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The Lord is (on) my rock?

POULSBO — A Poulsbo man says Jesus has arrived early this Christmas season, and he’s not in his usual manger bed.

Allen Kuckuck believes he’s found him — Jesus’ image, that is — in a novelty rock he purchased as a Christmas gift at a local variety store.

The rock, heart-shaped and hued in black and charcoal, cost Kuckuck $3.

“I didn’t look at any of the rocks, I just grabbed a scoop of them,” said Kuckuck. But when he arrived home and deposited his supply on the table, one rock spun around, revealing a new perspective on the criss-cross pattern of its surface.

The image was a familiar one.

“That’s Jesus, it looks like Jesus to me,” he said.

The image, which Kuckuck explains is depicting Jesus toting a cross on his back, isn’t a far cry from many that have made nationwide media splashes. Say, for instance, the face of the Virgin Mary on a Florida grilled cheese sandwich that sold on eBay for $28,000 in 2004.

That’s a precedent Kuckuck has set his sights on.

“I’m going to sell it if I can get $20 million,” he said — citing an exaggerated account of the grilled cheese price tag.

Discovering religious images and symbols on seemingly random items certainly isn’t new — in fact, there’s a name for it: Pareidolia.

Take the face of Jesus found in a tortilla in 1978 that drew 8,000 believers to rural New Mexico, the cinnamon bun Mother Teresa likeness in a Tennessee coffee shop found by a customer in 1996, or the London aquatics shop with a fish bearing the Arabic script for “Allah” and “Mohommed” in 2006. From the Virgin Mary’s face in a window and Jesus’ in a cooking pan to potato chips and pancakes bearing images of Al Roker and Bob Hope, plenty of uncanny finds have hit the internet for bidders.

Though he doesn’t own a computer, Kuckuck said the Web might be his best option, too. And he said if he does make an earning, he’ll spread the wealth around, by sharing it with area food banks, taking his friends on a vacation and perhaps even offering a kickback to Six Star Factory Outlet, the Poulsbo Village shop where he purchased the rock.

“It did, it looked like he (Jesus) was carrying the cross,” said Carmelita Whyte, owner of Poulsbo’s Six Star. She doesn’t know where the rocks came from, and has no plans to order more.

“People see things everywhere,” said Six Star employee Lynn Douthit.

Kuckuck, who described himself as “very religious” but admitted his pals call him a “holiday worshipper,” said he’s a Knights of Columbus member, and his lived in Poulsbo since 1995. A painter, Kuckuck said he’s disabled and currently living on social security.

For anyone who wants to contact him about the rock, they can give him a call at (360) 697-2293.

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