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  Scripture: Warnings against Folly: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6
Animals Talk
    There are many myths and traditions about animals talking. The Biblical account of Balaam and his talking donkey is given in Numbers 22. The donkey saw the angel of the Lord, which Balaam could not see, and turned aside. Balaam struck him. After this happened three times, the donkey spoke to defend his actions. Then, Balaam’s eyes were opened and he, too, saw the angel with a sword barring his way.
    Aesop wove many of his fables around talking animals, and in the process, taught truths to us supposedly superior humans. Animals, like puppets, allow us to say things that we would like to say, but don’t have the nerve to say in our own personna. Look at the things a ventriloquist can get away with!
    Sometimes people imitate or impersonate animals, but more often, we give the animals human attributes. They are a staple of movie and print cartoons. Look what a talking mouse did for Walt Disney.
    Stories about talking parrots are numerous;  many take the form of the pious, dignified elderly woman who suffers with a parrot who learned to speak by listening to sailors.
    There is a cartoon in the book Holy Humor, where the parrot is sitting on a pulpit, stating that the pastor has laryngitis, but fortunately, he (the parrot) was listening as the preacher rehearsed his sermon.  . . .    
    Oh! Wouldn’t this be an interesting world if animals really could talk! Would they lie? I bet it would be more interesting then having little people with big ears and the innocence to tell all they hear around the house.
    There is a tradition, if I remember it correctly, that animals talk on Christmas Eve. Such is the story behind the song,  The Friendly Beasts. Each tells what they did for the Christ Child.
The cow gave Him her manger for a cradle; the sheep , wool for a blanket. The doves cooed Him to sleep, and the donkey, of course, carried His mother, “up hill and down,” to Bethlehem Town.

    Like the widow, who gave of what she had, ( two mites; Mk. 12:41-44) the animals, fabled or not, gave of what they had.
We have so much: how do we compare?
December 24, 2000


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