The Story Of The Little Drummer Boy

December 21, 2017

(An Adaptation by a TFP Drummer)

Out in the distant desert, where the winds constantly shape and reshape the sand dunes, there once lived a shepherd boy. He had no companions; only his elderly father, who was widowed and whom he honored with filial oriental ceremony.

One day, the boy received a single present: a small drum.

Such was his delight with the drum that any other boy would have needed a thousand presents to be as happy. How the little shepherd loved to play that drum! Every day he would spend hours playing it, all alone. Some nights, he would even play it as he contemplated the star-filled firmament of the desert.

One such night, he saw a new star that was so resplendent that he could hardly believe his eyes: “This star is so beautiful and bright! I wonder what it could mean!” “Ah, it must be a sign of a wonderful happening. I will climb to the top of the highest dune and play my drum to this wondrous star.”

And so he did. And wonder of wonders, the more he drummed, the more shone the glorious star!

The Appearance of the Star guiding the Three Wise Men. Painting by Giovanni da Modena.

Not far away, three Magi Kings were pursuing their journey across the desert. “Our guiding star,” said one of them, “already so bright, grows even brighter at times tonight. And I think I can hear a distant drum whenever the star shines brighter. Let us seek the possible cause of this added prodigy.”

The little drummer boy was so engrossed in contemplating the star and playing his instrument that the Magi were already ascending the sand dune when he noticed them.

“Who are you?” he asked.

“We are three kings from afar,” replied one of the Magi. “We saw the star of the Promised Savior in the East and now follow it to where He is, bearing gifts for Him.”

“I would love to accompany them to see the Savior,” thought the little drummer. “But I have no gift to take Him.”

As if reading his thought, the Magi added: “Like us, you have seen and admired His star. Why don’t you come with us?”

The boy looked down in sadness. But as he did so the sight of his drum suggested an idea that filled him with joy. Looking up to the Magi, he said: “I will go with you and play my drum for Him. My drumming will be my gift to the Messiah, and I’m sure He’ll receive it as coming from all the poor children of the world. After receiving my father’s blessing, I will follow you.”

It is night. In the stable of Bethlehem, the three Kings advance to pay supplicant homage to the newborn King of Kings. Next to them is the humble drummer boy. Overwhelmed with admiration and affection, he gazes upon the God-Man, whom the angels have lullabied to sleep with ineffable symphonies.

Both Mother and Child are of incomparable beauty. And She is so queenly, yet so kind. Encouraged by Her, the little drummer begins to softly play his drum.

Hearing it, the Infant opens His eyes and looks into those of the little drummer boy, who, amazingly, can now hear a beat that is not his drum’s.

It is the heartbeat of the Child Jesus, which this night, and always, echoes like a gentle drumcall in souls throughout the world. It is calling souls; this soul, that soul, and that other soul. For the Child wants them to come to Him. He wants them to know Him, to love Him, to belong to Him.

O, reader, hark a while, and like the little drummer boy, you too will hear the Divine drumming.

Towards a Christian Civilization, Vol. II, No. 30, 1996

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 606




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