The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "The Magic Piper, May, Mother's Day"

Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill. I'm a hope'n your week is a go'n well fer youn's thus far.

It appeared everyone enjoyed the "Amish Supper" at St. Patrick's Church last week. It was a huge crowd and wonderful event. .

As the weather warms up and the soils become dry enough to get back at tillage and plant'n I am reminded of a poem entitled, "The Magic Piper' by E.L. Marsh.

The Magic Piper

There piped a piper in the wood

Strange music - soft and sweet-

And all the little wild things

Came hurrying to his feet.

They sat around him on the grass, Enchanted, unafraid,

And listened, as with shining eye, Sweet melodies he made.

The wood grew green, and flowers sprang up,

The birds began to sing;

For the music it was magic, and the piper's name was-spring!

There ya has it then, words put together in a way what makes ya think how special May can be. Whilst fer this spring the weather man seemed to be a little confused and put March weather in April, we'll take it as it comes and be thankful fer it.


May is now here and it is a month fer memories. This is the month we think of soft breezes, fragrant flowers, balmy weather and Mother's Day. Here it comes already, Mother's Day next Sunday.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has some history to it. The English celebrated a "Mothering Sunday' as far back as the seventeenth century. Young folk who worked a distance from their home were given off the fourth Sunday in Lent so they could visit their parents and give them presents.

Here in the United States, President Woodrow Wilson made an official recognition fer mothers in 1914. He was urged on by Anna Jarvis who enlisted the help of organizations like the World's Sunday School Association and the assistance of well-healed backers like John Wanamaker and H.J. Heinz. The floral industry contributed to her idea and she spoke of their conventions. Jarvis tirelessly devoted full-time to the promotion of Mother's Day to honor her mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis. Thus, there was actually two Anna Reeves - mother and daughter.

A few "Ba Humbug' senators scorned the Mother's Day resolution as childlish, of little value, and "absolutely absurd" fer everyday is Mothers Day.

One Senator judged the concept of Mother's Day to be an insult as though his memory of his late mother "could only be kept green by some outward demonstration" once a year.

Attorney Ward Beecher is quoted as having said about mothers: "The babe at first feeds upon the mothers bosom, but it is always on her heart'.

Anna R. Jarvis cared for wounded soldiers without prejudice of both sides during the Civil War. Generals Lee and McClellan both sent their wounded to her.

She worked with doctors and nurses before the war through what she called Mother's Day work clubs. They inspected milk fer children, helped mothers with tuberculosis, and furnished medicine fer the poor.

After the war, Mrs. Jarvis served her country with a Mother's Friendship meeting. The object was to rebuild peace and harmony among the returning soldiers regardless of which side they may have fought on.

Leading citizens advised her agin the meeting fer fear of violence betwixt men of strong feelings. Mrs. Jarvis replied, "I will not, I am not a coward."

The meeting was held and the ex-soldiers, both blue and gray, sang patriotic songs. A feeling of unity was held by the participants.

Upon her death in 1905 her daughter was devastated. She found a way to relieve the grief and memorialize her mother by work'n ta promote a day that would honor all mothers. Anna herself had no children.

Enterestingly enough, she later fought to have Mother's Day abolished. She felt she had lost control of the holiday she helped create. Commercialism had destroyed her intend of Mother's Day. She wanted Mother's Day, "To be a day of sentiment, not profit".

She referred ta the florists, greeting card manufacturers and the confectionary industry as, "charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers, and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations". The floral industry had used her, in promote'n Mother's Day, fer their own selfish greed, she felt.

Jarvis strongly felt the best observance of Mother's Day would be a visit home or to write a personal long letter ta your mother. She was totally against those who sold and used greeting cards. She is quoted as having stated, "A Maudlin, insincere printed card or ready-made telegram means nothing except that you're too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone else in the world". In her opinion, "Any mother would rather have a line of the worst scribble from her son or daughter than any fancy greeting card".

Her efforts were rewarded by spend'n her last days very deep in debt and committed to a mental asylum. She died November 24, 1948.

Well, golly gee, that be'n the rest of the story has a rather sad finale. I'm a guessing the commercialization and capture by greed of Mother's Day doesn't come as much of a surprise ta anyone. It has happened ta other holidays and religious observations as well.

Anna Jarvis and her deeply held convictions gives a feller much ta think about. The boys no doubt will chew on this fer a spell or two. I reckon they had better go easy on put'n their conclusions ta action outside of their own close circle if'n they wants ta stay clear of condemnation ta a mental institution like what happened to daughter, Mrs. Jarvis.

Although with what Burt Prelustsky of the Los Angeles Times said last week about left wing dingbats in California, maybe a feller would be safe in comparison to say'n anything.

There ya has it then. Enjoy Mother's Day with a personal visit and/or hand written letter.

Hope'n to see ya in church this week. Where ever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n BE A GOOD ONE!!

Keep on Smile'n,

Catch ya later!