The Mask

While passing a busy corner in our city on her way to the Wednesday evening service on Halloween, a student of Christian Science noticed among the passing masqueraders a little fellow about six or seven years of age, masked and in costume, jumping up and down screaming with all his might. At first she thought he was just having a hilarious time, merely trying to drown out the horns, rattles, laughter, and so on, of those on the street, but at a closer glance she discovered tears trickling down from under the mask. On getting a little nearer and questioning him, she found he was thoroughly frightened at all the masked people, and in fact every one on the street, so that it took a good deal of gentle persuasion to draw him to one side of the pavement and find out what was the trouble.

The first thing the student did was to remove the mask so that the little fellow could see better. This lessened his fear to the extent that he stopped screaming and told her he was lost and wanted his sister. She saw at once that he had become separated from his older sister, and was so frightened he had even forgotten his name, and did not know the way home. The student assured him she would stay and take care of him, that they would stand there and wait until his sister came along and found him, that there was not a thing to be afraid of, that the people were just dressed oddly, as he was, and were all nice people, and would be glad to help him as she was doing. Presently the sister did come along. When the little fellow spied her, with a cry of joy he sprang into her arms, and from that moment all thought of loss, fear, and anxiety had disappeared. Immediately he began to enjoy the funny costumes, the bright lights, horns, and so forth, but he did not want the mask put on again. He knew it was that mask which had blurred his sight and caused all the trouble.

"With power"
October 26, 1918

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