Sunday, November 9, 2008
A Short Sunday Story......
.....because it is all too slippy-sloppy in Mother Nature's larder for a Sunday Stroll.
CHAPTER ONE, in which our four year old martyr refused to give up her pennies in Sunday School.
Every Sunday her gentle mother would load her three children into the car to deliver them into the pious hands of their respective Sunday School teachers, leaving their daddy behind at home...which if you have read any of the entries here about him, you would conclude that leaving Daddy at home ALONE, was a risky and somewhat dangerous move.
Every Sunday this little girl would have her hair carefully brushed, a ribbon tied on, a clean dress wrestled onto her wriggling little body, and wonders of wonders, a pair of sandals on those normally bare feet. Pennies would be tied up into her hankie for the collection plate. (Therese Defarge??)
It was that collection plate, with its gaping and
greedy mouth that caused such anxiety for this small person. What the reader does not know about her, is that each and every Sunday she wanted, she hoped, she prayed in her selfish four year old mind, to escape the confines of Sunday School with her pennies unsullied and still in the grip of her tightly tied handkerchief. She had plans for those pennies and those plans did not involve supporting the church, sending rice or Bibles to impoverished children; she wanted those pennies to spend at Kam Fui's store on the way home. She wanted to buy herself and ice cream cone. The fact that they rarely stopped at the store had no effect on her inherent greediness.
Week after week she would refuse to relinquish those shiny little coins, and week after week she would, in the end, heave a huge and dramatic sigh, get up out of her little chair, stomp her four year old feet across the ocean of linoleum and throw those pennies into the collection plate with a dramatic, "There!" It was her own personal Green Mile.
The writer of this tale does not remember how many times this was repeated, but she does remember very clearly what happens in Chapter Two.
CHAPTER TWO, in which our devious and conniving small person ends it all.
The three children are loaded into the car. The loving mother drives off, and perhaps because of distractions, fatigue or inattention, waits until the family is within close proximity to the church, and asks in her gentle voice, "Is everyone ready?" The older sister and brother respond affirmatively. The four year old small and devious person looks down, pulls up the skirt of her dress and shouts out happily, "OOPS!" to reveal that she has no underpants on.
Oh, Joyful, Joyful, Hallelujah and Amen!! It is too late to both turn around, go back home, put those panties on and then make it to Sunday School in time.
The car is turned around, it does wend its way home, but it is far too late to proceed back to church. It is her finest hour in her selfish little brain and it is the last time she remembers going to Sunday School, the last time that she will hoard her pennies.
EPILOGUE: Several years later she will begin accompanying her grandmother to the Episcopal Church in downtown Honolulu. She will no longer begrudge her pennies, but she will spend her time on her knees, next to her grandmother and offering up this prayer: "Please God, I want Gramma to take me out to lunch."