befell a “sinner” who forsook church attendance on Sunday.
It is difficult on drowsy summer Sundays not to look out the church windows to watch the magic monotony of its motion and listen to the quiet song it sings. Even Father, in his pulpit, would often stare dreamily out of the window toward the stream and the fields that lay beyond.
On one such Sunday, when father was in the midst of his sermon, we noticed how often he glanced that way. Soon he began edging toward the window, intently interested in something outside. It wasn’t long before everyone who was sitting near the row of windows was looking, too; and we saw a man walking slowly along swinging a stick and stooping every few paces to pick up a stone to throw in the brook. We thought the noise of the plop was bothering Father, but that wasn’t it. A few yards behind the walking man walked a goat.
Every time the man stooped down the goat paused and lowered its head. The situation was full of suspense. Father’s preaching went on without a break, while he wondered and we all wondered when or if the issue would be joined. The goat timed his charge to the split-second-seeking to know with some sixth sense when the man would bend down. The man flew through the air with a startled cry, the goat, its mission accomplished, ran happily across the field with its back feet kicking in the air and Father stamped his foot and slapped his leg in the way he did when he was very pleased. “Another backslider has learned, “Father announced to the congregation, “that the safest place to be on Sunday morning is in the church.”