“Do you know who ’twas that first knew our Lord had caused Himself to be born?
‘Twas the cock; he saw the star, and so he said – all the beasts could talk Latin in those days; he cried: ‘Christus natus est!’ “
He crowed these words so like a cock that Kristin fell to laughing heartily. And it did her good to laugh, for all the strange things Brother Edvin had just been saying had laid a burden of awe on her heart.
The monk laughed himself:
“Ay, and when the ox heard that, he began to low: ‘Ubi, ubi, ubi.’
“But the goat bleated, and said: ‘Betlem, Betlem, Betlem.’
“And the sheep so longed to see Our Lady and her Son that she baa-ed out at once: ‘Eamus, eamus!’
“And the new-born calf that lay in the straw, raised itself and stood upon its feet. ‘Volo, volo, volo!’ it said.”
Sigrid Undset, (Danish novelist 1882-1949) Kristin Lavransdatter
Illustration by Sven Nordqvist