In Praise Of The Ass

Today is the Feast of the Ass, an observance popular in the Middle Ages which celebrated the role of asses and donkeys in the Bible especially the donkey bearing the Holy Family into Egypt after Jesus's birth. The rite for the day would often include a girl and a child on a donkey being led through the town to the church, where the donkey would stand beside the altar during the sermon, and the congregation would "hee-haw" their responses to the priest.

The killjoy Church stamped out the practice during the fifteenth century. I would like to see its reintroduction. Asses, donkeys, mules, horses, camels and other beasts of burden deserve a special day on which they are given thanks for and prayed for and hee-hawing at priests in the middle of their sermons should be encouraged although only when it is deserved, of course.

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