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by Destrier

This is a light-hearted take on the classical Nativity story.
I hope no offense will be taken by anyone who reveres the true story.

It did come to pass that on a lonely road in mid-winter, a husband and wife did wearily trudge toward a small town, for the Inland Revenue did spake thusly: "Let every man and their wives and daughters return to the town of their birth and pay tribute to us, or we shall wax exceedingly wroth."

And lo, there was great wailing and pulling of hair, but this availed not, and so did all men go forth to pay their taxes.

And so it was that the man, whose name was Joseph, and his wife, whose name was Mary, did travel upon the road to Bethnel Green, for lo, the trains were having the Wrong Kind of Year. And Mary was exceedingly large with child, and Joseph, in the ancient tradition of fathers-soon-to-be, did sorely regret that comment about hippos.

And upon the road they did meet a trio of Wise Men, and the mark of their wisdom was this: for though the Weatherman had predicted Clear Skies, they did carry umbrellas.

And Joseph did speak unto the Wise Men, saying, "Who art thou, and wither dost thou travel?"

And the First Wise Man did reply unto Joseph, "We are Wizards From Afar, and we travel following yonder wondrous star, which has lately appeared in the sky, for it is surely a portent of miracles."

And then did they all look to the sky, and beheld a miracle, for the sky was clear, even as the Weatherman had foretold, and this was England. And there, shining brightly, was the wondrous new star.

And Joseph said, "You are Silly Men, for that is the International Space Station, as proclaimed on" And there was much embarrassed shuffling on the part of the three Wise Men.

But the First Wise Man did speak on, saying, "Be that as it may, our meeting is not chance, for art thou not Joseph?"

And Joseph was amazed and admitted it was so, and the Second Wise Man did speak, saying, "And art thou not Mary?"

And Mary was amazed and admitted it was so, and the Third Wise Man did speak, saying, "And art thou not carrying that most miraculous of babes, for didst thou not discover thyself to be with child whilst thou wert still a virgin?"

And Mary was sorely embarrassed and Joseph did relate that, as regular travellers on a certain red-liveried airline, they were both Frequent Virgins. And lo, he did flash the sacred red plastic card in proof thereof.

Then did the Second Wise Man remonstrate mightily with the Third Wise Man, crying, "Ye verily did I abjure thee not to fit an Intel processor in thy laptop oracle. Have I not oft told thee of the perils of point 99978643 of the Truth?"

And the Third Wise Man did abase himself before his brother and did cry, "Forgive me, and I shall renounce the evil seductions of Intel, and ye, even Windows 2000 as well." But Our Lord Bill Gates was not watching, and so lightning smote him not. But we digresseth.

And so it came to pass that Mary and Joseph arrived safely in Bethnel Green, but that all the inns were full, or it was Early Closing, or they tooketh not Visa nor Mastercard. And so it transpired that they took shelter in a humble stable, and the Wise Men saw that It Was Good, with clean straw, and automatic water-feed, and heated pipes and everything, but Joseph did rail mightily, crying, "This sucks!"

And the Wise Men did point to the BHA Seal of Approval, and the mangers of sweet hay, but Joseph was still Unimpressed.

But the Virgin-traveller Mary's time had come upon her, and she did cry out, and things were very busy for an hour or two, and lo, the miraculous infant, whose birthplace had been signed by the International Space Station, conceived by a Frequent Virgin, was born. And he did cry out mightily.

Then did the Three Wise Men bow their heads in homage and did proclaim that, by virtue of their being mighty wizards, they would grant the father and mother of the babe three gifts, and that these would be in the form of three wishes.

The mother of the child spake thusly: that she was cold and wished she did not feel the cold drafts blowing throw the door.

And the father of the child spake thusly: that he was hungry and wished there was food here to eat.

And both did voice the opinion that they wished this was a more appropriate place for their baby.

And the Wise Men conferred, and the Third Wise Man bowed low, and did cast wondrous magic. And lo, Joseph and Mary were transformed into fine asses, and their child into a healthy foal.

And the Second Wise Man said unto the First, "Behold, three wishes for the price of one. That is what I call a Christmas bargain!" and it was agreed that the Third Wise Man had redeemed himself.

Then did the Three Wise Men depart, returning whence they had came, and it was observed that the sky was clouding over nicely, in spite of the weather forecast, and so they knew that the time of miracles was done.

Or so it is written. Amen, folks!

The End