Thursday, December 13, 2007

TIRTA 5: donkeys

[Before I start, I'd just like to say that I'm fairly sure almost nobody is reading this. So if you're not me, and you think the counter on the right hand side shows dozens of other readers, think again - most of those are just me being neurotic.

The good thing about talking to yourself is that everyone agrees with you.

Anyway. Do you know, last night I was doing the-thing-we-do-on-an-annual-basis-but-we-cant-publicise (which involves using non-religious Christmas cards and sending them to various prisons around the world) and there was only one where we were told not to include our name and address. And that case was regarding someone 'renditioned' from somewhere in Europe. How about that? OK, enough of this already.]

Right then. Donkeys. The donkey holds a major part in any school nativity show. Which is interesting, largely because the gospels don't mention it at all.

Whilst the donkey is not the least likely of the bits-of-the-story-not-recorded, it all just goes to show that you shouldn't necessarily believe everything you're told in church. I particularly like the myth that all the farm animals kneel at midnight on Christmas eve in respect for the Christ-child, a delicious bit of wishful-thinking.

Not so far away from Bethlehem, donkeys are fetching a very high price at the moment.

Things I Relearnt This Advent: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

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Blogger Karin said...

People do seem to be reading, 'cos you've had comments. And some of us who have read didn't comment so far.

So don't bank on talking to yourself.

Interesting bit about donkeys. It's a given that Mary was on a donkey, but not sure why. Perhaps it is most likely.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Paul Carpenter said...

I think it's taken as a given that Mary was on a donkey because of the travelling all the way to Bethlehem before hand. Donkey's were a fairly standard form of transport.

Nativity plays never made much sense to me anyway.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I've been there, I don't think it is a given. Where do these ideas come from?

5:48 AM  
Blogger Karin said...

I think it could be because it's assumed Joseph was chivalrous and could afford a donkey and it is also assumed that Mary was fragile and couldn't walk all that way while pregnant.

A few years ago at Greenbelt I head John Bell comment that you rarely see Mary portrayed as a woman who 'enjoyed her feed'. So a Mary who was too dainty to walk would fit the stereotype.

6:13 AM  

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