December 22, 2004

Years ago in a warehouse full of stray animals, a young girl gave birth to a baby boy. She and her new husband couldn't find anywhere else to stay and the owner of the warehouse kindly turned a blind eye to their squatting. The animals were more or less tame and shared their space so the baby's birth went off smoothly enough. Sometime later that night, as the young mother lay in exhaustion gazing sort of dumbly at her new son, a group of vagrants arrived. They'd been told by one of their number who lived in the dumpster outside that a baby had been born there. Warily the young couple eyed the vagrants but it became clear that all they really wanted to do was see the baby. They smelled bad and looked worse but their eyes were honest and full of a very sincere sort of wonder. The baby was unafraid. He didn't cry once. And the vagrants felt a sense of home that they hadn't felt in a very long time. A few nights later some foreign oil traders, intent on purchasing the property but informed of the presence of squatters, entered the warehouse. They spoke courteously with the young couple and spent some long moments gazing silently at the baby who gurgled and cooed in the middle of the animal-filled warehouse with apparent joy. Somehow they agreed wordlessly that the property was fine the way it was and instead of buying for development, they left wildly expensive gifts at the feet of the infant. They couldn't really explain why. The stars seemed especially bright as they left by the side alley that night.

Years later the baby would save the lives of untold millions by stepping in the path of pending Armageddon and fending it off with his very life. The vagrants and the oil traders would not be surprised by the sacrifice. But the rest of the world would take centuries to debate and marvel over the deed. If not for that baby, they would never have the chance.