Friends in the barn

March 2, 2016
Luke 15: 29 But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.

“I’m so sorry,”
I say to the nanny goat
I’ve known so many years –
good girl for milk.

I lean over the short wall
hand her a clump of tasty straw,
and receive in return
some affectionate
boney head butting.

“No I don’t really
want you or any of your kids
on the menu
for the party I’ll never have.

Just olives and bread,
dates, maybe some honey.”

I look down the row
to the thinner (luckier) calf.
“Not you either.”

I scratch my girl hard
with my knuckles
between the horns –
just where she can’t reach,
and when I take my hand away
she does that little goat
to try to position herself
under it again.

I’m one of those
who do better with animals.
Not people.

“We have to stick together,
you and me –
we are going to be spending
all of religious history
on the left hand side
of the parable.”

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