Chava’s Story

I’ve always felt that the innkeeper’s wife got a raw deal: no one ever mentions her. How would that inn have run without her? She had family, friends … and the inn. How did she ever get a quiet moment on her own? So here she is: Chava.



At last. I can sit down. The last guest has gone; the last to register for the census. The inn is empty for the moment. Moishe will grumble about no income, but we made plenty over these months.

Bethlehem was full to bursting. People slept on roofs, in the street, in doorways, anywhere they could. We had rooms filled to overflowing, the place echoed with snores at night.

I’m so tired … my back and legs ache.

I kept a lentil stew on the stove day and night, never knowing what to expect.

At least it was never dull: we had fights; men who paid double; money stolen; people who ‘forgot’ to pay; children lost; and a baby born out in the stable.

That stable. I thought Moishe had lost his mind; though he didn’t charge the parents much.

He said the baby was coming so I sent a servant down with water. I wanted to help but there was an accident and burns to anoint.

I never did see that baby. Moishe said a few
shepherds came to see him … at least someone              
welcomed the poor child. What a place to be
born, what a beginning.

Sleep – I’m going to sleep.

About Joanna M. Weston

Born in England, she lives in British Columbia. She is married with three sons, Joanna has an MA from the University of British Columbia. She has published in numerous anthologies and in magazines in Canada, the US, UK, and New Zealand, such as Canadian Women's Studies, Convolvus, Endless Mountains Review, Grain, Green's Magazine, Prairie Fire, Spin, Wascana Review, CBC Gallery, and many more...
This entry was posted in Christmas, inn, inn-keeper, story and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Chava’s Story

  1. revbillcook says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Good to give recognition where recognition is due! I enjoyed your post.

    Bill Cook

  2. Otter says:

    I love this. What a great idea to look at the Christmas story from this angle. You write beautifully.

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