The Cow that Ate Baby Jesus

25 12 2006

Paper snowflakes and candy canes hung from the ceiling, the windows were now the stage for two dimensional happy and peaceful holiday scenes, and a simple, wooden nativity scene — with oversized hay scattered around it — sat in a corner.  It was just about as festive and tacky as a two-year-old Sunday school classroom can be in the middle of December. 

Several of the kids had taken a shine to the little wooden nativity scene.  Each of them picked a character to claim as their own, and began acting out the Christmas story — with some minor artistic licensing, unless of course, there was a Lego family and a T-rex present at Jesus’ birth.      

Nate — a cute little boy, who also happened to be the biggest worrier I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting — had added a plastic black and white dairy cow to the mix of playthings that were reenacting the familiar scene in Bethlehem.  

“Teacher, do cows eat this stuff?” Nate asked holding up a few pieces of hay in his chubby, little hand.  I said that yes cows do eat hay, so the plastic cow continued munching away on the hay in the feeding trough where the little wooden baby Jesus was sleeping.  

Suddenly, panic shot through Nate’s whole body like a bolt of electricity, as he looked down at the toy cow that towered over the manger.  He dropped the cow as if he was holding a smoking gun, and asked in a small, shaky voice, “Uh, teacher Kelsey?  Was… uh… baby Jesus eaten by a cow?” 

If he hadn’t have looked sincerer, I might have burst out laughing.  But like a mature and competent Sunday school teacher, I fought hard to hide my amusement, and instead of turning into a laughing hyena, I replied in a confident voice that no, baby Jesus wasn’t eaten by a cow; in fact, he wasn’t eaten by anything.   

But my adult manor and reassurance didn’t remove the worry from his mind, and instead, Nate, shot a look of horror at the plastic cow next to his Spiderman shoe.  In his mind the cow had become as fearsome as if it had grown fangs and might, at any moment, leap on him and try to suck his blood just like Count Dracula.  “I think baby Jesus was eaten by a cow!” he wailed, which caught the attention of the rest of the class. 

Slowly, the kids began to scoot away from the nativity, shooting it the same glances you might throw towards the scene of recent crime.  Their lips began to quiver, and I knew tears were on the way if I couldn’t reassure them baby Jesus hadn’t been cruelly digested by a dairy cow.  I’m honestly not sure they would have been more upset if they’d been told their grandmother was an axe murder.    

I tried to explain to my group of little alarmist how we know Jesus wasn’t eaten by a cow when he was a baby, because he grew up into an adult, but after that didn’t work, we had a lengthy discussion about the difference of carnivores and herbivores, and how because cows don’t eat meat, that means they also don’t eat babies.     

Vegetarian cows chewing cud rather than gnawing on sleeping, innocent babies consoled all of the little worriers, well, all but Nate who earnestly asked “But what if the cow didn’t see baby Jesus?”  He was convinced that some absentminded cow, the size of a house, might have accentually eaten Jesus.  After all, Jesus was essentially sleeping in the cows’ food dish.   

It’s been several years, but I still can’t help wondering if Nate has a cow phobia; the poor kid.          

What a horrible Christmas story it would make if Jesus hadn’t survived “barn life”: God loved the world so much that He sent His one and only Son to Earth, but sadly, He forgot to take into account the giant, baby-eating, dairy cows, so the Son of God became lunch for a hungry cow, because someone let the baby sleep in the cow’s food dish.  It sounds more like a Monty Python sketch than the Christmas story when the baby-eater is added.  Thankfully, Jesus didn’t end up suck in some cow’s teeth. 

Emanuel – God with us – came to be the light into the world, to bring redemption, and thankfully, no, he wasn’t eaten by a cow; not even accidentally.           

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7 responses

25 12 2006
writerchick

Aw poor Nate – he must have seen some evil cow cartoon that was buried in the back of his mind and popped out suddenly. That is a story too cute for words. Hope Nate’s gotten over his loathing of cows.
Merry Christmas Kelsey!
WC

If Nate is still just as much of a worrier as he was back when he was two-years-old, he’s going to grow-up to be Chicken Little. He probably did see something about an evil cow somewhere.

Merry Christmas, WC!

~Kelsey

25 12 2006
silverylizard


kïrstin

Merry Christmas, Kirstin!

-Kelsey

25 12 2006
timglass

Kids do say/think the darnedest things, don’t they? Merry Christmas!

Yes, kids do say some wonderfully funny things.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

~Kelsey

26 12 2006
dsimple

LOL! Even though you’ve told me this story before, I stilled laughed out loud reading it here. Merry Christmas, Kels. 🙂

Mom, I wouldn’t have thought you’d find it funny to hear again, since I’ve told you the story several times over the past few years.

~Kelsey

26 12 2006
Mrs. Nicklebee

That’s hilarious!

Merry Christmas, Kelsey! I hope you had a good day yesterday in the knowledge that there was nothing accidental about the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God. 😀

Mrs. Nicklebee,

Merry Christmas to you, too! 😀

~Kelsey

28 12 2006
hudds53

Kelsey, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish nothing but good for you in the new year. That is a wonderful story about the dairy cow. I can just picture it in my mind, poor Nate. You handled it well
Here is my wish for you and your family for the new year.
“may the very best day in your past be not nearly as good as the worst day in your future”
Bill

I did have a nice Christmas. It was strange having thing so different this year with my dad’s health and being in a new community, but we all still enjoyed it. We made a point of trying to start some new tradisions, which was both fun and helpful. I think it helped to keep the focus on enjoying family and friends and off of doing things the “normal” way.

Thank you for the new years wish, Bill. 🙂

~Kelsey

18 02 2007
edith

There is nothing accidental about life, death,and resurrection of the Son of God. But in somebody’s else life, are some happenings accidental?

Yes, there is nothing remotely accidental about Jesus Christ. I believe His life, birth, death and resurrection were predestined to take place.

When it comes to other issues in life (things that aren’t predestined, foretold) I believe that even though God is sovereign and all-knowing we also have a freewill. I think there is room for us to make poor choices or for something accidental to happen, but God will work it together for good in our lives, even if it was our own fault. We have a free will, but God’s still actively involved in molding, shaping and leading us, so we’re not on our own, and no matter what might happen, it won’t suprise God.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

~Kelsey

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