A long time ago, I read somewhere that at midnight on Christmas Eve, all animals can talk. It was a fairly random quote not attached to any story or explanation. But I loved it, the thought and the possibility.
Realistically I knew this wasn't possible but the concept intrigued me as well as the thought that there must be a story to go with it. After some research I found that it is a Norwegian folktale or legend.
According to the legend, Christ's birth occurred at exactly midnight. Inside the stable, the animals watched in wonder as the new-born babe was lovingly wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger.
Suddenly, God gave voice to the animals and immediately they began to praise God for the miracle they had just seen. This went on for several minutes and, just before the entrance of the shepherds – who had hurried to the stable because angels had told them the Christ had been born there – the animals again fell silent. The only ones who had heard them were Mary, Joseph and, of course, the Christ child.
A livestock barn is one of my favorite places to be on what can be a busy night. The sights and sounds in a livestock barn don't change for the holidays and I find that a calming, peaceful feeling when the holidays get overwhelming.
I probably won't be in the barns at midnight to witness first hand whether this this true or not but I am choosing to believe in the magic that is Christmas and what God has created.
It is a privilege to raise and care for livestock and tonight as I feed the hogs and cattle I will take a little extra time. And even at 44 I will be wondering what they will be talking about at midnight.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.