When your grandfather was a very young boy at sundown on Saturday night everyone stopped every kind of work or play. The rule was that no work was done on Sunday.
Supper was very quiet. After supper, Grandfather's father read aloud a chapter of the Bible, while everyone sat straight and still in his chair. Then they all knelt down on their knees and their father said a long prayer to God. When he said, “Amen,” they got up from their knees and each took a candle and went to bed. They must go straight to bed, with no playing, laughing, or even talking.
Sunday morning they ate a cold breakfast, because nothing could be cooked on Sunday. Then they all dressed in their best clothes and walked to church. They walked, because using the horses was work and no work could be done on Sunday.
They must walk slowly and quietly, looking straight ahead. They must not joke or laugh, or even smile. Grandfather and his two brothers walked ahead. Their father and mother walked behind them.
In church, Grandfather and his brothers must sit perfectly still for two long boring hours and listen to the preacher talk to them. This talk was called a sermon. They dared not move their fingers around while they sat on the hard bench. If they did play games with their fingers, they would be punished. They dared not swing their feet. They dared not turn their heads to look at the windows or the walls or the ceiling of the church. They must sit perfectly motionless and never move. They must never even for one second take their eyes from the preacher.
When church was over, they walked slowly home. They might talk on the way, but they must not talk loudly and they must never laugh or smile. At home they ate a cold dinner which had been cooked the day before. Then all the long afternoon they must sit in a row on a bench and study their Christian textbook, until at last the sun went down and Sunday was over.
But the boys were not thinking about their Christian textbook, because they had made a sledge.
(The original book is in the public domain under Hong Kong copyright law. This simplified copy is under my new copyright.)