Fridays (Friday Number Two, August 25th, page 2 of 7)


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I call my fellow members of the society the hens. The hens are all much older than I, but I continue to attend their biweekly Wednesday night meetings though we have little in common and they consider me more their child than a peer. I've heard them refer to me as Mildred's daughter when they didn't realize my ears were perked to their comments. I sit in a corner, the quietest hen in the chicken coop. My membership is automatic as I've attended for years, first with my mother and then, when she fell ill, as her surrogate. My sole reason to be there may be a deep seeded need to periodically expose myself to conversation above the seven-year-old, second grade, level.

I should be involved with women my age but those in other church groups are mostly concerned with the religious education of their children, and of course, I have none. Besides, the hens usually demand little by way of conversational participation on my part. An occasional smile or nod is sufficient. Little religious business is conducted other than assignment of mandatory functions such as preparation of the church linens and periodic altar and sacristy maintenance. My prime responsibility, aside from filling a seat on the scheduled Wednesday evenings, is supplying flowers in season, which I do with pleasure.

The ladies are kind hearted souls and quite generous, although at times they are prone to cattiness. They have been particularly kind to me these past weeks, assuming I remain in deep mourning over the loss of my mother. I accept the hen's solicitude in silence. It gives me a respite from their questions and their attempts to draw me into conversation.

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