When there was no place among people for Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, the animals made room for the birth of Jesus in a stable. Donkeys and horses were probably among the first to look upon the Son of God.
Isn’t it only appropriate that there be a place for them in the Kingdom of God? I am reminded of an old farmer, Jebadiah Cross who had worked his fields side by side with his old gray mule named Flossie for many years.
When Flossie died, he called the Presbyterian preacher to come and do the funeral for his Flossie.
Upon arrival, the elderly preacher stepped down from the buggy, dusted his long black overcoat, and straightened his black stovepipe hat. He prepared himself for comforting the family. He was shocked when Jebediah led him to the barn and he discovered the dearly departed Flossie was only a mule. He popped on his hat, said there was no way he would ever preside over a service for a mule and sped towards his carriage.
So Jebadiah called on the new Methodist minister. Just in his twenties, he had arrived from seminary to serve an established congregation. This was to be his first funeral. Nervously, the young man came out to visit Jebadiah. After discovering that Flossie was not a member of the family, the minister had to break the news that he could not do it because he was worried about how his new congregation might react.
Finally, he called a Baptist pastor. The pastor arrived in a Ford Model T. It almost sighed with relief when the middle-aged well-fed pastor stepped to the ground. Again, Jebediah led the clergy through the house and then back into the barn where Flossie lay in state. He concurred with his fellow clergymen that he couldn’t lead a funeral service for a mule.
As the pastor headed for the barn door, Jebadiah looked down at his faithful companion, stroked her mane and said, “Well, Flossie, I guess I’ll just have to keep that $10 for the preacher.”
The Baptist pastor turned and said, “You should have told me Flossie was a Baptist.”
Animals are sometimes better friends than most folks are. Cats, dogs, fish and birds can all make differences in our lives.
Some folks are cat people — I am not a cat person. Not that I have anything against them. It is just when I am around them I sneeze, itch, scratch, turn blue and eventually die. But if there is a cat anywhere to be found, nine chances out of 10, it is rubbing up against my leg.
When I look at a potential date, one of my first questions is: “Do you like pets?” If they have a dog, I know that I am safe — well sort of. Some of them can leave a permanent impression. I have one of those on my right leg. Boy, old Bugar sure could bite.
Ever since I was a little boy, I have been a dog person. You can do so much more with a dog.
What can cats do anyway? They lay around the house and eat. That is a man’s job isn’t it? Might explain why so many women have cats instead of men. Most women probably want only one animal laying around the house anyway; at least cats don’t talk back.
But dogs, they can hunt, play Frisbee, scare off bad guys. I remember one of my first dogs when I was little, Brutis. I couldn’t have been more than three-feet tall. He was six feet if he was an inch. I am not kidding. He could stand on his hind legs and look my dad in his eyes.
Often my dad would say after supper, “Why don’t you go out and play with Brutis.”
Play with Brutis? That dog played with me. I was like a big, squeaky toy for him.
He had this little game he would play — let’s see how many times we can knock Randall to the ground. He was a good trainer; eventually I learned how to play dead.
I will say this: Brutis was a cultured dog. He had the finest taste in clothing. One time he felt that I was not dressed quite right, he held me down and tore every stitch of clothes off me.
I think it was his way of saying, “My mommy dresses me funny.”
My mother did not care for his fashion advice and he was soon on his way to destination unknown.
I sort of envision him on the defensive line of the Bulldogs. He sure knew how to tackle.
From the comedy recording “Animals are People, Too — Aren’t They?” (Randall Franks/Peach Picked Publishing)