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Stories, Poems and Humor
Left Book The Inn Keeper
by Burton, Wade
Right Book

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Language: English

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"Get out of that thorn bush," he yelled at a sheep. You're going to get hurt and cause me a lot of trouble." He looked around at the other sheep and sneered, "You're all just a bunch of trouble for me."

Jethro hated having to herd sheep. He saw no sense in it at all. "We come out here every day, and every night we go back to the sheepfold. The same thing, over and over again. I guess I'll die taking care of these old sheep."

Jethro had been born to Sheba and Bozrock. Had been born in a house with a thatched roor and solid walls of mud. Very comfortable. As a baby he had been loved and cared for by his devoted mother. But his father, Bozrock was another story. He had no time for baby Jethro. And as Jethro grew into a child and young man, his daddy was very stern, and made him do chores that caused his son to have backaches and headaches. Jethro loved to play in the streets with
neighboring children. They played "Funeral" and "Shepherding." And Jethro learned early that he wanted to work somewhere in the village. He didn't like sheep, and he was fearful of lions and bears that often attack the sheep out in the hills.

When he was twelve years old, his daddy came home one day and told him, "I got you a job herding sheep for Mr. Nemo." Tears welled up in his eyes, "Daddy, why can't I work here in the village?" "Why you lazy rascal," said Bozrock, "herding sheep is an honorable job. Your friends are doing it. And you'd better be ready because you are going to work tomorrow morning." And that seemed to be the end of his dreams of working in the village.

He had been working night and day with sheep for about one month. And, sure enough, he was in the hills with the sheep one morning when a lion came roaring out of the rocks and snatched up one of the lambs. Jethro was scared almost to death. But his fear of letting a lion kill one of Mr. Nemo's sheep caused him to jump up and chase after the lion. And when Jethro got too close to the snarling animal, it loosed the lamb and attacked Jethro. He could feel the sharp teeth crush through his arm. He almost fainted when the lion let go of him and retrieved the lamb.

After that close call with death, his mother pleaded with Bozrock to let their son find another job in the village. And that is when Jethro went to work at the Bethlehem Inn. It was his job to take care of the animals of guests who stayed overnight. It was no easy job, but it was a job that kept him in the community.

As the days and years passed by, Jethro became an important person working around the inn. He was so good that later he became the inn-keeper. He loved his work.

One night he had a dream. And in that dream he saw a King coming to his inn for a night's lodging. When he awoke, he remembered the dream. And he believed the dream would come true. So, every night he reserved his very best room, waiting for the King to come and honor him with a night's stay at his inn.

Night after night he waited. He truly expected the King would come. And because it was time for the new taxing, his rooms were filled each night. Every room, except one, and that one was ready for the King.

Late one evening a man knocked at his door. "Please sir," said the man, "My wife and I need a room in your inn." "Sorry," said Jethro, "You're too late. My last room was filled earlier this afternoon." "But sir," said the traveler, "My wife is with child, and she needs a place to rest." "I told you, I don't have a room for you." And when the man asked, "Is there another inn nearby?" "No." said Jethro. And when he glanced at the woman, he said, "If you want to bed down out there in the animal shed, it'll be alright with me." And he murmured under his breath as he went back into the inn, "I do have one room, but that one is reserved for the King when he comes."

Little did Jethro know the King did come to his door, and he turned Him away. The King would sleep out there in Jethro's manger that night.

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Additional Information

Created by Wade Burton, December, 2004

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