Picture 9

DISCLAIMER: Story and characters are mine.

Lincoln Plantation



The circuit-riding minister surveyed the town from the back of his horse and saw only one old lady leaning against a fence. A well-worn path led him down into shallow valley between a few gently rolling hills and turned through the village. As he passed, he stopped and greeted her.

"Fine morning, is it not, Goody Benett?"

"Fine, indeed, sir," she replied. She held a mortar and pestle in her hands and didn't stop grinding herbs even while she spoke to him.

"How are thy chickens?"

"One is still not laying, but I dare say they are better, sir."

"Forgive me, but where are the others?"

"They are at market today, sir."

"Ah, yes. Yes, the market," said the minister. "I trust the crops came in well."

"God has blessed us. Art thou hungry, sir?" She went inside the house and came back with two apples which she offered to him. She didn't have the mortar and pestle with her anymore. "And thirsty?"

"Yes. Thank you."

He accepted the apples and let her lead him to the rain barrel that had a dipper in it. He scooped up some water and had a drink. When he was done, she got out a small bucketful of water and picked up a tool next to the barrel that looked like a showerhead with a hole on top. As he ate, he silently watched her fill the showerhead-like tool in the bucket, put her thumb on top of hole, and when it was over her garden, she released her thumb and sent water gently sprinkling over her vegetables. She did it several times until she finished watering the row of young vegetables, and then put the small bucket and showerhead-like tool back near the barrel. She walked to the table against the side of the house and poured more grain into a shallow bowl and started grinding it into flour.

"And that's what life was like back in the early 18th century, kids," the teacher said as she and her class, on a field trip, watched the minister/living museum actor finish his apples. "People didn't have much leisure time because, except for Sundays, almost everyone had to work every minute of every day so they could have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, shelter, and just basically survive. Lincoln Plantation is a very good representation of that life. Oh, and 'Goody' is short for 'Goodwoman.' It's like 'Mrs.' is to us."

A boy looked at the minister character and asked him, "There wasn't any TV back then?"

The actor got on his horse and chose to stay in his role. "TV? What is that?" he asked, but with a telltale twinkle in his eye. "Now, go help Goody Benett grind her grain."

He rode away.


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