In my old cracked voice? says NURSE MARY. Well, if you will both help me, I’ll try.
So the three of them together sing:
THE CAROL OF THE FRIENDLY BEASTS
Jesus our brother, strong and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude,
And the friendly beasts around him stood.
I, said the cow, all white and red,
I gave him my manger for his bed,
I gave him my hay to pillow his head.
I, said the camel, yellow and black,
Over the desert, upon my back,
I brought him a gift in the wise man’s pack.
I, said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
I carried his mother uphill and down,
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town.
I, said the sheep, with the curly horn,
I gave him my wool for his blanket warm,
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.
I, said the dove, from my rafter high,
Cooed him to sleep that he should not cry,
We cooed him to sleep my mate and I.
And every beast, by some good spell
In the stable dark, was glad to tell
Of the gift he gave Immanuel.
[Footnote 1: By Robert Davis.]
When the carol is finished, NURSE MARY looks at the clock, and says, My dears, it is time we were all in bed, or Santa Claus when he comes, will find us awake, and that would never do. So I must be going home.
But how do you feel? asks POLLY. Has the medicine done your back good?
My back? says NURSE MARY. Why, I had forgotten all about my back—not an ache in it.
And your joints? asks JACK.
I wouldn’t know I had any joints, answers
NURSE MARY. I declare,
I believe I could dance the Highland Fling. But where is my cloak?
Then Polly gets the cloak and hood, and helps her put them on, and as Nurse Mary goes out at the door,
Good-night, Nurse Mary, cry JACK and POLLY.
Good-night, my dears, NURSE MARY answers. And the door closes behind her.
Now while the children had their backs turned, a funny thing happened, for out of the fire-place there stepped, without making a sound, a little man dressed all in green. Jack and Polly, when they turn about, see him standing there.
Why, who are you? asks JACK, standing still, but very bravely keeping in front of Polly.
The little green man says never a word, but after waiting a moment with his finger on his lips, he beckons to them to come forward, and slowly, for they are a little frightened, they obey him. When they are quite close, he looks cautiously around, and then draws a large white letter out of his pocket, and hands it to Jack. Jack looks at it, and shows it to Polly. Then he looks at the little green man, who nods his head with a funny little jerk.