FC: The Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne Adapted for Children by Meredith Cohen
1: Once upon a time in the village of Milford, villagers gathered to attend the morning mass.
2: Parson Hooper, a young and kind clergyman, served the village. As he began to walk toward the meeting-house, the villagers looked at him in astonishment. What did Parson Hooper have on his face?
3: Mr. Hoooper was dressed neatly, as usual, but hanging down over his face was a black veil. It concealed all of his features but his mouth and chin.
4: With the gloomy veil on him, Mr. Hooper walked onward to the meeting-house, smiling and nodding to the wonderstruck parishoners.
5: The confused parishoners wondered what Mr. Hooper was hiding behind the veil. Rumors soon rumbled through the congregation as the members settled in.
6: As Mr. Hooper walked down the aisle, he seemed not to notice the perturbed villagers until he was face-to-face with the parishoners.
7: The black veil remained on Mr. Hooper's face, and such was the effect, that throughout the sermon, the pale-faced members trembled. The sermon seemed gloomier than usual.
8: At the end of the service, the members huddled in groups, eager to whisper their pent-up anxiety and confusion. As Mr. Hooper exited the meeting-house, he was met with strange and bewildered looks.
9: How strange, some thought, that something as simple as a black veil would look so frightening and horrible on Mr. Hooper's face. The black veil seemed to influence his entire personality.
10: The afternoon service was conducted in much the same way as the morning service. At the funeral service for a young girl, Mr. Hooper was still wearing his veil.
11: As Mr. Hooper bent over the coffin to bid farewell, he stooped, causing the veil to hang straight down from his forehead. If the maiden had not been dead, she would have seen his eyes. An onlooker swore that she saw the dead maiden shudder.
12: That night, a young couple was to be married. Mr. Hooper conducted the ceremony. The ceremony was beautiful, but the horrible black veil seemed to bring evil to the wedding.
13: After performing the ceremony, Mr. Hooper raised a glass of wine to his lips and caught a glimpse of his reflection. Overwhelmed with horror, Mr. Hooper dropped his glass and rushed forth into the darkness.
14: The next day, the whole village talked of nothing but the mysterious black veil. Everyone imagined what he might be hiding, yet no one thought to ask Mr. Hooper.
15: Only Mr. Hooper's wife, Elizabeth, had the courage to question the veil. Mr. Hooper sadly smiled at her but told her he could not take it off, nor explain its purpose.
16: Despite all her entreaties, Mr. Hooper only said that he was bound to wear it forever; no one would ever see it taken off. Elizabeth said she would leave if he didn't take it off, and so sadly she left Mr. Hooper, alone and grieved.
17: From then on, no attempts were made to remove Mr. Hooper's veil. Children fled from his approach, and others turned to avoid him. Mr. Hooper even frightened himself.
18: Among all its bad influences, the veil had one desirable effect; it made Mr. Hooper an efficient clergyman. Though feared, Mr. Hooper was kind and loving, and he acquired the name Father Hooper over the years.
19: Finally, it was Father Hooper's time to rest. At his deathbed, Elizabeth and several church members gathered around by candlelight. The veil still shrouded his face.
20: As the end drew nearer, Reverend Mr. Clark approached. He asked Father Hooper if he could lift away the veil, to end his suffering at last. "Never," cried Father Hooper, as a sad smiled formed on his lips.
21: Father Hooper explained that he had been avoided, shown no pity, and betrayed simply for the mystery surrounding the black veil. In fear, his visitors shrank back as Father Hooper fell back upon his pillow.
22: Father Hooper was buried with the veil on his face. Many years have passed and grass grows over the grave; yet, the awful image of the molded face beneath the black veil still haunts those who know the story.
23: Note: Another clergyman, of Maine, Mr. Joseph Moody, who died about 80 years after Hooper, also hid his face beneath a black veil. In his case, he accidentally killed a beloved friend in his youth, so he never showed his face again.
24: Picture Credits Cover: http://www.lawrence.edu/eport/educ/lichtyp/images/MVC-004Fsmaller.jpg Page 1: http://www.stuartngbooks.com/johnston_our_sunday_best_cv.jpg Page 2: http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/04_03/ShevchenkoCrowd_468x354.jpg Page 3: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/APG/408-20933~Country-Church-Service-Posters.jpg Page 4: http://flickr.com/photos/nevermore/739224421/ Page 5: http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/blog_image_full/files/fruganomics/blog-images/whispering-small.jpg
25: Page 6: http://www.lawrence.edu/eport/educ/lichtyp/images/MVC-004Fsmaller.jpg Page 7: http://www.stbarnabasrec.org/images/sermon.jpg Page 8: http://www.angrypenis.org/BlogVideos/Dragonball/Episode97/GroupOfThree.png Page 9: http://www.featurepics.com/FI/Thumb/20060728/SilhouetteYoungMan55625.jpg Page 10: http://www.riskfin.co.za/Funeral.jpg Page 11: http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/mba0622l.jpg Page 12: http://home.att.net/~rsenecal/wedsmall.gif Page 13: http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/watchdog/blog/ChampagneToast.gif
26: Page 14: http://www.cedoburlington.org/neighborhoods/building_burlingtons_neighborhoods/Talking%20over%20the%20fence.jpg Page 15: http://divorceecorner.com/UserFiles/2008/3/18/front-view-portrait-of-young-woman-with-hand-touching-her-face-~-254373SDC%5B1%5D.jpg Page 16: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://bp3.blogger.com/_x2wi47Xkpsc/RuPeg2ODaMI/AAAAAAAAAJg/lpNcP-6emnY/s400/young-woman-walking-with-suitcase-on-roadside-rear-view-~-73104113.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ciaocinciao.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html&h=300&w=299&sz=22&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=pw8P_jg5QIbRTM:&tbnh=116&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dwoman%2Bwalking%2Bout%2Bdoor%2Bwith%2Bsuitcase%26ndsp%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:*:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7DKUS%26sa%3D
27: Page 17: http://www.clipartheaven.com/clipart/kids_stuff/images_(a_-_f)/boy_-_scared_2.gif Page 18: http://www.antiochian.org/assets/siteImages/bishop_josephenthronement/24.%20Clergy.jpg Page 19: http://www.nsch.org/pages/images/TwoCandles-resized.JPG Page 20: http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1840000/images/_1842142_abbeyn-bbc300.jpg Page 21: http://thumb5.webshots.net/s/thumb4/8/45/60/158384560yUCLjk_th.jpg Page 22: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_5Z-VCbGdD6Y/R9C-Qp5SLUI/AAAAAAAAARo/n54H3qB1vX8/100_0654.jpg Page 23: http://www.lawrence.edu/eport/educ/lichtyp/images/MVC-004Fsmaller.jpg