(NOTE: This latest entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project is submitted with sincerest best wishes for a happy holiday.)

Thanksgiving was fast approaching, and Mrs. and Mrs. Patterson had received a holiday card in the mail from their son and his family, who lived out on the west coast and were planning to spend the holiday this year with his wife’s family. The poem printed inside the card was your typical bit of greeting card drivel, but their son’s handwritten note below that poem told how much he loved and missed his parents and how he and his family were looking forward to spending Christmas with them the following month.

That note so touched Mrs. Patterson’s heart that, on the following Sunday, she brought the card with her to church to show to some of the other ladies in her Sunday school class. They were passing the card around in the sanctuary before the morning service when one of the other women’s grandson asked about the artwork on the front of the card.

It was a painting of a pilgrim family walking together. “They may be on their way to church,” Mrs. Patterson told the youngster. “In those days the Pilgrims enjoyed going to church together as a family.”

The boy considered that for a moment, then made a face as he shook his head. “I don’t believe that.”

“Why not?” Mrs. Patterson wanted to know.

“If those kids are so happy to be going to church,” the boy responded, “how come their dad is carrying that rifle?”