Donkey stars in live Nativity at Westmoreland County Courthouse
By Jewels Phraner
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, 8:43 p.m.
Miss Lily doesn't do anything special in her appearances at the live Nativity scene at the Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg, but she often steals the show.
Lily is a 4-year-old donkey owned by Joe and Louise Schachte of Cook Township, who have participated in Greensburg resident Anna Marie Stevenson's live Nativity for the past eight years. Lily's mother, Jenny, was in the show before Lily was born.
“I always ask Anna Marie, ‘Why do you even want the donkey to be here in the show because you never see her?'” said Joe Schachte. “You can see the wise men; you can see the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. And then you see the crowd of people always gathered around Miss Lily.”
Participating in the Nativity is a holiday tradition for the Schachte family, who bought their first donkey more than a decade ago for their son to ride.
“Donkeys seem to be born liking attention and liking people,” Schachte said. “They adore being scratched and petted. They want to be close to you.”
The family has been raising donkeys ever since for their four children to show at 4-H shows.
Miss Lily was once a state champion.
Colts that are born on the Schachte property are sold for “hay money,” Schachte said, “so we can keep the original crew (of donkeys) together.”
Stevenson, who has been organizing the Nativity for 12 years, said she was thrilled to add Miss Lily.
She met the Schachtes while walking along a road near their home.
“They had donkeys when Jesus was born, so I thought it would great to add a donkey to the live Nativity,” she said.
The Schachtes are equally thrilled to participate.
“It really makes the holiday for us,” Schachte said.
Stevenson's live Nativity appeared at the courthouse eight times this year and once at St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church in Crabtree. Miss Lily came to about half of the shows, Stevenson said.
“Kids love Lily. They love Lily, and they love the baby Jesus,” she said.
When Miss Lily is not making live appearances, she spends her time eating grass, Schachte said.
Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- St. Vincent College campus post office stays busy
- Retired cop-turned-author shares ghost tales of Route 30, foothills
- Derry officials OK audits for fire departments