It grew dark and he felt that he could wait no longer. He summoned his courage, and crept from his hole to the sitting room. There was the Christmas tree, all alight, as beautiful as ever. But something else, something wonderful, was happening. The decorations were all singing. The rat froze in amazement. They were singing the song.
Once in Royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for his bed
Mary was that mother mild
Jesus Christ her little child
And there, in the middle of the tree, next to the glittery egg, right where he should be, was the egg, and on his head, perfectly folded, was the rat’s hat with the words on it!
The rat put his paws to his mouth, unable to move with wonder, and listened.
And then, if all these wonders were not enough, a beautiful high voice rose above the tune of the unlikely choir, decorating the sound so that it seemed lovelier still.
Not in that poor lowly stable…
When like stars his children crowned
All in white shall wait around!
The song ended and the silence afterwards was beautiful too. Trembling, the rat crept to the bottom of the tree and called up, “Egg?”