The Kelpie Dog at Christmas
They gathered around the Christmas scene,
All those years ago;
In the cold air of Bethlehem,
In a rocky cave hollow.
Mary, Joseph and Jesus,
Gathered on some hay;
Amongst the rocks and animals,
On that first Christmas day.
Angels called to shepherds,
Who came in from fields to adore;
On entering the cave they crouched down,
Amongst the animals and straw.
Outside the cave in the weather,
Some sheep twitched in cold, damp fog;
But before they could get away,
Along came a kelpie dog!
His black coat glistened with droplets,
His ears pointed to the stars;
His eyes took stock of that restless flock,
He’d put an end to their baas!
He circled round the flock,
He mobbed them right in tight;
They were bunched up together,
On that first Christmas night.
And while the shepherds paid respect
To Jesus on the hay;
That kelpie dog served vigil,
And kept the sheep at bay.
That night was long and dreary,
The cold got in to their bones;
And while those inside were snug,
Sheep and dog stood on chilly stones.
When the night was waning,
And the sun appeared in the sky;
The shepherds emerged from the cavern,
And what did they spy?
A tight little mob of warm sheep,
Looking on with hungry eyes;
And a kelpie dog with a glistening coat,
Under early morning skies.
The shepherds looked in wonder,
And one let out a cheer:
“Bravo, our kelpie dog!
You’ve saved the day out here!”
The dog looked up in approval,
Giving a slobbery grin;
Then trotted off past them,
And to the cave went in.
He sauntered up to the manger,
Right up close he did;
“Oh no!” Cried out a shepherd,
“He’ll dribble on the kid!”
But the dog looked on in reverence,
He slowly bowed his head;
Then nestled down beside the Christ child,
And went to sleep instead.
Now some may say this is legend,
And wasn’t part of the night;
But legends survive in generations,
As well as books written right.
When you remember Christmas,
As an adult or as a kid;
Rest in the presence of Jesus,
Like the kelpie did.
This poem was written for an outdoor Christmas Catholic Mass at Temora NSW. It was an attempt at using a story in the hope it may help children enter into Christmas.
Simon C.J. Falk 17 December 2013.