The Ox

It’s a quiet time of year for me. All the harvest’s been gathered in and stored and all the long days of hard work have settled into a gentler pattern. I get a well-earned rest now, somewhere sheltered to sleep at night, good hay in the manger to eat. Life’s pretty good.

So, anyway, I am just settling down to sleep when I hear this kerfuffle outside my stable. Suddenly the quiet, dusty darkness is disturbed by lamplight and voices and then in comes my master with two people and a donkey. They all look rather bedraggled and travel-weary. So much for my manger of hay and a peaceful night – looks like I’ll be sharing my grub with the ass. Hmmpphh. Not the first time that’s happened.

But what’s this? The couple are staying in my stable too??!! Now that’s a new one on me. Good job they don’t eat hay, that’s all I can say!

They’re not very quiet though; there seems to be quite a commotion going on. Oh, what’s this? A baby?…. A baby??!! What kind of place is this to have a baby?! And wait, wait…..what…what do they think they’re doing? They’re putting him into MY manger! Well, I never!!

And now, what does that donkey think he’s doing?! I swear he’s nuzzling that human creature. Has he no dignity?! Well, you won’t catch me doing that. Baby or no baby, I’m going to have some more hay. Now, let’s see….I think I can just reach in there and get a bit and……oh, lordy me, look at that baby! All wrapped up and cosy – and I do believe he’s looking right at me! Well, well, I never did! Aww…and now he’s going off to sleep.

Maybe I can manage without any more hay tonight – after all, I wouldn’t want to disturb him……

S. Gardner