December 24th – Weihnachten / Christmas Eve (Part 2)

When all the Christmas carols were sung and everyone was exhausted, it was finally time for presents. It was always the most stressful part of Christmas, having the kids eat their dinner and sing the songs with the presents piled up in the room, within view. As soon as they were allowed to get to them, the kids stormed to the pile of presents, looking at the labels and shouting out the names they could read. Manfred and his brother Michael stayed in their seats at the table, knowing they wouldn’t get any presents and, considering what they had done, knowing their chances were even lower than ever before. Then they saw Gary coming towards them, carrying a stocking in his mouth. When they crouched down to pet them, he nudged them with the stocking. It had their names on them. The brothers were overjoyed to see the two toy cars in it. In the background, the pastor was smiling.

After all the children had unwrapped their presents and were playing together happily, the pastor made an announcement, something that was unheard of in the village.

“We will have Christmas Mass here in the barn! The church would be too small to host the whole village anyway,” he smiled cheekily.
When everyone applauded, he ran back to the church to put up a sign that mass would be held at the farm. And so it happened that it ended up being the best-attended Christmas Mass in the history of the village!

Madeleine, who had no children of her own, walked outside the barn for some fresh air and to escape the noise and craziness inside; she got plenty of that every day at school. Shortly afterwards, Markus left the barn as well, cheerful and tipsy. He tried to hit on the pretty teacher, hoping that he would be a little less intimidating without his Krampus outfit, but once again she turned him down. This time, he was standing under a mistletoe and felt it was his right to get a kiss, so pulled Madeleine into an embrace.

At that moment, Gary came around the corner, having no desire to be rushed by an over-enthusiastic group of kids again and saw her struggling. He broke into a run and shoved his head right into the side of Markus’ legs. The man stumbled and fell over, right into a large puddle of slush. Madeleine laughed as the wet and muddy man clambered back to his feet, cursing as he did so. Attracted by the disturbance, Ludwig came outside to see what was going on.

“Gary saved me, he really is a hero,” Madeleine explained and gave the goat an affectionate pat on the head.
“I am sorry he tried to force you to kiss him. The man is an idiot,” Ludwig said, embarrassed.
“Yes, it was horrible, I really don’t want to kiss him at all,” she said, looking at the farmer. “I really do want to do this.”

She grabbed Ludwig’s tie, pulled him towards her and kissed him. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he heard Gary making retching noises in the background.

THE END

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