Barns And Ignobles

by Paul Steven Stone

       None of us in the barn knew what to do about the lowing cows. Their slowly rising complaint started off as a half-hearted protest but soon gained in volume and unsettling portent.

       “Do you think maybe they're unhappy?” my kid sister asked, taking another bite of her frozen yogurt bar. Never one to indulge in half measures, she was decked out for the Xmas pageant in a red suit whose shiny red buttons each featured a golden palm tree.

       Go figure—palm trees on a Christmas outfit!

       “Hey, watch it!” the minister exclaimed, sounding highly irritated and very non-ministerial as he shielded his eyes and stepped away from the sparkly hanging balls that festooned my sister's jester-like hat.

       “Well, what do you think?” I asked into the chorus of cow complaints. “Can we hold our Christmas pageant in the barn or not?”

       “Not my Christmas pageant!” the minister shouted back, clearly repulsed by the idea.

       “Do you think maybe they want something?” my sister asked, now slurping the little yogurt remaining on the stick.

       “I think they want to be left alone,” I answered.

       “I think we should leave them alone,” the minister agreed.

       “Do you think maybe they're Jewish?" my sister asked, always one to get the last word in.