Tongue for Holy Things

FIRST HE LET Brendan baptize him all by himself in the deep bed of a stream with his whole kindred gawking from the banks. Then they all come wading in after him. They stood to their chests in the dark water. The children that was too small they took up in their arms. Me and Brendan sloshed among them soaking their heads one by one for an hour or more till at last the entire pack was done.

Then Brendan stood up in a grove of small-nutted branching green hazels and made them a grand speech. He told them how Christ was Prince of Light and King of the Stars and all such as that. He told them every nasty thing they ever did was washed clean away now so they wasn't to foul themselves ever doing the likes again. He told them the Holy Ghost was a gold-eyed milk-white dove would help them stay sweet as milk and true as gold. It was only Brendan with his big bottom and pointed red head talking. . . . Yet I had to own he cut a fine figure there by the river. Nor did any have a luckier tongue for holy things.

-Originally published in Brendan

To receive daily Quote of the Day emails, sign up here.