One Christmas Eve Night!

A long, long time ago,
back when only wood or coal warmed houses,
and it was horses which took you where you needed to go...
There was a little village
and there on the village's edge
was a mysterious man,
who lived in a quaint wee cottage all alone,

and his name was Vincent.
The curious thing about Vincent, was he had feline type
features, and everyone called him "The Lion man"

And because he did look so exotically different
people were distant and unsure,
but that all changed
when he saved several trapped coal miners
who were destined to perish,
if it had not been for his strength and his courage

Yes, it was his brave deed
that endeared himself to the villagers
and they began to accept him,
and from that day on...
they called him friend

It needs to be said...
there were still some of the villagers however,
who because of their own ignorance,
were frightened by him, and kept their distance.
But...they were few,
and Vincent was respectful of these people,
and so because of his compassion,
and wisdom in the ways of human nature,
he did not try to push himself
on those who did not understand.

Sweetly though,
the children in their wise innocence,
loved this very kind, brave gentle man, and he loved them.

Then one day a beautiful stranger arrived in the village

Word spread, and it became known,
she came to their village
because she had tragically lost her family
and needed to escape the painful memories of her loss
and so being all alone now...she needed to start anew
and for some unknown reason
she was drawn to this enchanting place

So once she settled into the intimate community,
She heard about the brave "Lion Man",
and even though, she did not yet know him,
inexplicably...her heart went out to him.

Meanwhile, as the Lion Man heard about the new villager,
his heart broke from all he had heard
about her grief filled past
and he so wished there was a way to help
and reach out to her
but because of being who he was...
he could not.
And so, he grew content hosting this aloof connection to her
standing vigilant from his vantage
just in case, she should one day need him

As the Blessed Christmas Holiday arrived
the beautiful new villager thought more and more about the
Lion Man, and  decided that perhaps...
Christmas was the perfect time, for her to visit him.

So on Christmas Eve,
with a freshly baked pie, still warm from the oven
she approached his cottage.

Meantime, Vincent, who was reading
by the freshly stoked fire,
was alarmed at the knocking on his door!
Hesitatingly, he rose to peer out the window...
and was stunned when he saw
it was the beautiful new villager,
whom up until now...had only seen from afar!

And so pulling up the hood of his cloak to cover his face
he opened the door.
The lady looked up speechless,
and couldn't stop staring at the bluest of eyes
They were the most beautiful blue she had ever before seen!

Self-consciously though, he turned away,
thinking he had repulsed her.
Realizing she made him feel badly,
she quickly apologized saying,
she was sorry for staring,
to which he said the last thing he wanted to do was to
frighten her, or to frighten anyone...

And then softly, she assured him,
"You do not frighten me...
I have heard about you, and of your kindness,
about all the good you have done for the villagers here...
and if truth be told...
It's also been look different...
but that does not concern me.
I sense something about you...
I somehow have a good heart."

With the hood of his cloak still tightly drawn
he then asked,
"Kind lady, so you can with all honesty say...
you do not fear a stranger such as myself?
A man who looks as I do?"

The lady smiled and teasingly replied,
"I don't know fully, as I have not yet seen."

Vincent hesitantly lowered his hood,
and stood waiting for a reaction from this beautiful stranger.

She stared up at him again,
and as love filled her heart for this stranger, she then said,
"Now I can tell you with absolute honesty
you do not frighten me..."

As relief filled his heart,
he looked back, and with a smile in his eyes,
replied, "You humble me..."

She then looked downward
at the steaming pie in her hands, and said,
"I know you live here alone, with no family.
And...since I too am alone,
I hoped to share this Holy night along with you."

With any and all trepidation abolished from his heart,
he then invited her inside to share the fire.

As she nodded yes to his invitation,
she set the pie down on his table,
and looked around at his charming endearing cottage.

He had numerous candles burning all around
this warmly decorated home,
with tea steeping on his iron stove.
She then turned to him, and said,
"Allow me to introduce myself,
my name is Catherine."

In a husky velvet tone,
he softly repeated her name, "Catherine..."

Vincent then introduced himself, saying,
"I am Vincent."

Catherine shyly smiled and said,
"I am pleased to meet you Vincent."

As they both reached out for the others hand
in unison with their introductions,
they paused as their hearts began to pound
both feeling the magical connection
generated between them
and it was then Vincent knew as well as Catherine did...
they had fallen in love.

Charmingly he tipped his head, and humbly said,
"You are most kind offering to share
this Holiest of Nights with me Catherine."

She shyly lowered her eyes,
feeling wholly affected being in this man's presence.
She then said,
"I cannot explain why I felt the need
to visit you this night Vincent...its true I was lonely,
and I thought you may be too."

Catherine then thoughtfully added,
"However I believe I was led here for another reason,
another purpose."

Vincent stared off, as he felt these same feelings as well,
dreamily he then softly said,

Looking down into her eyes he continued,
"Perhaps for both you and me."

Mesmerized by the fact he spoke from his heart,
she realized he spoke for hers as well.

Gallantly he took Catherine's coat from her,
and welcomed her to share the fire with him.

And so they then enjoyed hot tea from china cups,
and Catherine's dessert by the warm fire.

Feeling comfortable with one another,
they spent the evening effortlessly,
discussing great literature and works of art.

All the while they were captured by the other
and recognized the beauty in each other's hearts.

Speaking of many subjects and of many beliefs,
they too spoke of the miracle of the Christ's child's birth
and of all the wondrous things Jesus' life represented.
Some of which...
To love and honor all people,
treating them as you wish to be treated...
Remembering not to judge them.

Christmas Eve being known for a night of miracles...
Well this Christmas Eve was no exception
and its been said the night Catherine and Vincent met,
a wondrous event occurred...
These two lost souls found their way to each other,
and in that quaint little beguiling village,
they shared many more Blessed Christmas Eves  
and lived out their lives...happily ever after...