Miracle of the Snow Mouse, Part 2
The auditorium was dark and quiet with only the small bare bulb hanging over the stage to break the darkness.
Creak, creak, came the soft sounds of oiled boards as someone came down the long hallway toward the dark quiet room. The thin silhouette of a tall man could be seen against the yellow glow of the hallways lights as he made his way into the great room. A small voice could be heard at the base of the stage, “someone is coming.”
As the figure entered the large open room he paused for a moment and felt for the light switch in the near darkness. With a turn of the switch and a snap that echoed across the empty space the room’s light now illuminated the long rows of seats and the empty stage.
“Mia, it is all right now. The lights are on and you can see that no one is here.” From behind Delmar a young lady with soft curly brown hair peered into the room.
“Papa, are you sure we are alone?” the small voice of the young girl asked. “Yes, my dear. It is late and we are alone. Now, you can go down onto the stage and practice your song for the Christmas play.”
This year, Mia had been selected to sing a solo; the song that welcomed Santa to our town on Christmas Eve. She had always loved to sing, but was shy when performing in front of people she did not know. Her father hoped that if she practiced on the same stage that the play would be held on it might help her with the shyness. Mia had a lovely voice and her father knew that all who heard that sound fill the hall would enjoy her singing too.
He took her small hand and they walked down to the steps that lead up onto the stage. At the base of the steps and at the corner of the stage was Justin and his family’s home.
When they reached the foot of the steps her father released her hand and motioned for her to go up onto the stage. The young girl hesitated and looked up to her father’s weathered face and said, “I am afraid to go alone.” Delmar, sensing he needed to level the conversation knelt down and looked into his daughter’s face as he moved a curl of hair away from her eyes. “Mia, you can do this. Tonight it’s just for me that you will sing. But soon you will sing for the town to welcome Santa into our homes. I will be just there beyond the lights, watching.”
Mia slowly walked up the steps and across the stage. She looked down at her shoes as she proceeded along the wooden floor. As she stopped just near the middle her father said, “That’s good, now turn and look out toward me.” Delmar had found his way to the center of row six; he had sat down and settled in to wait for his daughter to begin.
“Papa are you there?” she said in a slightly frightened voice, she was unable to see him with the stage light blinding her view. “Yes Mia, I am here waiting for you to sing, just for me tonight the Christmas Song.”
“I cannot see you.” she protested this time. “Well Mia, you know I am here tonight, but you cannot see me. The night of the play you will not be able to see the people’s faces either, so there is no reason to be frightened. Just pretend on Christmas Eve that like tonight you are singing just for me. And I will be sitting right here to enjoy your wonderful Christmas song.”
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath and then began to sing. Softly at first, but as she continued her small voice began to fill the great room with music. “On Christmas Eve we join our hearts to welcome Santa into our town” Mia herself could not believe the sound of her voice when she began to sing into the empty room. It was clear as a bell and carried across the rows of velvet seats, empty now, except for the two that were occupied.
Two seats occupied? I bet you thought only Delmar was listing to the young lady sing her song. Delmar looked down at the seat next to him and said to the small figure that had now climbed up onto the wooden hand rest. “Good isn’t she?”
Justin, brushing some dust from his fine white hair, looked up with a smile and said, “Santa will be pleased with her beautiful voice.”
The two, one small and one large sat quietly and enjoyed the pure sound of the voice that must be a gift to be so beautiful as Mia sang the town’s special song.
After a few minutes, the two of them noticed a small entourage crossing the stage just in front of the lights. It was Justin’s five children lead by Cameron the adventurous and being prodded along by Abby. “Go on Cam, get closer so we can see her face as she sings,” Abby said.
“Don’t push” protested Cameron. He peered around the brass light fixture just in front of the young girl whom had not yet seen her new small audience.
“I’ll bet Daniel, Drew and Carter are not scared,” Abby said with a disgusted tone in her voice. Daniel and Carter were more interested in playing peak-a-boo around the stage lights, than listening to the song of Christmas, Mia was singing. Drew, the cautious one, was holding back just to make sure a cat hadn’t sneaked in on them.
About that time Delmar jumped up hoping to distract his daughter from seeing the small group of Snow Mice just in front of her. It was too late, Mia had seen them too. “Papa! There are rats on the stage!”
Cameron and Abby being all of six inches tall walked right up to the frightened young lady, looked up and said, “Rats? Do we look like rats? Are we dirty, smelly and unintelligent looking?” Abby picked up her long, white, hair covered tail and said, “Have you ever seen as fine a tail such as this on a dirty old rat?”
Delmar and Justin reached the stage about the same time to try and explain to the young girl about Justin and his family.
“Fine thing, rats, that is what she said. Why, I was going to say I liked her voice but, rat? White Rat?” Cam kicked a dust bunny to show his displeasure about being called a rat.
“Now, now, let’s all settle down and I will explain to Mia, about how special you and your brothers and sister are to our town.”
Carter and Daniel, who could care less about being called rats, were still playing peak-a -boo behind the brass stage lights as Delmar started to explain to his young daughter about Snow Mice.
Justin climbed onto Delmar’s shoulder as the two of them explained to Mia the special part in the Christmas holidays that Justin and his family played. How they helped Santa to find their town on the night each year Christmas crossed the world.
After a few minutes, Mia began to understand about Justin and how with her dads helped, he had found them a home and protected them from the world outside.
Leaning down, Mia reached out her hand to touch the tip of Abby’s ear. “Hey, did I say you could touch my ear?” Mia pulled back with a surprised looked on her face; still not believing a mouse was talking to her. “Well no, but I thought,” Abby interrupted. “It is okay, you can touch it if you want to.”
Mia gently stroked what felt to her was the softest thing she had ever touched before in her life.
It was late and time for Mia and her father to find their way home. Justin had gathered his children and was returning to the small opening in the corner of the stage to also call it a night. As Delmar turned the switch off for the lights, he turned into the dark room and said, “Good night Justin.” A small voice from the darkness was heard, “remember, only a few days until Christmas. Good night old friend.”