The Christmas Story
by Charles Dickens
(Excerpted from Dickens' "The Life of Our Lord," written for his children.)
Now the great place of all that country was Jerusalem - just as London is the great place in England - and at Jerusalem the King lived, whose name was King Herod. Some wise men came one day, from a country a long way off in the East, and said to the King `` We have seen a Star in the Sky, which teaches us to know that a child is born in Bethlehem who will live to be a man whom all people will love.'' When King Herod heard this, he was jealous, for he was a wicked man. But he pretended not to be, and said to the wise men, ``Whereabouts is this child?'' And the wise men said ``We don't know. But we think the Star will shew us; for the Star has been moving on before us, all the way here, and is now standing still in the sky.'' Then Herod asked them to see if the Star would shew them where the child lived, and ordered them, if they found the child, to come back to him. So they went out, and the Star went on, over their heads a little way before them, until it stopped over the house where the child was. This was very wonderful, but God ordered it to be so.
But when this cruel Herod found that the wise men did not come back to him, and that he could not, therefore, find out where this child, Jesus Christ, lived, he called his soldiers and captains to him, and told them to go and Kill all the children in his dominions that were not more than two years old. The wicked men did so. The mothers of the children ran up and down the streets with them in their arms trying to save them, and hide them in caves and cellars, but it was of no use. The soldiers with their swords killed all the children they could find. This dreadful murder was called the Murder of the Innocents. Because the little children were so innocent.