Jack The Preacher





One morning in very early springtime the big Evergreen Trees began to

talk about the part they took in telling all the woodland flowers that

it was spring.



"Why, if we were not here," said one Evergreen Tree, "who would awake

these sleepy springtime flowers to their duty? I should like you to

tell me!"



"You speak truly, brother," said another tree. "We are ever green and

need no awakening to our duty; but for us the woods would be a

sorry-looking place in the summer. Those lazy crocuses would sleep

right on and on!"



"Yes, and the little violets never would dare show their timid little

heads," said another Evergreen Tree, "when the soft winds begin to run

through the woods. It is then we call forth to all sleeping flowers

and shrubs and bushes: 'Awake! It is time to get up!'"



"And who would tell the Bee summer was on its way?" said another Tree.

"He would never get his work started at all if it were not for us. How

lucky the flowers and all the woodland things are that we are here to

tell them when to get up!"



So the Evergreens talked and bragged about how they preached Springtime

to the woodland folk, and as they talked all the spring flowers awoke

and the insects began lazily to stretch their wings, but it was not

because of what the big Evergreen Trees were saying; no, it was because

they had heard the voice of the little woodland preacher.



And who was he, do you think? Why, no other than Jack-in-the-pulpit,

who gives a talk every spring to all the woodland dwellers on just how

to bloom and how to buzz and when to do it.



Every night for ever so long before it is time for the crocus or the

violet or any early spring flower to bloom, when it is the magic hour

the Fairies come running through the woods and touch Jack on his

nodding little head under the dry leaves and up he pops and begins to

preach.



So when the flowers and bees and things heard the big Evergreen Trees

talking they nodded to each other and laughed. "Isn't it funny to hear

them?" said a beautiful yellow crocus. "Those tall trees know nothing

about the real truth of things, do they?"



"Fancy thinking they awaken us!" said another flower. "Why, they

themselves are asleep. They get so used to winter they stand still all

the time, but who is to tell them the truth about our Preacher Jack?

The Evergreen Trees never bend or sway to one side or the other far

enough to see the beauties of our woodland spring. They only know what

the winds tell them."



"Let them think what they like," said a little bush of pretty blossoms.

"It does not hurt Jack-in-the-pulpit if the Evergreens think they are

the preachers of the woods, for all the spring and summer flowers know

that Jack has always been our preacher and the Evergreens haven't any

pulpit to preach from. Only they do not know it."



And so the sleepy old Evergreens thought they were the ones who

awakened the flowers and preached to them about their duty, and no one

ever told them about little Jack-in-the-pulpit, who always has and

always will preach about the spring and summer to all the woodland

dwellers.





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