Four friends sat underneath the Christmas tree in the late hours of Christmas eve. Colored lights and glass ornaments gave a warm glow to the room. On the boxes, and in sight of the Christmas stockings, sat a donkey, a cow, a pig and a frog.
You may have guessed that these friends were of the stuffed variety. They were born one by one by the hands of the mother of the house. Four young children were asleep in their beds, with no idea at all how clever and loving their mother was. Each animal was uniquely made, but in a similar style.
All animals were made of soft corduroy and had yarn-braided arms and legs. Their faces had felt pieces affixed to their heads, and some had ears. The donkey was a soft grey with black yarn. The cow was a medium brown with slightly darker arms and legs. The pig was a medium pink, and the frog had a color reminiscent of our familiar friend Kermit. They were proud of how clean they were and how fresh they felt.
Each of them wondered just how their lives would go. The donkey hoped that he could spend a little time on someone’s windowsill to see what goes on out of doors. The pig wondered if there would be any mud patches to roll his body around in. The frog, of course, hoped for a pool of water less dangerous than the toilet bowl. Now the cow wondered just what value he held, but mostly he wanted to be held. He was anxious to be gifted to a young boy or girl who would carry him on new adventures.
The pig tried to climb onto the package next to him. The frog leaped and tried to jump onto the mantel by the stockings. The cow told them that they had better keep a bit quiet so that the children did not wake up. Besides, Santa would not arrive and bring the other gifts for the children if they were too noisy. He might think the children were playing.
It was a long night for the animals. After playing, they laid down to rest and, apparently slept through Santa’s visit! His cookies and milk were gone, and none of the animals had dared touch them. The sounds of opening doors and shuffling feet approaching got the farm friends excited. It was going to be a great new life.