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