Edward is a creature in possession of a myriad of magical qualities- qualities which draw people to him, friends and strangers alike, wherever we happen to go. They gather round him in outdoor cafes, follow us on our walks, roll down their windows at traffic lights to say hello to him, they get out of their cars to come squat down in front of him, they even allow their toddlers to kiss him smack on the mouth. Edward, ever patient, is consistently tolerant of these advances. So much so in fact, that last Halloween, when friends dressed their three adorable stairstep daughters as characters from Peter Pan, they asked if Edward would be willing to play Nana for a photo. He was honored, although a bit reticent about the bonnet he was supposed to wear. I realize I may be slightly prejudiced, but he really is an extraordinary dog. However, tonight and only tonight, he just may share one very special gift with every other animal on the planet. He just may speak. For tonight is Christmas Eve, and it is a tale well told that on this night of nights, the animals speak at midnight.
For those of you fortunate enough to live on a farm, take a stroll past your barn at that hour. Stop. Listen. Do you hear the whispered conversations of those enchanted creatures within? The tabby cat on the windowsill, gazing out at the frozen garden....what is he saying? Did you catch it? The Lioness on the moonlit plain, the Mountain Gorilla beneath Rwandan trees - from the Great Horned Owls at the bottom of our garden, to the ice white Polar Bear sitting alone on the top of the world, what words will they choose to speak for this, their once a year soliloquy. Words of despair, or words of hope? Of recrimination, or of praise? While I would certainly never deign to speak for Edward, I can only imagine his statement to the holy darkness will be the simple, pure words of gratitude.
On this night, what more is there to say?
Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!!