“Shhhh, Jennie, don’t make a sound, or I betcha Mama will see us sittin’ up here at the top of the steps where it’s kinda dark and make us go back to bed. She’s been so excited about havin’ the home group meetin’ at our house tonight. She’s been bakin’ and cleanin’ and shooin’ us out of her way all day to get ready. Oh, there’s the doorbell now. Daddy’s goin’ to let folks in.
“What’s that you say? ‘That lady in the purple hat sure does walk funny.’
“Well, that’s Miz Smith, and she can’t help it. She’s had a lot of trouble with her bad knee lately. I betcha they’ll pray for her tonight.
“Look at ‘em piling in here now. I betcha there’s a hunnerd of ‘em. They’re just laughin’ and talkin’ like it’s a big party or somethin’. They sure seem happy to see each other. I seen a couple of ‘em huggin’ Mama. I betcha they really love her. She’s pretty sweet most of the time, ‘cept when we’re getting’ on her last nerve. Daddy sure must think she’s sweet cause he hugs on her all the time.
“You want to know what that book is they’re all holdin’ in their laps? Why, that’s the Bible. It’s the same book Mama and Daddy read out of ev’ry night after dinner. It’s got awful big words in it for you and me, but they ‘splain ‘em to us. Now I betcha they’re gonna read some from it here and then talk, talk, talk about it. Almost wears me out, jus’ listenin’ to ‘em.
“Oh look, they’re all laughin’ ‘bout somethin’ or ‘nother. I betcha Daddy told ‘em one of his funny stories. He’s got lots of ‘em.
“And now they’re all cryin’. I betcha Mr. Moore’s tellin’ ‘em about his son gettin’ runned over. I heard Daddy tellin’ Mama about it this mornin’. Jimmy got his leg broke when he was gettin' off the school bus, and a car run into him. They said they sure was glad he wasn’t kilt.
“Now look at ‘em, all on their knees, 'cept for Miz Smith. She’s got the bad knee, ya know. Sounds to me like God’s in the room, and they’re jus’ talkin’ to Him, like you and me's talkin’. Daddy says God always hears us when we pray. I betcha He’s listenin’ to ‘em prayin’. Some of ‘em must think He heard 'em 'cause their faces are all shiny-like.
“And there they go to the dinin’ room table, where Mama put all them goodies. Them choclat chip cookies sure was good. I had me six of ‘em when Mama wasn’t lookin'. Do ya remember? I give you a couple. I betcha they’ll eat all the rest of ‘em and won't save none for us. Ya know it’s a good thing Daddy di'nt hear me say, ‘I betcha,' 'cause he said he was gonna warm my bottom good the next time he heard me say it.
“Let’s you and me jus’ put our heads down here on the top step and rest for a ‘sec while they’re all sayin’ good-bye.”
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“Oh Myrtle, come look at the top of the steps at that precious little boy, fast asleep in his pajamas, with the tiny black poodle in his arms.”
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