Trouble at the Inn

Filed Under christmas | 23 comments

Red and Silver Collage  RS

Like all things fun and memorable, I have so enjoyed thinking of which of my favorite stories to share with you next.

nativity  RS                                                                       (unknown source)


Trouble at the Inn


For many years now, whenever the Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little town in the Mid-west, someone is sure to mention the name of Wallace Purling. Wally’s performance in one annual production of the nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. But the old-timers who were in the audience that night never tire of recalling exactly what happened.

Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth. Most people in town knew that he had difficulty in keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. Still, Wally was well liked by the other children in the class, all of whom were smaller than he, though the boys had trouble hiding their irritation when Wally would ask to play ball with them, or any game for that matter, in which winning was important.

Most often they’d find a way to keep him out, but Wally would hang around anyway- not sulking, just hoping. He was always a helpful boy, a willing and smiling one, and the natural protector of the underdog. Sometimes if the older boys chased the younger ones away, it would always be Wally who’d say, “Can’t they stay? They’re no bother.”

Wally fancied the idea of being the shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year, but the plays director, Miss Lumbard, assigned him to be a more important role. After all, she reasoned, the Innkeeper did not have too many lines and Wally’s size would make his refusal of lodging to Joseph more forceful.

And so it happened that the usual large partisan audience gathered for the town’s yearly extravaganza of beards, crowns, halos and a whole shameful of squeaky voices. No one on or off stage was more caught up in the magic of the night than Wallace Purling. They said later that he stood in the wings and watched the performance with such fascination that from time to time Miss Lumbard had to make sure he didn’t wander on stage before his cue.

 Then the time came when Joseph appeared, slowly, tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. Joseph Knocked hard on the wooden door set into the pained backdrop. Wally the innkeeper was there, waiting.

“What do you want?” Wall said, swinging the door open with a brusque gesture.

“We seek lodging.”

“Seek it elsewhere.” Wally looked straight ahead but spoke vigorously. “The Inn is filled.”

“Sir, we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”

“There is no room in this inn for you.” Wally looked properly stern.

 “Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary, she is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Surely you must have some small corner for her, she is so tired.” 

Now, for the first time, the Innkeeper relaxed his still stance and looked down at Mary. With that, there was a long pause, long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment.

“No! Be gone!” the prompter whispered from the wings.

“No!” Wally repeated automatically. “Be gone!”

Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary and Mary laid her head upon her husband’s shoulder and the two of them started to move away. The Innkeeper did not return inside his Inn however. Wally stood there in the doorway, watching the forlorn couple. His mouth was open, his brow creased with concern, his eyes filling unmistakably with tears.

And suddenly this Christmas pageant became different from all the others.

“Don’t go, Joseph,” Wally called out. “Bring Mary back.” And Wallace Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have my room.”

Some people in the town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others — many, many others– who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen.



By Dian Donahue

 Thanks so much for sweet Mary at Little Red House Mosaic Monday; her generousity and friendship is one I look forward to every Monday.

Enjoy this blessed season!

TTFN~~ Claudia  ♥ ♥

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December 6, 2009 at 10:54 pm | christmas | 23 comments


23 responses to “Trouble at the Inn”

  1. Barb says:

    Beautiful reds!!!  Your mosaic is gorgeous…and the Christmas Story is always a favorite

  2. Lenore says:

    Love your mosaic and I had never heard that story before….it brought tears to my eyes….thanks for sharing!

  3. Berta says:

    Love your mosaic – so gorgeous AND I love the story as well!  Thanks for sharing

  4. jeanne says:

    What beautiful color and what a great story! ~Jeanne

  5. Karen Cox says:

    What a beautiful story, and I surely would have wept had I been in that audience.  Your mosaic is beautiful.

  6. Kelly Howard says:

    Did you know that He was actually born in a Sukkah?  Those temporary dwellings the Hebrew children were commanded to have when they left Egypt!  Their particular Sukkah was one made for the animals…but it still represented God coming to dwell with mankind!

  7. Lori E says:

    That Wally really stirred things up. Legend.
    Your photos are so clear and bright. I struggle with mine.

  8. Becky says:

    Beautiful photos and a beautiful little story!!!

  9. MaryBeth says:

    Excellent!!!  Both mosaic and story—the way it should have ended.  MB

  10. ellen b says:

    Good morning Claudia…so you managed to make me cry with this story you shared. So sweet…what a good heart Wally showed…

  11. storyteller says:

    Love your delightfully festive & colorful  mosaic and the Christmas story too 😉
    Hugs and blessings,

  12. Beautiful photo’s and I loved the story. Very enjoyable and thoughtful Claudia! Sharon

  13. Millie says:

    Your mosaic is beautiful– so colorful! The story is lovely too.

  14. Carol says:

    Loved your story & your mosaic is gorgeous!

  15. Judith says:

    Hi Claudia
    Nice mosaic and an enchanting short story- I’ll be back for more.

  16. Shelia says:

    Hi Claudia! What a pretty mosaic – so festive. Love your story also. Thanks for popping in to see me and all of your sweet words!
    You are a sweetie,
    shelia 😉

  17. eileen says:

    What a lovely story. I loved the new version. Great mosaic and photos.

  18. Jill says:

    Wonderful story! and a very pretty mosaic too. Happy Christmas! ::Jill

  19. Anita @ My Slice of Heaven says:

    As a teacher, your post touched me.  What a wonderful story…Anita

  20. Traude Z. says:

    Dear Claudia,
    this story brought tears into my eyes – yes, what would have happened if the inkeeper would have done like Wally?!
    And I also loved your “Long walk part of gift”-story!!! Thanks for inviting me (and thank you so much for your P.S.-visit!!!)
    Warm hugs from a place near Vienna / Austria, Traude

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