A church nativity play was halted yesterday when a live donkey, booked to add a sense of reality to Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, was found outside Kirkdale’s St Patrick’s Church Hall having had its legs removed.
‘Early in the performance, during the singing of ‘Frosty the Snowman’ we had heard an appalling noise which we put down to Father O’Donnell, who couldn’t hold a tune to save his life,’ said Evelyn Dowd, leader of the Little Stars Nursery Group. ‘We now realise this was the blessed creature braying in agony.’
Merseyside Police believe that thieves may have stolen the donkey’s legs for the scrap value of its metal horseshoes. ‘The fact that the donkey was found jacked up on bricks suggests that this was the work of a gang of car criminals, diversifying to take advantage of a dumb animal,’ said a spokesman, before adding reassuringly, ‘we are doing everything possible to recover and restore the stolen property to its rightful owner.’
Mrs Dowd reflected on the afternoon’s events. ‘It’s ironic really. At the very moment that we were preparing to sing ‘Little Donkey’, the poor thing had just become littler by about two feet.’