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With their tasks assigned
And their direction aligned
The star and the angel traveled through outer space
Gliding swiftly at a steady pace.
Until far in the distance,
A dim twinkle they saw
T’was the tiny blue Earth
In which stable, manger, and straw
Would soon house the birth
Of a savior for all.

Drawing near to the planet in the stillness ahead
The angel turned to the star,
And in star language said,
“As you see, Earth is close.
We are nearly there.
We may yet arrive
With some time to spare.
But onward from here
The danger will grow
I must go on ahead
In order to know
That the stable is safe before the family arrives
And that we all will be ready if the enemy tries,
With minions, dissentions, and false opinions,
To use his knowledge of stealth and cunning
To try and prevent Christmas from ever coming.
These matters have caused me no small apprehension
It’s a problem that requires my immediate attention.
But, star, stay steady onward
Towards that blue world with one moon.
And there I will meet you again very soon.”
With a flash and a snap
The angel flew to Earth like a comet,
And sparks trailed in his wake
Till he landed upon it.

When the Angel flew down
Into the tiny cold town
He knew not where to go
T’was just beginning to snow.
All the town’s people’s doors
Were locked very tight.
The angel looked round
And saw no one else in sight.

There were no banners strung high
To hail the Christ Child
No celebration
No celebration

No trumpets to sound
No glistening crown
No gathering crowd crying
No children on shoulders
Who’d climbed up to see,
Just a plain dreary town
Of no special renown
Whose people had all gone to sleep.

The dark windows of Bethlehem town
Loomed ominously like a disquieting frown.
The gloomy sight could not help but remind
The angel that he’d left heaven far, far behind.
Was he on the right planet?
Had there been some mistake?
Why would Christ come here
Why, for heaven’s sake?
The question had him baffled, bewildered, and befuddled
The question buzzed around him
So that he winced and struggled
But perplexity suddenly turned into surprise
When a movement right beside him caught his sharp angel eyes.
T’was in the very same thicket of evergreen trees
Where the Angel crouched hidden down on his knees,
That a white bearded shepherd and his wooly white sheep
Sat huddled together keeping warm in a heap.
Freezing still as a stone, the Angel tried not to panic.
“Surely they’ve seen me,” he thought
His mind racing and frantic.
Thinking of what in the world he should to do
He remained still as could be trying not to move.
But then to his dismay
He watched one sheep lift its nose
As if catching a mysterious scent
The sheep turned towards him and rose.
Towards him it walked on its tiny sheep toes
Making whispery sounds in the powdery snows.
The rest of the flock and the shepherd himself
Remained oblivious to the Angel, though beside them he knelt.
But in moments his presence they’d surely realize
If the Angel did nothing. So he needed a disguise.
To conceal himself he’d have to do more than just freeze
He’d have to transform himself in to the likeness of these.
So he waited for the wary sheep before him to blink
And in the bat of an eye he morphed from Angel to sheep!


from The First Ornaments of Christmas, released November 15, 2012



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The First Ornaments of Christmas Fayetteville, Arkansas

The First Ornaments of Christmas is a live multimedia project from the brain/hand/pen/voice of Rogers, AR resident Bryce Napier. A re-imagining of the Christmas story told through live music, narration, and animated footage, the project was performed in Northwest Arkansas in December 2011 and 2012. ... more

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