Mahlah lived under a manger in a small stable behind an Inn, in the little town of Bethlehem. The stable was a lovely peaceful place and all the animals that lived there were Mahlah’s friends.
The stable was quite small, but it was home to a horse, a donkey, three sheep and two goats, as well as a black cat named Jesher and of course, Mahlah the mouse. Even Jesher was Mahlah’s friend and although he usually liked to catch mice, Mahlah was his good friend.
Gera and Kesia, the innkeepers were very kind. Every day, they would bring food for all of the animals in the stable and even made sure that there were a few scraps of food left under the manger for Mahlah.
One day, two people and their donkey came to stay in the stable. The animals that lived in the stable were a bit nervous because they were not used to having people in the stable, except for Gera and Kesia.
The donkey that came with the two people was named Demas. Demas told the animals in the stable that the people were Mary and Joseph. He said that they were very kind and good to all animals, including mice, so the animals shouldn’t worry. Demas also told them that Mary was about to have a baby! That was especially exciting for Mahlah because she was expecting to have some babies.
The very first night that Mary and Joseph were there, baby Jesus was born! It was the most amazing thing. A star appeared right after the birth that night, so bright, it lit up the sky right over the little stable. Then angels came to visit, telling the animals that this child was the Son of God Himself. The angels then went to tell everyone about baby Jesus.
The animals could tell that baby Jesus was very special. Mahlah scurried up the leg of the manger and looked down at the wonderful child. Mary smiled at Mahlah, knowing that soon Mahlah would be a mother too. All of the animals were so excited about the new baby and they cooed and hummed to soothe baby Jesus to sleep every night.
Each day, people came to see this wonderful Son of God, but the nights were usually quiet, so that baby Jesus could sleep. The animals slept too, after baby Jesus was settled for the night and even Mary and Joseph slept in the peaceful stable. Jesher the cat, who preferred to sleep during the day, kept watch over everyone while they slept.
One night, while everyone slept, Mahlah gave birth to six tiny mouse babies. They were all healthy except for the tiniest of them and Mahlah was very worried. She asked Jesher to watch over the other five babies and she carried the tiny one she named Phebe up into the manger.
Phebe was not even moving, but Mahlah was hoping that Jesus, the Son of God, would be able to help her little one.
When she climbed onto the manger, Jesus stirred from his sleep and looked at Mahlah and Phebe and smiled. Jesus could not speak yet of course, but He knew that Phebe needed help.
Jesus put out His tiny hand and nodded to Mahlah to put tiny Phebe into His hand. Mahlah did this and prayed for Phebe. Jesus closed His tiny hand gently around the baby mouse and closed his eyes. Something very special happened. Baby Phebe began to move!
When baby Jesus opened His eyes and His hand and smiled again, tiny Phebe lifted her head to Mahlah and smiled! Mahlah felt so blessed to have six healthy babies she and prayed her thanks to God. Mahlah knew that Phebe would be fine now and carried her back under the manger to where Jesher had been watching over the other baby mice.
Phebe curled up with her brothers and sisters and slept peacefully, with her mother Mahlah curled up around all of them and Jesher watching over them.
When Mary saw the babies the next morning, she smiled at Mahlah even though she did not know about the wonderful miracle that had happened that night after the baby mice were born.