Kvelve's Comments: Merry Christmas!
And it came to pass, a bright light appeared in the night sky.
Some said it was an angel. Others, who were skeptical of such things, scoffed at the notion and said it was clearly a UFO, or a secret military experiment.
None-the-less, it harkened of something great.
In a nearby homeless encampment, the light appeared to hover over the hastily constructed cardboard shack occupied by a man and woman known only as Joey and Marilyn.
Their animals, two dogs and two cats, appeared thin and haggard.
They were new arrivals at the camp, having traveled for days in their run-down Toyota to escape scorn that was being heaped upon them in the city of York. Along the way they sought lodging at several prominent motel chains, only to be turned away because Marilyn was pregnant and Joey had no money.
“Transients” they had been called, “leaches of government funding.” They were blamed for the plight of unwed couples and labeled “welfare kings and queens.”
Local ordinances forbade them from lingering.
The light from above grew brighter. Surely this must be a menace from another world, the observers cried. A pair of fighter jets were scrambled to investigate but their radars revealed nothing.
But the heavenly light was seen by others, including three ranchers huddled around a campfire in the nearby mountains.
“Maybe it’s a distress signal and someone needs our help,” they surmised.
A voice boomed out of the sky.
“Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy. For borne unto you this day is a Savior….”
The cowboys shook their heads in disbelief. Maybe we better take the horses, I think we’ve had a few too many cold ones.
“We gotta check this out,” was their unanimous agreement. So, after saddling their horses and rounding up spare supplies, they following the light.
On their way into the town, they were stopped by a constable of the law who informed them they did not have a parade permit to ride horses into town, therefore they must cease their actions immediately.
After conducting a series of breathalyzer tests, and being assured their intentions were good, the officer allowed them to continue with the admonition, “just be careful, it’s nighttime and you’re heading toward a very rough part of town.
“Be of peaceful mind good sir,” they chimed. “We feel as though we must go.”
On they rode.
When they arrived at the encampment, the light seemed to shining brighter than ever. There was no threat, just a peaceful, easy feeling the likes of which none of them had ever felt.
Then they saw a sight to behold, much as the voice from the sky had forecast.
The beam of light was illuminating a small patch of ground amid the squalor with the intensity of a mirror reflecting sunshine.
Amidst the patch of dirt and weeds was a woman in ragged clothing. In her arms she held a newly born child who was cooing a soft refrain as the woman and her male companion smiled in quiet amazement.
The cowboys dismounted and promptly offered their sleeping bags and blankets to the couple and their newborn son. The baby was soon wrapped in down-filled polyester, enough to hold off the nighttime chill.
“Who is this kid?” one of the wranglers asked.
Before the man and woman could reply, flashing lights filled the makeshift city.
“You are all under arrest for camping on public land without a permit.”
When assured by the young couple that the baby, whom they had named Jesus, was theirs, the child was taken from Marilyn’s arms.
“He has an Hispanic name,” one of the officers said. “Must be illegal.”
Times have changed. May the spirit of Christmas live forever.