Dec 25 2014

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Christmas Barnyard Bliss

I wrote this a few years ago (eight, to be exact). It’s not space-related, but it is Christmas-related.  I was inspired by the old folk tales my dad told me, which were told to him by his Uncle John, who no doubt heard them from his dad or uncle from Nova Scotia. Hope you enjoy it!

Christmas Barnyard Bliss
by D.C, McKay © 2006

Quiet down children so that I can tell
A tale of wonder to make hearts swell.
A magical story of Holy cheer,
Showing that not all is as it would appear.

Years ago when I was quite young,
We lived on a farm where birds always sung.
We had apples in fall, and veggies year round.
And a bunch of good animals safe and sound.

A few tame ducks, a horse that was tall,
Chickens, guineas, a rooster’s loud call.
Some dogs and some cats – they got along OK.
A goose that had flown in and decided to stay.

My story occurred late one Christmas Eve —
When I was a child still very naïve.
Asleep with baseballs bouncing in my head,
I was under warm covers, all snuggled in bed.

Strange noises coming from the barn awoke me.
Scared, I laid there for a minute or three.
“Was I dreaming?” “Why weren’t my parents awake?”
Were the first of many thoughts that made me quake.

Determined, I slipped from the bed and got set to leave —
Put on my boots, put my arm through its shirt sleeve.
A check out the window showed nothing amiss —
A picture perfect vision of barnyard bliss.

I paused a trice before leaving my room.
“What if it’s Santa?” I thought with gloom —
What would he think of a boy he caught snooping?
But in the end, I trusted Claus’ good and bad groupings.

I crept down the stairs making it quick
Checking the tree for signs of Saint Nick.
That fat old elf had already come and gone
Presents galore patiently waiting for dawn!

Curious now about the barn’s racket,
I went through the door forgetting my jacket.
As I walked outside the noises got louder
And a light snow sprinkled like baby powder.

The night was black and bitterly cold —
I barely noticed with my breath on hold.
I stole through the night, the noises somehow less scary.
Was our barn now infested with gnome and with fairy?

As I reached the building, the moon broke bright.
The snow had stopped and it was a beautiful night!
Quietly, stealthily, I opened the barn door.
What I saw made my eyes blink in astonishment galore!

They all were facing the tin manger of straw,
All kneeling in an attitude of reverence and awe.
Chickens and guineas and all dogs and all cats,
The horse and the goose, even the barn rats!

There I stood, completely amazed and bemused.
Something had caused them to be fully confused!
And then the great mystery finally was cracked
The host of animals was singing, in fact.

What language they used, I could not pick.
Was it Latin, Greek, Aramaic?
Stranger even than their wonderful baying,
I found I could absorb what they were saying.

The bees from the orchard sang a psalm —
It steadied my nerves and helped me stay calm.
Then all the beast’s voices rejoiced to the King,
“Of the Father’s love begotten…” they did sing.

My feet took over and I walked to them
Listening as they sung this heavenly poem.
They saw me approach, and then made room for me
And gladly I joined them in their jubilee.

Small boy and beast then finished the song,
Bonded as one and ever so strong.
I recalled all the animals in the Ark,
Of when Balaam’s Donkey smartly did hark.

But as though to stop my idle thought,
Our horse glanced my way — was my consent sought?
And then with a horse-smile he bent down and blew
On straw in the manger to warm it anew.

Wait a second — There was an infant in the manger!
How could that be? Was He in danger?
Suddenly I realized what had changed the animals’ behavior!
It was the appearance of our most Holy Savior!

His legs were kicking, His hands had clasped,
He cooed a little bit as I gasped.
And then in voices entirely biased
The beasts sang “Glory to God in the highest!”

I then watched as the Christ child rose into the air,
A resounding answer to every prayer.
Angels appeared and were singing His praises
Of an eternity filled with amazing graces.

The angels received Him without a delay.
And then as I wiped all my tears away,
The angels and Christ child vanished from sight.
And quick as a flash it was a silent night.

They were back to making their normal chatters —
Neighs and clucks and scurries and patters.
Your typical barnyard scene before sunrise,
Though I thought I could detect bemusement in their eyes.

I went to our house, the moon long gone.
Snow resumed as I started to yawn.
I snuck back upstairs, with no one the wiser –
I’m wasn’t used to being such an early riser!

Finally back in bed, under covers and asleep.
No need to even have to count sheep!
I woke much later to a crisp Christmas Day
About the night’s events I’d nothing to say.

Who would believe me about such incidents?
I’d likely get in trouble with my parents.
They’d say a boy’s dreaming is all that it was.
That I’d confused some commotion with Santa Claus.

Many Christmases have since sped past.
My children’s children have come at last.
Life is more hectic and it’s hard to live true.
But whenever I’ve doubt, I know what to do.

I often remember that night so long ago
And it helps me keep my faith aglow.
But instead of that night when I was amazed
Today I share of when I saw Christ raised.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/12/25/christmas-barnyard-bliss/

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