146 Of 365 (366) For 2012

[ All credit to Phil, who most generously permitted me to use one of his pictures ]

“Dogs are our link to paradise.

They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,

where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”

[ Milan Kundera ]

A Dog, A Rabbit And The Star Of Bethlehem

“It came without ribbons,It came without tags,

It came without packages, boxes, or bags.

Christmas can’t be bought from a store…

Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”

[Dr. Seuss]

There are days so full of life, so pure, so earthy and so wonderfully twisted, that one can’t help but live them.

Not a chance of being nostalgic, no time for reminiscing or hoping for a change, not a second left for being anywhere but the present.

To tell you all what happened this christmas eve would make for a longer post than my hung over head can manage.

But this little tale for me sums up the beauty of life at its most random and absurd.

My future brother-in-law and myself took “Arthos”, the trusted family dog, for a walk, while the wonderful man in life and his mother prepared dinner, decorated the tree and all in all merried the house with christmas spirit.

As we walked on the boarders of the Rhine in the frosty air, two bundled figures, one short, one tall and a black dog, we came across an old lady with her Collie. The Collie was proudly carrying a gnawed and muddy, once yellow, tennis ball in her snout. When she saw us (the dog not the lady), she dropped the ball to greet our black labrador-german shepherd mix, who immediately leaped for the ball.

Now, if you have dogs or know somebody who has dogs or have ever been around a dog in your life, you will know that sweetest dog is somewhat selfish and not very giving when it comes to their treasured toys. This sweet Collie, however, did not pursue the sneaky black thief, but let him leave with the ball. What a wonderful christmas gesture!

With our hearts filled with this selfless act of christmas, we thought we should in return also grant our dog a little christmas miracle of letting him run free without a leash.

After being set free, he immediately hurried down to the boarders of the Rhine and started digging in a to me unknown frenzy. He discarded his new tennis ball and reapeared with a rabbit in his snout, which he processed to devour. None of our pleas or commands could distract him from this feast he had hunted and killed. The yellow tennis ball was forgotten – another known fact of christmas: How easily we come to trade one gift for the next one.

After a while in which our feet, hands and noses turned to ice cubes and the sky changed from a darker shade of grey into the blueish black of night, we finally recaptured our dog, who once again had lost interest in the remains of the rabbit, and hurried on home wards to our christmas awaiting us.

Shortly after we arrived, after we had gotten a chance to admire the tree in all it’s splendour and savour the smells that filled the air, but before we could settle down with a hot tea and absent mindedly listen to some christmas tunes, all the while nibbling on some christmas cookies, the dog started gulping noisily and heaving and sure enough disposed of the remains of his kill on the rug in front of the tree.

While the men fled the scene under the pretense of taking the dog outside for a fresh breath of air, the women of the household disposed of the mess and scrubbed the rug.

In the midst of regaining the spirit of christmas, we heard our names called loudly from outside and we abandoned the cleaning detergent and scrubbing-brush to hurry outside.

Standing on the front door steps, shivering in the icy cold we saw a golden light streak across the heavens, bursting into four pieces and then disappearing into the dark night.

As we stood in awe, staring at the slowly disappearing golden glimmer above, I thought about the original wonder of christmas and the boy born in a manger and star of Bethlehem leading the way.

To me this is the true spirit of Christmas, a shivering family huddling together awed and frightened staring at the night sky on christmas eve.

And all it takes is a poor rabbit and a naughty dog.

Merry Christmas!