Issue 141, Winter 1996
In fact there were two boys born that night. Jesus was first long awaited, expected. His twin brother was a surprise. The angels ignored him. His mother was disconcerted b this squalling irascible utter! normal newborn who cried out for her breast while his brother lay the sum of all peace in the makeshift crib. There was no aureole of light about the second child’s faceб no star shining down specifically on his soft pink head. The animals gave him a first look, but not a second.
It was his brother to whom they bowed down the sheep and the lambs and the donkeys and the cows.
In fact no one at all paid him much attention that night even his mother nursed him only distractedly, gazing down on the shining face of her eldest. It is understandable—remember who his brother was!—that he should get the lesser, far lesser, package of attention. It’s fine that the wise men, when the came had no frankincense gold or myrrh, had not even some cheap wooden to for this child. Fine too that the ange…