Mattie had good reasons for wanting to quit Sunday school. First, in good weather, she wanted to be out on Daddy’s fishing boat all weekend. The second was the new Sunday School teacher, Miss Ryan. True, she was kind and pretty with a beautiful voice, but there was a problem. With her brother Pete away on the Floating Theater, Mattie had been hoping to finally win the blue ribbon for rote-learning at the church picnic in May. Thanks to Miss Ryan, Mattie was losing her natural advantage.
Arriving late, Mattie stood outside the closed door of the Sunday School room. She heard her rivals’ voices, reciting: “Go Eat PopCorn – Paul’s Epistles: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.” “Repentant Sinners Love Jesus. Do Not Give Animals In Zoos Jelly Beans – Jacob’s sons…” Miss Ryan called it “mnemonics;” to Mattie, it was unfair. Anybody could memorize with that kind of help. What good was her talent now? Just as she considered escaping, she heard her mother’s footsteps at the end of the hallway. Checking up on her. She slipped into the room just in time to intone with the others, “What Funny Granny Fries Livers But Hates Livers Done Dryly?…”