It was a very cold, wintry afternoon at Happydale Farm.
“Soon be Christmas!” Said farmer Merry. “Time to put Christmas tree in the hall!”
“Soon be Christmas!” Said his wife. “Time to cut the holly and mistletoe. I want some nice big bunches for the dinning room.”
“Soon be Christmas!” Cried Jenny. “Time to make cotton wool snow balls to stick on the windows.”
“And make lots of paper snow flakes!” Added Peter.
“Moo!” Went Buttercup the Cow. “Who wants cotton wool snow and paper snowflakes? You get real snow outside, where we are not inside, in a house!”
“But, there are lots of things inside!” Said Lenny and Lucky, the two Lambs. “Just see!”
“Maybe that’s because most of Christmas happens indoors,” said Denny the Donkey.
The animals talked about it for a long time. How they wished they could go indoors, just for once!
“People talk about stars at Christmas,” said Denny. “They’re up in the sky! Look!”
As well as the strars, they saw something else in the sky.
“It’s like the sledge that Jenny and Peter play with in the snow,” said Denny.
“A sleigh,” said Hector the Horse.
“And those are reindeer!” Added Denny.
“It-It’s Father Christmas, the man who brings presents on Christmas Eve!”
“Couldn’t we ask him to bring us something?” Cried Lucky.
“We don’t want presents,” said Hector. “We only want to go indoors to see what Christmas is like.”
“Then that’s what we’ll wish for!” Said Denny.
“What a good idea!” Said the others.
But all that happened next morning. Was Mrs Merry put a sack of straw in her car.
“Come along, Jenny and Peter!” She called.
“Time for school!”
“It seemed very old to the animals!”
The straw was for the Nativity play with told the story of the first Christmas, when baby Jesus was born in a stable.
Jenny was going to be Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Peter and his friends, Billy and Mark, were going to be the shepherds.
“Baby Jesus need a manger to lie in,” said miss Lane, their teacher. “What could we use for that?”
“We’ve got a real manger at out farm!” Peter said proudly.
“Dad would lend it to us, wouldn’t he mun?”
“We could bring Lenny and Lucky to school, as well,” said Jenny.
But the animals were dissapointed when they heard the news.
“We all wanted to see Christmas indoors!” Said lucky. “It’s not fair, just me and Lenny getting our wish.”
“Tell us all about it when you get back!” Said Hector.
“Don’t forget!” Squawked Hetty the Hen.
“I can look indoors,” said Denny, “and see for my self!”
Denny could see that Lucky and Lenny did not like being indoors. The children were kind and play was lovely. But they felt hot and uncomfortable, and they missed their friends.
But Miss Lane was very pleased.
“You have all worked hard!” She told the children as they got ready to go home. “Look, it’s beginning to show! Just in time for Christmas too!”
It’s snowed all through the night. By next morning, the snow had stopped, but it was still very, very cold. All the pipes at choolhd frozen. Miss West said everyone had to go home.
“No Nativity play today!” She said. “I am sorry, children.”
“Oh, dear!” Said Farmer Merry. “We’ve bought the manager and the lambs too.”
But Denny the Donckey had an idea!
He ran down the road, braying loudly.
“He want us to go back to Happydale Farm to do the Nativity play!” Said Farmer Merry. “Everyone in the school mini-bus, Miss Lane!”
So, as well as the lambs, Lenny and Lucky, Denny the donkey, Buttercup the cow, Hetty the hen and Hector the horse all appeared together in the Nativity play.
“So this is what Christmas is really about!” Said Denny. “I’m glad we could share in it all.”
“Well,” said Hector the horse, “that is what we wished for. Don’t you remember?”
Not long afterwards, it was Christmas Eve.
And as the reindeer pulled his magic sleigh across the sky, Father Christmas smiled down at all the animals on Happydale Farm.
He had brought bells for lucky, Lenny and Buttercup, a basket of straw for Hetty, apples for Denny, and a blanket for Hector.
How surprised they would be on Christmas morning!