The rationalist herd animals stayed for sixteen hours up to their fetlocks in the waters of the Cape Fear River rather than return to the company of Mary and Joseph. They were eventually rounded up by the local police department, aided by a K-9 police dog with “specialized herding skills.”
Asked to speculate on why the cows didn’t want to be stabled with the rest of the Nativity burros, pigs and chickens, the local chief of police said, “Well, we think it wasn’t the Wise Men. They were told to keep their frankincense and myrrh tightly closed, because barnyard animals aren’t used to those kinds of smells. And our Mary wasn’t actually a virgin, but neither were the cows, so I don’t see how that could have bothered them.
“It might have been the Little Drummer Boy. A lot of cows don’t care for percussion instruments.
“But my best guess is they were just atheist cows, sticking up their noses at the God-fearing citizens of North Carolina. The Nativity scene owners just accidentally selected a few cows that harbored blasphemy in their udders. We have vast herds of good Christian cattle in our state, I’m sure. It was unfortunate that these nonbelieving Herefords were picked to moo lullabies at the Christ Child instead of some more respectful representatives of the dairy industry.
“Or it could just be the War on Christmas. I guess the atheists won that this year, thanks to those God-damn cows.”