A short retelling of Jesus Christ’s miraculous birth as told from the perspective of Mary’s donkey.
Eleazar is the kind, bright narrator of this short tale that relates the biblical story from a new perspective. Raised by his master, Joachim, he lives comfortably, but the real joy in his life comes from the presence of Joachim’s daughter (Eleazar calls her his “mistress”). Eleazar is thrilled when a carpenter comes to make a stool for Joachim; before he leaves, the carpenter even demonstrates love and protectiveness toward the mistress. One day, Eleazar is out in the field and notices a shimmering effect surrounding the farmhouse. After that moment, Eleazar begins his real journey: He takes the mistress to the carpenter’s home, and then the village has a wedding feast for the new couple. Roman soldiers come to the village when the mistress is heavy with child, so she and the carpenter must flee with Eleazar. They travel a long way, but even though they all grow weary, Eleazar remains optimistic and devoted to her. Finally, they come to a small town and rest for the night, since the mistress is about to give birth. As in the biblical tale, the only shelter they find is a barn. The baby is born, and Eleazar says, “[N]o one has ever told of my pride and joy that I, Eleazer, Mary’s donkey, carried on my back the Lord of all creation, before He even came into this world.” Told in a formal yet endearing style, the story, originally published in 1966, will certainly appeal to Christian readers, and its brevity, simplicity and sweetness will charm young readers interested in a new perspective of the biblical story. The prose and descriptive details can be sparse, but three black-and-white illustrations help illuminate the characters and setting.
Brief, unique and uplifting.