by Kevin Burton
Two reluctant actors in a live Nativity scene were on the mooooove Dec. 3, reports Mark Price of the Charlotte Observer.
Stage fright is a thing, but usually not a call-the-police thing.
“One coastal church’s wish to recreate a “live Nativity” scene turned chaotic in the strangest way, when some of the farm animals escaped and tried swimming off the island,” Price writes. “It happened Dec. 3, in Carolina Beach and photos show police waist-deep in the Cape Fear River as they tried pulling cows back to dry land on Sunday.
The island is 140 miles southeast of Raleigh.
“When you’re a police officer in a small island community, you may get some unusual calls,” the Carolina Beach Police Department wrote on Facebook. “Such was the case (Sunday) as officers from the CBPD were dispatched to assist the CB State Park Rangers with rounding up some loose cows! The subjects escaped their pen at Seaside Chapel where they were performing in the live nativity scene.”
“It’s not clear why the cows lingered in the river, but the posse assembled by police included park rangers, community members ‘and a K9 with specialized herding skills.’”
“The two cows escaped the nativity site around 10:30 p.m. Saturday and stayed on the run nearly 16 hours, reports the Port City Daily. They ended up about nine blocks north, in Carolina Beach State Park, the newspaper reported.
“Seaside Chapel’s ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ is described as ‘an interactive walk-through Nativity complete with live animals’ and it attracted more than 200 people on opening night Dec. 3, the church said. “News of the escape has gotten hundreds of reactions on social media, including some who noted it made for “great publicity.”
“Others couldn’t help but make jokes, after photos showed the cows absurdly standing in the middle of the river. “The cow definitely got baptized,” Madeline Themann Morton posted. “It seems weird to have a cow at one of those things (Nativity) anyway …. but this is even weirder,” Meghan Sweeney wrote.
“The live nativity was really good, minus the cows who were recuperating from their night out,” Anita Johnson Dew said.
We finish today with a happier story from earlier this year, also written by Price in The Observer, also about animals on the move.
“A lonely wild horse has been wandering North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and the story of her months-long search for companionship has been breaking hearts on social media,” Price writes. “The saga of 2-year-old Alma came to light in June, when the Corolla Wild Horse Fund noted on social media that it had gotten multiple calls about a “lost” horse with wounds on her face. As weeks passed, fund officials posted updates, revealing Alma had walked miles up the coast by herself with no clear destination in mind.”
“Earlier this spring, Alma was pushed out of the harem she (was) born into. The stallion (who is most likely her father) became aggressive towards her and would not let her get close to the rest of the mares,” the fund wrote in a June 24 Facebook post.
“Alma is often alone on the beach and to human observers seems lost, which is understandably concerning. It may be difficult to see, but we have to remember that these are wild horses behaving naturally. It’s what eventually happens to each and every young horse, though Alma’s situation is a little unique.”
Alma lives in an area where the wild horse population is sparse. That made her situation seem almost hopeless, as she wandered weeks without seeing another wild horse. Herd manager Meg Puckett said there was no promise of a happy ending.
However, things changed July 20, when the fund confirmed Alma had been seen in the company of other wild horses. Among them was a male, Renzi, who is close to her age, the fund reported.
“We knew she would figure it out. She’s with stallion Cowboy, mares Daisy and Shala, and Shala’s 3-year-old son Renzi,” the fund wrote.
“The wounds on her face are healed, she’s in excellent physical condition, and now she’s got friends too. There’s a lot to be said for trusting the horses, trusting nature, and doing what’s best even when it’s hard on our human emotions.”
In a best-case scenario, Alma and Renzi may eventually split from the group and create their own family, the fund said.
There you go, a happy ending and a great big “ain’t love grand?”