The Amazing Conclusion of Buz’s Story

The Amazing Conclusion of Buz’s Story

 

Slipping from bush to rock, Buz followed the shepherds. Every once in a while, the shepherds paused and pointed to the sky. At last, they stopped in front of a stable in Bethlehem. They spoke and someone  inside the stable answered. Then, the shepherds slowly stepped inside.

Did Buz dare get closer to these people? He had learned in his short lifetime that shepherds did not look kindly on his type and didn’t really understand that he took their sheep only when field mice were scarce. But, curiosity got the better of good judgment and Buz slunk to the door. Dropping down on his stomach, he crept inside the stable, keeping close to the dark wall.

The shepherds were kneeling in front of a feeding trough. A young woman sat looking down into the hay and a tall man stood beside her. The hay wriggled and a tiny fist waved above the manger.

Was that a baby inside the trough? Cattle stood around, a few sheep lay near-by and here was a baby, of all things, in this place where animals ate and slept.

Buz blinked. A ray of the dazzling light which had lit the night sky above the shepherds was radiating from one end of the straw-filled trough. How very unusual. This must be a special child.

Forgetting to be cautious, Buz crept ever closer. Strangely, nobody noticed him; or, if they did, they didn’t seem to mind. Buz peeked over the side of the manger just as the baby turned His head and looked at him.

A tingle began deep inside Buz, warming him from his head to his tail. The baby smiled at him. He, Buz the hated one, was filled with such awe and amazement that his mouth dropped open and his eyes felt watery.

Though the warm, golden light surrounded the baby’s head and shoulders, the other end of the manger was dusky. As Buz gazed at this small person, he noticed something else. The baby was wrapped in cloths to keep him warm but one small, pink foot kicked free of its bindings.

Expecting at any moment to be caught by the scruff of the neck or to be hit with one of the shepherd’s staff, Buz inched closer until his nose touched that bare foot. It was cold! The child who lay there had one cold foot!

Could Buz put the cloths back over that little foot? Under cover of darkness, he tried ¬†but couldn’t. Would the baby cry from the cold? Buz knew from experience that the night air could be merciless.

Forgetful of the danger, Buz put his front paws on the side of the trough and jumped in. He took care to stay away from the light around the baby’s head. He gently lay down on the child’s foot, warming it with his scanty fur. The tiny foot snuggled into his chest and stopped wriggling.

“Look, He’s asleep,” someone said.

“He’s warm and comfortable,” someone else said.

But no one noticed little Buz, hidden in the shadows. At last, when Buz realized dawn was not far away, he slipped down from the manger and out of the stable. He wanted to hurry home and tell his brothers what had happened. This news was too amazing to keep secret.

The sun was just beginning to top the eastern hills when Buz came to the door of the cave he called home.

“Wake up!” he shouted. “I’ve got good news!”

“Go away,” a fox growled. “I thought you were gone for good.”

“No, no. You must hear what I saw tonight!” Buz answered.

“Did you catch something and bring it to us to eat?” another fox sneered. “If you did, you must have put hot peppers in it. Go find someone else to fool.”

Buz hung his head. For some reason, he felt ashamed of his past misdeeds. “I’m sorry for all the mean tricks,” he said.

This caused his brothers to open their eyes and look at him. “You’re sorry? Are you the same little brother who makes life miserable for us?”

“Actually, you are the ones who make life miserable for me, but I should not have acted as mean as you did. I saw a most amazing sight tonight and I’ve got to share the good news.”

“Buz, is that actually you?” cried the oldest fox. “You sound like our Buz but, why, look at you! You’re a handsome fellow. Your tail…I’ve never seen one so bushy and beautiful and look at the white fur on your chest. It almost shines.”

The brothers gathered around Buz, reaching out to touch him, oohing and ahing about his splendor.

Buz was amazed. “Do I really look different?” he asked.

“About as different as night and day,” said a brother fox.

“We’re ready to listen,” said another brother.

The foxes all sat down in a ring around Buz while he told them the amazing story about the baby in a manger. But, you know the really incredible thing about that story Buz told? Although Buz looked handsome and regal on the outside, it was the inside that had changed. No longer did he want to play mean tricks. No longer did he feel small and unworthy. He felt happy and whole. He had warmed the foot of that wonderful child in the manger. Buz had been allowed to serve Him in this small way and, because of that night, he would never be Buz the Scruffy, ever again.

–The End–

 

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