Right Place...Right Time

Reuben hurried back to Esther and their newly-born infant daughter, the leather pouch, heaviy with silver coins, jingling cheerfully from his belt.

"Did the apothecary give you a good price, husband?" asked Esther, looking remarkably rested after the long and difficult labor. Reuben happily inclined his head, smiling as he gently stroked the smooth cheek of his little Rachel, sleeping so peacefully.

"He was particularly pleased with the bitter resin...said it could be combined with labdanum to make an aromatic balm which is apparently in great demand."

"Fortune has finally smiled down upon us," sighed Esther contentedly. Reuben agreed.

"I still wonder at the benevolence of those visitors though," he mused, "and why they appeared so puzzled, when they first came upon us, to discover that Rachel was not a male child."

Esther shrugged. It was just typical of Reuben to look a gift horse in the mouth, rather than simply being thankful that they no longer had to struggle in order to make ends meet.

"Just think," she pondered, "if we had arrived at this Inn but one short hour earlier, then we would have been given the only vacant room within, instead of that couple from Nazareth."

Reuben hadn't thought of that.

"Which means that we would have spent the night in comfort, while they would have been housed in the stable and the ones to receive the generous donations!" he declared, with a snap of his fingers.

Esther nodded emphatically, plumping-up the straw which served as her bedding next to the manger which had been utilized, much to the chagrin of a speckled cow, as a makeshift crib for baby Rachel. She smiled brightly at the coffer of gold nestling in the hay.

"My point exactly," she said. "For once, husband, we seem to have been in the right place at precisely the right time!"

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