Bent the wrong way.

Someone has stolen David and Amy Flach’s horse. They’d like to get the horse back, so they offered a description, to wit:

Mecca, estimated to be 16 years old, is described as having speckles and a scar on its right rear knee.

Sigh. Horses don’t have “rear knees.” Neither does any other four-legged animal. They have two knees, just like us. The hind legs fold the other way, and the joint that allows such movement is called a hock. After years in the newspaper business, I can tell you that these little details mean a lot. If you get them wrong, people who notice assume everything else is wrong, too. As a horseman, I don’t expect lay folk to know the difference between a cannon bone and a croup, but I don’t think it’s too much to expect a reporter to know the difference between a knee and a hock. We’ve all heard of ham hocks, haven’t we?

It’s little details like this that make reporters and editors such fearsome contestants on “Jeopardy!” And if we’re ever together in New York, and hail the Cash Cab? You should let me do the talking.

Speaking of quadrupeds, Kate and I went on a grocery run yesterday and ran across a living Nativity. Of course we stopped; anyone who passes a living Nativity is a person who deserves coal in their stocking. When we actually got to the tent, however, we found that we were either too early or too late, as the Nativity had no Mary, no Joseph, no Magi, no baby Jesus, but did have two donkeys, two sheep, three goats and a chicken munching hay in a pen under a tent, next to a caged rabbit.

“I missed the part about rabbits in the Gospel of Luke,” I said to the man next to me, who didn’t get the joke.

There was a camel outside, ruminating, held by a man dressed as a shepherd. His Gore-Tex boots peeked from under his robe while he discussed the living Nativity circuit with a friend: “Yeah, we’re in Sterling Heights tomorrow, then Roseville, I forget where else.” Make that camel pay for its hay, dude.

We aren’t religious, but I try to explain its rituals whenever I can, so Kate won’t be entirely ignorant of the world. I searched for one in this menagerie, considered telling her the legend of how the donkey got the cross on its back and realized it would confuse her, as it’s a Holy Week story, and it’s only Christmas.

“I once knew someone who had a donkey named Milton. Milton Burro,” I said, lamely. She didn’t get that, either.

We left.

Holiday picture week continues. Here’s frequent commenter Brian Stouder’s wife Pam and daughter Chloe with the Man last week, photo taken at Pottersville Mall. Chloe appears to be asking for her own domain for Christmas, as MySpace is just so over:


Keep ’em coming.

Posted at 10:39 am in Holiday photos, Same ol' same ol' |

9 responses to “Bent the wrong way.”

  1. Marcia said on December 18, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Awww, Chloe with Santa. Sweet.

    Milton Burro. Ouch.

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  2. brian stouder said on December 18, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Cash Cab is a hoot!

    What you can’t see is the glittery red shoes Chloe has on (her absolute favorite pair- which you cannot easily get off her feet again).

    That, and Santa’s right hand….

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  3. Dorothy said on December 18, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    We took care of a wounded pigeon years ago, who I dubbed Walter. You have to be pretty old to get that reference, I guess.

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  4. Dave K. said on December 18, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    “Living Nativity” reminds me of one of the best “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episodes ever, which was replayed recently on HBO. Cheryl’s parents are visiting Larry and Cheryl for Christmas. Larry eats the specially baked Nativity Cookies, “I thought they were animal crackers”…”You just ate our Lord and Savior baby Jesus!!”…Larry replies, “I thought it was a monkey”. Then he promises to fix everything, hires the live Nativity group, and everything is fine until he and Joseph get into a fight after Larry comments on Mary’s “nice rack”.

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  5. mary said on December 18, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    My kids were usually afraid of Santa. I have years of photos of crying children on Santa’s lap. Cute photo, Brian. I can imagine the shoes. At that age older son had a sweatshirt with santa on it that he had to wear every day, and younger son had a shirt with Snoopy on it.

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  6. Jennifer said on December 18, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    The mentioning of Nativity Cookies has me needing to point out the Bill O’Reilly “I Got Yer Holiday Package” cookie made especially for this year’s Holiday Bake-Off…

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  7. heather said on December 18, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    i’ve been trying to find an email address and failing. Googled Peddlers Post (i have a mini van to sell) and found you.
    I just wanted to say that I always enjoyed your articles when you worked for the paper here. I actually used to get the paper and read it. Then I became a single working mother and find no time for persuits such as reading the paper for leisure and entertainment!
    Gald to find you here. Your in my favorites!

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  8. Connie said on December 18, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    I too have many years worth of pictures of my daughter screaming in terror somewhere near Santa. And of her and her Dad as Santa sneaks into the picture behind them. And there is even one of my screaming child with the easter bunny.

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  9. Dorothy said on December 18, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    My hubby was a mall Santa 24 years ago, when I was pregnant with our daughter. He was the Santa photographed by the Tribune Review to appear on the front of the paper the day after Christmas that year. We have the page framed at home in our office. I’ll try to snap a picture of it and post it to Flickr for those of you who frequent the site.

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