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Conrad Hyers in his book, And God Created Laughter tells a of an 8 year old girl who wrote to Abraham Lincoln, who was then running for President suggesting that he grow a beard. In her opinion, Lincoln would stand a better chance of election if he grew one to hide the homeliness of his face. Lincoln could have been offended, but instead he answered her letter personally and thanked her for her suggestion, furthering adding that he’d like to visit with her when his campaign came to her area.

On the day that Lincoln’s campaign train was scheduled to pass through the town, practically the whole town was assembled at the station. There were the leading Republicans wearing their top hats, the shiny marching, band, the townsfolk in their finest attire. Almost everyone was there... al except the little girl. She was left home. After all, her father reasoned, Lincoln would be interested only in the politicians and their speeches - the votes and the voters - not the attentions of a little girl.

It so happened, however, that as the campaign train approached the town, it was forced to stop for repairs. Lincoln, not wanting to sit in the warm train, set off across the field afoot in search of the little girl’s home.

When Lincoln introduced himself at the door, the maid was speechless. But the little girl and her playmate, the maid’s daughter, welcomed him in as if they were expecting him. The two girls had been having a pretend party, drinking pretend hot chocolate out of their small teacups and they invited Mr. Lincoln to join them. After a while, Lincoln said he must be going, thanked them for the party, and asked them how they liked his new beard. Then he walked to the waiting train.

When Lincoln boarded the train, it started on its way and went right through the town without stopping. Right past all the waiting dignitaries, politicians, loud playing band and flag draped platform; right past ladies and gentlemen in their Sunday best... for Lincoln hadn’t come to visit people who were putting on a show for his benefit. He had come to visit and say thank you to a little girl who just wanted to spend time with him.

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