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The Little Drummer Boy

          A long time ago, there was a King named Caesar Augustus.  He ruled over many different countries, and the people were happy.
          But the King got greedy.  He wanted more and more money from his people.  So finally he ordered everyone to go to the cities where their father's had been born, so he could count how many people there really were.  Then he could take more money from them.
          No one dared to disobey the King, because his soldiers would kill them.  So everyone went where they belonged.   For some people, the trip was very short.  But for others, the journey was long and dangerous.
          Aran was a very special boy.   When he played on his small drum, animals would dance for him.  His three animals were his only friends, because evil bandits had killed his family.  Because of that, he hated all people.
          One day, while he was traveling across the desert to reach his father's land, he was captured by Ben Haramid, who ran a traveling sideshow.  Ben Haramid made him perform for the crowds in Jerusalem.
          Aran refused to smile when he played his drum, because he hated people so much.  So Ben Haramid painted a smile on his face.
          The townspeople loved hearing Aran play on his drum.  But Aran could only  remember the way his parents had died.   He forgot that these people weren't the evil bandits who had burned his farm, and he called them bad names.
          Ben Haramid and his show were chased out of town by the angry people.  And Ben Haramid swore that Aran would be punished.
          But that night, good luck was with Aran.  Three noble Kings camped nearby.  They showed Aran and Ben Haramid a huge star which was burning in the night sky.  They had been following the star for months, because they believed that it was a special sign from God.
          Ben Haramid didn't care about the star, or God's special sign.  He only wanted to make money.  He wanted Aran to perform for the three Kings, so that he would earn many gold coins.
          The three Kings would not wait long enough for Aran to perform.  "We travel at night," they told Ben Haramid.   "We follow the star."
          Ben Haramid saw the gold and precious gifts loaded on their camels, and was very angry.  "If only I could get a share of that gold!" he thought.
          Suddenly one of the King's camels collapsed.  "It is too old and weak from the long trip," the King sighed.   "It cannot travel any further.  Perhaps Ben Haramid will sell us his camel."
          But the camel was one of Aran's friends, and he didn't want to sell it.  "You can't take away Joshua, my camel!" he yelled.
          Ben Haramid refused to hear Aran's protests.  He charged the King many gold pieces for the old camel.
          "I hate you!" Aran yelled, when Ben Haramid offered him one of the gold pieces.  "I don't want your money, I only want my camel back!"
          He set off in search of the three Kings, and his faithful old camel.  But the Kings had already vanished among the rolling sand dunes.  "I will follow the star that the Kings were following.   Then I will find Joshua," Aran decided.
          Aran traveled for several days.   His other two friends, Samson the donkey and Baba the sheep, followed close behind.
          Finally he reached the little town of Bethlehem.  A big group of men were standing on the hillside, and pointing at the sky.
          "Look at all those shepherds!" Aran said.  "They're heading down into the town, too!   They must be following the same star!"
          He followed the shepherds to a little stable outside of town.  Golden light was shining from inside the stable.   But Aran didn't care about the light.  He only cared about his faithful old camel, Joshua, who was standing by the stable, with the Kings' other camels.
          "Joshua!"  Yelling with delight, Aran ran toward his camel.  Samuel and Baba bounced after him.
          But they were so excited that they didn't watch where they were going.  A soldier's chariot raced out of the darkness and hit little Baba!
          Aran knew that the Kings were wise.   Maybe they could help save his poor hurt lamb.  So he pushed his way through the shepherds and begged the Kings to help him.
          "Your lamb is near death," one of the Kings told him.  "I cannot help you.  But perhaps the new King can save the life of your friend.  Go look at the newborn babe."
          Aran didn't understand how a mere baby could possibly help his little lamb.  But he obeyed the wise King, and edged closer to the straw-filled manger, where the baby was laying.

The baby looked up at him with big, innocent eyes...and suddenly Aran realized how wrong he had been to hate everyone around him.  For the first time since his parents had been killed, he felt love and peace in his heart.
"But I have no gift to give you," he told the baby.
Then he remembered his drum.  Taking a deep breath, he began to play his drum for the newborn King.
Everyone in the stable fell quiet as he played.  And Aran gave little Jesus the gift of music, played from his heart.
          Mary and Joseph nodded their thanks when Aran stopped playing.  Then the baby smiled up at Aran, and he slowly smiled back.  He had finally remembered how to be happy again, and how love.
          "Look at your lamb!" the wise old King told Aran.  "He is well again!  The new King has healed him!"
Aran took his little lamb, Baba, and left the stable.  But he never forgot the miracle he had seen.  And he never forgot how to love again.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

Adaptation by:  Jo Grant

The Little Drummer Boy

Come behold him

(pa rum pa pum pum)
Our newborn king to see

(pa rum pa pum pum)
Our finest gifts for him

(pa rum pa pum pum)
To lay before the King

(pa rum pa pum pum
Rum pa pum pum, Rum pa pum pum...)

So to honor him
(pa rum pa pum pum)
Here we come.

Baby Jesus
(pa rum pa pum pum)
I am a poor boy, too
(pa rum pa pum pum)
I have no gift to bring
(pa rum pa pum pum)
That's fit to give a king
(pa rum pa pum pum)
Rum pa pum pum, Rum pa pum pum...)

Shall I play for you
(pa rum pa pum pum)
On my drum?

Mary nodded
(pa rum pa pum pum)
The ox and lamb kept time
(pa rum pa pum pum)
I played my drum for him
(pa rum pa pum pum)
I gave my best for him
(pa rum pa pum pum
Rum pa pum pum, Rum pa pum pum...)

Then he smiled at me
(pa rum pa pum pum)
Me and my drum.