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Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

The Manger-Kennel

Once upon a time, a Farmer, who loved his cows very much, designed for them a purpose-built manger and filled it with hay. But one bleak day, a dog arrived with heavy tools, and proceeded to erect a sign beside the manger.

Now this particular dog was more subtle than those of his ancestors. His great-grandfather had apparently jumped into the manger and said, “If I can’t have it, then you can’t have it either.” But that silly protest quickly petered out, and order on the farm was soon restored.

His great-grandson however was schooled in the more subtle arts of pastoral-correctness, and forcefully announced, “This manger has now been redefined as a manger-kennel. You cow, may still come here and eat. That I will not deny you, but this box is not for you alone, and in it I will sleep and keep my bones.” And with a flourish of his hammer, fixed the sign which read, “Under new management”.

“No!” said the cow, “you have a kennel, and even the farm-steward has surrounded it with legal rights. Why do you want the manger too? Keep to your place. This manger was built by the Farmer, and has served us cows well.”

But the dog had cleverly marshalled support from all the other farm animals, and with a look of distain for the cow, leapt into the manger-kennel and proudly sat down on the hay.

With heaviness of heart, the cow sniffed at the hay that now smelled of dog and bone, and walked away in disgust.

“What hope now?” said the cow, “but in the Farmer, whose Son once in a manger lay.”

DM 25th June 2015

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