David Allsopp and Bishop Keith Slater (back) of the Grafton Dioscese, get to know Peggy the donkey on Palm Sunday.
David Allsopp and Bishop Keith Slater (back) of the Grafton Dioscese, get to know Peggy the donkey on Palm Sunday.

David and the donkey do Jesus? descent

By Adam Hicks

"Do you want to be Jesus?"

David Allsopp knew he was in for an interesting Palm Sunday service at St Andrew's Anglican Church, Lismore, when he checked his answering machine after youth group on Friday.

The 15-year-old from Alstonville was asked to play Jesus in a re-enactment of Christ's descent from the Mount of Olives.

It meant riding sidesaddle on Peggy, the Jerusalem donkey from Springrove, as Bishop Keith Slater led him to the steps of the church to open the Palm Sunday service yesterday.

Parishioners laid down olive branches before them as they walked up the driveway.

"It was not a tough role, I just had to ride on the donkey," he said.

"Although I was a bit unconfident about riding sidesaddle, there was a bit of wobbling."

But he fared better then last year's character who, according to a 10-yearold girl in the congregation, wobbled too far and toppled over the back of the donkey.

Reverend Vivian Hoskins could not confirm the story but said he had heard the rumour.

"It's gone into legend. Whether it happened or not, I don't really know. But it's very hard to sit sidesaddle on a donkey."

One question remained: If David was the son of god for a day, did that make his father Bruce the almighty?

"I don't think it does," he said.

"I am here to enjoy Jesus' story of love and forgiveness and humility, like everyone else."



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