NCE upon a time there was a
One morning, the old rooster crowed very
early and little John woke and was
going to jump up and dress. But he
remembered that it was Sunday morning and
didn't have to get up so early. So he lay
there in bed and watched the shiny
things going up and down and along on the
walls the way they do when it isn't
very light; and little Charles watched
them, too, but he didn't see the same
ones that little John saw. And after
awhile, Aunt Deborah came in and put little
John's Sunday clothes and little Charles's
Sunday clothes on the bed, and she
told the little boys to get up. So they
both jumped out of bed and dressed and
When little John had had his breakfast, he
went to the closet and got his frock.
His frock was a long kind of a coat that
slipped on over his head and hung down
almost to his feet, and covered his clothes
all up. He tied the string around
his neck, and then he went out to the
While the little boys were getting ready to
go to church, Uncle John went out to
the barn, and he got the horses out of
their stalls. The horses had had their
breakfasts, and he rubbed them down with a
brush and then with some straw, so
that they were all shiny. Then he put on
the harness and led the horses out to
the shed and hitched them to the carryall;
and he led them to the door of the
Then, pretty soon, Uncle Solomon came out, and Aunt Phyllis and Aunt Deborah. And Aunt Phyllis and Aunt Deborah had on their black dresses, and Uncle Solomon had on his black coat and Uncle John had on his black coat, and Uncle Solomon and Uncle John were both very uncomfortable. Then Aunt Phyllis and Aunt Deborah got into the carryall and sat on the back seat, and Uncle Solomon got in and sat on the front seat. And Uncle John unhitched the horses and got in beside Uncle Solomon. And under the seat was a basket that had some luncheon in it. Then they started and the horses walked down the little track and through the wide gate into the road and along the road on the way to church.
When the little boys had walked along the
road for awhile, going to church,
pretty soon they came near another
After awhile, the boys came where the
houses were closer together, and they
stopped chasing each other and throwing
stones, and walked quietly again, for
they didn't want any of the
Uncle John drove the horses along until
they came to the church. It was just a
kind of square wooden house with long
windows and a tall steeple that was
pointed, and a sloping roof. It was painted
white and had long green blinds,
So Uncle John drove the horses into the shed, and all the people got out of the carryall, and Uncle John took the bridles off the horses' heads, and put halters on, and tied them to the rack. When that was done, the little boys were just coming along, and they all went in together to church, and walked down the middle aisle to their pew and the other little boys went to the pews where their fathers and mothers were.
The pew where Uncle Solomon and Uncle John sat was almost square, and it had high wooden sides. The sides were so high that little John couldn't see the other people when he was sitting down. He couldn't even see the minister, and the minister stood in a high place that had stairs going up to it, winding around.
When all the people had sat down and it was time for the church to begin, the minister walked up the winding stairs and all the people stood up and they sang. There wasn't any organ to help them sing, but there was a bass viol up in a gallery at the back of the church, and a man played the bass viol, and another man played a kind of a trumpet. A bass viol is a great enormous fiddle or violin, and one end of it rests on the floor and the man stands up to play it. When they had done singing, the minister prayed for a long time, and then they all sang again, and after awhile the minister began to preach a sermon. Little John didn't know what the minister was preaching about, and he couldn't see anything but the walls of the pew and the heads of the people who sat just in front of him, in the next pew, and the minister's voice, going along so even, made him very sleepy. He tried to keep awake, just doing nothing. Then he began to play pretend games with himself, to keep awake better, but that didn't keep him awake long, and pretty soon he was sound asleep, with his head leaning against Aunt Deborah. She saw that he was asleep, but she didn't wake him or let Uncle Solomon know that he was asleep.
After awhile, the minister got through preaching, and that woke little John. Then the people all sang again and the minister prayed another long time, and at last, church was all over. Then the people all got up and walked out.
When the people went out of church, Aunt Deborah and Aunt Phyllis waited on the steps for a little while and talked to some other people, and then they went over to the shed where the horses were tied, and they got into the carryall. Aunt Deborah got out the basket and opened it, and she took out some crackers and some turnovers, and she gave two crackers and a turnover to little Charles, and two crackers and a turnover to little John. And the little boys took their crackers and turnovers and they ran across the road to a big pump that was there and they pumped some water on the crackers to make them soft.
Then they ran back and went
to an old
They played stage‑coach for awhile.
This time, church didn't last quite so long
as it did the first time, but little
John thought it was very long. All the
people sang, and the minister prayed and
preached another sermon, and little John
went to sleep again. But at last it was
all over and everybody got up and went out.
Then Uncle John took the halters off
the horses' heads and put on the bridles,
they all got into the carryall and the
horses backed the carryall out of the
shed and started along the road to the
When the little boys got to the
And that's all.