(A story that may have happened!)
By Mavis Newbury
It was the most enchanting of Midnights. . . Christmas Eve. . . our first on the farm. The presents were arranged under the tree in preparation for the children’s morning descent. We were quiet with contentment and thanks. Our last and most pleasant chore yet to be done, we donned our boots and parkas to go outside to bed the horses and kennel the dogs.
Inside the barn we were greeted by the sweet scent of horses and hay, the sounds of an occasional foot-fall and of thoughtful munching. I couldn’t help thinking that it was no wonder Christ was born in a stable, there is no more peaceful place on earth!
As I reached for the light switch I stopped. . . hand mid-air. I was astounded by the sudden and total silence. The horses were frozen in their places, the dogs like porcelain statues, eyes fixed on the end of the stable. My hair prickled and my heart pounded with the realization of a presence in the barn. Unable to move or speak, we watched as a scene unfolded through a blue, misty light.
It was a nativity scene, a rough manger, a robed woman resting on the straw before it and a blanketed child within. We heard a voice speaking, with the gentleness and wisdom of the ages. “My gentle animal friends”, it said, “I bring you a gift on this Christmas Eve. I will show you how the first Christmas was celebrated.”
“The shepherds and the wise men did not reach the child for many days after His birth,” the voice continued. “The first to bring praise to Him were of the dog kingdom. . . the most beloved of all His animal creations. They came one by one and gave Him their only possessions and in thanks, they were immortalized in the heavens as stars. The Labrador gave Him faithfulness, the Siberian Husky gave Him stamina, the Welsh Corgi, intelligence, the German Shepherd, the need to protect. The Irish Wolfhound gave him strength; the Greyhound, swiftness and the Sheltie, agility. There were many more, each with a unique gift, but the last to come to the Child was the Samoyed.”
“I give you my smile,” the Samoyed said. “It is my most prized possession because it is the very essence of my being. It is my joy, my love and devotion, and my gaiety.”
“The Child was so touched,” the voice continued, “that He took in His hand a thousand stars and threw them gently over the Samoyed’s beautiful white coat.”