I Sing Noel



I sing Noel

I sing Noel for children

            For all little children who have no Christmas tree.


Chris smiled as he watched Vin, JD, and Ezra gaze in wonder at the brightly lit Christmas tree.  He smile quickly disappeared as he remembered where these three precious children had spent last Christmas. 


The streets of Denver were unforgiving.  Children, tossed out like so much trash, didn’t often survive, but somehow these three had, by banding together and protecting one another. 


I sing Noel, Noel, Noel, 

            For little girls who have no pretty dress to wear,

            Little boys who have no teddy bear.


JD was the youngest at only five. His mother had been killed in a mugging, but the boy had escaped and been found by the others. 


Chris’s first impression of the boy had been all trembling, dirty hands and scraggly, black hair.  That combined with his large chocolate brown eyes had given him an innocent look unspoiled by his six months on the street.  His wonder at new things was a breath of fresh air to the lives Chris, Buck, Nathan, and Josiah.


I sing Noel

I sing Noel for children,

            For all lonely children who cry on Christmas Eve.


The next oldest was Ezra who was all of eight.  Abandoned by his mother a full year before JD’s mother died, Ezra had taken to the streets rather be put in family services custody.  For some reason Chris had been unable to ascertain, Ezra was terrified for the very idea.


Ezra had been raised to be independent, conniving, and snobbish.  He was also raised to believe that no one would ever help you unless there was something in it for them.  His association with the other boys had helped him unlearn a lot of his mother’s lessons, but he was still wary of the four ATF agents that had become their family.  How he had hooked up with Vin originally, they didn’t know, but he had been the one to find JD and bring him into their little group.


Ezra was largely responsible for their being able to survive on the street.  His poker skills had brought in enough money for them to stay alive.  While he was fastidious in his dress, Ezra would had given either of the other boys the shirt off his back if they had needed it.


Chris’s first sight of Ezra had been a small blur that hurled itself at him when he reached for JD, screaming for him to leave him alone. When he finally got the boy calmed down, he was captivated by the child’s chestnut curls and emerald green eyes.  Those eyes had held so much anger and fear, that Chris’s heart had almost broken.  Quite a feat, since Chris had convinced himself he had no heart since his family’s death.


I sing Noel, Noel, Noel,

            For little girls whose hands are trembling in the cold

            Little boys whose eyes are much too old.


The eldest at twelve was Vin.  Though he had been orphaned at the age of six, he bounced from on foster home to another for a while, and didn’t landing on the streets of Denver until almost exactly the same time as Ezra. 


Vin was older than Ezra, but he wasn’t as obviously jaded.  He had tried to run, but Buck had caught the slight boy around the waist.  When Vin had cried out was when JD broke from his hiding spot to defend him, then Ezra had come from the opposite direction to try to defend them both. 


Vin’s long brown hair had been caked with dirt.  Why the child hadn’t been ill was a mystery.  He had almost gotten away from Buck, when Buck miss judged the child’s strength.  His small wiry frame hid his strength well.  His light blue eyes had been the greatest surprise, though, holding an age he shouldn’t have had to bear for many more years. 


May the newborn savior

            Turn his tender face to you

May he help us all to make this world

            A better place for you.


There had really been no reason to check that alley, and how he had spotted that little foot peaking out from under those boxes, he never was really sure.  But he wouldn’t go back and change anything. 


When he had pulled Vin from the darkness, he had been so angry that some one would let their child wander off and play in that part of town.  When he had gotten a good look at them and realized they were abandoned his anger had grown.  Apparently it had shown on his face, because he had scared those poor boys to death, JD had started crying with Vin and Ezra trying to shuffle him behind them to protect him.


In the months since then all of the agents had worked hard to gain the boys trust.  Chris had come to believe that they were succeeding.  Now with the boys as six, nine, and thirteen, he hoped that nothing would happen to change that.


I sing Noel

I sing Noel for children

            For all little children who have no Christmas tree.


This year, Chris and Buck had pulled out all of the stops in trying to make some wonderful memories for the boys.  Last year, they had spent Christmas hungry, trying not to freeze to death, but this year they were going to have a warm and Merry Christmas.


Buck, who had moved out to the ranch, had helped Chris find and decorate a huge tree.  It stood easily eight foot tall.  Chris chuckled to himself as he remembered the hell they had gone through getting the thing up.


Let’s all sing Noel

Ring the bells of Christmas

            For all lonely children where ever they may be.


Nathan and Josiah had gotten in the act too, buying gifts for the boys and bring enough food to feed an army.  They’d be eating the leftovers for days. 


Josiah seemed to have taken a fatherly interest in all of the boys, but Ezra more than the others.  Josiah would probably have tried to adopt the boy if Ezra would have allowed it, but he couldn’t bear to be separated from the others, so Josiah settled for playing the favorite uncle.


Nathan had been a little slower to warm up to Ezra, but had taken to the other two like a duck to water.  Ezra had won him over quickly with his defense of the others in the school yard.  When a bully had tried to pick on JD, Ezra had interceded and taken the beating himself. 


Noel, Noel

            Come spend Christmas with me

Noel, Noel

            Come spend Christmas with me


Chris looked around living room of his home and smiled.  He had definitely been blessed this year.  He had a family again, three brothers and three sons.  Each of the grown men sat, looking, not at the presents they had been given, but at the boys. 


JD sat on the floor playing with his new Lego set, neatly constructing the plane it was supposed to make with out bothering to consult the directions. 


Vin was playing with a marksmanship video game that Chris had given him, and he was beating it all hollow, too!


Chris looked over at the last of his sons and was surprised to find Ezra was sitting staring at he presents in his lap, gliding his hand over them as if he couldn’t believe they were there.  Walking over, he sat beside the boy.




“Are they really mine, Mr. Larabee?”  In the eleven months since the boys had started living with him, Chris had gotten JD and Vin to call him by his first name, but Ezra had refused, say that it wasn’t proper.  They had discussed calling him ‘dad,’ but JD and Vin were not that comfortable with him yet, and Ezra, who could remember his father slightly and had loved the man with all his heart, had adamantly refused to even consider it.


Sadly Chris smiled at the boy, “Yes, Ezra, they’re really yours.  No one can take them away from you.”


Chris was very surprised when Ezra launched himself into his arms and hugged him tightly. “Thank you.”  Chris hugged the boy right back, savoring the moment. 


After a few moments Ezra pulled back slightly, not leaving Chris’s arms, but enough so that he could see his face.  Chris sat still and Ezra seemed to search his face looking for something.  Ezra came to a decision and leaned in for another hug.


“I love you, Da.”  Ezra whispered.


Chris felt tears come to his eyes and he returned the hug. 


“I love you, too, son.”




Index     Home