Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Dec 24 2007

A dromedary for Christmas

Where do all those nativity scene animals go when they're not playing their parts at the local church or other venue? Many live with farmers the rest of the year.

We live in a neighborhood of sized-alike lots and intermittent sidewalks. But not far up the road on Buenva Vista there are crops growing and properties large enough for horses and cattle. Yesterday we had gone out to do some holiday-related errands and I noticed something strange among the usual herd of horses in one of the fenced, hilltop grazing areas. The animal was similar in color to some of the horses, but it had a broader-shaped head and a decided hump on its back. A double-take later, I realized it was a camel. Now, you must understand that I'm not known for having great eyesight, so I think my spouse thought I was just hallucinating on a sunny December 23rd day. But as he slowed for the stop sign at the bottom of the hill he managed to take a quick look back and he saw the camel with his own eyes. When we returned from our errands a few hours later the camel was lying down amidst the horses. I don't know if he (or she) is there for the holidays or is going to be a permanent resident, but the whole scene pumped a lovely dose of Middle Eastern authenticity into our California Christmas.

I love animals and so I've always loved the idea that the baby Jesus probably had a few domesticated animals among his first friends when He came to be with us. These gently, playful beings have a way of softening our hearts and giving us lessons in a type of basic trust that is sometimes on more solid ground than that with other humans. And animals help to teach us that willing service can be the ultimate gift.

I'll be busy with other tasks the rest of this week, so the blog will be quiet for a few days. May you and yours enjoy all the best this season has to offer. And don't be surprised if you spot an unexpected camel or two. After all, 'tis the season.

posted at: 05:51 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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