Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Christmas Beetle

Every Year I write a story especially for my niece, Sophia as her Christmas gift. I'd like to share this one with all of you. It's the first one I wrote for her in 2010. The Christmas Beetle Bertie, the small black beetle was tired. He’d flown around all day long in the sun until his wings ached. All he wanted was to find a nice dark, safe place where he could settle down for a good nights sleep. Then he saw the perfect spot, a beautiful hat made of soft purple fabric. Just the right bed for a small, tired insect. He snuggled in and closed his weary eyes. When the sun rose the next morning Bertie discovered he was in a strange new place. He stretched his wings and left his bed to see where he was. The ground below him was hot and dusty and the sky a bright cloudless blue. The only green things he could see were a small group of palm trees. The human whose hat had provided him with a bed for the night sat with his friends and their camels resting in the shade. Bertie had a nice day flying around in the sunshine before creeping back into his warm safe bed. That night he couldn’t sleep. His bed in the hat rocked and moved as its owner travelled through the darkness following a big bright star that lit up the sky. Bertie held on tight as they approached a small but busy town. He took a peep over the brim of the hat when his bed stopped moving and saw the humans talking to a group of shepherds who had come down from the hills. He quickly hid again when one of the lambs saw him and bleated hello. He didn’t want the owner of the hat to throw him out of his bed. After a few minutes his bed started rocking once more as the people moved on. Bertie could hear the lambs still bleating and wondered where the owner of the hat and the shepherds could be going. He heard lots of noise, people talking and the clatter and bustle of the streets. Overhead the huge star shone down as bright as the sun filling the town with its light. He was almost thrown from his perch when the owner of the hat climbed down from his camel. I wonder where we are? Thought Bertie. The noise had stopped and everything was silent except for the sounds of beautiful music. He crept to the brim of the hat and holding tight with his pincers he peered out. In front of him was an amazing sight. Golden winged humans stood at the back of a small room which had straw on the floor. They were the makers of the music. A man and a woman knelt next to a small basket made of wood filled with straw. The woman looked happy but tired as she looked at the manger. Bertie glanced around the room and saw the donkey and the ox kneeling and looking at the manger. He was almost thrown to the floor again when the owner of the hat also knelt down on the stone cobbles amongst the straw. The shepherds had filed in behind the owner of the hat and his two friends. Now the lambs were also kneeling and had stopped their bleating. The owner of the hat and his friends gave the man and the woman gifts, strange boxes filled with scented special and expensive things. Bertie could resist no longer. He had to know what was in the manger that was causing this strange behaviour. He stretched his little black wings and took off from his perch landing carefully on the edge of the crib hoping the humans wouldn’t notice him. He looked inside and found the source of the wonder. A tiny human baby wrapped in cloth lying amongst the straw. Bertie looked at the baby and the baby looked at Bertie. The baby gave a tiny smile and Bertie felt a strange warm glow spreading throughout his tiny body and he knew this was a very special baby. He bowed his head before spreading his wings once more and retreating back to his bed in the hat before any of the other humans saw him. After a while the owner of the hat and his friends left the stable and went back out onto the street. By then the sun had begun to rise once more for the start of a new day. Bertie decided he would fly and get a drink of water before the day grew too hot. He saw a bucket of water beside a well and flew down to take a drink. As he leaned forward he saw his reflection in the water. What he saw surprised him so much he almost fell in. He was no longer Bertie the small black beetle, instead he glowed with a rich yellow-green colour. He had become Bertie the Christmas Beetle. © Nell Dixon 2010

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