A tale is told of a Kansas minister, a great precisionist in the use of words, whose exactness sometimes destroyed the force of what he was saying. On one occasion, in the course of an eloquent prayer, he pleaded:
"O Lord! waken thy cause in the hearts of this congregation and give them new eyes to see and new impulse to do. Send down Thy lev-er or lee-ver, according to Webster's or Worcester's dictionary, whichever Thou usest, and pry them into activity."
"I'm at the head of my class, pa," said Willie.
"Dear me, son, how did that happen?" cried his father.
"Why, the teacher asked us this morning how to pronounce C-h-i-h-u-a-h-u-a, and nobody knew," said Willie, "but when she got down to me I sneezed and she said that was right."
The parson's daughter spoke pleasantly, but with a hint of rebuke, to one of her father's humble parishioners:
"Good morning, Giles. I haven't noticed you in church for the last few weeks."
"No, miss," the man answered. "I've been oop at Noocaste a-visitin' my old 'aunts. And strange, miss, ain't it, I don't see no change in 'em since I was a child like?"
The parson's daughter was duly impressed.
"What wonderful old ladies they must be!"
But the man shook his head, and explained with remarkable clearness:
"I didn't say 'arnts', miss. I said 'awnts'—'aunts where I used to wander in my childhood days like."