Oh, - - - - - - -!

Oh, no! That word seemed to jump off the page at me, and everything else in the classroom faded into insignificance. Our excellent, but strict, speech teacher had just assigned reading parts to the class and handed out the script. Quickly scanning the first page, my eyes stopped when I hit that word!

You see, I knew that Connie had been assigned to read that line in the script. With few exceptions, almost anyone in the class could have read that profane word without any personal concern. But I knew Connie. I knew of her high standards in every area of her life and of her integrity in maintaining those standards with no compromise. She just exemplified purity and freshness and happiness. Clean thoughts and language were carefully guarded. Now suddenly she was expected to violate that standard by a teacher who saw nothing wrong at all with such language. The script was already being read aloud, and I wondered what she would do. Then it was time for Connie’s part.

“Oh, PUMPKIN!” she exclaimed! The startled class suddenly broke out in good-natured laughter. Our teacher looked up quickly with a surprised expression on her face and momentarily studied Connie. Slowly she began to smile as she realized that Connie wasn’t just trying to attract attention or trying to be funny. But Connie simply continued reading her assigned part as though nothing unusual had happened.

[illustration] Illustrated by Roger Motzkus