Ole Johnny Mudd flew on his broom excitedly since it was carrying him over to meet two of the Founding Fathers of the American Nation. As he was swooping through the air he reached back to his own elementary school education and tried to remember the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, titled "Paul Revere's Ride." He grasped his broom, pretending that it was his horse and that he was Paul Revere. This is probably how the celebrated American patriot felt as he clipetty-clopped through the night, he thought.
He began to recite: "Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. 'Twas the 18th of April, in '75. Hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year. He said to his friend, 'If the British march by land or sea, from the town tonight, hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light. One if by land, and two if by sea; and I on the opposite shore will be, ready to ride and spread the alarm through every Middlesex village and farm, for the country-folk to be up and to arm.' "
Suddenly Ole Johnny Mudd swooped down upon a thatched-roof cottage, where Paul Revere himself sat, hammering out a silver teapot as any tinker would. When he saw Ole Johnny Mudd flying toward him, he paused his work and greeted him: "Top o' the morning to ye, stranger. What brings ye to this century?"
Johnny Mudd bowed slightly, as gentlemen used to do at that time, and he said: " 'Tis indeed an honor to meet thee. I am a little disheveled from my midnight ride."
"That's exactly how I felt on the night when I rode through the night on my steed 'Stormy,' yelling at the top of my voice: 'The British are coming! The British are coming!' But weary as I was, it was worth it for a great country was born from that alarm. In fact some people with more vision than mine were already hard at work." Paul Revere pointed out into his garden where a lady sat quietly sewing on a large motley piece of cloth.
Ole Johnny Mudd immediately recognized Betsy Ross as she cut a piece of thread from where she had sewn a star onto a field of blue. " 'Twas a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,' " she said, quoting the proposed preamble to the Constitution and smiling up at the men.
Both men looked at her with admiration. This humble seamstress and upholsterer had been chosen by General George Washington to help him design the first flag. Later on Ross fashioned the flag for Pennsylvania, and after the Revolution, she made U.S. flags for over 50 years.
Many historians tried to credit her, but she just smiled, knowing that she didn't want honors; it had been enough of an honor just to contribute to the cause of a great nation. "Many people want honors that they haven't gained for themselves, but true blue Americans would gladly put such honors aside and even lay down their lives for others," she said.
"Was it really your friend, Nathan Hale, who said: 'I regret that I have but one life to give for my country'?" Ole Johnny Mudd asked her.
"He was but the latest in a long line of visionaries from Romans to State Senators. This only shows us that great people are everywhere, regardless of time of place," Betsy Ross said.
As he was talking with Betsy Ross, Ole Johnny Mudd noticed that a dark and gloomy cloud was coming over the horizon.