On the day of the rehearsal, the teacher assembled all the children into their different places upon the stage. There was a problem: one too many kings. The teacher, knowing the boy to be of an easy going nature, asked the boy to switch his part to that of a cow. The boy agreed and smiled. At home, he did not smile. He cried to his mother over being demoted from a king to a cow. His mother thought about approaching the teacher, but the boy didn't want her to say anything.
Instead, his mother started recalling the story of the first Christmas. "The kings didn't even arrive until way late, like sometime in January. By then, all the decorations are down and the tree is out on the curb. But the cow and the animals in the stable, they were there the whole time. In fact, when Mary and Joseph arrived and couldn't find a place to stay, it was the farm animals that stepped aside and made room. When Mary gave birth to Jesus, she didn't have anywhere to lay Baby Jesus down. It's not like Bethlehem had a Babies 'R Us or a Target for Joseph to run out and get a crib."
The boy seemed interested in the story, so the mother continued. "It was the cow that performed the first good deed, a true Christmas miracle. You see, in the nativity scene, Baby Jesus lies in a manger. A manger is actually a feeding trough for the cattle. And the hay is the cow's food. The cow actually stepped back and gave up his dinner so that Baby Jesus could have somewhere to rest. And that is The Legend of the Holy Cow."
(And, yes the cow is holy in India for completely unrelated reasons. But, let's keep focused on one religion at a time here, people.)
At this point, his mother broke into song, an off-tune version of Away in a Manger. The boy felt much better.
On the day of the Christmas production, the boy gladly performed his role in the Nativity scene as The Holy Cow. And, with his twin sister shining above him as the Christmas Star...
...HOLY COW did he do a moo-valous job!
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