Monday Rewrite: The Heart of Christmas

Two shepherds are kneeling in a stable looking at the baby.

1. Is he all right?
2. Why?
1. Well, he’s very quiet, shouldn’t he cry every so often?
2. No, he’s baby Jesus, no crying he makes.
1. What?
2. You know, that old song.
1. What d’you mea… (Notices a new arrival) Hello who are?
D. I’m the little drummer boy.
1. What?
D. The little drummer boy. I was just passing so I thought I’d pop in… parumpapumpum. You know, me and my drum.
1. Your drum? (looks round) Now what? What’s that noise outside?
D. Sounds oddly like three ships.
1. Three ships? How? Is there a shipyard round here?
2. No, they’ve sailed in.
1. Sailed! You’re bonkers. Failed more like. How can you sail round here? There’s no sea. What are they gonna do? Sprout wheels and come trundling up the high street with their sails at a jaunty angle?
2. Don’t blame me, it’s all them songs.
1. Songs?
2. Yes. We’re going down in history today.
D. I see the baby doesn’t do any crying.
2. Exactly.
1. What’s going on now?
2. Looks like a taxi, a car and a scooter out there. Must be three kings.
1. No, there’s more than that, it looks like five wise men.
2. You mean they’re not three kings? But the song…
1. Shut up about the songs.
2. Ooh look, it’s starting to snow!
1. At this time of year? Surely not.
2 Yes. The earth will stand hard as iron soon, and water like a stone. We could go and build a snowman and call him Frosty.
D. Yes! I’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas!
1. I’m so confused.
2. Don’t worry, tell you what, we’ll wash our socks, all seated on the ground, and then see if we can find Good King Wenceslas.
1. Is he one of those angels that we saw singing merrily on high?
2. No. And actually, if you remember correctly, they weren’t singing. They were praising. What are you doing?
1 moves closer to the child and places his hand on the animal trough. He stays there quietly for a moment.
1. (After a while) Just giving him… my attention… a bit of my time.
2. Hmm. ‘What can I give him? Give him my heart…’ that’s what the old song says. Come on. Before the pubs turn out and the streets are full of merry gentlemen.

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