Printed from WriteWords -

An Angel Anyway

by  Freebird

Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009
Word Count: 1198
Summary: Please forgive any odd spaces or gaps - I lifted this from a Publisher file, where the words fit round the pictures. Aimed at 4-7s

One frosty morning, when the playground was an ice rink, Miss Winter stood up and faced the class with a piece of paper in her hand. “I have to choose the parts for the
Christmas play,” she said. “Who wants to be the angel?”
A forest of hands shot up.
“Pick me!”
Emma shouted the loudest: “Oh, please choose me!”
Miss Winter made a list of all the names. “I’ll have to think about it,” she said.
That evening Emma helped Mum to decorate the Christmas tree. It was a real one, with roots in a bucket of damp earth. It smelled of pine and the inside of a Christmas stocking.
“I want to be the angel,” said Emma. “I want a long white dress with jewels at the bottom and glitter all over.”
Mum smiled and looped some tinsel round Emma’s neck.
“I want golden hair down to my feet,” said Emma.
“But you have short, dark hair,” said Mum.
“I don’t care,” said Emma. “I want to be an angel anyway.” She hummed to herself as she stood on tiptoes to reach the high branches. “I want a magic wand with a star on the end.”
“That’s a fairy,” Mum pointed out.
“I don’t care,” said Emma. “I want to be an angel anyway.”
Emma scooped up a bauble. “I want to marry a handsome prince.”
“That’s a princess,” said Mum.
“I don’t care,” said Emma. “I want to be an angel anyway.” She hung the bauble on the tree, where it spun and sparkled. “And I want silver wings like spiders’ webs that really, truly fly.”
“That’s impossible,” said Mum.
“I don’t care,” said Emma. “I want to be an angel anyway.”
And off she ran to the mirror to practise looking wise and holy.
The days dragged while Emma dreamed of being chosen. After her bath she wrapped herself in a fluffy white towel and flapped around the house, singing at the top of her voice.
Dad looked up from his newspaper. “That’s funny,” he said. “I’ve never seen an angel quite like that.”
“Why?” said Emma. “What’s wrong?”
“Your bottom’s sticking out,” said Dad.
Emma wished and hoped and prayed, and wished some more.
She crossed her fingers,
she crossed her arms,
she crossed her legs,
she crossed her toes.
She even crossed her eyes.
“I don’t think angels look like that,” said Mum, laughing.
“I don’t care,” said Emma. “I want to be an angel anyway.”
“Don’t be too upset if someone else is chosen,” said Mum, gently.
Emma frowned. “As long as it’s not Abigail,” she said.
“Why? What’s wrong with Abigail?”
“Nothing. That’s the trouble. She’s always good, she’s
always right and she always gets picked for the best things.
I never get picked for anything.”
Mum hugged Emma. “Who cares if you’re not the angel?” she said. “You’re always an angel to me.”
Miss Winter spent a lot of time looking at her list. She checked it and changed it, scribbled on it and screwed it up. She started again.
At last the list was done.
Miss Winter stood up in front of the class. “Lots of people want to be the angel,” she began, “but I can only choose one.”
Emma sat on the edge of her seat with her hands pressed together.
“The angel is….Abigail!”
Abigail smirked.
Emma’s face crumpled.
“Don’t worry,” said Miss Winter. “There’s a part for everyone.”
Emma sat up hopefully.
“There’s Mary and Joseph,” Miss Winter continued, “shepherds and wise men with wonderful costumes.”
Emma put her hand up. “Can girls be the wise men?” she asked.
“Of course,” said Miss Winter. “In fact, that brings me to the part you will play.”
Emma smiled.
“Emma,” said Miss Winter, “you will play the part of….a cow.”
When Emma got home, she sulked and stamped. “I don’t want to be a cow,” she yelled. “Cows stink! I want to be an angel!”
Emma’s costume was grey.
She wore big grey boots, grey tights and a long grey jumper. She even had a tail made from a grey sock filled with scrunched up newspaper. She had a grey mask with two holes to see through.
And horns.
Emma threw the boots into a corner.
She cut holes in the tights.
She used the tail to tease the cat.
“What is the matter with you?” snapped Mum.
“I don’t want to be a stupid old cow,” said Emma. “I want to be an angel.”
“If you keep behaving like this, you won’t be anything at all. You’ll be staying at home and missing the play.”
Emma’s mouth fell open. “But they can’t do it without a cow!” she gasped. “Who will keep Baby Jesus warm?”
“I’m sure any donkey could do it,” said Mum, and walked away with her mouth in a straight line.

The school hall looked magical. Silver stars dotted the ceiling and paper snowflakes fluttered down the thick black curtains to the floor.
The parents squeezed onto tiny chairs and got their cameras ready. Their cheeks were pink and they laughed a bit too loud.
Emma sat in the straw looking glum. Her legs itched and one horn was drooping.
The sheep nudged her. “You’re in my way,” it said.
“Then MOOOOOVE!” snarled Emma.
The lights dimmed, the parents settled and the play began.
It started with Mary sweeping the floor of her house.
Abigail came in and stood on a box, wearing an old net curtain and a halo of tinsel. One wing had a bit of coat hanger sticking out.
Emma was glad.
“I come to bring good news,” the Angel Abigail said to
Mary. “A baby has been born this night, whose name is…”
“Not yet!” hissed Miss Winter. “That comes later!”
Abigail burst into tears.
Emma smiled.
In the next scene, Mary and Joseph knocked at the door of the inn.
“We have no room,” said the innkeeper.
Emma stood up. “You can come over here,” she shouted.
“I’ll baby-sit for you.”
Everybody laughed except Miss Winter. She glared at Emma. Emma was glad she was wearing a mask.
The angel came back on. Miss Winter had to drag her by the elbow. Abigail was supposed to sing to the shepherds in the field, but she didn’t want to.
“I can’t sing,” she wailed. “I’ve forgotten it.”
Miss Winter stood with her hands on her hips. The parents started to fidget. Emma felt sorry. She stood up again.
“I’ll help you,” she said. “We can do it together.”
Emma took off her tail and gave it to Abigail to wipe her nose.
The angel and the cow held hands and sang sweetly. The stars on the ceiling twinkled and twirled.
Everybody clapped and cheered. Mum dabbed her eyes with a tissue.
The cow and the angel took a bow and hugged each other.
When Emma got home, Mum helped her into a long white nightie and tucked her into bed.
“Goodnight, sweetheart,” she said, and gave Emma a kiss.
“You know what?” said Emma, sleepily. “It wasn’t so bad being a cow after all.”
“You know what else?” replied Mum. “You turned out to be an angel anyway.”