Tricia Hague-Barrett: INQUISITIVE INQUIRY of the adult kind

Have you ever been asked a serious question by a 5-year-old before? I have….


I had the most inquisitive daughter. When she had been at school for only two days, she said to me on the way home from school, “Mum, I have something serious to ask you,” and I tried to think what kind of ‘very serious question’ it could be for a five year old.  


After I managed to get through the lights, I asked her what it was she wanted to know and if it could wait until we got home.

“Oh no,” she said, “I want to know right now!”

I allowed her to ask her question.

“Mum, you won’t laugh at me will you?”

“No dear.” I replied.

“Well mum, what’s abortion?”

I nearly choked on my false teeth. ‘And she wants an answer right now?’ I thought.

As we pulled into our driveway, I asked her for a couple of days to think about the subject, for it was such a serious one that if I told her wrongly, it would affect her for the rest of her life. I told her that I would give it a great deal of thought, and I would explain things in the best way I know how.

This was a doozy, and I wanted to be sure that she really wanted to know about it, and if in a couple of days she didn’t remember that she had asked, I could put aside any answer I might have by then and wait until she asked again.

That night I wrote a fictional story and printed off a copy for me to read to her.  It was probably just as well, for on the way home from school two days later, she asked again.

I told her I had an answer for her, but we would have to wait till we got home for me to tell her. It was a story of life within the womb told by the baby. It was a story of the journey from the world of the fallopian, to the world of the womb and into this world.

When we arrived home, we settled down in the lounge and I read the story to her. She thought it was a lovely story, but because it didn’t seem to answer her question, she asked why I had not answered her question in the story. The word abortion was not in there.

“I have answered your question dear,” was my reply, “let me show you.”

Of the sixteen pages it took to write the story, I tore up the last 13 pages.

She understood immediately, and cried with deep emotion.


“No Revelation from God has ever taught reincarnation; this is a man-made conception.  The soul of man comes into being at conception.” (From a letter on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, April 1, 1946: Lights of Guidance, p. 413.)

“Evolution in the life of the individual starts with the formation of the human embryo and passes through various stages, and even continues after death in another form.  The human spirit is capable of infinite development. . . He does not pre-exist in any form before coming into this world.” From a letter on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, Nov 26 1939: Lights of Guidance, p. 413.)  

“Out of the wastes of nothingness, with the clay of My command I made thee to appear, and have ordained for thy training every atom in existence and the essence of all created things.  Thus, ere thou didst issue from thy mother’s womb, I destined for thee two founts of gleaming milk, eyes to watch over thee, and hearts to love thee.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, Persian)


“O God! Guide me, protect me, make of me a shining lamp and a brilliant star.  Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.” – `Abdu’l-Bahá


I learned a big lesson that day too.


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