Sunday, 13 April 2014

Palm Sunday with the Beaker Folk

Yes, on reflection it was too many donkeys.

I had a strange conversation with Nordwhal, before the procession.  I asked him didn't it feel strange, following a donkey's bottom round the Orchard on the way into the Moot House? No, he replied. In fact, that was much like any other procession.

I normally walk in front of Nordwhal, so I've no idea what he was talking about.

The early stages of the procession were ruined by grumbling Beaker Folk. Apparently the "palms" I'd cut - leaves off the yukkas in what remains of the Mediterranean Gravel Garden - were "too sharp". So we had to go and get a load of gloves.

Then the procession - a few dozen donkeys seriously outnumbering the Beaker Folk, a couple of stray alpacas who'd tagged along - wended once up the drive, turned right, under the Great Trilithon, and headed for the Moot House. At which point the donkeys were distracted.

I blame Burton, in retrospect. Why, on this most donkey-ridden of all Sundays, did he choose to walk across Great Meadow eating a carrot for breakfast? I know he's been on this raw-vegetable kick all the way through Lent, but frankly that was just straight provocation. The procession fell apart as the donkeys stampeded towards Burton. Burton looked up and - well, to say his face went white would be inaccurate. With all those carrots he's been eating, his face actually went orange. Then he turned and fled.

We'd had a bit of a row over who should play Jesus earlier on. Basically everybody wanted the job. Except me, but then they all agreed my Messiah complex needed no further stoking. So in the event, everybody under a body weight that was less than the Health and Safety restrictions for a seaside donkey got to be Jesus.

So the stampede towards Burton also contained a fair number of terrifying, lightweight, Beaker Folk. Who weren't looking very happy themselves.

Thankfully it all came to a happy end. Burton jumped into the pond with his carrot and the donkeys, noting the fresh green grass growing on the edge, threw their riders in alongside Burton  and settled down to getting their breakfast.

You know, I wonder. We naturally concentrated on what St Matthew thought was important about Palm Sunday - patting the donkey, ensuring people got the important jobs, making ourselves look stupid in the open air. And yet it all went wrong. Even the electronic singing stones turned out to be singing "Sweet Home Alabama" instead of, as we were promised, "Make Way, Make Way".

But it's gonna be better next year. We'll get more donkeys.

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