Fragrant Quote for April 7th, 2012-The Meadow Preacher by Marion Peckering

Bubbling Bobolink Fragrant Quote for April 7th, 2012-The Meadow Preacher by Marion Peckering

Uncle Aleck came briskly downstairs, and lifted his straw hat from its peg.

"Come, little people, who wants to attend service with me this bright morning?"

"We can't go, Bess is so lame," chanted both children, in a plaintive duet.

"Oh, yes, we can. We'll attend the meadow service," answered Uncle Aleck, cheerily. "Come, on with your hats! Hark! they have begun already. I hear the tenor solo this minute."

Two pairs of blue eyes opened very wide indeed. What could Uncle Aleck possibly mean? A bobolink floated over the red clover in the great field behind the barn, his little throat almost bursting with bubbling music.

Uncle Aleck held out a hand to each of the children. They danced gleefully along beside him down the well-trodden path to the broad south meadow.

"I know,— it's a make-believe church, Uncle Aleck," laughed Harry. "You are going to be the minister your own self."

"Indeed, I am not," answered Uncle Aleck, promptly. "I may have to explain the sermon to you. Very likely you will not understand the language. I'll be sure to introduce you to the little meadow preacher."

Uncle Aleck lowered the bars to the fragrant meadow. The daisies and buttercups nodded a blithe welcome to the new-comers. Molly, the pet Jersey heifer, rolled her soft dark eyes inquiringly, as she stood knee-deep in the cool rank grass, contentedly chewing her cud. Uncle Aleck found a long mossy seat, where the brook curved around the fallen trunk of an old tree, and drew the children down beside him.

"This church has a great blue roof," said Harry, gazing thoughtfully up into the summer sky.

"Look at the wild roses and meadow rue. They are the lovely altar flowers," added Helen.

"Bobolink is singing praises with all his might. Hear the crickets' accompaniment, —' Peace, peace, peace!'" said Uncle Aleck.

A tiny red squirrel whisked across a fallen rail, and darted into a hole in the wall.

"Shouldn't think his grandma would allow him to run around right in meeting!" whispered Harry, laughing.

"Hush!" said Uncle Aleck. "There is the little meadow preacher. Now we will listen to his sermon."

"Where? where?" exclaimed the children, breathlessly.

"See that tiny green pulpit, with the wee mite standing erect inside? That is jack-in-the-pulpit, the meadow minister. Now I will try to translate his little sermon for you.

"My friends, our text for this bright, beautiful morning is 'love.' My dear meadow people, we feel the love of our heavenly Father all around us in our peaceful home. It enfolds us in the warm sunshine, it refreshes us in the cool raindrops, and it breathes upon us in the sweet south wind. The flower-hearts expand to receive it. Every living thing is filled with this divine love, and rejoices in its happy life. My dear flower friends, some of you will be gathered and borne over those wonderful green hills that enclose our happy meadow home.

"You, also, O my bird friends, will fly far away into the great world outside. There you will find the dear little children running to and fro at work and play. My people, do not fail, I beseech you, to bear to them the message you have received, that they, too, may love one another."

"I think that is a very good sermon," said Harry, staring intently at the brave little preacher, standing so straight in his leafy pulpit.

"I shall know after this what the birds and flowers are trying to tell me," added Helen, softly.