By: Blonde Two
Mary told Joe that she was pregnant, and Joe, being the solid Devon chap that he was, decided that the best thing to do was to travel from Okehampton to Princetown and seek advice from the Ale of Jail.
Joe’s Dad had promised that he would take them in the Landy, but had disappeared two days ago muttering the word “dreckly” under his breath. Their only option was to set off up the army tracks and heave Mary on to the first Dartmoor pony that they saw. It wasn’t a comfortable ride ( for Mary or for the pony) but eventually, they saw the grey walls of Princetown prison ahead of them.
It was Ten Tors weekend and Princetown was packed full of wet, mud-covered adults, soggy dogs and rampant camera crews. It was just past 5 o’clock and Dave-the-Cafe-Keeper was locking up Fox Tor Cafe as they arrived. There was no room in the bunkhouse but Dave took pity on Mary and Joe and gave them shelter in the cafe for the night. The fire was just going out but it was warm and dry and there was a lovely book about a tree on the bookshelf.
Mary gave birth to Jesus just before midnight that night. Joseph missed the birth because he was eating a sneaky plate of cheesy chips in the kitchen. They didn’t have a manger for Jesus so they put him in a travel cot instead.
Four teachers were up at Holming Beam, guarding their group of young DofE campers. They heard a strange sound and got out of the minibus to go and investigate. Little-Blonde-Angel and Not-At-All-Blonde-Angel were hovering above the front of the bus and attempting music. The sound was loud but slightly out of tune. LBA had forgotten her harp, but had remembered to plait her hair so that the parting went in the right direction. NAABA had forgotten to do her hair but had remembered her French horn.
When the teachers asked them what on earth all the noise was about, the Blonde-Angels told them that they all had to go to Princetown to witness a miracle. There was a delay while the teachers completed the necessary paperwork and sent their route cards to the National Park, but eventually the whole group was rucksacked up and ready to march into Princetown.
Meanwhile, Two Wise Blondes were navigating out on the moor. They were very, very wise and knew an important sign when they saw one. The only thing that signs on Dartmoor usually say is, “Path”, so the Two Wise Blondes were in deep awe when they saw the four red stars shining above Princetown. They knew that they had to follow the stars and find the baby Jesus.
The Two Wise Blondes had chosen this particular night to carry only wise and awesome gifts in their rucksacks. Gifts like Jelly Babies, flasks of coffee and hair elastics. This was unfortunate because, as they headed towards the red stars, the dreaded Dartmoor mist came down and they realised that they had forgotten their maps and compasses.
Luckily a group of red-cloaked Dartmoor Rescue chaps were out training on that miraculous night and found the Two Wise Blondes wandering (and wondering) aimlessly around in the mist. They offered to guide them into Princetown.
And so it was that One-Blonde-Angel, One-Not-At-All-Blonde-Angel, Two Wise Blondes, one Dartmoor pony, twenty Dartmoor rescue chaps (it takes that many to sort out a pair of Blondes), five Dartmoor Rangers (they had heard that there were cheesy chips on offer), four teachers and two DofE teams all crowded into Fox Tor Cafe to worship at the feet (very small feet) of baby Jesus and give him some presents.
The Angels gave him a beautiful song, The Two Wise Blondes gave him all of their favourite Yellow Jelly Babies, the pony gave him something to help him grow tomatoes, the Dartmoor Rescue Chaps gave him a lesson in navigation, the Dartmoor Rangers gave him a spade (Joseph, by now, had eaten all of the cheesy chips) and the teachers gave him both of the DofE teams.
Mary look at the assembled pile of gifts and wondered what on earth she was supposed to do with it all. Princetown was a funny place. Back in Okey, when babies were born, they gave them gold, frankincense and myrrh.
When Dave came downstairs to open up the cafe the next morning, it was empty. The only signs that a wonderful miracle had occurred were the empty chip packets in the kitchen and the lack of cheese in the fridge.