It was after dark Sabbath night when I landed on the front porch of a "distant cousin" in southern Wisconsin's Amish community. I introduced myself as Mrs. Annie Yoder, the young, childless, grieving widow of the late Joshua Yoder, from Lancaster, PA.
I was trustingly shown to a plain bedroom on the second floor. The walls were white-washed, and a beautiful double wedding ring quilt lay quaintly on the bed. The floors were bare wood, except for a small braided rug that lay nearby. I was tired from my journey, so fell quickly asleep; my last thought being "Ever hear of air-conditioning?"
4:45 am Monday morning: I was woken by an horrendous noise. I can't describe the sound, except to say that it was most unwelcome. My cousins cheerfully called up to me to "Rise and shine Sister, morning has graciously arrived!" I stumbled around for a bit looking for a light switch so I could get to the bathroom in time. There was no light switch, and no bathroom. I didn't quite make it downstairs and outside to the outhouse in as timely a manner as I would have liked.
Later, I put two and two together, and groggily told my "distant cousins"- over our dark, candle-lit breakfast - that I would be most happy to butcher a plump hen for the evening meal. "Denki" they said. "No, Den-KI", I answered, with a smile.
There was only silence when I brought the poultry in several hours later, stripped of his life, feathers, and his cocky attitude. I humbly apologized when they told me of my error, but added that it must be an easy mistake for any newcomer to make. I slept so wonderfully the next morning that the humility at having to apologize was well worth it.