A free thinker in the Heartland...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Baby Jesus Travels

Ever heard of the "Travelling Gnome"? It seems now there is a Travelling Baby Jesus...

This Christmas, a family here may keep a closer eye on their statue of baby Jesus. Last year someone plucked it from the nativity scene in their front yard and spent eight months traveling the state, returning it complete with plenty of photos of where it had been.

"When we tell people about it, they just look at us and say, 'Wow, that really happened?' " Joan Leising said. "Then, we show them the photo album."

Want more of this intriguing tale? Okee dokee...

The statue was taken Dec. 23, and a note - promising to return the baby Jesus in three days - was left in the statue's place.

Eight months later, Joan's husband, John Leising, opened the front door and found the statue on his porch, along with a photo album that showed images of the figurine in front of highway signs in Binghamton, Rochester, Albany and Poughkeepsie.

It was photographed at the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and posed on a bicycle, on a horse, in a car wearing a seat belt, in a chair next to a campfire and in someone's kitchen.

A note enclosed, signed "Creators of the baby Jesus chronicles," assured the family that the prank was not intended to be "blasphemous or disrespectful."

The Leisings were glad to have their statue back, but remained confused as to why it was missing for so long since the statue-nappers promised it would be returned in three days.

"The real Jesus Christ would have forgiven them for that," John Leising said. "And we do, too."

I am a bit curious what the original plan of the baby-nappers was? Were they going to get pictures around town and then return Jesus in three days, only to change their minds and they wanted to get more pictures? Were they afraid that since they gave a timetable for the return that cops would be waiting for them when they returned? We may never know...