Wallace Purling, a second grader who had trouble keeping up in the classroom, was chosen to be the innkeeper in the church Christmas Pageant. Wally was big for his age, so his refusal of lodging for Joseph and Mary would be convincing. Besides, he only had a few lines to learn.
On the night of the pageant, Joseph appeared, slowly guiding Mary to the door of the inn where Wally waited.
When he heard Joseph knocking, Wally opened the door and asked brusquely, “What do you want?”
“We seek lodging for the night,” Joseph answered.
“There is no room in the inn,” said Wally loudly.
“Sir, we are weary and my wife is heavy with child.”
Now Wally looked down at Mary, and there was an embarrassing pause until the prompter whispered his cue from the wings.
“No, be gone,” said Wally.
As Joseph and Mary began to walk away, this Pageant suddenly took a turn that made it unlike any other.
“Don’t go, Joseph,” Wally ad libbed. “You and Mary can have my room.”
A few people in church that evening thought the Christmas Pageant was ruined. Others considered it the best Christmas Pageant they had ever seen.