Somewhere, Indiana was a quiet not to say bucolic village of some five or six thousand souls. And as to the tending of souls, the community was well-supplied with churches. There were by most accounts twenty-three churches in the immediate environs of the community. One was Roman Catholic, eleven were Baptist, and the remaining ones were protestant churches of various stripes. These twenty-three do not include a Kingdom Hall and an LDS facility, both well outside the town proper, and outside the consideration of the citizenry with the exception of the adherents and devotees of those respective faiths.
This seems an awfully ponderous introduction to a light-hearted tale about a little girl and her Sunday School experience. Yet it is somewhat germane in that it clearly points out that Somewhere was if not a religious place at least a place where the citizens respected or at least supported religious institutions. And Margot's parents were considered to be heathens by the social standards thereabouts. Oh, Tad and Marsha were nice enough people, good moral people. They were well-educated and successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. But they cheerily and cheerfully ignored all attempts by friends or neighbors, laity or clerical, to entice them into participation in religious services.
But seven-year old Margot, while not a social butterfly, had developed a friendship with Luanne. Lu's parents were staunch Methodists, pillars of Brookside UMC one might say. Inevitably Luanne prevailed upon her friend Margot to attend Sunday school with her. And Margot presented the case to her mother. Mother was open-minded and not averse to the idea that her pride and joy be exposed to the other side of things, and gladly agreed that Margot might go to Sunday school.
Sunday morning Margot skipped down her front steps, blue dress, white bonnet with a broad blue ribbon and blue bow tied just above the brim. Her Mary Janes were new and white stockings completed the ensemble. The child skipped along the sidewalk and up the steps to the house next-door but one. Presently Luanne joined Margot and the two skipped merrily along the walk, a bluebell and a jonquil bobbing along side by side to the Methodist Church a mere block away.
Mrs. Leffler was enthusiastically explaining to the children how God formed Adam from the dust of the earth, then deciding the man should have a companion put him to sleep, removed a rib and formed a woman. "Oh," exclaimed Margot, "that's disgusting!"
Startled, Mrs. Leffler said, "Excuse me?"
"First God made a man out of mud then he cut him open and took a bone to make a woman? Mud and blood and bone? That is disgusting."
"But, Honey, this is God's word. It is completely true and this creation story reminds us that we are not all that high and mighty."
"Whatever. My Mama says I am made of sugar and spice and everything nice!"
"That is a pretty thing for your mother to say, but we must take God at his word."
"Well, I am going with my Mama on this one."
Sunday school was over and the girls met Luanne's parents in the foyer. Mrs. Jarrett said, "Won't you join us for the worship service, Margot?"
"Oh, no, thank you Mrs. Jarrett. I gotta get on home now."
Up the front steps, in the front door. Mama called, "Is that you, Muffin?"
"How was Sunday school?"
"It was fine, Mama."
"What did you learn?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Margot said as she closed the bathroom door behind her.
And on that issue Margot was completely right.
Word of the day: ponderous