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December 25, 2014: The Nativity Scene – A Differing Viewpoint

It was snowing this morning; in fact, it was the first major snowfall this winter. It was the sort of snow that falls straight out of the sky. Pete and I decided to go for a trail ride. By the time we had the horses tacked up, it was coming down hard. We decided to ride our trail system. As I said to Pete, this was a sane way to begin the Christmas holiday. For the horses and dogs, it was just the same old same old. As we tromped along, Dr. Zhivago style, the horses and I conversed about the nativity scene. Their response was actually quite revelatory.

Alys: Raudi, you know anything about Christmas?

Raudi: I know all about it.

Tinni: And I know more than Raudi does

Hrimfara: I don’t know anything about it.

R: Christmas is the day in which the Christ child was born.

T: And plopped down in a manger.

R: One filled with hay.

T: And the livestock gathered around.

R: Because all the sudden there was a baby in the hay.

T: That’s right. Like I said, Mary plopped that infant down in the feed trough.

H: You don’t say.

R: I do say. Hay was nearly nonexistent that year, but she took full advantage of the situation.

A: And what did the other animals think of this?

R: They were pissed, really pied. I mean, how would you like it if all the sudden, someone plopped a baby in your salad bowl?

A: If I was hungry, I wouldn’t like it.

T: The animals were hungry and so they didn’t like it.

H: So what did they do?

R: They all hunkered down and waited for mother, father, and child to move on.

T: I’ve heard said that the kid was a real whiner.

R: Most likely he was colicky.

T: That’s something I understand.

R: Me too.

H: Did they call the veterinarian? You can’t get Banamine without a prescription.

R: Hell no. Mary picked that child up and began patting it on the back.

T: She was very patient.

A: What about the other animals?

T: Donkeys, goats, sheep, they too were very patient, though the sheep did begin to eyeball the hay.

A: Do all you remember your first bed?

R: Yep. My first bed was filled with sawdust.

H: Mine too.

T: I was born in a pasture full of green grass.

R: And no one could take that away from you.

T: No, because that spring there was lots and lots of grass in Iceland.

H: Like you both, I was born in the spring.

R: The Christ child was born in the dead of winter

A: That’s right.

T: I don’t envy any animal being born in the cold

H: But the Christ child had a nice, warm hay bed.

R: And when Mary and Joseph took off, the bed was then empty.

T: And then the sheep moved in and ate all the hay. By that time, it didn’t taste too good.

R: No, it tasted like baby poop.

T: Sheep are dumb, picky animals who will eat the fodder that’s placed before them.

R: Donkeys are picky.

H: And the goats? The ones here are very picky.

R: That’s because they’re spoiled rotten. Alys feeds them what she feeds us. There’s no need for this.

H: Wouldn’t it be something if there was a second coming and the mother of the son of God laid her baby in Rover and Ranger’s trough?

R: Rover would move in and eat around the edges.

H: Could happen.

R: Look. We’re almost to the trailhead. Pretty soon we’ll be back home. I was dragged away from my food bowl.

T: The same here.

H: I finished mine off. Pete calls me the chowhound.

R: And with good reason.

A: Hrimmi, I will get you more hay.

H: Promise?

A: Promise what?

H: That you’ll never put a stinky little infant in my hay.

A: This isn’t something you need to worry about.

R: At least until next year.

Next: 345. 12/26/14: Post-Holiday Snow Day