Monday, July 8, 2013

Birds and Animals Share Christmas

      Christmas is not merely a festival celebrated by and for man alone. Among the folk lore of other countries are several quaint stories in which animals and birds give evidence of their adoration. A well-known Bosnian legend offers a version of world adoration --they claim that on the holy day "the sun in the east bowed down, the stars stood still; the mountains and forests shook and touched the earth with their summits, and the green pine tree bent; the grass was beflowered with the opening of blossoms; incense sweet as myrrh pervaded upland and forest; birds sang on the mountain tops and all gave thanks to the great God."
      In Bosnia on Christmas day a sheaf of rye is put into birds' nests and bird houses for the birds' Christmas. A stranger, stranded in a Michigan town was once startled to see a sheaf of rye in a bird box. He knew immediately that one of his kind lived there and was keeping Christmas in the old way.
      An old Indian (Native American) legend tells us that on Christmas night all the deer in the forest kneel in adoration before the Great Spirit. Woe to him, however, who tries to spy upon them. He is punished with perpetual stiffening of the knees.
      Many people of the old world claim that on Christmas night animals are gifted with speech, but none must trespass or eavesdrop.

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