Written and illustrated by Traci Van Wagoner
Inspired by a story told by Grandma Mead on many a Christmas Eve.
Part 1 of 5
My breath blew out in front of me in billowy, white clouds. “I wonder if Bella knows what today is.” I said.
Jacob looked up from milking. “Sure she does, don’t ya ol’ girl.” He slapped the cow’s round side.
I held out a handful of hay for her. “How does she know? She’s just a cow?”
“Baby Jesus was laying in a cow’s manger,” Jacob said.
“Not Bella’s. That was a long time ago.”
“You heard of tales being told from generation to generation?” he asked. I nodded.
“So, who’s to say cows don’t do the same thing?”
Jacob liked to fool with me, so I said. “I’ll ask Pa when he comes home. He’ll tell me straight.”
“If he makes it over the mountain,” Jacob said.
“He’ll make it, you’ll see.” I pulled out the lucky charm Pa gave me at Thanksgiving, his brass identification tag from the last coal mine where he worked. “He said wild horses couldn’t keep him away. He’s going to bring me a new coat.”
“Sure, sure,” Jacob said. “If the mine boss let’s him off in time, and if it’s not too cold, windy, or snowy to pass over the summit.”
Come back next Sunday December 16th for the next installment in the story.