Monday, 24 December 2012

Pusillani Mouse, the Shepherds and the Angels: a Christmas Eve Story by Hezekiah—Church Mouse and Righteous Rodent

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  
And whenever there were shepherds and sheep by night, there were also mice. Isn’t that right Hezekiah? Why? O, right! Because when shepherds worked at night, they always took lunch and part of that lunch was always lots of smelly, tasty goat cheese! Hmmm!! And not only that, but also lots of bread crumbs! Cheese and crumbs, a mouse’s favourite! While shepherds watched their flock, the mice watched their lunch bags. Right Hezekiah?

But Hezekiah wants me to tell you about this one night a long, long time ago, when something happened which has been told through mouse history ever since. Who told you, Hezekiah? — Your grandmother, Fay Mouse? What happened? — Well, one of those nights, long, long ago there was a mouse name Pusillani. Pusillani? — Pusillani Mouse. Pusillani was a very timid fellow. He was always as quiet as a…mouse. And all of a sudden that night when he was just about to relieve a shepherd of some of his crumbs and goat cheese, there was a bright light that shone in the sky which was so bright that Pusillani found himself totally exposed. Paw outstretched, jaws open to take an enormouse mouthful of goat cheese, tail curling in pleasure. (Pause) And then what happened? — He felt like he was in the beam of a search light (well, he would have if search lights had been invented yet). Anyway, it was really scary so he just froze waiting for a big hairy shepherd’s foot to stomp him. He closed his eyes.

And? 

Nothing happened. (Hez looks up)

He opened his eyes and looked up, way up. The nearest shepherd was frozen, too,  and he was also looking up away from Pusillani! 

What Pusillani didn’t realize is that 
An angel of the Lord was standing before them, and the glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they were terrified. 
Wow! So it was the glory of The Lord! And just as Pusillani was about to go “Phew!” and finish his mouthful. He suddenly noticed the hughest and ugliest (to him) thing he’d ever seen. (Hez looks at me) It probably looked a bit like me? It was ugly because it looked a bit like one of the shepherds, only shinier, and with wings. Pusillani didn’t like the wings thing. Things with wings could swoop down and eat mice like me, he thought. What Pusillani didn’t know was that he was looking at an angel. 
But the angel said to them, 
What, what did the angel say, Hezekiah?

“Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, gong show din!!”

That doesn’t sound right! That’s what it sounded like to Pusillani. He couldn’t speak Aramaic. But it was really loud and he had wings! Suddenly Pusillani’s appetite went away. He wasn’t hungry any more. He just wanted to go home.

Of course, we all know now that what the angel was saying to the shepherds was: 
“Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. 
Poor Pusillani. He missed that it was good news, right? If he’d understood, he would have realized he was in no danger, it was just about a baby, human, and therefore a bit ugly, with swaddling clothes, for heaven’s sake, and he wouldn’t have felt so frightened. 

Aw! That’s too bad.

And then it got worse! The Bible says, 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 
There it was again! “Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, gong show din!!” even louder and set to music! Pusillani was so frightened that, not only had his appetite disappeared, but he needed to go the bathroom really badly. 

Hezekiah! I’m not sure we need to be talking about that in church. 

He held his back knees together really tightly and gritted his teeth. 

We all know now that what Pusillani was hearing was 
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!
But, to him, it sounded like the end of the world. Just when he thought he couldn’t hold it anymore everything went dark again. Silence. Then what happened?

One of the sheep said, “Bah!” Another said, “Humbug.” The shepherds started talking to each other. 
“Blah, blah, blah,” they said, “Yadda, yadda, yadda, gong show din!!”

We now know what they were really saying because the Bible explains what really happened: 
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, not “Blah, blah, yadda,” but “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 
Then, Pusillani Mouse couldn’t believe his eyes! They all ran off! The shepherds, that is.  Woh! He must of breathed a sigh of relief! 

And, guess what, he didn’t have to go to the bathroom any more. And not only that, the shepherds had left their lunch bags behind!!! 

While they were away. Pusillani had an enor-mouse feast of not just crumbs, but great big honking chunks of bread, with gobs of goat cheese on top. He ate himself to a stand still. It was the scariest and happiest night of his life. It was also the night that Jesus was born.

Wow! Thanks, Hezekiah. 

The story had been told in Mousedom ever since. There was even a song written about it. 

How does it go? Shall I sing it for them? 

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
A mouse lucked out when shepherds ran
Free goat’s cheese did abound. 

"Fear not," said Pusillani Mouse
The shepherds ran away.
Blah, blah, yadda, yadda, gong show, 
To Jesus where he lay.