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January 2009

WHERE INANIMATE OBJECTS HAVE THEIR SAY

See the world through the eyes of


A PILL BOTTLE
and more...
2

About From the Editor’s Desk


Perspectives Magazine
ISSN:
ISSN 1715-9148
Frequency:
Frequency Biyearly
Dear Readers
——-
Founding Editor:
Editor Monique Berry In an attempt to improve the content
Design and layout:
layout Monique Berry of the magazine, I added some new
Contact:
Contact perspectivesmagazine@gmail.com features.
Site: http://perspectivesmagazine.googlepages.com/about
——- The first new addition, for your read-
Photo credits:
credits 3 Courtesy Brian Cobbledick; 4 c Lottery
Monkey/www.flickr.com; 5, 6 Courtesy Brian Cobbledick; 8 ing pleasure, is a section that has inter-
Courtesy Stephen Joseph ; 9, 10 Courtesy Brian Cobbledick; 12
c Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis; 14 www.jupiterimages.com
esting facts about the objects in this
issue .
Contributors The second addition is a showcase of
Josh Stewart contest entries. In 2008, I ran a con-
Lament of a Beer Bottle Page 3 test called Holiday Perspectives,
which focused on each major holiday.

Sample
Debbie Okun Hill
Feeling Dehydrated Page 3
I wanted to award prizes but there had
to be at least three entries in each con-
Nikki Phipps test to qualify. So, I thought I would
Deja Brew: Life as a Coffee Cup Page 4
reward the writers by including their
Nathaniel Tower entries in the magazine. I decided to
Overuse Page 5 display the Christmas entries.

Lynda Nash I hope the talent represented here


I Spy Page 6 drives your desire to write for the next
issue.
Rebecca R. Taylor
Tales of a Wheelchair Page 8
Until next time...
Stephen Joseph
Wistful ruminations of a house plant Page 9
Keep the ink flowing,
J. S. MacLean
Ms. Mosquito Page 10
Monique Berry

Bob McCarthy
Holy Manger Page 12

Rebecca R. Taylor
Recollections of Jesus’ Manger Page 14

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


3

Lament Of A Beer Bottle Feeling Dehydrated


By Josh Stewart By Debbie Okun Hill

You use me. Excuse me, I’m feeling thirsty


You are empty, and lust clear water within me, drained
for something to fill you, my insides now empty
to temporarily patch my plastic shell rolling
the void that swirls inside, blown over by winds
gnaws away pecked by free-flying seagulls
at the loose edges. nesting in a landfill site
And that’s where I come in.

You have no shame


in emptying me to fill yourself.
You drain away my heart,
Sample Neighborhood smells reek of
rotting eggs, composting leaves
the stench of banana peels
the rustling of mice
longing for anything the scrape of metal shovel
that promises to make you whole. near my bottled neck
Some days it works,
but some days the black hole I am one of many
in your chest consumes you, war camp prisoners
can’t be held by anything. tossed in waste deep heap
In the process, you drain me awaiting ice chilled daggers
of a hundred raging winters
leave me hollow I am loved and I am hated
and helpless. You leave me dry caught between two sides
of any content that could of bottled water controversy
have made a difference. I am thirsty but I will survive
You condemn me clutter your blue box mind
to your fate. so you’ll never forget to refill
or recycle my million friends

Josh Stewart is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Debbie Okun Hill’s award-winning poems appear in over 110
degree in English and philosophy. He lives in his parents' Canadian and US anthologies, websites and magazines includ-
place and likes hats, sushi, and Tuesdays. Contact Josh at: ing Perspectives Magazine. Contact Debbie at:
cold_army@hotmail.com ok78hill@hotmail.com

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


4

Déjà Brew: Life as a Coffee Cup


By Nikki Phipps

H
ere we go again…my first recollection each day,
waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
Although I have several friends and acquaintances
in the cabinet, I rarely get to see them much. Most never get
the opportunity to taste fresh brew; instead, they find other
sources of flavorful liquids, unknown to me, within their in-
sides.
Nope, for me it’s just straight up coffee, preferably black.
I’m usually up by six in the morning Monday through Friday
but I enjoy sleeping in on weekends—typically rising at
around eight o’clock. I’m filled to the rim each day and as
there is never anything left once my mistress is done, one
could say that I’m “good to the last drop.”
The hot liquid quickly warms my insides, and as my mis-
tress so lovingly brings me towards her lips, I can see that it
does the same for her. I watch intently as she savors each delightful sip. I spend my entire day

Sample
going from empty to full to empty to full again. I do a lot of travelling throughout the day as
well. I’ve even been known to get lost on occasion. Typically, however, you’ll find me laid back
on the desk taking it easy. And all the while, I’m watching.
I watch her write with great speed, keyboarding nonstop. I watch as she flutters in and out
of the room. I watch her folding laundry, preparing lunches and have even witnessed a bath-
room break or two (or three or four…). Yes, my mistress has so much energy she could un-
doubtedly place her finger into an electrical socket and light up an entire room.
By the end of the day, I get replaced for my nemesis—caffeine-free Pepsi. Although I might
receive a quick shower, which by the way feels soooo good, I usually go without soapy baths.
I’m nearly certain I could use a good soaking, however, as the stains are beginning to age me
well beyond my years. Then I’m back on my perch, guarding the well-stocked supply of vanilla-
roasted java, caffeinated of course.
I’ve often wondered what ever happened to the poor ole chap before me. Probably wound up
as a planter or pencil holder, perhaps even tossed in the trash. Who knows? My life as a coffee
cup may seem mundane most of the time, with much of it feeling like a “been there, done that”
kind of thing. But I help keep my mistress happy, so it must be worthwhile. For now, however,
I’ll just take comfort in knowing that I’m currently employed and be grateful for this. You
never know these days. Life is short and soon enough I might find myself retired just like the
poor ole chap before me.

A North Carolina native, Nikki Phipps is a freelance writer/proofreader with numerous articles and personal essays published on the web
and elsewhere, including the premier issue of Perspectives Magazine. When she’s not busy writing, Nikki enjoys activities such as gar-
dening, reading, and spending time with her family. Contact Nikki at: nikkiphipps@windstream.net

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


5

Overuse
By Nathaniel Tower

H
e’s using me again. But that’s just how our
relationship goes. I suppose I enjoy it
more when he uses me, even though I
know he’s only doing it for his own benefit. I’ve
heard lots of people complain about being used. I
don’t see it as being so bad. It’s better than being
locked away in darkness unsure whether or not
anyone needs you. At least if they use you they
need you.
His thick hand grabs at me. I can feel the pres-
sure of his welled-up anger released on my body.
Today it’s anger. Yesterday his loose grip was the
sign of depression. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that soon he will undress
me and stick one of those clumsy fingers inside me. He’ll fish around until he’s gotten what he
wants, and then he’ll close me up and leave me until he needs another boost to his self-esteem. In
the meantime, I’ll be locked away, no hope for escape, in utter darkness.

Sample
And yet I worry about him. All the hell he puts me through, and I focus on his needs. How is he
doing today? What can I do to help him today? Is he even going to make it through the day? I’m
not sure why I do it for him. I suppose because that’s what I was assigned to do. The people in the
white coats. They pimped me out to this man. Can’t say I necessarily wanted to go, but we all have
to go to someone at some point. That’s why we’re put on this Earth, to serve mankind. We give
them what they want until they don’t need us anymore or until we have nothing left to give. It’s
usually the latter that gets us, and then we are tossed away like common garbage.
This is the second time already today. He did it twice yesterday as well. That’s not part of the
agreement. Once per day is all he’s supposed to touch me. That’s what I told him when we met. I’ll
help you, but you can only have me once a day.
To make matters worse, he took more than he needed this time. I feel so empty and helpless
when he puts my top back on and closes the door on me. I’m not sure if it was three or four this
time, but soon I will have nothing left to give. I know he’s never kept anyone for more than a
month, but with me, he’s only had me around for two weeks and already I am almost depleted.
Soon I will be in the garbage, just a useless hunk of plastic forever tattooed with his name and how
he used me, or at least how he was supposed to use me.
And yet I worry about him. I know that long after I am gone, he’ll still have his problems, most
of them self-inflicted, but I worry nonetheless. I guess it’s part of my job. But he doesn’t realize that
I care. He never has thought of me that way. I’m just the vessel for his fix.
I don’t know how long it’s been, cooped up here behind this door in complete darkness. He has-
n’t used me since the time he took too many. He seems to not need me anymore. I guess I’m happy
that I did my job. At least there’s no reason to worry anymore.
Nathaniel Tower is a fiction writer, an English teacher, and the founding editor of Bartleby Snopes, an online literary magazine. His
short fiction is published in Inscribed~A Magazine for Writers, Ranfurly, Pens on Fire, Cynic Mag, Cantaraville, Shine!, Darkest Before
Dawn, Bottom of the World, and Long Story Short. He lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife. Contact him at: bartleysnopes@yahoo.com

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


6

I Spy
By Lynda Nash

J
eff Goldblum played as my uncle (ten thousand
times removed). I would have preferred Tom
Cruise for the role but, apparently, he didn’t have
the right look. It’s all about the eyes and Tom’s just
weren’t big enough.
If I say so myself I have a nice compound pair. Made
up of 4,000 or so ommatidia (image-forming elements to
you), these types of peepers are only found in arthro-
pods such as insects and crustaceans – but don’t lump
me in with crabs and lobsters – I’m not dumb enough to
get myself broiled alive; I’m far too wily – besides this
country doesn’t seem to savor the taste of my flesh. Ac-
tually, this country is fly heaven with wings on: crappy
and wet. But let’s not go off on a tangent.

Sample
We flies (all 120,000 species of us) make up the fourth-largest animal order. Gnats, mos-
quitoes, horsefly, and other two-wingers trying to get their fifteen minutes of fame, call
themselves flies but lack the superior intelligence of yours truly and resort to biting as a
way to get noticed; thus giving us real flies a bad name.
Back to my eyes. Each cone-shaped ommatidium has a lens, a crystalline rod, and a col-
lection of light-sensitive cells, and they don’t miss a trick. Spilled beer on the carpet? I was
there, looking down from the underside of the shelf. Dropped the pasta on the floor and fed
it to your family? Saw you! Ogled the repairman’s lunchbox, the barmaid’s boobs? I’m tell-
ing on you! Well I would if my trunk-like proboscis (which I’m proud of) didn’t branch into
a lobed tip too soft to form syllables. It’s great for sucking though – I can guzzle up fluids
faster than any wet ’n’ dry vacuum cleaner. I don’t like to name names but some flies (the
female mosquito for one) have big mouths, and, not satisfied with spreading yellow fever
and dengue, like to stab other insects and drain them dry. I don’t tend to bother with these
types (though I have been known to date the odd deerfly. When you have a life expectancy
of only three weeks you might as well enjoy yourself).
My life may be short but it’s productive. I could move to Antarctica and live longer but it
wouldn’t be as much fun watching polar bears as it is watching humans. And there’s no
need to worry as my offspring will carry on from where I leave off. Flies have the monopoly
on breeding. I can father a batch of eggs and within a week they’ll be flapping their wings
and looking for love.

(Continued on page 7)

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


7

I’m what is known as a housefly—call me a nuisance, call me unhygienic but don’t call
me common—and I play a pivotal part in the balance of nature. Forget carrying pollen to
and from plants (leave that to the humble bumble bee) flies help prevent the over popula-
tion of the planet. Over the years, us gyroscopic-winged individuals have had a profound
effect on the world: typhoid, that was us; anthrax, yeah that too; cholera, yes; dysentery, I’ll
take the credit for the last outbreak myself. We’re also an important link in the food chain.
‘Waste not, want not’ is a fly’s motto: what you waste we want. And we’ll lie in wait for
hours to get it.
I watch you decorating a Victoria sponge. Each blob of icing spread over the cake with
loving care. Or perhaps you’ve made an open sandwich – tuna and mayonnaise or simply
jam. The weather is cool. You look around; you see no flies, so you leave the kitchen with-
out covering the delicious delicacy and, before you can say diddlysquat, I’ve walked all over
it and I’m back on the ceiling licking my proboscis and you’re none the wiser.
Ever wonder how we do that – hang upside down? It’s our six feet. Beneath our claws is
a pulvillus – excuse my language – a fleshy gland which sticks to smooth surfaces.
Us flies lead a luxurious life. But every plus has its minus and the downside of being a fly

Sample
is the hate mail. The worst case of which was in the early 20th century when my great-ad
infinitum grandfather watched Ogden Nash pen this rhyme… ‘God in his wisdom made the
fly and then forgot to tell us why’. The guy was obviously unaware that even though God is
everywhere (the original All Seeing Eye) he sometimes needs a rest (you know, read his
notes, update his files). That’s where we come in and, as I said before, we don’t miss a trick.
But life’s not all fun and dung. Far be it from me to question The Master, but perhaps he
was having an off day when he sanctioned the invention of fly spray? And sticky pads – al-
lowing a creature to starve to death surely wasn’t in his plans; at least with those electric
light boxes you’re zapped from this existence before you have time to blink.
Anyway, a job is a job – just call me God’s paparazzi. You must have heard the joke:
‘Waiter, waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.’
‘I hope the woman next to you is your wife.’
So, if you’re lying in bed, stepping naked from the shower or hanging your lingerie on
the line and you feel like you’re being watched, remember, you are.

Lynda Nash is a post graduate student at Glamorgan University, teaches creative writing and lives in Trethomas, South
Wales with her husband, two children and two cats. She hopes to find a publisher for her first novel. Contact Lynda at:
lnasheleven@yahoo.co.uk

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


8

Tales of a Wheelchair
By Rebecca Rose Taylor

M
y body is made of metal; I have a canvas
seat, wheels, and brakes. To many I
would appear cold and uninviting but
to 98-year old Maggie Fuller, I am a chariot fit for a
queen. I am Maggie’s independence. Without me,
Maggie would be unable to participate in many of
the activities she loves at her senior’s home. To-
gether we attend Bingo games, I love being able to
help her pick her prize whenever she wins. We
carpet bowl and Maggie sits in me leaning down to throw the ball to knock out the oppo-
nents’ pins.
Our days are filled with constant action, Maggie clutching my sturdy black tires to
get her wherever she wants to go. I love it when Maggie and I go to the duck pond; we roll
along a winding tree lined path, the gentle breeze and luscious sunshine on our faces. The
most wonderful thing in the world is seeing Maggie’s delight as she watches the ducklings

Sample
huddled around their mother, following her commands except for one, it is smaller than the
rest but it makes up for it in attitude, this rebellious duckling will not follow the others pre-
ferring to strike out on its own. It is this duckling that Maggie and I adore the most; we are
also free spirits, forging a path of our own. Maggie is the model of what people want to be,
she is exuberant, always ready to lend a helping hand and has a smile that is more radiant
than the sun on the brightest day. I feel blessed to have a friend like Maggie to take care of,
to hold her body in mine is the best thing in the world whether we are playing games, en-
joying a cup on tea on the veranda, or when she is curled up in me reading a book or watch-
ing a movie.
At night, I sit by her bed watching her sleep, holding the clothes that she will wear
the next morning, ready to take on a new day no matter what it may bring. I know that
someday Maggie will go away and leave me and that someone else will claim me. Losing
Maggie scares me more than anything in the universe, but I know that I cannot let this fear
rule my life because it could prevent me from doing some wonderfully memorable things
with her. I must take my life in strides just like Maggie, we will all be called Home someday
she says, but we must not wait for this to happen, we must live each day to the fullest like
her mentor Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and
today is a gift.” Being Maggie’s wheelchair is amazing and I will cherish her everyday, I can’t
imagine doing anything else with my life.

Rebecca Rose Taylor lives along the St.Francis River in St.Felix-de-Kingsey,Quebec. She loves crocheting, reading and writing and
someday hopes to be a fulltime writer. Her recent publications have been included in Bread n' Molasses, Grainews and Perspectives
Magazine. Contact Rebecca at: rebecca_taylor2@hotmail.com

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


9

“I keep all your


closest secrets,
which I have
guarded all my life.”
Wistful ruminations of an ordinary house plant
By Stephen Joseph

I give you oxygen for free but in return you drown me in sprays of pesticide.
I beautify every crevice of your home, but I still have to fend off your bouts of homicide.

I magnify your countenance, but my reward is found at the bottom of your unforgiving shoe.
I drive away your inner demons, yet you wouldn’t hesitate to turn me into a bottle of glue.

Sample
I keep all your closest secrets, which I have guarded all my life.
But all you know how to do is to cut me into pieces with an unsharpened kitchen knife.

You forget to water me day after day, and I never raise a complaint.
I thirst, I thirst and I thirst some more while you sit there all looking like a saint.

Do you see that small worm climbing steadily up my stem?


Do him no harm, he is my friend, and not some piece of phlegm.

Do you see my brown, crestfallen petal?


That is a part of me, and you have no right to remove it with a piece of rusted metal.

You always pick flowers off of me without asking my permission.


Once, just once, can’t you show me some compassion?

Please visit me more often, please be my friend.


And I promise, I promise to be your God-send.

Just one request before you go… please turn me towards the light.
That gesture of goodwill and friendship I will cherish morning, evening and night.
Stephen is a computer hardware engineer and has his own computer business in Bangalore, India. He is married and has two
daughters. He took up writing after the age of 40, and enjoys writing short stories, poems, and enters contests. Contact Stephen
at: cyberstephenj@yahoo.com

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


10

Ms. Mosquito “ I zero on a soft spot,


By J. S. MacLean
insert my sharp proboscis
I search from swamp to city,
to siphon salty syrup”
a quest for some scarlet sap
to stuff myself near bursting
with a store of nourishment
to sustain my precious eggs
as they swell to discharge size.

Sensing zesty CO2,


sighting some exquisite skin,
I zero on a soft spot,
insert my sharp proboscis
to siphon salty syrup,
sucking, satisfied, and slow.

I inspect some still waters


suitable for setting eggs,
so that when I soon succumb

swarm the sky to visit you,


perhaps swapping for that feast
Sample
my squirming wigglers will rise,
J.S. MacLean is an emerging poet who has already published in
a variety of print and online venues. He lives in Calgary, Al-
berta with his wife Grace. Contact Joe at: joemac@telus.net
something else, insidious.

Interesting facts about the objects represented in this issue

* If you collect beer bottles your are a labeorphilist.


* Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the United States to circle the earth four times.
* Most medicine plastic bottle and glass bottles are amber or dark blue to keep light rays from affecting the medication.
* Beethoven, a coffee lover, was so particular about his coffee that he always counted 60 beans each cup when he prepared
his brew. And Honore de Balzac, famous nineteenth-century French writer, drank up to 40 cups of coffee per day!
* A housefly cruises around the house at about 8kms an hour. It also hums in the key of F.
* The orchid is effective in removing xylene (chemical emissions from adhesives, computer VDU screens, paints, photo-
copiers, stains and varnishes) from the atmosphere.
* In 1997, Share A Smile® Becky® was the first Mattel, Inc. fashion doll introduced with a wheelchair.
* Mosquitoes find their perfect mate by harmonizing To hear a sample of their duet, visit www.npr.org/templates/story/
story.php?storyId=99133147

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


11

The Contest Corner

The following two stories were submitted for the Christmas contest. No prizes

Sample
were awarded since there had to be at least three entries to win.

Contestants had to write about the world through the eyes of Jesus’ manger.
Some questions for the manger: Who created you? What is the single most
important thing you want the world to know? What are you most sur-
prised that people do not know about the event. What is the biggest miscon-
ception? How old were you when Jesus was placed inside? Could you hear
the child's thoughts, feel His wonder?

Rules:
Rules
• Include these words in the submission: birth, celebrate, Christmas, love,
meaning, present, treasure.
• Answer this question: Shortly after the magi left, one of them secretly re-
turned to give a fourth gift not mentioned in the history books. What was
it?
• Include a dialogue between the manger and the star of Bethlehem.
• Entries must be at least one page in length.

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


12

Holy Manger
By Bob McCarthy
“Bright Star, it seems so quiet now that they have gone.
All that lingers for me is the warmth of the impression
left in my straw by the holy babe. Will the people know
and treasure the true meaning of what has happened
here? Will anyone remember? Will the birth of this
child make a difference?”
“Manger” the star replied to me “the answer is yes to
all of your questions. You have been a part of what will
be called the first Christmas, the celebration of the birth
of a baby who will be known for time everlasting as Je-
sus, Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary.”
As I listened to my new friend, I watched his golden
rays shining through the dove-cote, glistening even brighter as each word was spoken.
My thoughts wandered back to when Bright Star and I had first met but a handful of nights ago.
Until that time, like every manger, I had thought that I was not even important. Each morning, just
before the sun rose, my master would come in and lead his cow and his two lambs out into a small enclo-
sure next to the inn.
As he did so, he would talk quietly, calling each one by name. But he never spoke to me. To him, I

Sample
was but a simple rough-hewn wooden enclosure that he spent a few moments each day cleaning out and
filling with straw for his animals.
A few nights ago, long after the master and his animals had gone to sleep, a ray of light suddenly fell
upon me and I heard a whispering voice. “Manger, listen to me. I am an angel of God. I bring to you glad
tidings for you have been chosen as the place in which a Royal Child will be laid after his birth. You
among all mangers have been chosen as most worthy to keep the child warm while his mother rests.”
I looked up and replied “Angel of God, it will be my honour to keep the child warm. I welcome this
opportunity to be of service to my Lord.”
“Then so it shall be. I am known as Bright Star and will remain here in the night sky awaiting Joseph
and Mary, parents of the Royal Child who is yet to be. You will know when that time has arrived.”
It was but two nights later when I heard my master talking to some people. “I am most sorry I cannot
offer you a better place to stay. This is where I keep my animals. I will move them over to one side and
the two of you can rest on this side next to my manger. Here, let me put some fresh straw down for you,
my lady.”
When he had finished, my master left and the lady told me her name was Mary before she lay down
next to me, a warm smile upon her face.
It was but an hour later when Mary said to her husband “Joseph, it is time. I can feel the power of the
love of Our Lord stirring within. Please pray with me as the Son of God enters into this world.”
As the two of them clasped hands and praised the Lord, a halo of light circled Mary’s face. I knew she
must be close to giving birth when a ray of light from Bright Star pierced right through the roof above
me and shone down upon Mary and the straw which covered me. A strange but wonderful glow and a
feeling of warmth came upon me.

(Continued on page 13)

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


13

Then, I heard a gentle cry and I knew that a child had been born in this most humble place, this place
for beasts of burden and gentle lambs, this place where I lay waiting to receive the new born babe.
But a few moments later, Mary spoke to me “Manger, please encircle my babe with your warmth
while I rest. I place Him in your care.”
That began the most wondrous day and night of my life. Throughout the day, Mary rested next to me,
her babe secure and comfortable wrapped in my straw, while Joseph was away somewhere.
Several shepherds arrived as the sun began to set, each singing praises to the babe, saying that this
special birth had been proclaimed to them the previous night by multitudes of angels singing and telling
them that “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Several hours later, in the dark of the night, three magi entered, fell down on their knees in joyous
praise and proclaimed “We have followed a star for many weeks. It has led us here where we believe a
wondrous birth has taken place. Is this the Royal Child, Son of the line of David?”
When Mary nodded yes, each of the magi laid gifts at the feet of the Royal Child. One gift was gold.
One was frankincense. One was myrrh.
and proclaimed “We have followed a star for many weeks. It has led us here where we believe a won-
drous birth has taken place. Is this the Royal Child, Son of the line of David?”Then one of the magi spoke
for all three “Little Lord, you are here just as it has been prophesied. We pay homage to you and cele-
brate this birth.”
Later, as they stood and made to leave, the last of the magi turned back, knelt beside me and spoke in
a quiet voice “I am Balthasar. I have one more gift, one to honour this place where the Royal Child has
been comforted. Manger, allow me to bless you in a way no other manger has ever been blessed.”

Sample
Taking something from inside his robe, he gently scratched two marks on the part of me closest to the
babe’s head. The first was a horizontal line, the second a vertical line crossing through the first.
Then he moved even closer to me and spoke very quietly “Manger, this is a mark which will set you
apart from all other mangers, a mark which will show to all that you held and protected and loved the
babe who will become known as the Christ child. This mark will be known as the cross of Baby Jesus.”
Soon after they had left, Mary said quietly to me “Manger, I need to rest for we must leave early in the
morning before any others discover the child is here. I place my baby in your care for the rest of this
night.”
I proudly and confidently answered “Virgin Mary, birth-giver of this one who will be the Saviour of
all of Mankind, of the animals, of the birds, of the insects, of everything that is, I accept your request and
wish you a pleasant sleep while I watch over your child.”
Joseph and Mary and the child and their donkey left soon after first light.
My memories of the last few days and nights were interrupted as Bright Star continued “From this day
forth, you shall be known as Holy Manger. When you look up this evening, I will be gone. Remember
me and cherish always your part in the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child.”
I smiled, looked up and replied “Thank you, Bright Star. I will always remember.”

Bob McCarthy, a retired high school teacher with an interest in both family and local history, has published five books. Two books, writ-
ten for young readers, included stories of local history complemented by drawings created by both elementary and high school stu-
dents. The other three are historical novels, based on the lives of his ancestors. Since he knew very little about the events of their lives,
Bob visited the times and places in which these progenitors of his lived and allowed them to interact with the people and events of their
era. These novels are based on a trickle of facts and a gusher of imagination. Contact Bob at robemcca@xcelco.on.ca

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


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Recollections of Jesus’ Manger


By Rebecca R. Taylor
On Christmas Eve over two thousand years ago my life
was changed when a woman brought a child into the
world and laid it in me. I am a manger in a stable, but
not just any stable and it wasn’t just a child. It was Je-
sus, Mary’s son, and I was in the stable behind an inn,
because all of the inns in Bethlehem were full. Before
Jesus’ birth, I was a simple trough used to feed cattle,
horses and a donkey. As Jesus was laid in me, I felt an
overwhelming mystical presence, and while The Star of
Bethlehem had come to see me earlier in the evening
before Mary and Joseph arrived I was still skeptical
over the meaning of what I had been told. Even after
all of this time I can remember the conversation that I
had with Star.
“You are going to be blessed tonight and someday the world will celebrate this night.
God’s child will be born here and placed inside you. You must protect Him.”

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“What?” I had replied, “A child, I don’t know anything about human babies, calves and
colts have learned to eat from me for years but humans, the only contact I have with them
is when the farmer puts hay and oats in me for the animals to eat.”
“Have faith in yourself, believe that you can do this and you will. You needn’t be afraid
The Lord will watch over you. In the days following Jesus’ birth, you will receive a visit
from shepherds and three wise men, listen to their advice carefully. I will lead them to
you.”
“But,” I had started to say but the star who had been so bright only moments before had
vanished leaving me to ponder the meaning of its words.
Once Joseph and Mary arrived and the baby was born and placed in me, I could tell that
this was a miraculous event, there was something about the calmness of the child and the
feeling I got when the baby touched my smooth wooden edges, it made my heart jump. I
still wonder why it was me that was chosen to hold the messiah; I wasn’t the only manger
in town nor the oldest or most ornate. I was twenty years old at the time; I was built by a
carpenter and traded to the innkeeper for a few nights lodging for him and his wife during
an earlier census.
“Your name is Jesus and you will teach the world about true love,” whispered Mary to
the child as it slept. “Someday the entire universe will know who you are.”
I’ve often wondered if Jesus knew how his life would be that night or if he was simply
a regular baby at that point. I think maybe it was a bit of both, he didn’t know exact details

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Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


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or events that would take place in his life like walking on water but he was blessed with a
sense of calm, that must be why he never uttered a cry even with the mooing of the cattle
in my stable. Something about Christmas seems strange to me, and after all these years I still
don’t understand how Jesus’ birth could be so peaceful and now when we celebrate, the day
is so full of hurried preparations, I don’t think that is what the day is about, it should be a
simpler, calmer event. I understand where the idea of presents came from, the wise men
followed the glowing star for many days to my stable and they brought gifts –gold, incense
and myrrh in order to celebrate Jesus’ birth. What no one knows is that after the wise men
had left the stable to return to their homeland, the wise man that had brought the incense
returned with a fourth gift that has never been written about before. He knelt down by me
and said to Mary and Joseph, “Here is a treasure that I did not want the others to know
about. I present you with the gift of hope and wherever you carry it you will find an inner
strength. Anything is possible as long as you keep this gift close.”
This wise man handed Mary and Joseph a small box with tiny crystals inside; they were
beautiful and shone. How this could be hope I do not know but perhaps he was trying to
explain belief in his own way: if you believe in something hard enough and hope for it, it
always improves your chances of it happening. After having baby Jesus rest in me, I will al-
ways believe in miracles and a higher power. There are still many unanswered questions

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about that day and the majority of them have to do with interpretation of what happened
and what led up to it. All I can tell you is there was something magical taking place around
it; you could feel it in the air. The holidays have changed so much during the past two mil-
lenniums but change is progress, and life must evolve. I am a manger who will never be for-
gotten because of a baby who was born in my stable and laid in me. Who would have
thought.

Rebecca Rose Taylor lives along the St.Francis River in St.Felix-de-Kingsey,Quebec. She loves crocheting, reading and writing and some-
day hopes to be a fulltime writer. Her recent publications have been included in Bread n' Molasses, Grainews and Perspectives Magazine.
Contact Rebecca at: rebecca_taylor2@hotmail.com

The End

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009


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Perspectives magazine
WHERE INANIMATE OBJECTS HAVE THEIR SAY

Perspectives Magazine—January 2009