O had joined the school choir to take part in the Christmas musical 'Hosannah Rock' (he now says he does believe in god, or perhaps he doesn't, so he is going to be an agnostic for now).
In the spirit of primary school nativities everywhere, all the children are getting 'a part' but it seems all the good parts have gone to the juniors, leaving the infants to dress up as a motley collection of farm animals. Yesterday O was allocated a pig costume. For some unfathomable reason he is devasted about this (although not, one suspects, as devastated as little Mohammed's parents are going to be when they hear he's being a pig too). He wants me to go and see the head to find out if he can be a sheep instead, but I am a mean mum and told him he should ask himself if he can change costumes. O is terrified of getting in trouble, I have been trying to reassure him that the worst that can happen is she says 'no'.
I also remarked that pigs were unlikelly to have been found in a Bethlehem stable because Jewish people don't eat pork, and perhaps he could say that to the head. We got out the bible to check for references to pigs at the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately it fell open at the parable of the prodigal son1, which in the Good News version has an illustration of him swineherding. So much for the 'no pigs in biblical Palestine' line of argument.
1. One of my least favourite bible stories. I never liked it even when I was a god botherer. Killing the fatted calf to celebrate the bad boy's return while ignoring good one who stayed at home and did the right thing, never seemed like a good message to send out to me. Same with the lost sheep, all that being happier about one sinner who repents than 99 who never did anything to repent. Bah.