Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 7, page 2 of 3)


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Chapter 7

Marilla decided that Anne's religious training must be
begun at once. Plainly there was no time to be lost.

"You must say your prayers while you are under my roof, Anne."

"Why, of course, if you want me to," assented Anne cheerfully.
"I'd do anything to oblige you. But you'll have to tell me what
to say for this once. After I get into bed I'll imagine out a
real nice prayer to say always. I believe that it will be quite
interesting, now that I come to think of it."

"You must kneel down," said Marilla in embarrassment.

Anne knelt at Marilla's knee and looked up gravely.

"Why must people kneel down to pray?" If I really wanted
to pray I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great
big field all alone or into the deep, deep, woods, and I'd
look up into the sky--up--up--up--into that lovely blue sky
that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then
I'd just FEEL a prayer. Well, I'm ready. What am I to say?"

Marilla felt more embarrassed than ever. She had intended
to teach Anne the childish classic, "Now I lay me down to
sleep." But she had, as I have told you, the glimmerings
of a sense of humor--which is simply another name for a
sense of fitness of things; and it suddenly occurred to her
that that simple little prayer, sacred to white-robed
childhood lisping at motherly knees, was entirely unsuited
to this freckled witch of a girl who knew and cared nothing
bout God's love, since she had never had it translated to
her through the medium of human love.

"You're old enough to pray for yourself, Anne," she said
finally. "Just thank God for your blessings and ask Him
humbly for the things you want."

"Well, I'll do my best," promised Anne, burying her face
in Marilla's lap. "Gracious heavenly Father--that's the
way the ministers say it in church, so I suppose it's all
right in private prayer, isn't it?" she interjected, lifting
her head for a moment.

"Gracious heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the White
Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny
and the Snow Queen. I'm really extremely grateful for
them. And that's all the blessings I can think of just
now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want,
they're so numerous that it would take a great deal of
time to name them all so I will only mention the two
most important. Please let me stay at Green Gables;
and please let me be good-looking when I grow up.
I remain,
"Yours respectfully,
Anne Shirley.

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