Vinnie Tells Sister Janet He Has Her Back


Nine children and Sister Janet are in the gymnasium. Sister Janet calls attendance. She says, “I thought I saw Vincent. Vincent, where are you?” 

Mary raises her hand, “Sister Janet, Vinnie said he had something important to do and he went outside. I think he ran away. Can I tell Santa on him, Sister? He’ll have to go to confession and confess this sin won’t he Sister? This is a very bad sin, isn’t Sister?”

Sister Janet raises her eyes and offers a silent prayer, ‘Dear Lord, please Lord in your kindness and mercy don’t ever let these two fall in love when they get older. I can’t imagine what kind of child they will produce.”

“Why are you blessing yourself, Sister Janet,” says Vinnie.

“Vincent, where were you? You know no one was supposed to leave,” says a stern Sister Janet.

“I was having your back, Sister,” says Vinnie.

“What do you mean, Vincent,” asks Sister Janet.

“I saw Father Jim and told him you were overworked are really nervous and he should give you a break when you go to confession and give you a light penance. I bet Santa knows what I did and he’ll give me an extra present for being nice to you.”

Mary hollers, “That’s not fair, Sister Janet. I would have asked Father Jim to tell you that you are already a saint. Now, Vinnie got the points with Santa and I didn’t.”

Sister Janet mutters, ‘I don’t know about being a saint, but I’m in a living hell now.’ She says to all the children, “Enough. Let’s get our costumes on. Vincent, why are you taking Mary’s shawl?”

“The ground is cold, even with the straw. I want to lay on Shawl.”

“Give me my shawl,” hollers Mary chasing Vinnie around the gym.

Ten minutes later, at 6:55, Mary and Joseph lead eight other children out of the gymnasium toward the creche. Mary whispers to Sara who is playing Joseph, I’m going to be the star of the show and you will be best supporting actor.”

“Thank you, Mary,” says Sara who wants Mary to make her, her best friend.

“No talking, Children. You know your lines. The only words you speak are your lines and no one else’s lines. Do not add anything. Vincent, do you understand?”

Vinnie makes a muling sound he believes is a donkey answering, yes.

“Enough, Vincent. No animal sounds from you,” says Sister Janet.

The children take their places in the living nativity scene. Mary and Joseph sit on a bale of hay behind a small wooden manager. A large doll wrapped in a blue cloth lies in the manager. The cow and the sheep lie on the straw behind Mary and Joseph. The three wisemen line up on the front left side of the manager. The two angels stand on the front right side of the manager. And, the donkey lies on a bed of straw in front of the manager. His head up off the straw looking at the parents standing behind a cordoned rope. 

Vinnie raises a front hoof and waves at his mom and dad. 

Vinnie’s dad waves back. Vinnie’s mom sticks an elbow in Vinnie’s dad side and says, “Don’t encourage him.”

Sister Janet steps beside Vinnie and begins reading the narrative from St. Luke’s Gospel.  

Vinnie whispers only loud enough for Sister Janet to hear, “Sister, the wisemen didn’t come on Christmas eve, they came a few days later.”

Sister Janet reads louder.

Mary speaks her line.

Sara speaks Jospeh’s line.

The angels start singing the Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

After the angels stop singing, the wisemen, one after the other step forward.

The first says, “I’ve come to bring you …”

Vinnie says, “Gold.”

“No, gold,” says Vinnie.

“But, I’m cold,” says the first wiseman.

The second steps forward and says, “I’ve come to bring you Frankenstein.”

“Frankincense,” says Vinnie.

“Franklingsence,” says the second wiseman.

“Frankincence,” says Vinnie.

“I can’t say it right with braces,” says the second wiseman.

The third wiseman steps forward and says, “I bring you a murmur.”

“No, myrrh,” says Vinnie.

“Are you sure, Vinnie?” asks the third wiseman.

“I’m sure,” says Vinnie.

Sister Janet calls out, “Wonderful children, let’s sing Silent Night.”

While the children are singing Silent Night, Sister Janet bends close to the donkey and says, “Thank you for helping, Vinnie.”

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