The bird of dawning. A rooster. Huh.
I never thought too much about this quote, although I’ve heard it often and I love the lilt of the words. Long ago, I even bought Christmas cards that spoke to me — an image of a lark, beak lifted and throat extended in lovely song amidst the snow and greenery of a holly branch, complete with rich, red berries. It’s such a beautiful image for such a beautiful season. I guess the card makers realized the image of a rooster, beak lifted and throat extended on the fence line, just couldn’t evoke the same reverent message.
Yet we can’t escape or remake or romanticize this one major fact: the bird of dawning IS a rooster: a domestic bird, a common bird, one that’s considered “B” List, if not a “C” List, among bird snobs.
Shakespeare’s words humble us, pull us back to the stark truth about the person whose birth we celebrate during this season. He was a commoner. He was poor. He ministered to and cared for all the “B” and “C” List people. He was simple, not ornate. He wasn’t so much like a lark. He was more like a rooster.
So be it. Merry Christmas.