This was one of the most popular posts on Goldinwords before the hack -my cherished trotro days. I enjoyed writing it because it was such a beautiful challenge. There are several misconceptions about Christmas and the birth of Jesus, but the opinionated donkey that transported Mary to Bethlehem enlightens us today.
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I can talk to animals! No jokes. I discovered this rare gift last Thursday when I was returning home from work. There was a dog snail-crossing the road my troskie was speeding on. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and the driver looked like he’d had enough with these more-daring-than-men creatures. He was intent on running the dog over. In dreadful horror I closed my eyes, tightened my butt cheeks, twitched my toes and bit my lips. It dawned on me that the dog must have been born on a Tuesday, so in my mind I screamed “Kwabena, son of a bitch. Quicken your steps lest your lazy walk ends you up in animalistic hell.” There and then noorr the dog leaped and barely escaped the tires of the thundering rusty tin of a bus.
I looked back to be sure, and he held my gaze for a few seconds before reducing to a dot as my troskie rattled on. It was strange but undeniable when I heard in my ears “Mortal man, you saved my life, God bless you. I’ve impregnated some of the babes in the area, you can have a pup when they’re due.”
My eyes widened like two 50 pesewa coins as I slammed my back into the seat I was in. ‘My gosh!’ I thought ‘I am a mutant. I had to contact my X-Men family!
But of all the mutant gifts I could have, why that? Why not Cyclops’s cool laser-eyes or Wolverine’s super strength and fast-healing abilities? At least kraa, if my Animal Language Fluency (ALF) powers could be topped up with some Magneto ability, I’ll be attractive in more than one sense of the word ;-). But o well, at least I had something most mortals didn’t have, or you do?
So in what way was I going to use my new-found gift to most impact humanity? I thought hard and long, then it clicked “Wait a minute, it’s Christmas, and we all know how Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, the shepherds, Herod and the Inn keeper felt about the birth of baby Jesus, but what about the animals in that manger? What’s their take on everything? Who has cared to ask them, to find out if what they saw was what exactly the Bible says happened? I decided to summon and interrogate a key eyewitness.
O yeah, I didn’t say earlier, but my mutancy allows me to do more than communicate with animals, I can summon them as well, even from as far back as 001BC. And that’s what I did; I linked up with Don Kay, the Mary transporter. He was grumpy and felt uncomfortable in my 21st century crib, but my curiosity was intense, I really wanted to know what happened, so I went straight to my questions.
Me: So how did you feel about having been the means of transport?
Don Kay: Okay. I mean yeah, from Nazareth to Bethlehem’s a long trip; three miles less than Accra to Kumasi, and we did it on my back! At the time, I didn’t know I was part of history being made and animal rights were unpopular then, so I was just doing my job you know.
Me: Yeah. People are saying it wasn’t you, that it was a horse or a camel, but not a donkey. What’s your take on that?
Don Kay: You’re human, you should know your kind. I mean, when my notable descendant carried Jesus to Jerusalem, the people were saying one thing and then just days later, they wanted nothing more than to see him dead.
Me: Yeah. True, we have our issues, but you lot aren’t perfect are you?
Don Kay: Well you eat us anyway.
Me: Punchline Don, that’s a good one. But were your friends jealous that you got to play such a crucial role in the birth of The Messiah?
Don Kay: Not really, I mean carrying a pregnant woman and her belongings across 70 miles, that’s not enviable…I didn’t know she was carrying God in her.
Me: When did you find out then?
Don Kay: Well, first a bunch of shepherds come in saying that an angel came to tell them of the birth accompanied by a host of singing others. Then later, the wise men came saying same.
Me: The three of them?
Don Kay: Who says they were three? I don’t know where you get your facts from. Yes, three gifts were offered ; gold, frankincense, and myrrh, (matt 2:11), but no one said there were three wise men. They could easily have been more
Me: So you don’t remember for sure?
Don Kay: Look, I was dealing with a lot back then, you know, it wasn’t easy.
Me: So did the three wise men, sorry, I meant did the wise men meet the shepherds on their way out or they came on different days.
Don Kay: (Sigh) sorry, I gotto ask this, are you Christian at all?
Me: Sure, why I come off as…what?
Don Kay: At best a lazy one, because it’s all there in the Bible.
Me: Are you going to tell me?
Don Kay: See, the magi-
Me: The who?
Don Kay: Wisemen-magi, potaytoes-potartoes. Same thing. The shepherds came to see a baby in a manger and the magi came to see a child in a house. You catch my drift?
Me: Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh (Ghana boy me), so the times were different.
Don Kay: Duh. By the time the magi came, Jesus had already been presented in the temple in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:22-39). I’m not really sure, but it is possible that little Jesus was walking and talking by then. Based on the calculations of King Herod and the magi (Matthew 2:16), Jesus could been two years old or under.
Me: It never occurred to me like that.
Don Kay: I bet
Me: So did he cry at all?
Don Kay: I’m not surprised you‘ll ask me that. You humans got this song you love a lot (singing) “Away in a manger the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes…” but there’s nowhere in the Bible it says he never cried, that one dieer.
Me: Yeeaah, come to think of it. O, I always wanted to know this; did the awuor kaa Mary before or by the time you guys got to Bethlehem?
Don Kay: Whoort?
Me: Sorry, forgot you aren’t Ghanaian. We do that a lot, mix up our English with whatever vernacular comes to us at the time.
Don Kay: I see.
Me: What I meant to ask was; did Mary give birth that first night in Bethlehem?
Don Kay: Where did you get that from? I can’t remember for sure because twas so long ago, but it could have even been weeks o. God’s Word simply states, “while they were there [in Bethlehem], the days were accomplished that she should be delivered” (Luke 2:6) . So you see, it wasn’t like the kid was dropping out of her the second we settled in the stable. Fact is, we had been there a while.
Don Kay: Yeah, we were in Bethlehem mainly to get counted –well at least they were- the bosslady just happened to be due somewhere during then.
Me: So tell me, were you actually there when he was being born?
Don Kay: No, I was out smoking a joint.
Don Kay: Sure I was there. They were in the stable, that was my hangout.
Me: Describe it, please
Don Kay: Iike how?
Me: like how was the birth like? That’s what I want to know.
Don Kay: Well, me and the crew in the stable were just bored stiff when we heard the lady scream. So… you know what, that’s classified.
Don Kay: Yup, not spewing any more intel.
Me: Intel? (in utter shock).
Don Kay: That’s what you call it,abi?
Me: Fine. So was it really on December 25th? Cos some people say it’s a totally different date.
Don Kay: Look, that story’s long. Here’s my cousin’s address; http://www.christiananswers.net/christmas/mythsaboutchristmas.html , he can answer that question best. But you know you humans surprise me.
Me: Because Trump is president?
Don Kay: No
Me: Because of the whole Brexit thingy?
Don Kay: Noo!
Me: Because Facebook takes more of our time in a day than our Bibles do in a week?
Don Kay: Not that mpo.
Me: Then what?
Don Kay: Well, if us donkeys and fowls and my kinda creatures had our game upped a bit so we were elevated to your status. Or even if we weren’t elevated mpo, but we had even God’s favorite pet; maybe a dove, an eagle, a lamb, I dunno Revelation has so many of us. But if God sent his favorite pet to come to earth to be born just so he’ll die for us, eternity won’t be enough time to express gratitude.
Me: Very funny Don, but I still don’t get you.
Don Kay: Okay, lemme give it another shot. You have the son of God come down to this comparably shitty –excuse my French- place called earth. He lived to die so you get a free pass to a place even the most righteous of you is unqualified for in his own right, then what do you do?
You debate on why he was born white and not brown or black? Was Mary really a virgin? How the heck did the Holy Spirit manage that? Wasn’t everything just a bunch of lucky coincidences? Blah blah blah (by this time a goat was passing by)
Goat: Someone call me?
Don Kay: O carry on you Christmas dinner. Yeah like I was saying, you do everything but accept and recognize the true significance of the birth of Jesus. Can’t you see how significant a feat it is? You humans have rationalized so much stupidity and made normalty out of something as extraordinary as the birth of Jesus.
You get to take days off work, attend weddings, hook up with boggers, get drunk at azonto parties, but you fail to realize that the great manifestation of God’s love and it’s righteous implication on your lifestyle is crucial
Me: O charley, you make I shy sef.
Don Kay: You for shy! If only us animals had such a savior. So far, only ‘Puss in Boots and Scooby doo and Courage the cowardly dog have stood up for us in cartoons, but if there was actually a Saviour, oh!
Me: It’s okay. I called you here to get juicy details about Christmas, not to have pepper rubbed into my eyes by a dead-for-centuries-donkey.
Don Kay: So you bore? For your pocket inside. But my words are true mortal man. Get your facts about Christmas right and think through the true purpose of the season and prioritize accordingly.
Me: For a dead ass, you got a smart tongue.
Don Kay: Thanks for the compliment mere mortal, o and for saving the son of a bitch from getting run over by these modern death-trap transporters, use your mutant powers wisely. Peace out!
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