The stable was warm and quiet. A cow twitched its tail, shooing away a bug. A bell around a sheep’s neck jingled softly. A donkey—perhaps Joseph’s—watched bright-eyed as Joseph helped Mary get comfortable. The animals around them added warmth to the cool night.
People in Bethlehem often brought their animals into a front room to help heat the house. An inn might have had a bigger area to keep the travelers’ animals in. On this night in Bethlehem, all of the rooms for travelers were full. Someone suggested that Joseph and Mary could stay in the area with the animals. It would give them warmth, quiet, and privacy.
Joseph filled a manger with clean, soft hay. Everything was ready for a special baby to be born.