Posted by: John Colby | Monday December 8 2014



I’m an ass.

I’m in a stable with an ox and some people. We’d come here (not the ox, he was already here), walked here because of something called taxes. In winter. And he’s old. And she’s pregnant, so it’s been a bit of a journey. I had to be as gentle as I could be, knowing the burden.

And yes, I am a beast of burden. Not for me the glamour of being a horse, carrying posh people about. I’m down with the common folk, the plebs. Thing is, they rely on me. I do what they can’t and I live with them, but not before now this close. Because we had to be gentle and go slowly we were late, and they’ve had to be in this stable as well.

But then she has the baby. There’s no one else to help her, and it’s a boy. And they’re both all right but then there’s something else happening, something big. I’m tired but I’m not going to sleep. Then these blokes come in ‘cos they’ve had tidings, they say. They aren’t posh, just ordinary folks. They’ve brought a lamb with them, so they’re probably shepherds. We’re standing round as we know we’ve got to keep them all warm, and the lamb comes over and joins us. Getting to be a right regular farmyard.

Things calm down then, it gets light and we can all get some rest.

Days later there’s some others, posh ones this time, on camels and such. Even though they’re posh, royal even, they seem awed by what they’re finding. Don’t know why – it’s only a stable when all’s said and done. But they’re treating it as something special. Maybe it is, maybe what’s happened here is special, maybe that’s what we’re feeling.

But there’s trouble. We’ve all got to get out of here fast. I’m the beast of burden again, but it’s not a weighty burden. I’m so very happy to be part of it.

They say it’s a long way to Egypt.


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