The King’s Cake is a pre-Lenten treat and a traditional part of Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. In the cake we bought, a small plastic baby Jesus was placed inside after it was frosted. Traditions maintain that whoever finds Jesus in their piece of cake will receive a special blessing during Easter time. We each had our fill of the cake and about half of it remained, but no one found the plastic baby Jesus. We forgot to put the cake away and left it sitting on the table when we went to bed. The next morning, we found the empty box from the cake lying on the dining room floor. Our dog Darcy had apparently reached up on the table in the middle of the night and helped herself to the remaining half.
The implications of her eating half of a King’s Cake (other than the obvious need for her to be let outside) didn’t really hit us at first. Not until we were cleaning up the mess did we see the sticker on the box lid “CHOKING HAZARD: CAUTION! NON-EDIBLE BABY INSIDE THIS CAKE”. This gave us cause to pause. I worked my way around the room, asking each family member the question “did you find the baby Jesus in your cake last night?” The answer was “no” all around. The only other uninterrogated family member to have any cake was…..THE DOG! I frantically searched the vacuum canister, the trash bag and all around under the dining table. No success. Oh my gosh – MY DOG ATE BABY JESUS!
We’ve had veterinary crises at our home before, what, with our long history of assorted pets – most of them being rescue critters; each with their own behavioral or health issues. There was Julio, the hardware store cat, who became diabetic and needed insulin shots at the end of his life. He would only allow me – the one he didn’t like, and the one who didn’t like cats – to give him his shots. Taz was the cat who decided she didn’t like anyone as soon as the new baby joined the family – I took Taz to live at a cousin’s farm. We had a dog who was a rock fetching hot dog thief. Another dog was a golf course bandit who ran out on the fairways and stole golf balls, and we had one sad mutt who constantly tried to eat hornets. Darcy had separated and consumed all of the Fun Size Almond Joys from a bag of Halloween candy once, but she had never eaten anything like this before! We guessed the plastic figure wouldn’t hurt her. We began to laugh at the irony of the incident. Apparently the baby WAS edible. Now that Darcy had Jesus inside of her, did that mean she was saved?
I write this purely tongue-in-cheek with no irreverence intended. I mean – I know my dog didn’t get saved by eating a plastic baby Jesus. Besides, she didn’t need to be saved; my dog is incapable of sin – at least not the accountable kind of sin we’re capable of. Wouldn’t it be nice is forgiveness and salvation was that easy though? We could just consume a Jesus shaped morsel and….voila! Well, it kind of is that easy. In the Bible, Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” – it’s a piece of cake.
© 2015 Curt Savage Media