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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This Story was transcribed & Contributed by: Laurie Broetzmann

Jack in the Pulpit

By Arnold Schwartz

Once upon a time many years ago, there lived in a small village a boy whose name was Jack, who was always trying to do something great.

Near the village there was a large forest, which was supposed to be haunted, so the people were afraid to go into it. Those who entered did not go far, and some never came back.

One time Jack thought he would make himself great by going into the forest; he had often heard the people say that the fairies wandered about in chariots drawn by beautiful butterflies. and that there was an old church lying in ruins about which the fairies liked to wander, and pass away their time by singing, and dancing in the moonlight. Jack thought if he could only find the ruins of the church, he would hide himself and wait for the fairies.

He wandered about for days when at last he found the church. Everything was ruined except the pulpit, which was still standing, and covered with beautiful green moss. Jack thought that this was a fine place to hide and wait for the fairies. He had to wait until nearly dark, when all at once the sound of sweet music and the song of many birds came to his ear; hundreds of fairies came drawn by butterflies, which were harnessed with hair like threads made of gold.

When Jack saw the fairies he began to wish he had one of them to show to the people in the village. He couldn't think of any way of getting at them. He knew the only thing he could do was to wait until they got near enough, and then to "grab" at one.

It did not take long, when they all began to gather around the pulpit. Jack made one "grab" and missed the fairy. The king fairy saw this, and became very angry at Jack. He immediately changed the pulpit into a pretty green pulpit, with Jack in the center not quite as high as the pulpit.

This is how we came to have a flower called "Jack-in-the-Pulpit" in our woods.

(Note: This story was included in the booklet, Origin of Flowers, which was written in June 1906) Arnold Schwartz was born in 1888 and died in 1984.

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