‘director’ voice “Now, Mr. Skink, the cast for our Christmas Pageant is ready to perform. You can either make yourself useful and drive them over to the church, or we’ll all pile into Mrs. Snapper’s car. Either way, we’re going.”
Mr. Skink stood there with his mouth hanging open. I’m not sure whether he was shocked by the mutiny of his reptiles and arachnids or trying to imagine Sybil slithering into Mrs. Snapper’s tiny ford focus.
“You can be involved too, no one is leaving you out” I said. “But we need to get moving.”
“All right, let me get the pick-up” muttered Mr. Skink. “But what in tarnation are we going to do about the silent angel chorus and your lackluster tarantula swaddling?”
“Don’t worry” I gave him my best Pastor Basil smile “Jealous Plant and I have a plan.”
To Be Continued
Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Why are Mr. Skink’s creatures so eager to rejoin the Christmas Pageant cast? How is the narrator’s offer to “go to Bethlehem” a departure from the old life they’ve lived in Mr. Skink’s trailer. What is Mr. Skink’s response to the narrator’s invitation? Have you ever had the experience of choosing between two different ways of living? What happened?
A reading of Chapter 23 by Amelia Corbett
About the Blog
Journey through the season of Advent with daily updates on the adventures of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Belliacre, MI as they attempt to cobble together a Christmas Pageant with an unlikely cast of characters.
Stephanie is an art educator and a landscape/portrait artist. Her inspirations come from the amazing people she meets and the gorgeous state of Michigan as well as her home state of Florida. She and he husband love nature. They are out in the water during the summer months and on the snow in the winter enjoying the simple pleasures of life.