The Road to Beth-lee-hem
Title: The Road to Beth-lee-hem
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters nor am I making any money from them.
Notes: Thanks to Angela as always for the wonderful beta job.
Summary: Wee!Dean helps Wee!Sam learn his lines for the school nativity play.
"You said you'd test me on my lines for the nativity play."
"I'm busy. Can we do it later?"
"Dean, you promised. The play's next week and I need to know my lines real good, and Mrs. Patton says my part's real important 'cause it's the only speaking part."
"Yeah? What's the part, then?"
"I'm the natterer."
"That's the part, Dean. The natterer."
"Oh! You mean 'narrator'."
"That's what I said."
"No, it wasn't."
"All right. We've got a couple of hours before Dad gets home. It's just like you to get a part you have to study for. Couldn't you have been a donkey, or something?"
"Is this the script? Who's Dasher?"
"That's me. I'm a talking donkey. I got a cool costume and everything!"
"The narrator's a donkey?"
"What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing, I guess, but Dasher isn't a donkey's name. Dasher's one of Santa's reindeer."
"So, the nativity's about Jesus, not Santa Claus."
"Well – can't you have a different name?"
"Dunno. How about Dopey?"
"Dean, that's a dwarf!"
"That's silly! And it says Dasher in the script."
"Okay, okay. Your name's Dasher the Donkey. Go on then. You start off and I'll tell you if you get any words wrong."
"Hee-haw! Hee-haw! Hello everybody. My name is Dasher and I'm here to tell you the story of when the baby Jesus was born. Our story begins when Joseph and his fancy Mary—"
"His fancy Mary? What, she's dressed up real nice or somethin'? It's 'fiancée,' you moron."
"Don't call me a moron!"
"D'you even know what a fiancée is?"
"What is it, then?"
"It's a… it's a…"
"It means they're engaged to be married, Sammy."
"Start that line again."
"Our story begins when Joseph and his fee-an-say Mary set out on a trip to Beth-lee-hem. They had to travel there from their home in Na-za-reth in Ga… Ga…"
"Ga-lily because August was taking a sen-sus. Dean, what's a sen-sus?"
"It's like when you have to count all the people in a place."
"To know how many people there are."
"So they know there's enough food and stuff to go around. And it's Augustus, not August. Keep going."
"It wasn't a good time for them to travel because Mary was with a child."
"S'what I said."
"No, Sammy, you said, 'With a child.'"
"Well, it's wrong. She's with child!"
"Whose child is she with?"
"No, dumbass. She isn't with someone's child, she's with child. It means she's going to have a baby."
"That's stupid, Dean. Why doesn't it just say that?"
"How should I know?"
"Okay. Mary's with child. It was a long way to Beth-lee-hem. Joseph walked while Mary rode on a donkey. That's me. Hee-haw! Hee-haw! Hey, Dean, Danny Wallis told me a cool joke about a donkey today. What do you call a donkey's stable when it's really dirty? An ass-hole!"
"That's pretty funny, but you'll catch it if Dad hears you saying 'asshole'!"
"You say it all the time."
"Yeah, but I don't get caught. Keep going. You're doing good so far, Sammy."
"Okaaaay. Next the choir sings 'Little Donkey,' and while they're singing I have to walk around the hall carrying Jenny Picoult on my back."
"Dude, way to go! Isn't Jenny the one you kissed at the Halloween party?"
"Dean! We was dunking apples!"
"Oh, yeah? So why've you gone red, Sammy?"
"Dean, you're disgustin' and I wouldn't kiss Jenny anyway 'cause girls are disgustin,' too!"
"Whatever. Keep going."
"When the choir's finished, I'm back on."
"Is Jenny still on you?"
"No. Jenny and Billy — he's playing Joseph — go off the stage. Meanwhile, far, far away in the East, there were three wise men who studied the stars. They saw a very special bright star and began to follow it through the desert on camels. What kind of camels do you think they were, Dean?"
"Why? Does it matter?"
"I just wanna know. D'you think they had one hump or two, like those ones we saw in the zoo last week?"
"I guess they'd probably have two, 'cause it was a long way to walk through the desert to Bethlehem, and they'd have to store a lot of water."
"Those ones in the zoo, their humps were all floppy. Why were they floppy?"
"'Cause they'd used up all their water, I guess. Sammy, are we doing this or what?"
"Then the choir sings 'We Three Kings,' and the kings have to walk all the way round the hall pretending to be on camels, but there aren't any camels because Miss Jackson couldn't find any costumes, and then it's my turn again."
" … "
"I've forgot the words! Tell me what comes next."
"When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem they checked into the Hilton Hotel and ordered room service."
"Huh? I don't remember that!"
"That's 'cause I made it up."
"Deeeean! How can I learn my lines if you make me get it wrong?"
"Sorry. When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem…"
"… they went to all the inns one by one but none of them had a room. Dean, what's an inn?"
"It's like a motel, only they park donkeys, not cars."
"You can't park a donkey!"
"Okay. They tie their donkeys to a post."
"Cool. Like in a Western, where they have an itchy rail. Do they call it that because the donkeys can scratch themselves on it?"
"It's not an itchy rail, it's a hitching rail. Yeah, like that. Will you stop asking questions and get on with it? Dad'll be home soon."
"Hey, Dean, d'you think he'll bring a tree?"
"Yeah, right, like there's room for a tree in this tiny motel room."
"But I want a tree!"
"Don't get all girlie about it. Dad said we're going to Pastor Jim's for Christmas. He'll have a tree."
"Will he let us dec'rate it?"
"He did last year. Don't you remember, Sammy? You fell off a stool trying to put the angel on the top when Dad told you not to and banged your head."
"I don't 'member."
"I guess that's because you banged your head. Okay … They tried all the inns but none of them had a room…"
"They tried all the inns but none of them had a room. Then at the very last inn the innkeeper felt sorry for Mary and Joseph and let them sleep in his stable with the animals."
"Nasty! I bet that smelled real bad. They were probably sleeping in a pile of crap!"
"Dean, that's gross."
"Well, I bet that's how it was. Keep going."
"During the night, Mary gave birth to the baby Jesus. Dean, don't babies have to be born in the hospital?"
"Well, it isn't like there's a rule or anything. It's just better, that's all."
"'Cause there's doctors there, and stuff."
"Was I born in a hospital?"
"She dressed him in swaddling clothes… Dean…"
"I don't know what swaddling clothes are, okay? I guess they mean a blanket, or something."
"She dressed him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a mangy."
"In a what?!"
"A mangy. That's what it says."
"No, it doesn't. It says, 'a manger'."
"What's a manger?"
"It's where they put the baby, stupid."
"I'm not stupid! I know it's where they put the baby. But what is it?"
"It's… it's like a bed, only it's made of wood. And you can rock it. Now get on with the story."
"Then the choir sings 'Away in a Mangy… Manger.' Then I'm back. Hee-haw! Hee-haw! That night in the fields near Beth-lee-hem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. Baaaaa! Baaaaa! Then the choir sings 'While Shepherds Watched'."
"I know that one. 'While shepherds washed their socks by night…'"
"Okay, okay, keep your pants on. Go on."
"Then the fairy Gabriel—"
"Hold it! Sammy, there aren't any fairies in the story."
"Are too! There's this real important one, and he's called Gabriel."
"Dude, I know he's called Gabriel, but he's an angel, not a fairy."
"But angels are always girls, so how can Gabriel be an angel? He must be a fairy, 'cause we've seen a man fairy, 'member?"
"That wasn't a fairy. It was a goblin."
"Oh. What's the difference?"
"Sam! Just trust me on this. It's the angel Gabriel. Got it?"
"I'm older than you so I have to be right. Right?"
" … "
"Sammy, don't give me that look. Do you want me to help or not?"
"I want you to help!"
"All right then. Keep going."
"Then the angel Gabriel came down from heaven and everything got really bright all around them. The shepherds were very afraid."
"Come on, Sammy, being scared of a stupid angel? Bet they'd cry like girls if they met a real monster, like a wendigo…"
"Or a bigfoot…"
"Or a zombie…"
"Or a vampire."
"Vampires aren't real, Sammy."
"Yes, they are!"
"No, they're not."
"Well, there were vampires in that movie you were watching last week."
"You were s'pposed to be asleep! Anyway, it was an old black and white movie, it was just a stupid story. There's no such thing as vampires. Hey, Sammy, what do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?"
"Umm. I dunno."
"That's funny! I got one too, Dean. What do elves learn in school?"
"Dean! How d'you guess?"
"'Cause it's lame. This one's better. How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?"
"With extra cheese and salami, like Dad!"
"No, dopey. Deep and crisp and even."
"I don't get it."
"Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even."
"Dean! D'you have to sing so loud? You've made me lose my place now."
"Sorry. Right … The shepherds were afraid."
"Oh, yeah. The shepherds were afraid but the fairy… angel said, 'Don't be afraid I have good news for you which will make everyone happy 'cause today in Beth-lee-hem a Savior was born for you He is Christ the Lord and you'll know who he is because you'll find him dressed in swaddling clothes and lying in a mangy… manger' and then the angel went back to heaven and the shepherds talked about what she… he'd said and they decided to go to Beth-lee-hem and find the stable and the baby Jesus who was dressed in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."
"So the shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus and they worshipped him. Meanwhile, the Wise Men from the East had traveled long and far following the star. It stopped in front of the stable in Beth-lee-hem and they went in and found the baby Jesus and bowed down to him. They gave the baby special gifts of gold, frankfurters and … what's so funny?"
"Dude, I don't think the kings brought the baby Jesus frankfurters."
"They did too! It says so."
"Sammy, it says frankincense."
"Frank-in-cents. What's that?"
"It's… well, it's not little sausages, anyway."
"If they don't bring him frankfurters, what's he gonna eat?"
"Babies don't eat frankfurters. They just drink milk. All the time. When you were a baby that's all you ever did. And cry. A lot."
"So why don't the Wise Men bring the baby milk? If they're so wise, you'd think they'd bring something useful instead of all that gold. What's a baby gonna do with gold?"
"The gave the baby special gifts of gold, frank-in-cents and murrrrhuh."
"Dean, it says 'murrrrhuh'. It's got an 'h' on the end."
"I know, but you don't say it."
"How should I know? Get on with it."
"This is the last bit. The shepherds and the three wise men all worshipped the baby Jesus because he wasn't an ordinary baby. He was going to grow up to be the Savior of the world. All the animals, including me, hee-haw! could see that he was special and we wanted to worship him, too. And then the choir sings 'Joy to the World.' The End!"
"Cool. Good job Sam. Bit more practice and you'll be fine. You want a milkshake and some cookies? Then we can watch some TV 'til Dad gets home."
"Yeah! But Dean…"
"Can we do the play all over again?"
" … "
"Next year you're getting a non-speaking part, right? How about one of the sheep?"
"I don't want to be a sheep! Mrs. Patton says I'm the best in the class at reading out loud, that's why she made me the natter… narr-ator."
"Sammy, I'm kidding. Give me the script."
"Thanks, Dean. Hee-haw! Hee-haw! Hello everybody. My name is Dasher and I'm here to tell you the story of when the baby Jesus was born..."