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Full text of "Talks to children"

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THE DRINKING POOL 




TALK5 

TO 

CHILDREN 



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^ 





HOUGHTON MrFFLlN COMPANY 
BOSTON 



-^^iiiiliEr 



-<^itttH 



COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



NOTE 

ALL rights in the stories and poems in this volume 
. are reserved by holders of the copyrights. The 
publishers and others named in the subjoined list are 
the proprietors, either in their own right or as agents of 
the authors, of the stories and poems taken from the 
works enumerated, of which the ownership is hereby 
acknowledged. The editor takes this opportunity to 
thank both authors and publishers for the ready gen- 
erosity with which they have allowed her to include this 
material in "The Kindergarten Children's Hour." 

"Over in the Meadow," by OHve A. Wadsworth 
(from "Poems Children Love"); published by Dodge 
Publishing Company. 

"The Cave Twins," by Lucy Fitch Perkins; pub- 
lished by Houghton Mifflin Company. 

"The Miner" (from "Stories Mother Nature Told 
her Children," by Jane Andrews) ; pubhshed by Ginn & 
Company. 

"Milk, Butter and Cheese," "Hair and Bones," and 
"Glue," by Caro A. Dugan ; "Leather," "Horn," 
"Steak and Tallow," by Sara E. Wiltse (from "Kind- 
ergarten Stories and Morning Talks ") ; published by 
Ginn & Company. 

"Goodies to Eat" (from " Muvver and Me," by 
Robert Livingston) ; published by Houghton Mifflin 
Company. 



NOTE 

"The Girl WTio Trod on a Loaf," "The Flax," and 
"The New Year," by Hans Christian Andersen; pub- 
Ushed by Houghton Mifflin Company. 

"The Harvest of the Fields," "The Harvest of the 
Woods," and "How Gofa Made the Pots" (from 
"Days Before History," by H. R. Hall); published by 
Thomas Y. Crowell Company. 

"We Plough the Fields" (from "Church Harmonies 
— New and Old"); published by Universahst Pub- 
lishing House. 

"Little Water-Drop's Journey" (from "With the 
Little Folks"); pubUshed by Houghton Mifflin Com- 
pany. 

" Fire and Smoke " (from " Tell me Why Stories about 
Mother Nature," by C. H. Claudy); pubHshed by 
Robert M. McBride Company. 

"The Water Bloom," and "The Waning Moon" 
(from "Stories and Poems for Children," by Celia 
Thaxter) ; published by Houghton Mifflin Company. 

"Star People," by Katharine Fay Dewey; published 
by Houghton Mifflin Company. 



CONTENTS 

Introduction xiii 

SHELTER 

I. Home S 

n. The Log House 11 

ni. The Indian Home 15 

IV. The Eskimo Home 19 

V. The First Homes 21 

VI. Our Houses 24 

VII. Lumber 29 

VIII. Bricks S7 

IX. Stone 40 

X. Concrete 46 

XI. The Miner 49 

XII. Nails 57 

XIII. Windows 59 

FOOD 

XIV. Kinds of Food 65 

XV. Use of Food 68 

XVI. Spiff's Supper 76 

XVII. The Cow 77 

XVni. The Reindeer 101 

XIX. Primitive Man's Food 104 

XX. The Farmer 119 

XXI. The B.vker 126 

XXII. The Miller 128 

XXni. Water 133 

vii 



CONTENTS 

XXIV. Salt 149 

XXV. Cane Sugar 157 

XXVI. Maple Sugar 160 

XXVII. Honey 163 

XXVIII. Fish 170 

XXIX. The Compass 177 

XXX. Cooking 181 

XXXI. Fire and Smoke 187 

XXXII. Matches 196 

CLOTHING 

XXXIII. Clothing 203 

XXXIV. Wool 210 

XXXV. Cotton 216 

XXXVI. Linen 220 

XXXVII. Silk 228 

XXXVIII. Leather 233 

XXXIX. The Shoemaker 235 

XL. Rubber 237 

XLI. Beads 239 

LIGHT 

XLII. Candles 249 

XLIII. Kerosene 255 

XLIV. Gas 260 

XLV. Electricity 262 

XLVI. Sunshine 278 

XLVII. The Rainbow 280 

XLVIII. The Moon 284 

XLIX. The Stars ........ 297 

L. Lighthouses 834 

viii 



CONTENTS 

TELLING TIME 

LI. Day and Night S41 

m. The Calendar 347 

Un. Clocks 362 

LTV. Hours and Minutes . . . . . . 373 

LV. The Seasons 382 

TRAVELING 

LVI. Transportation 387 

LVn. The Wheelwright 390 

LVIII. How Steam Works for Us ... . 396 
LIX. How Electricity Works for Us . . . 401 

LX. Motor Cars 408 

LXI. Airships 412 

MUSIC 

LXn. The First Instruments 417 

LXIII. The Pipe Organ and the Piano . . . 428 
LXIV. The Victrola 431 

ART 

LXV. The Little Artist 437 

LXVI. How Men Learned to Read and Write . 444 

TOYS 

LXVII. The Toy Shop 453 

LXVIII. Where Toys are Made 459 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Drinking Pool Colored Frontispiece 

From a photograph by the Walmsley Brothers 

Title Page (in color) . From a drawing by Alice Ercle Hunt 

A Log Cabin (The Early Home of Abraham Lincoln) 

From a drawing after a photograph 12 
Hauling Lumber 

From a photograph by Undencood & Underwood 34 

Coal Mining . From a photograph by Underwood & Underwood 52 

Reindeer . From a photograph by Underwood & Undenvood 102 

The Harvest op the Fields 

From a photograph by the Walmsley Brothers 112 

Baking Bread From a photograph by Underwood & Underwood 126 

Gathering Sugar Cane 

From a photograph by Underwood & Underioood 158 

A Boat Load of Mackerel From a photograph 174 

Sheep and Lambs From a photograph by the Walmsley Brothers 212 

Polyphemus Moth and Cocoon 

From a photograph by H. G. Higbee 228 

Raising Silkworms 

From a photograph by Underwood & Underwood 2S2 

The National Capitol Lighted by Electricity 

From a photograph by Charles S. Olcott 262 

A Lighthouse (White Island Light, Isles of Shoals) 

From a photograph by Charles S. Olcott 336 

A Famous Clock (Houses of Parliament, London) 

From a photograph by Underwood & Underioood 366 

Mozart and His Sister From a painting by H. Schneider 

Photograph by Gramstorff Brothers 430 
Where Toys are Made 

From a photograph by Underwood & Underwood 460 



INTRODUCTION 

THIS book has been prepared mtb the purpose of 
helping the busy mother to perform her part in the 
education of her children by encouraging them to ask 
questions and by answering them patiently and intelli- 
gently. 

Parents need constantly to remind themselves of the 
value of a child's first questions and the importance of 
answering them in such a manner as to guide the grow- 
ing mind into habits of observation, thoughtfulness and 
further investigation. 

It must be remembered that this world is very new to 
the little child. It is but natural that he should wish to 
know all about it. How can he learn? By asking ques- 
tions. What and how much he learns will depend upon 
the answers he receives. 

The wise mother, therefore, welcomes, even antici- 
pates these questions and sets aside, with the same 
regularity with which she plans the meals, some part of 
each day which shall truly be the children's hour, when 
they can go to her with their queries sure of ready re- 
sponse. 

At bedtime, in their warm nighties, toasting their toes 
before the open fire, my own three boys and I, and as 
often their father as well, have talked since the oldest 
of them was first able to understand, thus storing up 
many precious memories. 

The talks here given have grown out of my own 
xiii 



INTRODUCTION 

experience and are amplifications of our own bedtime 
talks. They are not intended to be used word for word 
as they stand, but are offered merely as a suggestive 
guide which may serve, I hope, as a useful means of 
stimulating thought and answering innumerable ques- 
tions about the common things of everyday life — where 
we live, what we eat, how we are clothed, how we make 
our way from point to point, etc., seeking always to en- 
courage intelligent questioning, to inform the children, 
and to enlarge and enrich their vocabulary. 

We have tried always to choose the best words, even 
though unfamiliar to them, being careful to explain 
briefly and 2j:early what they could not readily grasp. 

Above all, these talks are intended to lead the child to 
a sense of the significance of the interdependence of all 
things, all workers, nations, races, seasons, ages; each 
upon each, and the dependence of all upon their Creator. 

Alice Packard 



SHELTER 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 
I 

HOME 

"Over in the meadow, in the sand, in the sun. 
Lived an old mother-toad and her Httle toadie one. 
'Wink!' said the mother. 'I wink,' said the one: 
So she winked and she blinked, in the sand, in the sun. 

** Over in the meadow, where the stream runs blue. 
Lived an old mother-fish and her little fishes two. 
'S^N-im!' said the mother. *We swim,' said the two: 
So they swam and they leaped, where the stream runs blue. 

*'Over in the meadow, in a hole in a tree. 
Lived a mother-bluebird and her little birdies three. 
'Sing!' said the mother. 'We sing,' said the three: 
So they sang and were glad in a hole in the tree. 

" Over in the meadow, in the reeds on the shore. 
Lived a mother-muskrat and her little muskrats four, 
'Dive!' said the mother. 'We dive,' said the four: 
So they dived and they burrowed in the reeds on the shore. 

**Over in the meadow, in a snug beehive, 
Lived a mother-honeybee and her little honeys five. 
'Buzz!' said the mother. 'We buzz," said the five: 
So they buzzed and they hummed in the snug beehive. 

**Over in the meadow, in a nest built of sticks. 
Lived a black mother-crow and her little crows six. 
'•Caw!' said the mother. 'We caw,' said the six: 
So they cawed and they cawed, in their nest built of sticks. 
3 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

** Over in the meadow, where the grass is so even. 
Lived a gay mother-cricket and her little crickets seven. 
'Chirp!' said the mother. 'We chirp,' said the seven: 
So they chirped cheery notes in the grass soft and even. 

"Over in the meadow by the old mossy gate, 
Lived a brown mother-lizard and her little lizards eight. 
*Bask!' said the mother. *We bask,' said the eight: 
So they basked in the smi on the old mossy gate. 

"Over in the meadow, where the clear pools shine. 
Lived a green mother-frog and her little froggies nine. 
'Croak!' said the mother. 'We croak,' said the nine: 
So they croaked and they plashed, where the clear pools shinCc 

"Over in the meadow, in a sly little den. 
Lived a gray mother-spider and her little spiders ten. 
'Spin!' said the mother. 'We spin,' said the ten: 
So they spun large webs in their sly little den." 

Olive A. Wadsworth, "Over in the Meadow.'* 

IT'S time to go home.'' How many people all over 
the world say this! Brother coming home from 
school, Mother coming home from the store or club. 
Father coming home from work. Did you ever say, 
"It's time to go home"? 

"And then what did you do?" 

Came home to Mother and Father and Brother and 
Sister, did n't you? And came right into the house and 
found Mother and a warm, cozy room and some play- 
things. By and by, when it got dark, you turned on the 
light, or Mother lighted a lamp, and gave you some sup- 
per and then told you a story, or looked at the pictures 
in a book and told you about them, and after your 
prayer was said, cuddled you into a springy bed, 

4 



HOIVIE 

tucked you in under warm, soft blankets and kissed you 
**Good-night." 

Now suppose your house had not been here when 
you came home! What would you have done? 

" Gone over to Dana's ? " 

But suppose his house had not been here? 

How did your house and Dana's happen to be here 
and how long have they been here, do you think? And 
all the things that Mother uses to make you comforta- 
ble; to get your supper and to put you to bed and to 
make the home warm and bright; where did they come 
from? 

No, they have not always been here. There was a 
time when all about here as far as the whole town, yes, 
and two towns and farther, there was nothing but 
woods. No, not a single house, just a great forest. 

Father and Mother did n't live here then. No, nor 
Grandmother, nor her mother and grandmother. In 
fact there were no white people here then, but — there 
were homes. 

Can you think of any one who might have had a home 
here then? Any families that build their homes in the 
woods now? 

"Yes, the squirrels." High up in the tree-tops, you 
will see what looks like a great bunch of dry, brown 
leaves and sticks and this is the squirrel's summer home. 
In the winter you may find a squirrel family in its house 
in a hollow tree and if you watch in the autumn, when 
the leaves are turning red and gold and flymg through 
the air like birds, you will see them laying in their winter 
store of nuts and acorns. 

5 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Yes, the birds, too, have their homes in the trees, 
though look sharp when you go out again and you will 
see that some of them build their homes right on the 
ground, some of them in hollow trees, and some in the 
bushes and vines. Although these houses, or nests, as 
we call the birds' homes, are made with great labor and 
care, they use them only one season, so if you wish to 
look at them closely you may bring them home in the 
autumn and winter. That is the time when Jack Frost 
is out playing in the garden and woods, and the trees are 
bare, remember, and do not take them at any other 
time or the birds may come home some night, just as 
you do, and not find any home. 

If you do bring the nests home and look closely at 
them you will find that each kind of a bird builds a dif- 
ferent kind of a house and that they do not all use the 
same kind of things to build with. Look long and hard 
enough and you will find out just what each kind of a 
bird does use with which to build its nest and just what 
sort of a place each kind chooses in which to build. 

Dallas Lore Sharp, who has told a great many children 
what to look for in the woods and fields, says, and I want 
you to learn this: "Learn to look long enough and hard 
enough at everything to see something fresh and inter- 
esting about it. Most persons have eyes, but only a few 
persons can really see. And that is because they cannot 
fix their roving eyes on any one thing long enough to 
tell any two things about it. All they can tell is that it is 
a lion and not a dandelion.'* 

See if you can find out what birds weave their nests, 
what birds plaster them like a mason, what ones ham- 

6 



HOME 

mer them out like a carpenter, what ones build in holes 
and hollow trees and will build in houses that you put 
out for them, and what ones glue their nests to chimneys 
and what kinds build no nests at all. 

See, as well, what they use to line their nests with. 

Out in the grass you will find homes, too, under logs 
and stones and bricks; down in the meadows you will 
find homes; and in the ponds and brooks; in the sea, 
also, and in the marsh, there are homes a-plenty; and in 
the sand on the shore. 

When you hear the cricket chirping, that delightful 
little musician in his suit of black patent leather, you 
will likely find him sitting in the sun or feasting upon 
some sort of green, growing leaves, but if you follow him 
home you will find that he is a cave-dweller and makes 
his house almost anywhere near his food supply of 
clover or grass, under boards or loose stones or a clod of 
earth in some sunny nook in the fields or by the road- 
side. 

When you are frightened away by a spider just like 
Little Miss Muffet, if instead of running too far you 
watch him for a while and then look for others as you go 
walking, you will find that some spiders weave a tent for 
their babies, some make a tube web in holes under the 
stones, while some carry their babies on their backs and 
build webs in which to sit and watch for the insects 
which they eat for food. 

Go and watch at the ponds and brooks and meadows 
in the spring, and you will find homes of all sorts, built of 
all kinds of things which are to be found near by; homes 
of famihes that crawl, that walk, that fly, that swim, 

7 



TALES TO CHILDREN 

and some that cannot move about except when they are 
carried. 

Late in March, you will find where the frogs live if 
you go down to the swamp or marsh, and perhaps you 
will find their eggs laid in a mass in the shallow water. 
Not many days later, you will see the tadpoles swim- 
ming about finding food for themselves. 

In April, you may find a little nest of algae or green 
scum. In this the fish's eggs are laid and here the little 
fishes are hatched and stay until they are big enough to 
take care of themselves. 

Out in the tall grass or dry moss, or the thick creeping 
vines like the mountain cranberry, you will find zigzag- 
ging here and there, a network of tiny trails, beaten 
hard and smooth by tiny feet. If you take pains to fol- 
low these you may find the home of the little field mice, 
a cozy little nest lined with soft grasses and containing 
six or eight cunning babies. Sometimes, too, you will 
find their homes in a last year's bird's nest in a bush. 

In a marsh by the edge of a lake or stream you will 
often see what looks like a great mound of coarse reeds 
and grass; this is the muskrat's home. 

In the same sort of place the beaver builds his lodge. 
He is both a carpenter and a mason and saws down 
great trees with his sharp teeth. With these he dams up 
wide streams. He carries sticks, stones, and quantities of 
of mud with which to build and plaster his house. 

In a hollow log, or in the ground, you may find a whole 
colony of ant families at home, or in a hollow tree, a bee- 
hive hidden away full of honey for the winter's food. 

Oh, yes, there were homes of all sorts, and here where 
8 



HOME 

our house now is, long before either you or I, or our 
grandmothers came here to live, there were just such 
animal homes and others of great savage animals, which 
we do not see to-day. 

These animal homes you have found are not all 
alike; some are in the ground, some are on the ground, 
and some are far above the ground and they are made 
of different materials and in different ways. 

How is it with houses that people build? Is your 
house just like Dana's.? Yours is large and his is small? 
Yes, and his is made of wood and yours of brick. And 
Jack's of stone? I'm glad you noticed that and what is 
Auntie's made of? Yes, plaster. 

These are not all of the things that people use. When 
Mrs. Grover was in Hawaii, she found the houses there 
were many of them made of a long, heavy grass. 

In China bamboo and mud and clay are used a great 
deal. [Bamboo and how it grov/s and what it is used for 
will interest the children.] 

We are told that way off in Central Africa where not 
many people have ever visited and the forests are still 
thick and dark that the houses are built of poles around 
which are woven grass and broad leaves to form a 
thatch. 

In the Arctic regions where it is cold and the snow 
stays aU the year round. Daddy said he found the houses 
built of snow. 

In some places there are sod houses. Square pieces of 
grass sod are cut and piled up like bricks. 

Then there are dugouts, that is, as its name says, 
houses dug out of the ground. 

9 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Down in New Mexico, you will find adobe houses. 
Clay and chopped straw are mixed and pressed into 
molds, then left in the sun to dry, and this makes adobe 
bricks. The roofs of these houses are often made of 
brush on which mud is spread. 

Houses have even been built of salt, rock salt cut into 
blocks. So you see, that just as animal homes differ so 
do those of people according to the place in which they 
build their houses; what they find to build with, and ac- 
cording to what they have learned about how to build. 

Men, however, have learned to use the things about 
them to make tools with which to work and make more 
and more comfortable houses; to bring to the place in 
which they wish to live the things which grow far away; 
to make their houses cool in summer and warm in win- 
ter; to light their homes when it is dark and to shade 
them when the sun is too bright; while the animals, 
apparently, do not improve or advance in any way, 
and although fiercer and stronger, many of them, man 
has tamed them or killed them and made them almost 
wholly dependent upon his will. 

[Be sure and bring out in this talk the idea of the uni- 
versal need of shelter and that out of the house, the 
family with its love, each for the other, makes a home. 
Sing *'Home, Sweet Home.'*] 



II 

THE LOG HOUSE 

" Meanwhile Alden at home had built him a new habitation, 
Solid, substantial, of timber rough-he%\Ti from the firs of the forest 
Wooden-barred was the door, and the roof was covered wth rushes; 
Latticed the windows were, and the window panes were of paper 
Oiled to admit the light, while wind and rain were excluded. 
There too he dug a well, and around it planted an orchard: 
Still may be seen to this day some trace of the well and the orchard." 
Henry W. Longfellow, "The Courtship of Miles Standish." 

AFTER a while men who lived in places where < 
there were trees learned to cut them down, trim 
off the branches, and make log houses. This was the 
sort of house that the first white people who came to 
this country made. 

After the branches were trimmed from the trunks of 
the trees they were cut into logs of the right length and 
fitted together. 

If you should lay your sticks to make a square you 
would see how they started the house. To fit them to- 
gether at the corners they cut notches in the ends of the 
logs and fitted them in. Then, because they had no 
nails as we have now, they made long pins by whittling 
the wood and pinned them together with these. To 
drive in the pins they made holes first, for you cannot 
drive a wooden pin into wood as you can an iron nail. 
To bore these holes they used augers as carpenters do 
to-day. They built the walls high enough by piling log 
upon log, just as you build with your blocks. 

11 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

This left spaces between where the cold air and rain 
and snow could blow in. These spaces they chinked up 
with mud and sods. 

When the work was too hard for the family to do the 
neighbors came and helped them. These neighbors 
lived sometimes miles away and sometimes there were 
only a few fields between the houses. 

Should we think now of sending for the neighbors to 
help us build our house .^ Who would do this work for 
us.? 

When the roof was put on the house it took a number 
of helpers. This was called a "raising" and was as good 
fun for the children as a holiday is now, for all the 
neighbors came and stayed to dinner. 

They cut the logs into short pieces and used these for 
shingles. You can see how different these were from the 
shingles which are used to-day. 

There were no furniture stores then so what did they 
do for beds? 

They nailed boards to the sides of the walls, letting 
the walls form two sides of the bed. For mattresses they 
Used dried grass, pine boughs, corn husks, or feathers. 

Tables and chairs were made from logs, too, just as 
we made some at camp once. 

In this large room, the only one they had to use for 
kitchen, dining-room, living-room, and sometimes to 
sleep in, they built a fireplace of stone with a great 
chimney — usually this chimney was outside of the 
house. 

This fire was the only means of heating the house and 
very often its bright blaze was the only light. We read 

12 




o 
"o 



THE LOG HOUSE 

stories of many a boy of those days reading by the fire- 
light. 

At the side of the fireplace was fastened a great bar of 
iron which could be swung from side to side. This was 
known as the crane. On it hung great iron hooks. On 
these the iron kettles and pots were hung and the crane 
then swung over the fire. When the kettle was to be 
emptied the crane was swung away from the fire and the 
pot would cool and be far enough from the blaze so 
that the person cooking could stir what was in it or dip 
from it. 

To bake they placed a tin oven over the hot coals. 
Sometimes they built ovens of brick and in these built a 
fire. When the oven was hot enough they cleared out 
what was left of the coals and baked in that. 

What fun they had by those open fires in those days 
— when the snow was deep outside or the wind was 
blowing hard, they were warm and cozy inside by the 
cheery blaze, telling stories as they roasted apples or 
popped corn. 

There were bedrooms made up near the roof in some 
of these houses but there were no stairs to reach them. 

So when they went to bed they had to climb a ladder 
which they made as Daddy made one for your tree house, 
by nailing sticks to the tree, by nailing strips of logs to 
the side of the house. 

My grandmother used to tell me stories of what her 
grandmother told her about sleeping in one of these 
log htuses. She could hear the wind whistling and feel 
the snow sifting in between the cracks and blowing on 
her bed. 

13 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Sometimes as she listened to the pine trees, saying 
to her as they did to Hiawatha, " Minne wawa," she 
could hear the wolves howling far away. They were 
afraid of a fire, though, so she knew they would not 
harm her in the log house with its open fire. 

The only light was from a tallow candle and this she 
must not burn any longer than to pop quickly into bed. 

All the water they used they carried in pails from a 
spring a long way from the house. 

But they were very happy there for the whole family 
was together and she had never known a better house. 



in 

THE INDIAN HOME 

BEFORE your house was built here you told me 
there were homes here; homes of animals, but did 
you know there were homes of people here, too? 

Not white people like us, but people whose skins were 
dark red or copper-colored. 

You remember the Chinaman at the laundry has a 
yellow skin. And the Japanese who sold you the toys 
made in Japan has a yellow skin, too. All these families 
are called the Yellow Race and those with red skins the 
Red Men, or Indians. 

These Red men used to live in all parts of this coun- 
try. When Columbus came here he thought this country 
was India and he called the people whom he found here 
Indians and that is what the Red men have been called 
ever since. 

In those days, you must remember, the people did 
not know how to make boards or bricks. They had no 
sawmills or brick yards. There were no carpenters for 
whom they could send when they wanted to build a 
house; there were no stores where they could buy a bed 
or a table or a chair or even anything to wear or to eat. 

Instead of our stores, schools, and churches, there 
were great forests of trees bigger than any that you have 
seen, covering places bigger than our whole town, and 
here lived great, wild animals such as we seldom see to- 
day except in the circus or in the zoo. 

15 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Can you name any? Yes, wolves, bears, elk, and many 
other animals which you will never see because they 
have all been killed. 

In other places there were great plains covered with 
grass and there the buffaloes, cattle, and ponies wan- 
dered wild, feeding on the grass. 

These ponies the Indians caught and tamed. 

Other animals they killed for food and used their 
skins and furs for clothing; they also fished and ate the 
fishes. In this way they became great travelers, as well 
as himters, because when the great herds had eaten the 
grass in one place, they roved about in search of new 
pastures, and the Indians had to follow. They could 
not live in one place for years as we do. 

So they made their houses of the things that grew 
near where they happened to be, and in the easiest and 
quickest way. Sometimes when they moved they took 
their houses with them, just as people now take a tent 
with them when they go camping, or as the men in the 
army did when they were in the war. 

The Indian homes were not all alike, nor made of the 
same kind of things any more than are all the houses of 
the people whom you know. 

The Indians out on the plains called their houses 
tepees. To make these they cut straight, strong slender 
trees and chipped off all the branches. These made 
poles. These poles they tied together at the top with 
thongs. To make the thongs, which they used as we use 
rope or string, they cut the skins of animals into strips. 
Then spreading out the poles at the bottom, they 
pounded the ends into the ground, tight, and covered 

16 



THE INDIAN HOME 

the wiiole with a buffalo skin or the skins of any animals 
that they happened to have killed. Sometimes they 
painted pictures on the skin covering; pictures of hunt- 
ing or of fighting. 

An opening was left at the top for a chimney, so that 
if it was cold, they could build a fire on the ground in 
the middle of the tepee and the smoke could go up 
through the hole. 

Around the edges of the tent the father and mother 
and children wrapped themselves up in the skins of ani- 
mals and slept. They hung a big kettle over the fire and 
cooked their meals and were very happy because it was 
their home. 

Other tribes of Indians who lived in a part of the 
country where the grass grew tall and thick covered the 
poles with this instead of skins. First they wound 
smaller poles round the first poles, like hoops on a bar- 
rel, and then wove wisps of grass in the framework just 
as you weave raflSa mats. 

The Navajo Indians covered their framework of 
poles with earth, putting on first a layer of bark and 
weeds to keep it from falling through into the hogans, as 
they called their houses. For summer they made an 
open shelter by driving poles into the ground in four 
comers, then laying poles across the top and covering 
the top, back, and one end, with boughs and grass. 

The Digger Indians, so called because they dug roots 
from the earth for their food, made a similar house, but 
covered their pole framework with rushes. 

Others called their houses wigwams or lodges. 

These they made of pine boughs. Probably here 
17 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

where we now live there was once a wigwam made from 
the boughs of some of the big trees that we talked about 
and probably many a night a great camp fire gleamed in 
what is now our front yard, or perhaps where our gar- 
den is, and the family sat around and watched the cook- 
ing of the deer, which the father had shot for their sup- 
per with the bow and arrow he had made himself. 

By and by perhaps you will learn more about these 
Red Men and what they did before you lived here. 

[The children will enjoy making an Indian head-dress 
and building a hogan in the woods.] 



IV 

THE ESKIMO HOME 

AWAY up north where the Eskimos live, there are 
no forests because it is too cold for the trees to 
grow, but the snow is deep and hard so that it can be cut 
in great blocks. With this the people build their houses, 
igloos they call them. They choose a place where the 
snow is deep and firmly packed. With a long knife made 
of bone, they cut a great block from the snow. Standing 
in the hole where this block was, they cut out other 
blocks with which they make a circle. On top of these 
another layer is placed, carefully, as in a brick wall, so 
that the joints as they come together do not form a 
straight line. Layer after layer is placed until for the 
top layer just one block is needed to finish the igloo. 
Then snow is carefully packed in between each block 
just as the bricks in a wall are packed together close 
with mortar. 

For doors, openings are cut underneath the lowest 
layer of blocks, and for some distance in front a tunnel is 
dug in the snow, through which they crawl when they 
wish to enter the house. 

For windows, cakes of clear ice are set in the wall. To 
keep out the cold, skins of animals are hung about the 
walls or at the openings. 

For a bed the snow is packed hard and on this is laid 
moss, grass, or twigs, if they can be found. Over these 

19 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

are laid the skins of animals, seal or walrus, and soft 
skins and furs are the bed clothes. 

The smoke from the stove, which is a wick of moss in 
a hollow stone filled with whale oil (and this gives them 
their light, too), goes up through a hole in the roof, just 
as it does in the Indian homes. 

Only one-room houses these, but the Indian mothers 
and the Eskimo mothers love their babies just as your 
mother loves you and tucks them away warm and 
comfy under furs and skins just as your mother does you 
under sheets and blankets. 

When the snow is deep enough we will try to make a 
little igloo in the back yard. I remember one winter 
Brother made one with the room inside big enough for 
him to stand up in. Oh, what fun he had! 



V 
THE FIRST HOMES 

JUST as Indian homes were built before our houses 
were, so other houses were built by people who 
lived before grandmother was a little girl, and some by 
people who lived so long ago that now there is nothing 
left of their houses to see but a stone or two or a tool or 
weapon which they used. And so we think back to a 
time when "there were no houses or farms or roads from 
one place to another, and there was not a single city, or a 
town, or even a village in the whole earth." 

When you get tired of playing, or cold or hungry or it 
begins to rain or to get dark, how nice it is to go into our 
house, but at that time there were no houses anywhere. 

" There was just the great, round world, all fresh and 
new, and covered with growing things; and there were 
wild beasts of all kinds in the forests, and fishes of all 
kinds in the seas, and all sorts of birds and flying crea- 
tures in the air. 

"Besides all these wonderful things in the new, new 
world, there was Man. 

"He was quite new, too. He did n't know much of 
anything about the world. All that he really knew was 
that there was a world, and that he was in it, and that 
there were fierce wild animals in it, too, which would 
kill him and eat him if he did n't kill them first. And he 
knew very well that he was not as swift as the deer, or as 
big as the elephant, or as strong as the lion, or as fierce 

21 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

as the tiger, and it seemed to him as if he had n't much 
chance to stay alive at all in a world so full of terrible 
creatures who wanted to eat him up. 

"But this Prehistoric Man was very brave, and he 
could do two things which none of the other creatures 
could do — he could laugh and he could think. 

"One day, he sat down on a rock, and took his head 
between his hands and thought and thought, and by 
and by he lifted up his head and said to his wife, — for 
of course he had a wife, — * I have it, my dear. If we 
are not as strong as the wild beasts, we must be a great 
deal more clever.' 

"So he got right up off the rock and set about being 
clever. And so did his wife. They were so clever that 
they hid themselves in trees and rocks where the wild 
beasts could not find them. And they found out the 
secret of fire. 

"The other creatures could not find out the secret of 
fire to save their lives, and they were dreadfully afraid of 
it. Then the Man and his wife made weapons out of 
stones and bones, and they made dishes out of mud, and 
though these things were n't a bit like our weapons or 
our dishes, they got along very well with them for many 
years. 

"In the earliest times of all, the Woman hunted and 
trapped the wild creatures, and fished, all by herself, but 
by and by she began to let the Man do the hunting and 
bring home the game, while she stayed in the cave house 
and kept the hearth-fire bright and took care of the 
children. She cooked the food that he brought home, 
and she made needles out of bones and sewed skins to- 

22 



THE FIRST HOMES 

gether for clothes for her husband and the children and 
herself. After a long time she began to plant seeds of 
wild things that she found were good to eat, and to 
raise food out of the ground. 

"All these things they did, and many more that had 
never been done before, — and because they were so 
much more clever than all the beasts of the forest, the 
Prehistoric Man and his prehistoric wife lived a long 
time in a little peace and more happiness than you might 
at first think possible. 

"They taught their children all the clever things they 
had thought out, and these children, when they grew 
up, taught them to their children, and this went on 
for hundreds and thousands of years. Each generation 
learned new things and taught them to the next, until 
now we have houses and churches and villages and cities 
dotted over the whole earth, and there are roads going 
from everywhere to everywhere else. There are rail- 
roads and steam-cars and telegraph and telephone lines, 
and printing-presses, so that to-day everybody knows 
more about the very ends of the earth than Prehistoric 
Man could possibly know about what was happening 
fifty miles away from him. 

"And all these things we have to-day because the 
Prehistoric Man and the Prehistoric Woman did their 
part bravely and well when the earth was young." ^ 
^ From The Cave Tvyina, by Lucy Fitch Perkins. 



VI 

OUR HOUSES 

THE first houses, in days before people learned to 
be gentle, and were rude and savage like the ani- 
mals, were not comfortable and beautiful like ours. 
They were just shelters where people could be safe 
from storms and wild animals, and from each other — 
for they fought with each other just as wild animals 
do. 

For their homes they used a cave in the rocks, if there 
happened to be one; or if they lived where there were 
cliffs on the mountain side they crawled into the spaces 
where the rocks had worn away and left niches; or they 
dug pits and crawled in, much as the rabbits and foxes 
make their burrows. 

After a long time, how long no one knows, they 
learned to make weapons and rough tools out of stone. 
They had no iron and did not know how to get it as we 
do now, so they could make no axes and saws and planes, 
such as our carpenters use, but in time they managed to 
build rough huts with brush and mud. 

It is a long story of how each father taught his little 
boy what he learned, and of how each mother taught her 
little girl what she learned, and of how each little boy 
and girl found more things, and how to make more and 
better things out of what they found, until instead of 
crawling into a cave for shelter we can have almost any 
kind of a house that we want. We do not have to build 



OUR HOUSES 

it all ourselves either, or use grass or logs or whatever 
happens to grow near by. 

Let 's think of some of the finest houses we know and 
how they were built. When we get through, see if you 
can coimt on your fingers how many kinds of workers 
helped to build them and from how many places the 
things used to make them were brought. 

What must we have first? 

A cellar? [Talk a bit about the need of a cellar. 
Warmth, storage, the heater, etc.] Then, if you look at 
the house outside you will see the foundation wall on 
which the house rests. [Talk of the need of a good firm 
foundation.] 

Jesus spoke of this when He was teaching people how 
to lay the foundation of their lives. He said their lives 
were like a house and a good character was the founda- 
tion and then he told them how to make the foundation 
strong. Let us read in the Bible what He said: 

"WTiosoever cometh to me and heareth my sayings 
and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like : 

"He is like a man who built an house, and digged 
deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the 
flood arose, the stream beat vehemently on that house, 
and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock. 

"But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man 
that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; 
against which the stream did beat vehemently, and im- 
mediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great." 

[To make this foundation we send for the mason; 
count one on our chain of helpers.] 

You thought the cellar came first, and true enough we 
25 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

must dig the cellar before we build the walls, but before 
we begin at all we must plan very carefully what kind of 
a house we want to build, for we are no longer con- 
tented with one room and no chimney, or stairs, or win- 
dows. What rooms shall we need? 

So we send for an architect to draw a plan which will 
tell the workmen just how large each part shall be and 
where to put it. We will count one for the architect, for 
whom we send first, and two for the mason. 

Of what shall we make our house .^ Wood, brick, 
stone, or concrete.'^ To-day we can use any or all of 
these in our house. 

After the mason has done his part we will send for the 
carpenter to put up the framework. What a hammer- 
ing there will be as he nails the boards together and 
what a buzzing and what a whirring as he saws the 
boards to fit. 

We will go to a carpenter's shop sometime and look at 
his tools, or we can go to a hardware store and see the 
tools that the workmen use; for to-day no workman 
need make his own out of a stick or a rock; there are 
great factories making thousands of every kind of tool 
that any workman may need. 

The carpenter will put up the great timbers and shin- 
gle the roof, board in the walls, and nail on the laths. 
Then the mason will plaster the walls and the glazier 
will come and put glass in the windows. That makes 

FOUR. 

We forgot the plumber who will come and pipe the 
house for water and the electrician who will wire it for 
light. How different from the old way of finding a 

S6 



OUR HOUSES 

spring if you wanted water or of having no light but the 
sun, stars, and moon, or a tallow candle. 

Then the painter will come and stain or paint the 
woodwork and floors; and the paperhanger will come 
and paper the walls. How many does that make.'^ Yes, 
FOUR MORE. Let us couut on our fingers one-two- three- 
four-five-six-seven-eight. 

To keep us warm we can have almost any kind of 
a stove that we want, an open fireplace, an iron stove, 
a furnace, out of the way and out of sight in the cellar, 
with pipes running to each room carrying hot air; or 
hot water, or steam to heat every room; and to cook our 
food, a gas stove, an oil stove, or even an electric stove. 
Just think of it, when you wish for Aladdin's lamp, a 
stove that will keep you warm or that will cook your 
food, and you have nothing to do but to press a button. 

How different from the Eskimo's igloo with no chim- 
ney and a wee little lamp that serves both for light and 
for a stove; or the Indian fire, for which he must first 
find enough dry wood, and before men found out how to 
make matches they had to start the fire by rubbing two 
sticks or stones together until they made a spark and 
then with this tiny spark set fire to some dry leaves and 
chips. 

What a lot of workers have helped to make the house 
and, working together, what a fine house they have 
made! 

Can you name them again? Yes, all these and more, 
for we have not said a word about the miner who gets 
the iron out of which the tools and nails are made; and 
the coal by which the iron is heated so that it can be 

27 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

hammered into shape. To the miner we go also, as you 
will see, for the lights in our houses and for the dyes with 
which we color so many things. 

Look around the room and find something which is 
colored. See how many colors you can find. Would you 
like to live in a room where everything was just one 
color or black or white? 

We have not spoken of the lumberman without whom 
the carpenter would have no boards; the quarryman, 
who provides the stone; or the brickmaker to whom we 
must go for bricks. 

Do you see now what we mean when we say that man 
is no longer savage but has grown civilized.^ 

Yes, we mean that instead of fighting each other, men 
are working together to make things better than they 
find them; and that they have learned to share with 
each other, both the work, and the things which they 
make. 



VII 

LUMBER 

WHERE do the boards and timbers come from 
that the carpenter uses to build our houses? If 
you look out of the window and Hsten, the trees may 
tell you; that is, if you have learned their language. You 
did n't know trees could talk? Well, when we are in the 
woods again we will listen. You do know that trees have 
names, don't you? Different trees are no more alike 
than different people. You know that people live in 
families and those in a family have the same last name 
but different first names. It is the same way with trees. 
Your last name is what? And your first name? Yes, and 
my last name? And Brother's? Why, the last names 
are all the same; but your first name is? And my first 
name? And Brother's? All different. You have a baby 
name, too, a nickname, have n't you? And so has 
Brother. The trees have nicknames, too; we call these 
their common names. They have another name which 
we call their scientific name. 

We'll go into the woods and listen to the trees long 
enough to see if they ever sing or talk and if they can tell 
us anything about the boards and beams and shingles 
and floors in our houses. Perhaps we shall want to call 
them by name when we see them again. [Take a walk in 
the woods and listen under ash trees, and pines, and 
oaks, and especially under beech trees if you can find 
any. Children will like to bring you the different leaves 

29 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

» 

and try to name them after you have told them what 
their names are. If there are no leaves they will enjoy 
finding what they can and even in winter the oaks and 
beeches will have some leaves dry and rustling.] 

Perhaps you know the name of some of the trees al- 
ready. Where do the apples come from? And the pears, 
etc. These are our fruit-trees. Now where do the nuts 
come from? Chestnuts come from chestnut-trees, wal- 
nuts from walnut-trees, pecans from pecan-trees. Who 
gathers the nuts besides boys? 

Jack Frost, and the wind. [Talk about Jack Frost 
and how he opens the burrs and the shells.] Anything 
else in the woods that gathers the nuts? Squirrels. 
There are fruit-trees and nut-trees and where do the 
acorns grow? Yes, on oak-trees. 

I walked along a street one hot day in summer. There 
was n't a tree on the street. How the sun beat down and 
scorched me. How tired and thirsty I was. By and by I 
turned into another street. It was so cool that I felt 
happy right away. I thought I could n't walk another 
step, but on this street I was n't tired and my head 
did n't ache any more and I felt like singing and skip- 
ping. Do you know why? All along this other street 
there were trees; maple- and elm-trees, and the birds 
were singing in them and building their nests. They 
shaded me from the hot sun and made my walk pleas- 
ant and easy. No fruit or nuts grew upon them, but they 
were shade trees and a shield from the hot sun in sum- 
mer and the cold wind in winter. \ 

Out in the deep woods there are trees with cones upon 
them and their leaves are shaped like needles; all the 



LUMBER 

year round they are covered with these green needles; 
do you know what the name of these trees is? '* Pines." 
Yes, and there are others, though their needles are not 
just like those of the pine nor of each other; they are 
spruces and firs and cedars and hemlocks, and, oh, how 
sweet they smell ! These trees that stay green all winter 
we call evergreen trees, and sometime I will tell you 
what we call the trees that lose their leaves in the cold 
weather. [If the child asks teU him that they are decidu- 
ous.] 

For many ages trees grew in the forests. Men never 
touched them. Great giants these trees grew to be. 
Men were like tiny ants beside them. Seeds fell from 
them and dropped in the earth, and the sun and the rain 
fell upon them and more trees grew up. Grandfather 
trees grew old and died; the wind blew them over, and 
the winter storms threw them to the ground. Lovely 
moss and trailing vines and wonderful flowers in time 
carpeted these fallen trees, and a wonderful place was 
the old forest. 

Then man learned to make fire and to use wood to 
keep it going. They learned, too, to cut down trees and 
make log houses; and then they learned to cut up trees, 
first with axes, then with saws, then with great saws 
that were pushed through the log by wheels that run- 
ning water pushed around, and later with machines run 
by steam or electricity. 

If you should saw up a log of wood in long strips, 
what would you have.^^ Boards. Now don't you think 
the trees ought to know where the boards that the car- 
penter uses to build your house come from? I don't 

31 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

know all the songs of the pine-tree, or the oak, or the 
beech, but I have listened to some of them more than 
once. Suppose you slice a log to leave four flat sides, 
then cut it right down through the middle. Then cut 
each half through the middle, and what have you? Four 
beams, small ones, but that is the way the beams of 
the house are made. Boards are made by slicing the 
logs. Shingles are made from pieces of wood not large 
enough or good enough for boards and cut thinner. 

There are men who buy trees, miles and miles of trees, 
and hire men to cut them down. These are the lumber- 
men, and we must thank them for the boards and all the 
parts of our houses which are made of wood. Perhaps 
you can think of a great many other things that are 
made of wood besides our houses. These lumbermen go 
into the deep woods where as far as you can see the trees 
stand close together, sometimes way up steep mountain 
sides. There they cut down the great trees with saws 
and with axes. Then with the logs they build houses, 
sometimes two or three to sleep in, and one big cook 
house where they cook and eat their meals. They often 
stay all winter. 

After a tree is cut down all the branches are cut off. 
Then the trees are sorted according to their size and 
whether they are straight and smooth or not. All the 
masts for the great ships are made of trees like these. 
The finest and straightest are saved for them. Some are 
saved for telephone and telegraph poles. When you see 
these poles along the street try to think how they looked 
in the great forest with their shady branches covered 
with leaves and perhaps the squirrels and the birds nest- 

32 



LUMBER 

ing in them. Those that are to be used in houses are 
first cut up into logs. 

Then they must be taken to a sawmill to be cut up 
into timbers and boards and shingles and laths, etc. 
These mills are each built beside a stream of water, do 
you know why? 

When Winthrop was a little boy he found out why. 
He was walking with me in the woods in New Hamp- 
shire, and we heard a stream of water rushing over the 
rocks. In one place in the stream rocks and logs had 
been put across to hold the water back. It was allowed 
to run through only in one place. The water held back 
in this way rushed to get through, and right below this 
place there was a great wheel upon which the water 
must fall. 

This wheel was hung so that the water would fall 
right in the middle, and Daddy told Winthrop that they 
hung the wheel where the water would hit it with the 
most force. Sometimes he said they hung the wheel so 
that the water would hit the top of it and sometimes the 
bottom, and sometimes, like this one, in the middle. As 
the water fell upon the wheel it turned it round and 
round. When the stream was very full after heavy rains 
the wheel went very fast as the water poured over it in a 
great stream. 

Sometimes in a long, dry summer not so much water 
poured over the wheel, and it did not turn so fast. 
Around this wheel was a band, and this ran into the mill 
which was built over the water-wheel. Inside, this band 
ran around another wheel which was fastened to still 
other wheels by bands. As the water turned the outside 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

wheel all the other wheels turned around. When the men 
wished to stop any of these wheels they slipped off the 
bands. These wheels in turn were fastened to great 
saws, round like a circle and so called "circular saws." 
When the great logs were put up against these whirling 
saws they cut them just as the men wished. First the 
outside of the log was cut off in strips. These strips were 
called slabs, and were put into one pile. The rest of the 
log was sawed into different sizes and piled to be shipped 
away to different places. 

After the trees are cut into logs they must be taken to 
the mills. This is not always an easy thing to do. There 
are no good roads into the woods, and in places it is wet 
or muddy so that wagons would sink deep in, and could 
not be drawn with a heavy load of logs. In such places 
the lumbermen fell trees and make a log road. Many of 
the trees are cut so far from a good road that it is a day's 
journey to haul the logs. In such places they wait till 
the snow is deep enough and then load them on great 
sleds. These are sometimes drawn by several horses, 
and sometimes great oxen draw them to the bank of 
the nearest river. 

In the spring when the ice melts these logs are rolled 
into the water and float away — so many that you can 
hardly see the water — like a great raft downstream 
until they are stopped by the big dam before a sawmill. 
A dam, you know, banks up the stream and holds the 
water back. 

Then one by one the logs are pulled out of the water 
and run into the mill. The machines pick up the logs as 
you would a stick, and then what a buzzing and what a 

34 



LUMBER 

whirring as the logs are changed into smooth, clean 
boards. 

Nowadays many lumbermen work just this way, but 
often they build railroads right into the forests and run 
electric light wires and telephones to the camps which 
they build for their men. They carry with them a saw- 
mill which works by steam or by electricity. With this 
they cut up the trees into lumber and send it out to the 
nearest good road on little cars over the tracks which 
they have laid. There great trucks take the lumber 
wherever needed. 

Think of all the things that we use that are made of 
wood, and when you listen again to the trees I believe 
they will tell you a story. 

Did you ever watch a little tree grow? Plant a grape- 
fruit seed in a pot, and we will keep it in a window and 
water it every day and see how long it will be before we 
have a tree. We will plant a peach stone out of doors 
and watch that. I remember I did plant one once when 
I was a little girl, and after three years we had some of 
the nicest peaches on it that I ever ate. It grew right up 
beside my window and in the spring was covered with 
the prettiest pink blossoms. 

Think of the years that the great forest trees have 
been growing, but so quickly can men cut them down 
that, in a few weeks, thousands of these great trees that 
have taken years to grow can be cut and made into lum- 
ber. So fast have men been cutting the forests that 
some men are now working to save what are left. They 
tell us that the world will dry up if we have no trees; 
that even the springs from which our water comes 

35 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

will not last without the trees. So they ask that when 
men go into the forest for lumber they cut only a 
part of the trees of any kind, leaving a few here and 
there to make and scatter their seeds that more trees 
shall, in time, grow up and take the places of those which 
are taken. 

We have Arbor Day, too, a day in which we are each 
asked to set out a tree. 

Think of our swing in the apple-tree, of how you 
like to climb the cherry-tree, of swinging on the 
birches, think how sweet the pines and firs smell, of the 
whirling red and gold leaves of the maple- trees and 
what fun it is to scuff through them in the fall, and then 
I know you will do what you can to take care of the 
trees. 



VIII 
BRICKS 

FOR our wooden houses we go to the lumberman, 
and we know how he makes the boards; but where 
do the bricks come from that are used to make our 
chimneys and our brick houses? 

In every city there are great rows of brick houses, and 
think of the bricks that are used to make just one of 
these buildings. 

Brick houses were made so many thousands of years 
ago that no stories have been written about the people 
who first made them; and yet some of the bricks are still 
found although the houses have fallen down. In this 
country, in the West, there are many houses made of the 
same kind of bricks. 

In these places there are few trees, and those are 
small ones, but there is plenty of clay. You know the 
clay that we mould into spheres and cubes. This clay 
was easily moulded like that, and the people who lived 
so long ago learned to mould it and shape it into bricks 
and to dry them in the sun. Sometimes they mixed bits 
of straw or grass with the clay. This held it together 
better. 

To-day most of our bricks are made by machinery. 
When you stop to think how many we use for stores and 
hotels and tenement houses and for great factories, you 
will see that they could not all be made by hand and 
dried in the sun as they were long ago. If you wished to 

37 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

make things of sand, where would you go? Yes, where 
there is sand. If you wished to plant a garden? Where 
there is a smooth place with good soil. So when men 
wish to make bricks they find a place where there is 
clay. 

You know how dry and cracked the clay which you 
use gets. The fields of clay become just the same on top 
where the air and sun bake it. In the brick yards they 
plough it up just as the farmer ploughs his garden. 
This loosens the clay so that it can be taken up. Then 
it is carted to the mill. Here it is crushed to powder by 
great iron wheels. It falls from these wheels into a box on 
whirling iron knives. The whirling knives mix it with 
water which falls steadily in a thin spray into the box. 
In the bottom of another box is a mould which holds six 
bricks. You have seen Mother put flour on her hands or 
butter in a pan when she is cooking, so that her dough 
will not stick. So sand is put into these moulds to keep 
the clay from sticking to them, and then the clay, mixed 
with water, is forced by a machine into these moulds. As 
fast as the moulds are filled they are pushed on to a ta- 
ble. A man with a trowel scrapes off any clay that clings 
to them, and another man turns them upside down on a 
wooden tray and carries them to a shed to dry. These 
empty moulds are carried back to the box and again 
filled. A machine does all this. The trays with the 
bricks are placed on shelves in the shed and left to dry. 
In eight or ten days they are taken to a great oven, 
called a kiln, and piled in with spaces between them, as 
many as fifty thousand in an oven, and the heat is turned 
on slowly. Here they bake for as many as four days; 

38 



BRICKS 

then the heat is slowly turned off, and they cool in about 
four days. To make good bricks they must not be heated 
or cooled too quickly. 

Some bricks are better looking and wear better than 
others because they are made of finer clay and are 
pressed harder and baked more slowly than others. 

To make a house of bricks, the bricks are fastened 
firmly together with — nails? No, with mortar, and 
this is made by the mason. He has a big box or trough, 
and into this he puts some lime and two or three times as 
much water and stirs them together. Then he puts in 
sand that has been sifted so that there are no stones in it 
and stirs it all up with a hoe. You have seen the mason 
all spattered with white spots as he stirs the mortar. 
He cannot help this if he works quickly, and so he wears 
white overalls to keep his clothes clean. 

There are the bricklayers and the helpers who carry 
the mortar and bricks to them. The bricklayer lays a 
few bricks in a thin coating of mortar, then taps them 
with his trowel and scrapes off the extra mortar that 
clings to them. As he builds up the walls he leaves 
spaces for the windows and doors. The mortar between 
the bricks is called the joints, and he places the bricks so 
that one joint will not come over the joint below. Look 
at a brick wall some time and see if you can find these 
joints and see how the line is broken. In England many 
of the gardens are fenced in with high brick walls cov- 
ered with ivy and roses. Bricks are used for making 
sidewalks, too. Can you think of anything else for 
which we use them? 



IX 

STONE 

LOOK at a picture of a great stone castle. See the 
great towers and the deep ditch, or moat, as it is 
called, all around it. See how this moat is lined with 
stones so that it won't cave in. Notice the bridge across 
the moat. This is a drawbridge, that is, a bridge which 
can be drawn up and lowered at will so that no one 
can cross it unless those in the castle are willing. This 
castle was built ages ago when men had to shut out 
people who would harm them. It has lasted all this 
time because it was built of stone and put together 
with cement. Wood and nails would have rotted and 
rusted away long, long ago. When you think that men 
once crawled into a hole in the rocks and called that cave 
a home, and then realize that men learned to make 
homes like this castle, are n't you glad that you are a 
man and can think .^^ 

Houses are still made of stone, some all of stone, some 
of brick and stone, and some of wood and stone. 

Our house is made of wood, but if we look at the part 
outside that rests on the ground, or go down into the 
cellar, we shall find the cellar wall of stone, and held to- 
gether with mortar, which is made of sand and lime 
mixed with water. 

Now where did these great blocks of stone come from, 
and how did they get into our cellar wall? Most of the 
stone used for the foundation of houses, as we call the 

40 



STONE 

cellar walls, is made of gray stone which is very hard 
and sparkles. This is called granite. If you walk about 
in the woods or among the hills, or even along some sea- 
coasts you will find great ledges of granite. Many men 
earn their living by getting this granite from the ledges 
and cutting it into great blocks to be used in building. 
This is used not only in houses, but in monuments, 
for stones for cemeteries, for walls, and for paving 
streets. 

Getting it from the ledges is called quarrying, and the 
place where it is found a quarry. There is so much of 
this granite in New Hampshire that people often speak 
of it as the Granite State. 

You will like to go to a quarry some time and see the 
great derricks lifting out the blocks that have been 
blown away by dynamite or sometimes broken away by 
drilling holes in the rocks where it is to be split and then 
driving wedges into the holes until it is forced apart. 

Sometimes in the quarries saws are used to cut away 
the stone, not saws with teeth like wood-saws, but sand- 
saws, moved by steam engines and in many quarries 
now by electricity. In a quarry in Vermont a little boy 
only ten years old saw men smoothing slabs of marble by 
rubbing sand and water over them with flat stones. 
This was such slow work that he tried making a little 
machine which would work when he turned a crank. 
Did you ever see Mother chop meat with a knife.? Then 
you know how much better and more quickly she can do 
it in the food chopper when she just turns a crank. 
Grandmother never had a chopper. She always took a 
wooden bowl and chopped with a knife. In the same 

41 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

way the work in the quarry was made quicker and 
easier by the little machine which the boy made. 

Granite is not the only kind of stone used. There are 
many stones made of lime. Marble is one of the most 
beautiful of these. Our mantel is made of marble, and so 
is the top of the table. This comes from quarries in the 
fields or on the hills just as the granite does. 

Some time you must see the wonderful marble stair- 
ways and halls with great pillars in the Congressional 
Library at Washington. Do you know what a pillar is? 
No, not a pillow, but a pillar.? These pillars are beauti- 
fully carved, and here and there in the marble floors 
colored stones and metals have been set in, inlaid, to 
make pictures. 

Perhaps we can go to Rutland, Vermont, and see one 
of the biggest marble quarries in the world. Once it was 
just a sheep pasture, hilly and dry and rocky, with a 
swamp behind it. The man who owned it did n't think 
it was worth very much away out in the woods, a long 
way from the village, and so dry and rocky he could n't 
make a garden of it. 

One day a man came along who knew some of the 
rocks by name and what they could be used for, and he 
saw that some of these rocks were limestone. He knew 
that if he burned them he could sell the lime, so he of- 
fered the man who owned the pasture an old horse for it. 
The man knew nothing about rocks except that they got 
in the way when he ploughed his fields or mowed his 
grass. He saw no beauty in them, knew none of them by 
name, and never dreamed that they were of use or could 
be sold,. So he thought the other man was very foolish to 

4f% 



STONE 

give a horse for the old pasture and that he had made a 
very good bargain. 

When the new owner began to use the Hmestone he 
found that it was a very fine marble, which is one of the 
best kinds of limestone, and that he had a valuable 
quarry. From this millions of dollars' worth of marble 
are sold every year, and great machines run by elec- 
tricity are kept busy there cutting it out. 

Many beautiful buildings are made from sandstone. 
This is a kind of stone made of sand and held together 
by different kinds of minerals. Iron is a mineral, you 
know; the name of another one is silica. Do you know 
any mineral that we burn.? Yes, coal. Sandstone is 
wonderfully colored. I used to look at pictures of the 
Grand Canyon, and I did not believe that there could 
be stones with such bright and lovely colors as these 
banks of sandstone. I thought they were just painted 
that way in the pictures, but once I went and saw them, 
and the colors in the sandstone were really brighter than 
any pictures that I had seen. 

Some of the sandstone is brown, and this has been 
used for the front of fine city houses. It used to be 
thought a very grand thing to live in a house with a 
brown stone front. Thomas Bailey Aldrich has written 
a little joking verse about such a house which some- 
time we will read in his poems. 

There are slate quarries, too. Many roofs are made of 
slate instead of wooden shingles and, of course, wear 
much longer. When I was a little girl we used slates in- 
stead of paper to write on and had pencils made of slate. 
Slate is n't solid like granite, but slivers off in thin lay- 

43 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

ers. When we go to walk we will see if we can find any 
other kind of stone that splits off in layers. 

All over the world temples, tombs, and palaces have 
been built of stone, some of them so many ages ago that 
only parts of them are left, and we have to guess what 
they were made for, and how such tremendous blocks 
could have been moved so far and have been carved so 
wonderfully. 

We will try and find pictures of some of the most won- 
derful of these and plan some time to go all over the 
world and see them. 

There is the Taj Mahal in India, the most beautiful 
marble building ever made, inlaid with jewels and with 
screens of marble lattice work in patterns as fine as lace. 

There are the great Pyramids in Egypt, each one of 
them of more than two million great blocks of stone, 
piled up like steps, built for tombs for the Egyptian 
kings centuries ago. What is a century.? When you had 
your first birthday candle you had lived one year; now 
you have four because you have lived four years, and a 
century is one hundred years. 

There are the ^belisks built in Egypt. These are 
great columns of stone beautifully carved and we can 
see one of them in Central Park in New York. How do 
you suppose men ever brought it across the ocean .'^ 

In Athens there is the Parthenon, one of the most 
beautiful of marble temples. A temple, you know, is a 
place where men worshiped as we do in a church to- 
day. There is a model of this in the Boston Art Mu- 
seum. 

Wonderful as these are — and I hope we shall b^ 
44 



STONE 

fortunate enough to see them some time — we shall find 
that they are but the beginning of what men have 
made and are still making out of stone. 

Perhaps if we keep our eyes open and study hard we 
shall begin to understand something about this world in 
which we live, a world so wonderful that even the stones 
are beautiful. As I think of tlie Maker of all these 
things a verse which my mother used to read to me 
comes to my mind: *'In wisdom He hath made them 
all." 



CONCRETE 

STONE and wood were made for man. He found 
them ready-made as part of the world. He learned 
to get the trees from the forests and stone from the 
quarry and use them. He cut up the trees and broke up 
the stone and found a way to carry them where he 
wanted them. Children, you know, very soon learn to 
take things apart. Think of your toys. Is it as easy to 
put them together as it is to pull them apart? 

Then he learned to put things together and make for 
himself things with which to build. You remember he 
mixed clay with straw and moulded bricks. 

Then he took stone, not good enough to build with as 
it was, small and rough pieces, and crushed it. He mixed 
it with sand and cement and stirred it up with water. 
Then he moulded it into blocks and dried it, and he had 
a new kind of stone, which he called concrete. 

In Rome we find great walls and roads to-day which 
were made of concrete ages and ages ago. 

Trees, you know, grow very, very slowly, and rocks 
were not made in a day, so it is well not to waste even 
the pieces. Blocks of concrete can be made from waste 
stone very quickly by men who have learned how, and it 
is being used a great deal. You have seen houses made 
of it; gray, red, brown, or green, and it is said that they 
last longer than buildings made of wood or brick. 

After the concrete is mixed it is moulded into blocks. 

4a 



CONCRETE 

The moulds look like boxes without covers and are of 
different sizes and shapes so that the bricks can be 
large or small and not all the same shape. After being 
pressed hard in the moulds and smoothed off, a machine 
draws off the box, tips the block onto a heavy board, 
and the blocks are taken away to dry. They are not 
dried too quickly, or they would crack. In fact, for a 
few days they are sprinkled now and then with water 
to make the drying slower and more even. 

Sometimes the concrete is not made into blocks but 
plastered over the framework of the house, or bridge, or 
steps, or whatever is to be made. Sometimes it is put on 
smooth, and sometimes it is thrown on so that it will dry 
rough. This is called stucco. Concrete is made with de- 
signs or figures and used for trimming brick buildings, 
etc. These designs are first drawn, then carved on 
wood. The wood is placed on the bottom of the mould 
and the concrete pressed down upon it and then turned 
out and dried as the plain blocks were. 

Once Daddy wanted a bird bath in the back yard so 
we could watch the birds bathe and drink. The cement 
baths that he could buy were very beautiful, but very 
expensive, so he said, "Let's make one." He bought a 
bag of cement, and down in one corner of the garden he 
dug off the top soil and underneath found some sand. 
Then he took four strips of board and made an oblong 
frame. Over this he stretched wire screening. He put 
one end on the ground and lifted the other up in the 
air. Under this end he put a heavy, long stick to hold 
it up. Then he shoveled the sand onto the wire, and 
the part that went through was sifted free from stones. 

47 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

This he mixed with cement, measuring both very care- 
fully so as to get just enough of each, and stirred it all 
together with water. He put boards around the outside 
edge of the place, where he wanted his bird bath, to 
make a circle just the size he wished it to be. Then 
he poured in the concrete he had made and shaped 
it up with a trowel, making it deep in the middle and 
shallow on the edges, and left it to dry. The next day 
it was hard as a rock and he took the boards away 
and filled it with water. As he turned to go away I 
called from the window, "Oh, look ! " and there was a fat 
robin splashing in the water. Sometimes goldfinches 
and bluebirds splashed in it together. Would n't you 
like to have seen them? 



XI 

THE MINER 

A PEEP INTO ONE OF GOD'S STOREHOUSES 

By Jane Andrews 

ONCE there was a father who thought he would 
build a beautiful home for his children, putting 
into it everything they could need or desire throughout 
their lives. So he built the beautiful house, and any one 
just to look at the outside of it would exclaim, "How 
lovely!" For its roof was a wide, blue dome like the 
sky, and the lofty rooms had arched ceilings covered 
with tracery of leaves and waving boughs. The floor 
was carpeted with velvet, and the whole was lighted 
with the lamps that shone like stars from above. The 
sweetest perfumes floated through the air, while thou- 
sands of birds answered the music of fountains with their 
songs. And yet, when you have seen all this, you have 
not seen the best part of it. The house has been so won- 
derfully contrived that it is full of mysterious closets, 
storehouses, and secret drawers, all locked by magic 
keys, or fastened by concealed springs; and each one is 
filled with something precious or useful or beautiful to 
look at — piles and piles and heaps upon heaps of won- 
derful stores. Everything that the children could want 
or dream of wanting is laid up here; but yet they are 
not to be told anything about it. They are to be put 
into this delightful home, and left to find out for them- 
selves. 

49 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

At first you know they will only play. They will roll 
on the soft carpets, and listen to the fountain and the 
birds, and wander from room to room to see new beau- 
ties everywhere. But some day a boy, full of curiosity, 
prying here and there into nooks and corners, will touch 
one of the hidden springs; a door will fly open, and one 
storehouse of treasures will be revealed. How he will 
shout and call upon his brothers and sisters to admire 
with him ! How they will pull out the treasures, and try 
to learn how to use the new and strange materials! 
What did my father mean this for.'^ Why did he give 
that so odd a shape, or so strange a covering? And so 
through many questions and many experiments, they 
learn at last how to use the contents of this one store- 
house. But do you imagine that sensible children, after 
one such discovery, would rest satisfied? Of course they 
would explore and explore; try every panel, and press 
every spring, until one by one all the closets should be 
opened, and all the treasures brought out. And then 
how could they show their gratitude to the dear father 
who had taken such pains to prepare this wonderful 
house for them? The least they could do would be to try 
to use everything for the purposes intended, and not to 
destroy or injure any of the precious gifts so lovingly 
prepared for their use. 

Now God, our loving Father, has made for us, for you 
and for me, and for little Madge and Jenny, and for all 
the grown people and children too, just such a house. It 
is this earth on which we live. You can see the blue roof, 
and the arched ceilings of the rooms, with their canopy 
of leaves and drooping boughs, and the velvet-covered 

50 



THE MINER 

floors, and the lights and the birds and the fountains; 
but do you know any of the secret closets? Have you 
found the key or spring of a single one, or been called by 
your mother or father or brother or sister to take a peep 
into one of them? 

If you have not, perhaps you would like to go with me 
to examine one that was opened a good many years ago, 
but contains such valuable things that the uses of all of 
them have not yet been found out, and their beauty is 
just beginning to be known. 

The doorway of this storehouse lies in the side of a 
hill. It is twice as wide as the great barn-door where the 
hay-carts are driven in, and two railroad-tracks run out, 
side by side, with a little foot-path between them. The 
entrance is light, because it opens so wide, but we can 
see that the floor slopes downward, and the way looks 
dark and narrow before us. We shall need a guide; and 
here he comes — a rough-looking man, with smutty 
clothes, and an odd little lamp covered with wire gauze, 
fastened to the front of his cap. He is one of the work- 
men employed to bring the treasures out of this dark 
storehouse, and he will show us, by the light of his lamp, 
some of the wonders of the place. Walk down the slop- 
ing foot-path now, and be careful to keep out of the way 
of the little cars that are coming and going on each side 
of you, loaded on one side and empty on the other, and 
seeming to run up and down by themselves. You will 
find that they are really pulled and pushed by an engine 
that stands outside the doorway and reaches them by 
long chains. At last we reach the foot of the slope, and, 
as our eyes become accustomed to the faint light, we can 

51 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

see passages leading to the right and left, and square 
chambers cut out in the solid hill. So this great green 
hil], upon which you might run or play, is inside like 
what I think some of those large ant-hills must be — 
traversed by galleries and full of rooms and long pas- 
sages. All about we see men like our guide, working by 
the light of their little lamps. We hear the echoing 
sound of their tools, and we see great blocks and heaps 
that they have broken away and loaded into little cars 
that stand ready, here and there, to be d.rawn by mules 
to the foot of the slope. 

Now, are you curious to know what this treasure is? 
Have you seen already that it is only coal, and do you 
wonder that I think it is so precious? Look a little 
closer, while our guide lets the light of his lamp fall upon 
the black wall at your side. Do you see the delicate 
tracery of ferns, more beautiful than the fairest draw- 
ing? See, beneath your feet is the marking of great 
tree-trunks lying aslant across the floor, and the forms 
of gigantic palm-leaves strewed among them. Here is 
something different, rounded like a nut-sheU; you can 
split off one side, and behold! there is the nut lying 
snugly as does any chestnut in its burr. 

Did you notice the great pillars of coal that are left to 
uphold the roof? Let us look at them; for perhaps we 
can examine them more closely than we can the roof 
and the sides of these halls. Here are mosses and little 
leaves, and sometimes an odd-looking little body that 
is not unlike some of the sea-creatures we found at the 
beach last summer; and everything is made of coal — 
nothing but coal. How did it happen and what does it 

52 



THE MINER 

mean? Ferns and palms, mosses and trees and animals, 
all perfect, all beautiful, and yet all hidden away under 
this hill and turned into shining black coal. 

Now, I can very well remember when I first saw a 
coal fire, and how odd it looked to see what seemed to 
be burning stones. For when I was a little girl, we al- 
ways had logs of wood blazing in an open fireplace, and 
so did many other people, and coal was just coming into 
use for fuel. What should we have done if every one had 
kept on burning wood to this day ? There would have 
been scarcely a tree left standing; for think of all the 
locomotives and engines in factories, besides all the fires 
in houses and churches and schoolhouses. But God 
knew that we should have need of other fuel beside wood, 
so he made great forests to grow on the earth before fie 
had made any men to live upon it. These forests were 
of trees, different in some ways from those we have now, 
great ferns as tall as this house, and mosses as high as 
little trees, and palm-leaves of enormous size. And when 
they were all prepared, he planned how they should 
best be stored up for the use of his children, who would 
not be here to use them for many thousand years to 
come. So he let them grow and ripen and fall to the 
ground, and then the great rocks were piled above them 
to crowd them compactly together; and they were 
heated and heavily pressed, until, as the ages went by, 
they changed slowly into these hard, black, shining 
stones, and became better fuel than any wood, because 
the substance of wood was concentrated in them. Then 
the hills were piled up on top of it all; but here and there 
some edge of a coal-bed was tilted up and appeared 

53 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

above the ground. This served as a hint to curious 
men, to make them ask, "What is this?" and "What is 
it good for?" and so at last, following their questions, 
to find their way to the secret stores, and make an open 
doorway and let the world in. 

So much for the fuel : but God meant something else 
besides fuel when he packed this closet for his children. 
At first they only understood this simplest and plainest 
value of the coal. But there were some things that 
troubled the miners very much. One was gas, that 
would take fire from their lamps and bum, making it 
dangerous for men to go into the passages where they 
were likely to meet it. But by and by the wise men 
thought about it, and said to themselves, "We must 
find out what useful purpose God made the gas for; we 
know that he does not make anything for harm only." 
The thought came to them that it might be prepared 
from coal, and conducted through pipes to our houses 
to take the place of lamps or candles, which until that 
time had been the only light. After making the gas, 
there was a thick, pitchy substance left from the coal, 
called coal-tar. It was only a trouble to the gas-makers, 
who had no use for it, and even threw it away, until 
some one more thoughtful than the others found out 
that water would not pass through it. And so it began 
to be used to cover roofs of buildings, and, mixed with 
some other substances, make a pavement for streets; 
and being spread over iron-work it protected it from 
rust. Don't you see how many uses we have found for 
this refuse, coal-tar? And the finest of all is yet to come, 
for the chemists got hold of it, and distilled and refined 

54 



THE MINER 

it until they prepared frora the dark, dirty pitch, lovely 
emerald-colored crystals which had the property of 
dyeing silk and cotton and wool in beautiful colors — 
violet, magenta, purple, or green. What do you think 
of that from coal-tar? When you have a new ribbon for 
your hat, or a pretty red dress, or your grandmamma 
buys a new violet ribbon for her cap, just ask if they 
were dyed with aniline colors; and if the answer is 
"Yes," you may know they came from the coal-tar. 
Besides the dyes, we shall also have left naphtha, useful 
in making varnish, and various oils that are used in 
more ways than I can tell you, or you would care 
now to hear. If your Cousin Anne has a jet belt-clasp 
or a bracelet, and if you find in Aunt Edith's box of old 
treasures an odd-shaped brooch of jet, you may remem- 
ber the coal again; for jet is only one kind of lignite, 
which is a name for a certain preparation of coal. 

But here is another surprise of a different kind. You 
have seen boxes of hard, smooth, white candles with the 
name "paraffine" marked on the cover. Should you 
think the black coal could ever undergo such a change 
as to come out in the form of these white candles? Go 
to the factory where they are made, and you can see 
the whole process; and then you will understand one 
more of God's meanings for coal. 

And all this time I have not said a word about how, 
while the great forests lay under pressure for millons 
of years, the oils that were in the growing plants (just as 
oils are in many growing plants now) were pressed out 
and flowed into underground reservoirs, lying hidden 
there until one day, not many years ago, a man acci- 

55 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

dentally bored into one. Up came the oil, spouting and 
running over, gushing out and streaming down to a 
river that ran near by. As it floated on the surface of 
the water (for oil and water will not mix, you know), 
the boys, for mischief, set fire to it, and a stream of fire 
rolled along down the river, proving to everybody who 
saw it that a new light, as good as gas, had come from 
the coal. Now those of us who have kerosene lamps may 
thank the oil-wells that were prepared for us so many 
years ago. 

When your hands and lips are cracked and rough 
from the cold, does your mother ever put on glycerine 
to heal them? If she does, you are indebted again to the 
coal oil, for of that the glycerine is partly made. 

And now let me tell you that almost all the uses for 
coal have been found out since I was a child, and, by 
the time you are men and women, you may be sure that 
as many more will be discovered ; if not from that store- 
house, certainly from some of the many others that our 
good Father has prepared for us, and hidden among the 
mountains or in the deserts, or perhaps under your very 
feet to-day. For thousands of people walked over these 
hills of coal before one saw the treasures that lay hidden 
there. I have only told you enough to teach you how 
to look for yourselves; a peep, you know, is all that I 
promised you. Sometime we may open another door 
together. 



xn 

NAILS 

COAL, and all the comforts with which it has sup- 
plied us, is not the only thing for which we must 
thank the miner. 

The lumberman provided the beams, boards, shingles, 
and laths for the carpenter, but who supplies the nails 
with which he hammers them together? 

The storekeeper? Yes, for now we can go to the 
hardware store, and for a few cents get a lot of nails. But 
it was not always so. You remember we talked about 
how men used grass or strips of animal skin to tie their 
houses together. There was a time, when there were no 
sawmills to make boards, when the houses were made 
from the logs and fastened together with long wooden 
pins, and even after men had learned to make boards, 
they used nails made of oak, which is a very hard wood. 

After a time, just as they found coal and a way to 
mine it, men found many metals that we use. Can you 
name any? Brass, copper, tin, gold, silver, iron, etc. 

We will take a piece of iron and hammer it to a 
powder. Be careful not to let any of it fly into your 
eyes. Then we will take the horseshoe magnet which 
Father brought you and see what happens. The little 
black particles which the magnet draws up are iron, 
and the sand particles are left behind. 

In the mines the iron is mixed with sand and other 
things, and with great effort and study men have learned 

57 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

to make heavy rollers to crush the masses of rock 
blasted or picked out of the ditches or mountain sides, 
and giant magnets to attract the iron. Machines work 
these, and send the iron into one place and the waste 
material into another. 

They learned how to melt the iron in great furnaces, 
how to work it into bars, and even into fine wire, and 
how to make steel of it. Then they learned to make 
nails of it, first hammering them out by hand, and then, 
in great factories, by machinery. Think of some of 
the nails that you have used or seen and what we need 
nails for. There are machines now that can make from 
a hundred to a thousand nails in a minute, and we can 
buy about three hundred kinds, from the smallest brads 
and tacks to the heaviest rivets and bolts. Not all are 
hammered out by machinery. Some are made by run- 
ning melted metal into sand moulds. 

So if we tried to write down all the things for which 
we depend upon the miner, we should have a long list. 
Let's do this, and as we go about see if we can find any 
new ones to add to it from day to day. Then we will 
find pictures of these and make a scrapbook. 



xm 

WINDOWS 

" A man who looks at glass 
On it may stay his eye 
Or through it let his vision pass 
And all the heavens espy." 

H. D. Thoreau 

COME into the doset and shut the door. Now let 
us open the door just a crack, and what comes in? 
Yes, the hght, and how good it is ! After the darkness 
of the closet how fine it isto have just a little ray of 
light. Let's open the door slowly and finally go out 
into the room full of light and sunshine. Why, it seems 
almost as bright as it is out of doors! We can see each 
other and to walk about, to read and write, to play and 
work. What makes the room so much lighter than the 
closet? Oh, yes, you have found out. It is the windows. 
And of what are they made? Man did not always have 
windows and even to-day not everywhere are the win- 
dows made of glass. 

When men lived in caves the only opening through 
which they could see or through which the light could 
enter their home was the opening through which they 
crawled in, and even in front of that they often had to 
roll a great stone for protection. 

In the cold countries where the Eskimos build their 
houses of blocks of snow, they sometimes have windows 
of ice. In some places shells are used, and in Japan, 

59 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

paper. None of them are as transparent as the glass 
which we use, you see. Do you know what transparent 
means? Yes, something you can see through. 

If we want windows in our homes, or if we break a 
pane of glass, we send for the glazier; he will come 
and measure the window frame, and with little tacks 
and putty fasten in a pane of almost any size or shape 
which we need, and so clear is the glass that not only 
does the sunshine and light come in and brighten our 
rooms, but we can look out upon all the beauties of the 
garden or field or wood. The bright sunshine can stream 
in and waken us in the morning, or we can gaze out at 
the moon or stars at night. We can watch the rain or 
the snow, enjoying its wildness or its beauty and know 
that it cannot get through our windows to harm us or 
our pretty things inside. 

But before we could have this clear, transparent glass 
for our windows many people had to think and to work. 

You can go to great factories, if you will, and see 
glass made and shaped into dishes or ornaments or 
windows. First, fine white sand — not aU kinds of sand 
will do — is mixed in a great trough with potash and other 
things and melted in a furnace. Then it is cooled until 
it is like paste. Then men dip blow-pipes into this and 
blow what they take up on the ends of these into dif- 
ferent shapes; then they roll it upon marble until it is 
partly cool, and then blow it again. This is done over 
and over until the right-sized cylinder is made. Then 
with cold iron the cylinder is broken open and cut from 
the blow-pipe and placed in ovens where the heat 
goftens and flattens it. Other tools, some of them made 

§0 



WINDOWS 

from wood, are used to make them perfectly flat, and 
for curved panes of glass, blocks of iron especially 
shaped are used. Then the glass is cut into the desired 
shapes and sizes with diamonds. 

All this work must be done with great care, for badly 
prepared glass will lose its transparency on being ex- 
posed to the air. Everything that goes into it, therefore, 
must be thoroughly tested. If the glass is not heated 
just hot enough and kept at just the right heat, or if it is 
not cooled slowly enough, it will break easily. You know 
how good molasses candy is when it has been made just 
right, but what a sticky or black, hard mess it becomes if 
it is boiled too long or gets too cold before you pull it. It 
is just the same in making glass. 

After it is made many hands must help to cut it, pack 
it and ship it to the store where the glazier must buy it 
before he can bring it to make your home bright. 



FOOD 



XIV 

KINDS OF FOOD 

"What can be more delicious 
Than a breakfast steaming hot 
Of oatmeal, cream and sugar. 
With sweet cocoa in a pot. 
And scrambled eggs and corn bread 
With marmalade or jam 
And fruit when it's in season? 
I like breakfast quite a lot. 

^'When home we come from lessons. 
My! how good our dinners taste! 
Hot soup and meat, potatoes. 
Beans, we eat with childish haste. 
We scrape our plates quite shiny 
And wait for our dessert 
Of pudding, jelly, pie or cake. 
There 's not a speck we waste. 

"By half -past five we 're tired. 
So we hurry home for tea. 
To find our muvver waiting 
For small sister and for me. 
Our bread and milk and porridge, 
Prunes and cookies disappear. 
And though perhaps we're greedy 
Eating's fun, you'll all agree." 

Robert Livingston, "Goodies to Eat." 

WHEN you went to the city with Mother, what 
did you see the fireman on the train shoveling 
into the engine? Yes, coal. He said he was feeding his 

65 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

engine, and when the coal was all burned up the train 
would have to stop unless he fed the engine again. 

Now to keep your little body running Mother has to 
see that you are fed, but what does she give you instead 
of coal? 

Bread, butter, milk, cereal, fruit, vegetables, meat 
and fish, oh, yes, and pudding, cake, candy, nuts, and 
— how did we forget it? — ice cream! 

Now where does mother get all these things to feed 
you with? We know where the fireman got his coal to 
feed his engine with, don't we? Do you remember the 
story of how the miner found it and how many men 
worked to get it to the places where people need to use 
it? 

It's just the same with everything we have, a long 
chain of workers, each one doing a little and then the 
work aU together making you and me happy and able to 
live. Let's take some little strips of paper and make a 
long chain by pasting the ends of the first piece together, 
slipping the end of the next piece through the loop thus 
made, pasting those ends together, and so on. We'll 
make a loop for each helper for our bowl of milk — oh, 
the middle loop broke, and the chain is all in a heap on 
the floor and no good ! Let 's see if it 's that way with our 
chain of helpers. 

Let us think of all who have helped before the Baby 
can have his bowl of milk for supper: 

The sunshine, rain, and dew have helped the grass to 
grow; 

The farmer has mowed the grass, and made it into 
hay, then stored it in his bam and fed it to the cow; 

66 



KINDS OF FOOD 

The cow has given the milk; 

The milkmaid has filled the pail, and brought the 
milk to Mother, who puts it into a pretty bowl for 
Baby's supper. 

But suppose any one of these things were not done, 
what then? 

Suppose no sun shone, or rain fell, the farmer did 
not mow, or forgot to feed or milk the cows. Then 
would Baby have any milk in his pretty bowl? 



XV 

USE OF FOOD 

ALMOST the first words you said when you were 
very tiny and could n't yet talk plainly were : 
"All gone!" You said, "Aw don! Aw don!" 

Mother did n't know what you meant until you kept 
saying it and pointing to your empty bowl. 

Now where did baby's bowl of milk and cereal go? 
[Draw out the story of the need of food to make and 
keep a strong body.] 

It goes into the little mouth and down a long tube to 
the stomach, where it is changed; digested, we say, and 
part of it made into blood which goes by other tubes to 
the heart. Part of the food does not make blood and 
this is no longer of any use to the body, so it is carried 
away through other tubes out of the body. When we go 
to the bathroom this is what we get rid of. After the 
part of the food which is made into blood is taken from 
what we eat the rest must not stay in the body or it 
will poison it and we will be sick. So we must take care 
to go to the bathroom every day. Every child must do 
this. Now the world has been most wonderfully planned 
so that the food that is waste for men and animals 
serves for food for plants. What you leave in the bath- 
room — and it must be taken care of in some way to 
keep the world sweet — the farmer buries in his garden, 
and when he has mixed it with the soil and planted his 



USE OF FOOD 

seeds, the little plants feed upon it, and it is turned 
again into food for men and animals. 

The part of the food which has been changed into 
blood goes through other little tubes to the heart. Have 
you ever seen a pump? [Talk of pumps and how they 
work. If the water which you drink comes through a 
faucet it would be well to take the child to see the reser- 
voir and the pumping station.] 

Then the heart acts just like a pump and pumps 
the blood all over your body, giving life and food to 
all the parts. [Name parts and tell how many eyes, 
ears, etc. Children like, "Knock at the door, peek in, 
lift up the latch and walk in," and such rhymes call- 
ing attention to the parts of the body.] The body needs 
much water for food, too. Be sure and drink enough 
each day. 

Now when the blood has been all over the body, mak- 
ing strong bones and muscles, etc., it also cleanses the 
body and becomes impure itself, so a way to make it 
sweet and clean again was planned. It goes to the lungs; 
and from your throat, right beside the tube which takes 
the food to your stomach, runs another tube which 
takes the air which you breathe in through your nose 
and mouth down into your lungs. This air, if it is good 
and fresh, makes the blood sweet and pure again and 
ready to go all over the body once more to keep it rosy 
and healthy. 

Some kinds of food feed the body better than others. 
Some kinds do not feed it at all, but keep the heart and 
stomach working so hard that you become sick. That is 
why Mother wants you to eat the right kind of food and 

69 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

to eat regularly, so as to keep your heart pumping all 
the time, and your body strong and healthy. 

When Baby says, "Aw don!" how nice it is if the 
right kind of food has gone to make his body strong. If 
he has played with it or thrown it around, Mother is 
sorry when he says, "Aw don!" just as he was when he 
let go of his balloon string and his little toy was "Aw 
don!" or he forgot to feed or water his pet, or left the 
door open, and that was "Aw don ! " I know a little boy 
who lost his rabbit this way. [Talk about waste and 
neglect, being careful not to preach or bore. Read 
Andersen's story of "The Girl who Trod on a Loaf."] 

THE GIRL WHO TROD ON A LOAF 

By Hans Christian Andersen (Adapted) 

OF course you have heard of the girl who trod on a 
loaf, so as not to spoil her pretty shoes; and you 
know all the punishment this brought upon her. 

She was a poor child, but very vain and proud. She 
had a bad disposition, people said. As she grew older 
she became worse instead of better. But she was very 
beautiful, and that was her misfortune. 

"You will bring evil on your own head," said her 
mother, "and when you grow up you will break my 
heart!" 

And she did, sure enough. 

At length she went into the country to be the servant 
of some very rich people. They were as kind to her as if 
she had been one of their own family. And she was so 
well dressed and so pretty that she became more vain 
than ever. 

70 



USE OF FOOD 

When she had been there a year, her master and mis- 
tress said to her, "You should go and visit your rela- 
tions, little Inger." ^ 

So she went in all her finest clothes. But when she 
reached the village, and saw her old mother sitting on a 
stone, and resting her head against a bundle of firewood 
that she had picked up in the forest, Inger turned back. 
She felt ashamed that she, who was dressed so well, 
should have a mother who was a ragged creature and 
picked up sticks for her fire. 

A half year more had passed by. 

"You must go home and see your old parents, little 
Inger," said her mistress. "Here is a large loaf of white 
bread — you can carry them this. They will be rejoiced 
to see you." 

And Inger put on her best clothes and nice new shoes. 
She lifted her dress high, and walked carefully so that 
she might not soil her garments or her feet. 

By and by she came to where the path went over a 
marsh. There was water and mud in the way. She 
threw the loaf of bread into the mud, so that she could 
step on it, and go over with dry shoes. 

But just as she placed one foot on the bread, and 
lifted the other up, the loaf sank into the marsh, deeper 
and deeper, until she went entirely down, and nothing 
was to be seen but a black bubbling pool. 

And what became of Inger? 

She went down to the Moor- Woman, who brews be- 
low. The Moor- Woman is the aunt of the Fairies. But 
no one knows anything more about the Moor- Woman, 
except that when the meadows and marshes begin to 

71 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

reek in Summer, it is because the old woman is 
brewing. 

Into her brewery it was that Inger sank. The kettles 
were jfiEed with horrible smells, and Snakes and Toads 
were crawling around. Into this place little Inger sank; 
the bread stuck fast to her feet, and drew her down. 
She shivered in every limb. 

"This comes from wishing to have clean shoes," 
thought Inger. 

She stood there like a statue, fastened to the ground 
by the bread. Around her were many strange beings. 
How they stared at her, with wicked eyes ! 

"It must be a pleasure to them to see me," thought 
little Inger; "I have such a pretty face, and am so well 
dressed." 

And she dried her tears. She had not lost her conceit. 
But the worst of all was the dreadful hunger she felt. 
Could she not stoop down and break off a piece of the 
bread on which she was standing? 

No! Her back was stiffened; her hands and her arms 
were stiffened; her whole body was like a statue of stone. 
She could move only her eyes. The gnawing hunger was 
terrible to bear. 

* 'If this goes on I cannot hold out much longer, * ' she said. 

But she had to hold out, though her sufferings be- 
came greater. 

Then a warm tear fell upon her head; it trickled over 
her face and neck all the way down to the bread. An- 
other tear followed, and still another, and then many 
more. Who was weeping for little Inger? Had she not a 
mother up yonder on the earth? 

72 



USE OF FOOD 

And Inger could hear all that was being said about 
her above in the world, and it was nothing but blame 
and evil. Though her mother wept, and was very sor- 
rowful, yet she said: 

"Pride goes before a fall! That was your great fault, 
little Inger! Oh! How miserable you have made your 
mother!" 

But Inger's heart became still harder than the Stone 
into which she was turned. She felt hatred for all man- 
kind. She listened and heard people above telling her 
story as a warning to children. And the little ones 
called her "ungodly Inger." "She was so naughty," 
they said, "so very wicked, that she deserved to suffer." 
The children always spoke harshly of her. 

But one day when hunger and suffering were gnawing 
her dreadfully, she heard her name mentioned, and her 
story told to a child — a little girl. The child burst into 
tears. 

"When will she come up again?" she asked. 

The answer was, "She will never come up again." 

"But if she will beg pardon, and promise never to be 
naughty again.?" asked the child. 

"But she will not beg pardon," they said. 

"Oh! I wish she would!" sobbed the child. "I will 
give my doll and my doll's house, if she may come up! 
Poor little Inger!" 

These words touched Inger's heart; she wished to cry, 
but she could not. 

Years and years went by on earth above, and Inger's 
mother died. The child who had wept for her grew to be 
old — oh, very old indeed, and the Lord was about to 

73 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

call her to Himself. And as her gentle spirit was passing 
she remembered Inger, and wept once more for the fate 
of the unhappy one. 

And her tears sounded like an echo in the abyss where 
Inger was. One of God's spirits was weeping for her! 
And remorse and grief filled Inger's soul, such as she had 
never felt before. 

She thought that for her the gates of Mercy would 
never open. And, as in deep shame and humility she 
thought thus, a ray of brightness penetrated into that 
dismal abyss, a ray more vivid and glorious than the 
Sunbeams that melt the Snow-Figures children make in 
their gardens. 

And this ray, more quickly than the Snowflake that 
falls on a child's warm mouth can melt, caused Inger's 
stony figure to dissolve, and a little gray bird arose, fol- 
lowing the zigzag course of the ray to the earth above. 

But the bird was afraid and shy of everything around 
it. It felt ashamed, and hid in a dark hole in a wall. 
There it sat, and it crept into the farthest corner, trem- 
bling all over. 

For a long time it sat thus, before it ventured to look 
out at all the beauty around it. The air was so fresh, so 
soft. The Moon shone so clearly. The trees and the 
flowers gave out sweet odors. How all Creation told of 
love and glory! The little bird would willingly have 
poured forth its joy in song, but the power was denied it. 

Then it flew out of the hole, and longed more than 
ever to sing in gratitude. Perhaps some day it might 
find a voice, if it could perform some deed of thankful- 
ness! Might not this happen .f* 

74 



USE OF FOOD 

The Winter was a hard one. The waters were frozen 
thickly over. The birds and wild animals in the wood 
could scarcely get food. The little bird flew about the 
country roads, and, when it found a few grains of corn 
dropped in the ruts, it would eat only a single grain, 
while it called to all the starving Sparrows to come and 
enjoy the rest. 

It would also fly from village to village and look 
about. And where kind hands had strewed crumbs out- 
side the windows for birds, it would eat only one crumb, 
and give all the rest to the Sparrows. 

At the end of the Winter the little bird had found and 
given away so many crumbs of bread that they equaled 
in weight the loaf upon which little Inger had trod in 
order to save her fine shoes from being soiled. 

And when it had given away the very last crumb, the 
gray wings of the bird became white, and expanded 
wonderfully. 

"It is flying over the sea!" exclaimed the children 
who saw the white bird. 

Now it seemed to dip into the ocean, and now it rose 
into the clear sunshine. It glittered in the air. It disap- 
peared high, high above. And the children said that it 
had flown up to the Sun. 



XVI 
SPIFF'S SUPPER 

COME, Spiffie," called Mother, "it's time for sup- 
per and off to bed." And she came in with a tray 
on which were bread and butter, sauce, and a big glass 
of sweet, rich milk, and set it on a little table in the 
nursery. 

"If I'll eat quickly will you tell me the story about 
Little Alice and when she first saw a cow, and all the 
things the cow gives us?" said Spiff, as he came to the 
little table and began to drink his milk. 

"Yes," said Mother. "I'm glad you like to hear 
about the cow, for she is one of the animals that it would 
be hard for us to get along without. We will go and see 
one some day soon and we will see how much we can find 
out about her. 

"Do you know how many legs she has and what we 
call her foot? Do you know what she has on her head 
and how she chews her food? " [Speak of her cud and her 
second stomach.] 

"What do we call the father cow?" [Bull.] "And the 
baby?" [Caff.] 

"Now you have finished your supper and I'll read 
you some stories about what the cow gives us; there are 
too many for one night, but we will start on them now." 



xvn 

THE cow 

By Caro A. Dugan 
I. MILK, BUTTER, AND CHEESE 

LITTLE ALICE was five years old, and had Kved 
all her life in a city. She knew nothing of woods, 
and brooks, and fields full of clover and daisies, of bees, 
and butterflies, and birds, except through stories. Alice 
liked to hear these stories, and when she was snugly 
tucked in her little white bed, she would say, "Now, 
Mamma, please tell how the cows showed you the way 
home that time you were lost," or, "Tell how you 
played with the little brook in the woods." 

Alice's father and mother loved their little girl very 
dearly, and when they found that she was growing pale 
and quiet, instead of being rosy and active as a healthy 
child ought to be, they began to think what would be 
the best thing to do for her. "She is drooping just as a 
flower would, if shut off from the warm sunshine and 
pure air, in a narrow street," said the mother. 

"Then Vv^e must take our little flower to the country, 
where air and sunshine are plentiful," said the father, 
"and give it a chance to grow." Mr. Boyd was a busy 
man, and he had not left his work for a day since his ht- 
tle Alice was bom; but he was a wise and careful father, 
and he did not wait long after deciding what was the 
right thing to do, 

77 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

In less than a week Alice, with her father and mother, 
was speeding out of the city, on their way to a real coun- 
try farm. As the piles of brick buildings were left be- 
hind, and the sky widened and lifted to the great bound- 
less arch of blue, Alice raised her wondering eyes to her 
mother; but when they neared field and woodland, and 
she saw leaves glistening and dancing in the sunlight, 
water rippling over pebbly bottoms, white daisies nod- 
ding to each other by the roadside, her cheeks flushed 
with excitement, and she danced first on one little foot, 
then on the other, for very joy. You happy country 
children, to whom all these things are sweet and natural 
as the air you breathe, can you think what it was to a 
city child to see them all for the very first time? It was 
a long ride, and Alice grew tired. It was dark, and the 
stars were out when they left the train, and Alice was 
fast asleep in her father's arms. When she opened her 
sleepy eyes, she found herself in a long, low room, where 
a table was set for supper, with the whitest of table- 
cloths and shining ware. Everything was cheery, and 
bright, and clean, and the room was sweet with the 
fragrance of red roses that filled a great jar in the open 
fireplace, and even climbed up outside and peeped in at 
the open window, as if they, too, wished to see and wel- 
come the little visitor. Alice lifted her eyes in astonish- 
ment, and saw a kind, motherly face smiling down at 
her. She could n*t help smiling back — everybody al- 
ways smiled back at Aimt Lizzie — and the two were 
friends at once. 

Oh, how good that supper tasted to little Alice! 
Never had she eaten such yellow butter, such bread, 

78 



THE COW 

such strawberries, red and large and juicy; and as for 
the thick, golden cream that Aunt Lizzie poured over 
her berries, our Alice had never seen anything like it in 
all her life. She whispered, "Mamma, do we eat custard 
on our berries?" 

"Bless the dear child!" said Aunt Lizzie, "has she 
never seen cream before? Do you know what a cow is, 
little one?" 

"I saw some in a picture once, and Mamma told me 
about them. They give milk." 

"The cow gives you a great many things besides milk, 
little daughter," said her father. 

"How many?" she eagerly asked. 

"Let me see your two hands," said Mr. Boyd. 

Alice held them up. "Now spread out all your fingers 
and thumbs. There ! I think you will find that the good 
cow gives you something for each little finger and 
thumb." 

"Truly, Papa? Will you tell me all about them?" 

"You must try to find them out for yourself; but 
Mamma, Aunt Lizzie and I will help you. You can ask 
us all the questions you wish." 

"You shall see the cow to-morrow morning," said 
Aunt Lizzie, "and learn where the milk comes from that 
you will drink for your breakfast." 

Alice's first thought next morning, when the early 
golden sunbeams touched her eyes and opened them 
wide, was of Aunt Lizzie's promise. She was quickly 
dressed, and ran downstairs and out into the yard. Oh, 
how lovely and fresh was the morning ! 

Alice sat down on a long wooden bench that stood by 
79 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

a fence, separating the yard from a great field full of 
dewy grass. She peeped through the bars and won- 
dered what made the grass so wet, and then she turned 
to look at Aunt Lizzie standing in the doorway under 
the climbing roses. Something very warm and sweet 
was breathed against her cheek from behind, and she 
gave a jump and looked around. 

**It is one of the cows, our good Lightfoot," said 
Aunt Lizzie; "she is bidding you good-morning." 

Alice looked rather timidly at the great creature with 
shining red sides and big, crumpled horns; but Light- 
foot's eyes were so large, and soft, and gentle, and she 
stood so quietly looking over the bars, that Alice soon 
put up her hand to pat her, and again she felt the cow's 
w^arm breath, sweet as the clover she had been eat- 
ing. 

"Here comes Luke to milk her," said Aunt Lizzie. 

Luke had a bright tin pail in one hand, and a queer 
little wooden stool in the other. He swung himself over 
the fence, put the stool on the grass beside Lightfoot, 
and seating himself, put his pail under the cow. Alice 
looked wonderingly at the great, soft udder, as Luke 
took hold of the cow's teats, and then clapped her hands 
with delight when the white, foaming milk came stream- 
ing into the pail. 

"Oh, Aunt Lizzie, I've seen the real milk coming!" 
shouted Alice. 

"You can count one on your little thumb now; one 
good thing we can thank the cow for giving us," said her 
father, coming out to enjoy his little girl's pleasure. 

Aunt Lizzie brought a pretty china cup; Luke filled it 
80 



THE COW 

with the warm, new milk for Alice to drink, and she 
said, "Thank you, dear Lightfoot.'* 

When the pail was nearly full, and Luke was walking 
off with it. Aunt Lizzie said, " Come, little Alice, and 
see what becomes of the milk." Round the house they 
went to a low stone building. Entering, Alice found her- 
self in a cool, airy room, where a little spring of water 
bubbled up right in the middle of the stone floor. The 
walls were lined with pans full of mDk, and platters 
holding rolls of yellow butter. 

There was something else, white and round, that 
looked very nice, Alice thought, but she did not know 
its name. She saw Luke pour the new milk into shining 
pans and set it away. There were two women here at 
work. One had a shell in her hand, and with it was tak- 
ing something from the top of the milk. *' Why, it is the 
cream!" said little Alice; "but why does she put it in 
this high tin roller.?" 

"That is a churn," said Aunt Lizzie, "and if you 
watch Molly, you will see what can be made out of 
milk." 

Alice stayed and talked with Molly, even helping 
send the dasher up and down with her own hands, and 
was delighted to see the cream grow thicker and thicker, 
till the yellow butter began to appear. She held up her 
forefinger then, and said: "That counts one for the but- 
ter, does n't it. Aunt Lizzie? I can hold up two fingers 
now." 

"Come back to the house, and I will show you some- 
thing for the tall middle finger," said Aunt Lizzie. 

Alice tripped along the path, Molly and Aunt Lizzie 
81 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

following with two great pails of milk. These were 
emptied into a tin boiler that stood over the kitchen 
fire. More milk was brought, and after it was heated. 
Aunt Lizzie put in a curious, brownish substance which 
she told Alice was rennet, and came from the stomach of 
the calf. 

Ahce was greatly interested when after this the milk 
began to grow thick and form curds. She watched Aunt 
Lizzie chop the curds and press them till all the thin 
liquid whey was squeezed out of them, and they were 
salted and pressed in a round, solid form like those in 
the dairy, each cheese being put into a large hoop of 
wood, until it became of the right shape. 

"See! this is a cheese, Alice." And then kind Aunt 
Lizzie let Alice press and salt a tiny cheese with her own 
hands. How pleased and proud was the little girl when 
it was placed on the supper table, and Mamma, Papa, 
and even Aunt Lizzie each ate a small piece of Alice*s 
own cheese. 

"Does the cow give us anything else to eat?" she 
asked. 

"All in good time, little daughter," said her papa. 
"You have learned quite enough for one day. Another 
time ring finger shall have a chance to stand up with the 
others." 

II. LEATHER 

When Alice was getting ready for bed one night she 
asked her father to tell her a story, and as she drank her 
cup of milk she thought of the good cow, and said, "Oh, 
Papa! tell a story for my third finger; here is milk for my 

S2 



THE COW 

thumb, butter for my first finger, and cheese for my 
middle finger; my third finger wants something; I am 
sure the cow can give me something to count on this 
little finger!'' 

"Yes, Alice, I remember a story I read once," said 
her papa, "and I will tell it; but you must keep your 
mind busy with what I say; for I think I will make you 
guess a riddle this time. Take off your boots and put 
them on this cricket; get your slippers and sit here on 
my knee." 

Alice hurried to do as her papa had bidden, and was 
soon sitting on his knee, earnestly listening to this old 
and oft-repeated story: 

" There was once a king who had not learned how to 
do many things; his people knew as little as he did about 
making houses, dishes, or clothes for themselves; they 
lived in tents and wore coarse clothes, not yet having 
learned to weave fine cloth. I think they made some 
garments from the bark of trees; they went v/ith bare 
heads and bare feet all of the time. 

"One day the king's horse fell dead under him, and 
there were no servants with him who were strong enough 
to carry him; so he was obliged to walk a long distance. 
The sharp stones cut his feet, and the briars pricked and 
tore them, until the king was in a great rage and said he 
would never again leave his tent until the earth should 
be carpeted for his feet. 

"Then all his people began making coarse carpets, 
and at the end of a year they asked him to walk out and 
try the new carpet. He went out, and was greatly 
pleased; for the earth was so covered with the people's 

83 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

carpets that no sticks or stones could touch his feet; but 
when night came, he refused to go back to his tent, but 
bade them make a tent where they were, so he could 
pursue his journey next day. The people were greatly 
frightened, knowing he would soon come to the end of 
the carpet if he journeyed in this fashion. One of the 
servants went away by himself and spent the night in 
work; some of them went about crying and WTinging 
their hands ; while others made a few yards more of the 
carpet for the earth and hastened to spread it at the end 
of that already finished. Next day when the king came 
to the end of the carpet he was very angry and was going 
to have all the servants beaten, when the one who had 
worked all night came forward, and kneeling before the 
king, said, *Sire, I have a carpet for the whole earth, 
though none but the king may walk upon it.' The king 
asked if it were like the paltry one whose limit he had 
reached in two days, and the servant replied, *Nay, 
gracious king; thou canst wander in valleys, and thy 
feet never be torn by brambles; thou canst tread the 
burning desert, and thy feet remain unscorched.' * Ah ! ' 
cried the king, * bring me that priceless carpet, and half 
my kingdom shall be thine.'" 

"Oh, Papa!" said Alice, "did he really have a carpet 
like that?" 

"There's my riddle, little girl; can you guess how he 
carried such a carpet as that in a sack?" 

AKce answered, "I must think hard," and closing her 
eyes with her hands, she said in a disappointed tone, 
" He must have been a magician " ; but her papa told her 
he was no magician : then she thought again, but could 

84 



THE COW 

not guess, and, opening her eyes, they fell upon her little 
boots on the cricket, and she clapped her hands, and 
shouted, **I know! I know! the servant had made the 
king some shoes." 

"You guessed rightly, my child, and now for your 
third finger; why shall we thank the cow for shoes?" 
Alice took the tiny boot in her hand while her father 
told her that the skin of the cow is used for soles and 
heels of even cloth boots, and some coarse, heavy boots 
are made entirely of cow-hide. So Alice thanked the 
cow for milk — there 's one for her thumb; for butter — 
there 's two for her first finger; for cheese — three for her 
middle finger; and for leather — which makes four, for 
the ring finger. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, good 
cow! I hope everybody will treat you kindly. 

III. HAIR AND BONES 

It was sunset, and Alice sat in the doorway under the 
roses, watching for Luke, who had gone to the pasture 
after Lightfoot and the other cows. Aunt Lizzie had a 
good many cows — Old Brindle and Pet and Jessie and 
White Lily and Brown Bess and Short-horns and Bell — 
but Alice liked Lightfoot best of all, and every night 
watched for her coming, and stood by Luke's milking- 
stool with her little cup to get a drink of new milk. This 
night Alice watched and waited in vain, for Luke did 
not come. The rosy sunset glow faded out of the sky; it 
grew darker, and here and there a star peeped out, but 
still Luke did not come. 

"Alice, it is bedtime now," called her mother, and 
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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

with a sigh of disappointment the Httle girl climbed the 
stairs to her room, and began to prepare for bed. 

While her mother was brushing out her long, soft 
hair, Alice heard a familiar voice, and flew to the win- 
dow. There stood Luke, telling Aunt Lizzie that the 
bars of the great pasture were down, and the cows all 
gone. He had had a long tramp, but could not find 
them. 

"I will mount Tita at sunrise to-morrow and have 
another hunt,*' said Luke. 

"Oh, may I go with you.^" cried Alice; "can't two 
ride on Tita.?" 

Luke looked up, smiling to see the little white figure 
at the window, its bright hair blowing in the night 
breeze, and answered, **0h, yes, Tita wouldn't mind 
carrying us both on her strong back; I'll take you if 
your mother is willing." 

"Wouldn't she be a trouble to you?" asked Mrs. 
Boyd. 

"Oh, no!" said Luke, smiUng again. He and Alice 
were great friends. 

"Oh, my dear Lightfoot!" said the child, as she nes- 
tled down in her little bed. "Mamma, do you think 
Lightfoot is lonesome way off there in the dark?" 

"No, little daughter; you forget that Brindle and 
Jessie and Short-horns and the others are all with her, 
and I don't think she minds the darkness, while she has 
plenty of soft grass to lie upon. Only think how pleased 
she will be to see her little mistress coming for her in the 
morning." 

So Alice went to sleep with happy thoughts, after all. 
86 



THE COW 

Very early next morning she rode out of the yard, 
seated before Luke on Tita's broad back. At first, when 
the horse's great shoulders began to move under her, 
Alice was a little afraid, and clung fast to Luke, feeling 
almost as if she were on a moving mountain; but she 
soon became used to the motion and felt safe and 
happy. 

The eastern sky was full of golden light that grew and 
deepened until the great sun came in sight, and then 
how the dewy fields glistened and shone ! Alice laughed 
with delight when she saw the silvery spider webs shin- 
ing like little fairy tents in the wet grass — **Sign of a 
fine day," Luke told her — and the dear white daisies 
nodding good-morning to the sun, and when they rode 
through the woods where low-hanging branches sent 
show^ers of bright drops in their faces. 

On they went through woodland and along the river, 
and at last, far off across the river meadows, they heard 
the faint tinkle of a bell. 

"That is old Brindle's bell!" said Luke. 

Tita pricked up her ears and trotted merrily on, and 
in a few moments they saw the horns of old Lightfoot 
herself. How glad Alice felt then; she could hardly wait 
to be lifted down from Tita. She threw her arms about 
Lightfoot*s neck and hugged and kissed her for joy. 
What do you suppose Luke did.'^ He took a tin cup 
from his pocket, saying, "You must be hungry, little 
Alice, after such a long ride," and in a moment he had 
it filled with Lightfoot's fresh milk. It tasted good to 
Alice, I assure you. She began saying, "Thank you, 
Lightfoot, for milk, thank you for butter, thank you 

87 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

for cheese, thank you for leather, thank you again for 
milk." 

"We are near the Grays' new house," said Luke, 
looking off through the trees; "come with me, and we 
will find how the cow helps us make houses." 

"Does she really?" said Alice; "how can she?" 

"Ah, that I will let you find out for yourself." 

A few steps brought them to the new house. Several 
men were at work on the house. 

"What are they doing?" said Alice; "that man is all 
sprinkled with white — is he painting?" 

"Not painting, but plastering," said Luke, "making 
the walls warm and tight with plaster, so no cold air 
can creep in next winter to chill the people who will 
live here." 

Alice watched the spreading on of the wet plaster with 
great interest. 

"Now see if you can find out how the cow helps make 
that plaster," said Luke. 

Alice looked at it, and said doubtfully, "It is white 
like milk, but I should n't think milk would make good 
plaster." 

"It is the lime that is white," said Luke; "step nearer 
and look very carefully." 

"Why, it is full of funny little hairs, like cow's hairs," 
said Alice. "Oh, I know now; the good cow gives her 
hair to help make plaster." And up went one of her 
hands, with all the little fingers outspread, while she 
said, "Now, little baby finger, you may stand up with 
the rest, and thank the cow for hair to make plaster. 
Why do they put it in the plaster, Luke?" 

88 



THE COW 

"It holds it together better, and so makes a closer, 
warmer covering for the walls. Now if you come into 
the garden, perhaps we will find something that will 
make Mr. Thumbkin on the other hand stand up." 

"Does the cow help make gardens as well as houses? 
What a good cow!" said Alice. 

They found the gardener busy sprinkling the earth 
about young plants and vegetables with a kind of white 
powder. 

"Did that come from the cow.^ What is it.^" asked 
Alice. 

"That is pretty hard for you to guess," said Luke. 

"It doesn't look like this," taking a piece of solid 
white bone from his pocket; "but it really is made of 
the bones of the cow, burned and crushed to powder. 
It makes the earth rich, and so helps the plants to grow." 

"Oh, my dear Lightfoot!" said Alice, when at last, 
mounting Tita, they began to drive the cows home- 
ward, "how many things you are good for!" 

When they rode into Aunt Lizzie's yard, Alice held 
up two thumbs and four little fingers, calling out, "Oh, 
Mamma, Papa, Aunt Lizzie, — Luke has found me 
two new things that the cow gives us!" And as Luke 
lifted her off Tita's back, and she ran toward the house, 
so eager for breakfast, she looked back with a bright, 
friendly smile to say, "Thank you, Luke." 

IV. HORN 

One day Alice came into the house bringing a bit of 
broken comb to her mother and asked how it happened 
to be such a light color, while her comb was black. Her 

89 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

mother asked her if she did not think it might be an old 
black comb faded; but AHce felt sm-e it could not be, 
for she had seen old black combs that were not faded, 
though they had lain for weeks in the sun and rain. 
Then her mother laughed, and said, "You have found 
something now for the pointing finger of your left hand; 
and if you can name the six things for which you have 
learned to thank the cow, we will go out to the pasture 
to see if you can find what the cow gives us that can be 
used in making combs.*' 

AHce held up her thumb and fingers and counted very 
rapidly : 

"Mother Thumb, thank the cow for milk; that is one. 

"Father Pointing Finger, thank the cow for butter; 
that is two. 

"Brother Middle Finger, thank the cow for cheese; 
that is three. 

"Sister Ring Finger, thank the cow for leather; that 
is four. 

"Little Baby Finger, thank the cow for hair for 
plaster; that is five. 

"Mrs. Thumbkin, thank the cow for bones to make 
the plants grow; that is six." 

"You remember well, Alice; come now with me and 
learn what part of the cow is made into combs." 

AHce tied on her sun hat, and putting her hand in 
that of her mother she went out to the field of clover, 
where Lightfoot was standing under a tree, chewing 
her cud. Alice had never noticed Lightfoot's chewing 
before, except when she was nibbling the clover, and 
she went close to her head, and said, "Oh, LightfootI 

90 



THE COW 

Mamma says chewing gum is not a nice habit!" I do 
not think Lightfoot minded AHce's reproof, but she 
swallowed what she was chewing and began to smell at 
AHce's pocket, which pleased Ahce greatly, for she had 
something in that pocket for the cow, but she had not 
expected the cow to find it so soon. 

"What do you think Ahce took to the cow in her 
pocket?" 

"Clover?" 

"No; there was all the clover in the pasture that the 
cow needed." 

"Sugar?" 

"No; the cow did not care for sugar, but it was some- 
thing white and fine like sugar." 

"Salt?" 

"Yes; it was salt." Alice had learned that cows are 
very fond of salt; and when she took a handful from her 
pocket she laughed to feel the cow's rough tongue as 
she licked the salt from her hand. 

Lightfoot was a gentle cow, and Alice thought her 
big brown eyes were very beautiful. When the salt was 
all gone, and Lightfoot gave a last kiss to the little 
hand, Alice threw her arms about the good cow, and 
said, "You dear old bossy cow, where do you keep 
combs? I 'd like to learn. I 've seen you comb your own 
glossy hair with your tongue, but your tongue does not 
look like this comb," and she took the bit of comb from 
her pocket and held it up before the cow, who did not 
act as if she had ever before seen a comb, or cared 
whether she should ever see another; in fact, she gave 
an odd little sound in her throat as if she were going to 

91 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

say something about the salt, and up popped her cud, 
which she began chewing again as if AUce had never 
rebuked her about it. 

This surprised AHce very much, and she asked her 
mother where Lightfoot kept her food. Mrs. Boyd then 
told her that cows and some other animals chewed their 
food several times before it was taken deep into their 
stomachs; that they swallowed it into a place called the 
first stomach, where they let it lie until they wanted it, 
when it could be raised for another chewing. 

"That would be a nice arrangement for httle girls who 
like strawberries and ice-cream so much," said Alice; 
but her mother reminded her that she must find that 
part of the cow which looked most hke the comb about 
which they had come to learn. 

"I see! I know!'* said Alice; "her horns look almost 
like this comb!" 

"Yes," said her mother; "when the life goes out of 
the cow's body, her horns are sent to a place where they 
are made into combs; so you see the cow serves us as 
long as she lives, and then she leaves us her body to 
use. I think some lazy people would be put to shame if 
they honestly compared themselves with Lightfoot. I 
hope my little girl will never become one of those women 
who serve no purpose in life." 

Alice could now count seven fingers, and she pointed 
the seventh at the cov/ and shook it playfully, saying, 
"Thank you, cow, for horn for combs." 



92 



THE COW 



V. GLUE 



A.LICE had a doll that she thought was the best and 
dearest doll in the world. Her mother gave it to her 
t^hen she was quite a little girl, and she had always 
taken as good care of it as if it were a real, live baby. 
The doll had a china head, its hair was yellow, its eyes 
brown, and its cheeks very pink. It had two white 
dresses and a great many sashes, made out of bits of 
cibbon given to Alice from time to time. 

It had a tinj^ straw hat trimmed with brown ribbon 
md a bit of brown feather, to wear when it went out to 
walky and a pretty white nightdress to put on at night. 
The good Luke had made a dainty little bedstead for 
Alice, and Aunt Lizzie had given her a mattress, and 
sheets, and pillows, and a blanket and quilt; so every 
night when Alice went to bed, the dolly went, too, and 
slept in its own wee bed beside its little mother. 

One morning, after breaMast, Alice said, "Now, 
Gretchen" — that was the doll's name — *'we have a 
great deal to do this morning. We must help Aunt 
Lizzie make butter, and we must help Luke pick the 
strawberries for dinner. Only you must n't eat many, 
Gretchen, while you are picking — only two, three, 
five you may eat." 

Gretchen looked very smiling, as if it mattered little 
how few strawberries she had as long as she was with 
Alice. Round the house they went, following the little 
footpath to the dairy, where it was so cool and pleasant. 
Alice liked to go there often to see the sweet, yellow 
butter made from Lightfoot's milk. I think it helped 

93 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Aunt Lizzie more to see her happy little face, and hear 
her talk to Gretchen, than even when Alice's httle hands 
took hold of the churn-dasher and made it go up and 
down, to "rest" Aunt Lizzie. After the butter came, 
and Molly was busy working and salting it, Alice and 
Gretchen went to the garden and helped Luke hunt for 
strawberries under the green leaves. Ahce worked very 
busily, and I don't believe she ate more than the two, 
three, five berries she had promised Gretchen, she was 
so eager to fill her tin pail. 

How glad she felt when it was heaped to the brim 
with rich, red berries, and she could take it to the house 
to show Mother and Aunt Lizzie! She walked up to 
the door, carrying the pail carefully in one hand, and 
holding Gretchen with the other. Her mother came to 
meet her, asking, "Did my little girl pick all those 
strawberries herself.^" Before Alice could answer, she 
hit her foot against the great, flat door-stone, and over 
she went, the strawberries rolling in every direction in 
the grass, and, what was far worse, Gretchen falling on 
the big stone with such force that the pretty china 
head was knocked completely off her body. 

Alice cried when she picked herself up and saw poor 
little headless Gretchen. 

"Never mind, dear; we will ask the good cow to 
help us, and we shall have Gretchen all right again be- 
fore long." 

Alice was so astonished that she stopped crying, to 
ask, "Why, Mamma, do you mean that the cow can 
really put my Gretchen's head on again.?" 

"Yes, AUce; I think Gretchen's fall will give your 
94 



THE COW 

tall middle finger a chance to stand up with the 
others." 

With her mother's help Alice picked up the scattered 
berries, none the worse for their roll on the soft grass, 
and then the two went into the house, and Mrs. Boyd 
asked Aunt Lizzie where she kept her glue. 

"Glue, Mamma?" said Alice; "that is what Papa 
used to mend chairs with; does the cow give us that?" 

"Yes," said her mother; "it is made from the cow's 
hoofs. After the cow dies, her hoofs are washed and 
cleansed and made into this brown sticky glue." 

While she was talking, Alice's mother was spreading 
the glue with a brush on the rough edges of poor 
Gretchen's neck. Then she took the head and pressed 
it carefully and firmly do^Ti into place again. 

Alice danced about, exclaiming, "My dear Gretchen! 
May I have her now. Mamma?" 

"No, dear; we must put her away till to-morrow, 
when the glue will be dry and hard. Now let me see 
how many fingers you can hold up." 

Up went one little hand, and Alice said, "Thumbkin, 
thank the cow for milk; Pointer, for butter; Middle 
Man, for cheese; Ring Man, for leather; Little Man, 
for hair. Now the other hand. Thumbkin, thank the 
cow for bones; Pointer, for horn; and Middle Man, for 
glue. Only two fingers! I wonder what they will tell 
me! Oh, Mamma! I love Lightfoot better and better 
every day. I will make something for her now while I 
am waiting for Gretchen." 

What do you think it was? It was made of white 
daisies, and was something Lightfoot could wear. Yes, 

95 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

it was a chain for her neck — a long, beautiful, daisy 
chain. 

Alice worked hard, and had it all ready when Light- 
foot came to be milked; and as Luke lifted her up so 
she could throw the chain over the cow's horns, she said, 
as fast as her little tongue could say it, "Thank you, 
thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank 
you, thank you, thank you, dear good Lightfoot!" 

Can you tell me why she thanked the good cow eight 
times? 

VI. STEAK AND TALLOW 

Alice had been promised a real picnic in the woods, 
and the day after her doll was so beautifully mended 
with the glue, the family began making ready for the 
"woods party," as Alice chose to call it. 

You may be sure Lightfoot gave her share for the 
dinner: her milk helped to make the buns; her butter 
helped to make the cake; her cheese was packed beside 
the doughnuts which Aunt Lizzie made; and in the 
morning when the family rockaway was driven to the 
door, Alice was so happy that she could hardly wait 
for the others to get their places. She took the Httle 
seat which seemed made for her and shouted to her 
papa to be sure to get the jug of cream; to her mamma, 
not to forget the milk; to the pony, not to overturn the 
rockaway while she ran back to the house to get her 
doll, who would cry her blue eyes blind if she were 
left at home; then she ran up and down stairs, to the 
cellar and garret, just because she was too happy to 
stand or sit still while the grown folks were packing 

96 



THE COW 

the luncheon. Finally they were quite ready to start, 
and the pony trotted briskly off, not seeming to mind 
Alice's *'whoas" or "go alongs" any more than he did 
the dolFs hold of the end of the reins. 

Alice looked surprised when her father stopped at a 
meat market in the little village and took her in while 
he bought a few pounds of tender steak; but he said, 
"That's for your lesson out in the woods to-day.'* 
Alice was glad to have the promise of a lesson from her 
father, for his lessons were always easy to learn, she 
thought. 

They drove over a straight road that made Alice 
think of a wide sash ribbon, it looked so smooth and 
long; then they turned into a shaded road that wound 
along the bank of a pretty little river, and Alice got 
out of the rockaway a dozen times to pick a handful 
of flowers. There were wild purple asters, bright golden- 
rod, and brilliant red flowers upon slender stems that 
Alice had never seen before: her father told her it was 
cardinal flower, and he was much pleased that she re- 
membered the name. 

When they left the river bank, they climbed a rocky 
hill, where the pony was taken from the harness and 
given some oats, which they had not forgotten to bring; 
for Alice's father was kind to horses as well as to children. 

They found a bright little spring of clear, cold water 
bubbling up between two great rocks; they found a flat 
rock which served for a table; and while Mrs. Boyd 
and Aunt Lizzie were setting the table, Mr. Boyd 
gathered some pine needles and dry branches, with 
which he kindled a fire beside a great rock; he then cut 

97 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

a slender green bush, and trimming off its leaves, made 
one end of it quite sharp, upon which he held the meat 
in the fire. Alice grew hungry as she smelled the sweet 
odor of the roasting meat, and asked her papa to hurry 
a little with the lesson, or she should get too hungry to 
listen. Mr. Boyd cut off a bit of the meat and gave it 
to her, saying perhaps she would remember without 
much talking that she was to thank the cow for the 
steak, as it was part of a cow, her life having gone out 
and left her flesh for our use. 

Alice counted her fingers again: *' Thank you, cow, 
for milk, butter, cheese, leather, hair, bones, horn, glue, 
and steak." 

When the meat was all roasted, they took it to the 
table, and agreed that such roast beef as that made the 
picnic dinner the best they ever ate. Alice made them 
laugh by saying it was the best picnic feast she ever 
saw. She had never been to a picnic before, and she 
could not see why she should not call it the best. 

When they started home, Mr. Boyd said, "Let's 
drive around the other way home, so we may see new 
sights." And Alice was very happy to go a new way; 
but after they had driven several hours, and things 
looked newer and stranger. Aunt Lizzie said they would 
do better to find the home road, she thought, and Mr. 
Boyd said, "Just what I've been trying to do more 
than an hour!" 

And they all confessed that they knew nothing about 
the road they ought to take to get home. 

Alice woke her doll to ask if she knew the way home; 
but she did not know, and having been asleep, had a 



THE COW 

good excuse for being lost. She asked the pony if he 
knew the way home, and he neighed as if he wished he 
were there, but could not tell them where to go. It 
grew late, and Mr. Boyd said they would stop at the 
next farmhouse and stay all night if it were too far for 
them to drive home. 

Alice was pleased with the prospect of spending the 
night in a new place, and hoped there would be a little 
girl who had a doll in the next farmhouse. 

The next house was rather small, but there was a little 
girl and a doll, and a bed to spare for the strangers. 

Alice thought it great fun for her papa to sleep on a 
sofa in the sitting-room; for there v/as no bed for him. 
The little girl who lived in the farmhouse was named 
Ruth, and she offered her crib to Alice and her doll. 

When it grew dark, Alice was very much surprised to 
find that there was neither gas nor lamps in the house; 
but she was too polite to ask questions about it. Ruth's 
mamma, however, lighted several candles, so that the 
room was very pleasant, and after she had lighted 
Ruth's white-haired grandmother to her room and 
kissed her good-night, she came back to say that 
Grandma was so much afraid of lamp explosions that 
they had never used one, though the candles gave 
rather a dim light. Alice's mamma said a house with 
love in it like that could never be dimly hghted. 

Alice thought she might ask Ruth how candles were 
made, and Ruth was very happy to tell her how they 
used the fatty part of cow's flesh. 

Alice forgot where she was and jumped up, clapping 
her hands and shouting, *' That's ten! That's ten!" 

99 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"Ten what?" said Ruth. 

"Why, ten things for which to thank the cow," 
answered Ahce; "but please go on and tell me all about 
it." 

Ruth brought in some tin candle-moulds and a ball 
of cotton called "wicking," and showed Alice how the 
wicking should be threaded into the moulds, and the 
melted beef's tallow or fat poured in and then cooled, 
after which the candles could be drawn out of the long 
tin horns, as Alice called them. 

Alice then told Ruth about the ten things the cow 
gives us — milk, butter, cheese, leather, hair, bones, 
horn, glue, steak, and tallow. 

The girls then played a game called "Blow out the 
candle." Ruth shut her eyes and walked three steps 
backward from the candle, turned around three times 
and took three steps forward, and then tried three times 
to blow the candle out; but when she opened her eyes, 
she found she had been blowing at the door-knob. AUce 
tried it, and found she had walked toward her mother, 
and had been puflang at her back hair instead of at the 
candle, as she supposed. 

The girls amused themselves in this way until bed- 
time; and the next morning when Alice started for 
home — in the right road this time — Ruth's mamma 
promised them that Ruth should come to make Alice 
and Lightfoot a visit before many weeks. 



xvin 

THE REINDEER 

THERE is an animal that has been and is to-day 
just as good a friend to people who live in very cold 
countries, where grass cannot grow well, as the cow is 
to us. 

How is the cow a good friend to us? 

I am glad you know that she gives us so many things. 
Milk, butter, cheese, roast beef, tallow for our candles, 
glue to make boxes and books and furniture and toys, 
leather for our shoes and gloves, etc., hair for the 
mortar with which we build so many things beside the 
foundation of our houses. 

What a good friend the cow is! I wish you would 
some time think what other animals we have that are 
giving us things all the time that we could not do with- 
out, and then I wish you would think whether we ought 
to treat the animals well. Should we wait until they 
ask us before we see that they have plenty of water to 
drink or enough to eat, or have a good, comfortable 
place to rest? 

They can't ask us, you say, and I am glad you know 
that. I hope that if ever you have the care of any of 
these friends of ours, or a chance to see that they are 
cared for, you will remember how much we owe them. 

But I am thinking of an animal that gives the people 
in the cold countries all these things that the cow gives 
us and even more. It can live on the moss that grows 

101 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

there. What does the cow have to eat? [Hay.] But 
grass cannot grow where it is too cold, and so the cow 
cannot live in the Northland to give all these things to 
the people there. You can't guess what it is that I am 
thinking of that does live there .'^ Let me tell you some- 
thing else : 

"More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, 
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name; 
On, Dasher, on, Prancer, on. Dancer and Vixen, 
On, Comet, on, Cupid, on, Dunder and Blitzen; 
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall. 
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all! 
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly. 
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky; 
So up to the housetops his coursers they flew, 
"With a sleigh full of toys and Saint Nicholas, too." 

Now, what do I mean? Yes, the reindeer. Santa 
Claus is so fond of his reindeer that he has named them. 
Let us see if we can say their names. 

The people of the Northland are fond of them, too, 
for they give to the people there all the things that the 
cow gives us. Yes and more; for you know, from the 
story of Santa Claus, that they do the work of horses as 
well. Besides all this the reindeer-skins are used to 
make tents, robes to keep the people warm when they 
go riding, blankets, curtains which serve as doors, 
coats, hoods, leggings, boots, and suits of clothes. 

I have seen very beautiful cloaks, which the people of 
the land where the reindeer lives made of reindeer-skin. 
Some of these were trimmed with sealskin and em- 
broidered with beads. 

So when you think of Santa Claus and his sleigh full 
102 




Copyriglit bij Underwood V Underwood, N.Y. 

REINDEER 



THE REINDEER 

of toys, or think you hear his sleigh-bells tinkhng far 
off over the housetops, as he hurries away home in the 
dim light of Christmas morning, don't forget the good 
old reindeer and how much they are giving to the 
people who live in the Northland. 



XIX 

PRIMITIVE MAN'S FOOD 

BEFORE you are out of bed in the morning the 
milkman leaves the milk for your breakfast. The 
storeman brings oranges, eggs, butter, and all the other 
things which you need for breakfast, dinner, or supper. 
The marketman brings all the meat you need, and the 
fishman sends fish. We do not even go to the store 
to get it, but just sit down to the telephone and order 
whatever we want. Suppose the milkman should n't 
come, and the marketman could send no meat, eggs, 
or butter, and the storeman should have nothing for us 
some day, what should we do? I have been reading a 
book which tells what people ate ages and ages ago. 
It tells of times when there were no stores of any kind. 

You remember the stories of the cow which I read to 
you and of all the things which Alice saw on the farm 
in the country. This book tells of a time when there 
were no farms. 

I wonder if you could think back to a time when men 
could n't build houses to live in, for they had no saw 
or axe to make boards with. No one, not even one 
man, had ever seen such a thing, or heard of such a 
thing, or thought of such a thing. If it rained, or was 
cold, or they were afraid anything would hurt them, 
these people just looked around and found a cave in the 
rocks and crawled in. 

When they were hungry, they looked about and 
104 



PRIMITIVE MAN'S FOOD 

found something to eat. There were plenty of things to 
be found, too. 

We will go down in the woods, near the spring, where 
no house has ever been built, and try to think of the 
world as it was before any one had ever cut a tree or 
built a house. Is there anything down there in the 
woods now that grows wild that we can eat.'^ There is 
watercress in the spring. One day Brother and I went 
down there for some to feed to his rabbits and to make 
a salad for supper. The snow was deep and the pond 
was covered with ice, but the water bubbled up through 
the clean, white sand in the spring, and the watercress 
was growing fresh and green. As we drew near, some- 
thing scampered away and we found a rabbit's tracks 
close to the water where he had been drinking from the 
spring. While we were gathering the cress we heard a 
rustle in the bushes and then a whirr-rr and saw a 
streak of brown flash out of sight. It was a partridge. 
As we walked on we came to an old hollow tree, partly 
tumbled down. The tree was dead. Brother ran and 
climbed on it and said, "Oh, see the kindling-wood 
tree!" It did look more like kindling-wood than a tree, 
but it really was an old, wild-apple-tree. In days before 
I was a little girl it had borne apples. After we had 
played about the old apple-tree for a while I said, " We 
must start along now, but watch for some other trees 
which might give us things to eat." 

Now let me tell you some of the things which we 
found growing wild in the woods which men without 
gardens or farms might have had to eat. We did not 
find them all the day that we went for the watercress, 

105 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

for at that time the snow covered most things deep. We 
took many a pleasant walk and each time found some- 
thing different. All the walks Brother liked, but none 
so well as the one to the spring and *'the kindling-wood 
tree," where he learned for the first time that the spring 
bubbles up out of the ground, clear and fresh, when 
everything about is frozen and covered deep with snow, 
and that there the little woodland people go and drink 
and find fresh, green watercress to eat. If we had been 
very hungry we might have killed the rabbit or the 
partridge for meat for our dinner and with the water- 
cress for greens and the clear spring water we should 
have had a very good meal. That is what men had to 
do in those days of which I read and which we are trying 
to think back to. 

One day we followed the little stream of water that 
ran from the spring. It kept getting deeper and wider 
until we could not jump across it any more. This was 
one warm day in the spring-time. We were looking 
into the water, wondering how we were to get across 
the stream. I told Brother the stream was so wide that 
we called it a brook now. Something splashed in the 
water, and there we saw a speckled trout. "Oh!" he 
said, "if I only had my fish-line now!" 

"There is one thing more that the men who lived 
before there were stores could get to eat," I told him, 
and then we talked of all the different kinds of fish that 
had always been in the brooks, ponds, rivers, and ocean 
for people to eat if they could catch them. But in those 
days they knew nothing about fish-hnes. One day when 
we were down on Cape Cod, wading around on the sand 

106 



PRIMITIVE MAN'S FOOD 

flats, we heard a queer slapping sound in the water. We 
waded closer and Brother saw some scallops, the first 
ones he had ever seen. You know what scallop shells 
look like, for you have some to play with in your sand 
box. In the water we saw shells like those snapping 
together and then flying open. Brother picked one up 
and then dropped it with a howl, for it had pinched his 
finger as it closed its shell. I picked one up, taking hold 
of it by the back part where the shells were hinged to- 
gether, and showed him the part inside the shell which 
people eat. How do you suppose the first person ever 
dared to eat one? Do you suppose the scallop nipped 
his finger or his bare toe.-^ We found oysters and clams 
in the water near the scallops. There never has been a 
time in the world when people could not have fish to 
eat if they lived near the water. 

When we went walking in the fields in the summer- 
time we found wild strawberries, blackberries, and 
raspberries. Brother declared these were the best things 
he ever tasted. That was before we found the blue- 
berries, though. 

One jolly picnic we had when the leaves were whirling 
through the air like the madcap brow^nies w^hich they 
looked to be and there was a tingle of frost in the air. 
We took some bags w^ith us, for Jack Frost had been 
out the night before, and the wind was blowing hard. 
That meant that the nuts were ripe, the shells would be 
open, and they would be blown from the trees so that if 
we hunted we could find them on the ground. 

Sure enough, there were plenty of nuts, for we heard 
Brother's shout, "Come on down here; here's a bully 

107 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

chestnut-tree loaded." We found him throwing great 
sticks at the tree and saw the nuts falling all around. 

The first burrs he picked up pricked his fingers, but 
he soon learned to handle them so that he could get the 
brown nuts from their silky little beds inside the burrs, 
without a scratch. I told him the Mother Tree had 
made that kind of a covering for the baby chestnuts to 
keep them safe until it was time for them to come out. 

When we had picked up enough chestnuts, we went 
on to the hickory-trees which grew in the same woods 
not far away. The ground under these trees was cov- 
ered with nuts, too, hickory-nuts, and the squirrels were 
scampering away with their cheeks full. We saw a 
squirrel dig a hole and hide ever so many nuts in it to 
save for the winter-time when there would be no nuts 
left under the trees. 

On the way home we found some of the biggest trees 
that we had ever seen. Under these trees the ground 
was covered with acorns. They looked so much like 
cups and saucers that Brother took some home to play 
house with, with Janet. Daddy told him to taste one of 
them, for acorns were one of the things first used for 
food. Even in the earliest times people gathered acorns, 
fried them, and ate them. In time they learned to roast 
them, and to pound them with stones, into meal. That 
is what they used for flour. We puckered up our faces 
because they seemed so bitter, but Daddy said they made 
good, wholesome food, and that in some coimtries even 
to-day the people eat them. We tossed a few in to the 
pig as we went by his pen. There was no question about 
his liking them. 

108 



PRIMITIVE IVIAN'S FOOD 

In the winter we went to Florida. It was cold at home 
and the nuts were all gone or covered with snow and 
the trees bare, but there, wandering around under the 
trees, were pigs eating acorns. Do you know what kind 
of trees acorns grow on.'' 

We found some more kinds of fruit-trees growing 
wild there, too. One kind was orange-trees. The 
oranges on these wild trees were not sweet like those 
which we buy now, but were very bitter. 

One day, way out in the woods. Daddy saw deer and 
wild turkeys, and flocks of quail. Can you think of 
anything better to eat than roast turkey or venison or 
quail? But Daddy would not have killed one of these 
wild things for anything. At home he knew there was 
plenty to eat and he did not need them to keep him 
from being hungry. They were so beautiful, wild and 
happy there in the open air and sunshine! He hid and 
watched them. I hope some time you may watch a wild 
turkey with the sun shining on its feathers. You will 
never see more wonderful shades of gold, I know. I 
hope you will see him puff all up and let out his breath 
with a loud noise that sounds like "Bung!" 

And a wild deer! You will never see anything more 
lovely than one of these graceful creatures with his 
head held high and his eyes shining. 

If a flock of quail hears you coming first, you will see 
nothing but perhaps the mother standing still and mak- 
ing a httle noise to call the babies. All about will be 
what look like brown leaves. These will be the baby 
quails, and the mother will make a fimny noise to make 
you look at her and forget the babies. 

109 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

In the early days the woods were full of animals and 
birds. They were the only meat that men had and so 
they killed them and ate them. 

To-day men have built cities and cut off the woods 
and killed animals until there are almost no dangerous 
animals left, and we have to go far into the woods or 
plains to find these beautiful creatures which used to 
be so common. Some men shoot these for fun now. 
Often the mother is shot or hurt and the babies are left 
to starve. Do you think this is right .^^ Once Theodore 
Roosevelt went into a strange, wild country where not 
many white men had ever been. He went to bring back 
animals from there to put in our museums so that people 
here could know what sort of wild things lived in that 
country. As his party sailed down a river, flocks of 
wonderful birds flew in front of the boat. The men who 
were with him began to shoot the birds as fast as they 
could and left them lying on the water. When Mr. 
Roosevelt saw what they were doing, he said : " Gentle- 
men, this is not a slaughter-house. We will kill on this 
trip only what we need for food or specimens." By speci- 
mens he meant one of each kind of wild-bird or squirrel. 
There are specimens of birds and rocks and plants in 
museums. By "slaughter-house" he meant a place 
where things are killed. IMr. Akeley told me that story, 
and he heard Mr. Roosevelt say it. 

In the early days where do you suppose people got 
milk? Yes, from cows, as we do. There were wild cows 
in some parts of the world. In other places there were 
goats and in some places reindeer, and these gave milk 
just as cows do for us. 

110 



PRIMITIVE MAN'S FOOD 

They didn't have hens in yards, but there were 
prairie chickens in some places and there were birds' 
eggs. We think it mean to steal birds' eggs now, for we 
do not need them for food and we love to have the birds 
about us. 

T\Tieat and barley grew wild in places and these were 
dried and kept to grind into flour. Of this they made 
porridge and flat cakes. 

For dishes they learned to use the things which they 
found about them. It is not a bad plan for us to go 
into the woods sometimes and learn to get along with 
what we find there. We can make a very good fork 
with a sharp stick. We had a pigskin once and Brother 
blew it up for a football. People used to kill wild pigs 
to eat and use their skins to carry water in before they 
learned to make jugs and pails and bottles. Gourds 
grew wild, too, and made very good dippers and bowls. 
Auntie made a very good dish for our berries once by 
pinning grape-leaves together with the stems. 

Men, even in the very beginning, never were contented 
long with things just as they found them. They always 
kept trying new ways and hunting for easier ways to 
get what they wanted, and looking for better things. 
Instead of caves they learned to make huts for their 
homes, and instead of chasing an animal each time they 
wanted milk or meat they learned to catch them, a 
number at a time, when they found them, and build a 
wall aroimd their hut to keep them in and to keep out 
whatever would steal or harm them. In this way animals 
have become tame as our cows, sheep, and horses are 
now. 

Ill 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Then they learned to gather the seeds of plants, from 
which they got food, and to plant them. In the autumn 
they harvested the grain and picked and dried fruit and 
berries to eat in the long winter-time when nothing 
would grow for them. When they began to keep ani- 
mals they learned to save food. Some of the grain 
each year they saved to plant the next spring, and so 
they had more and more. 

I will read two stories of the harvesting which these 
people did in the fields and in the woods, from the book 
which I said I had been reading. Some time I will read 
the whole book to you, for it tells how people learned 
to take care of themselves when wild animals Hved all 
about them. It tells how they learned to make bows 
and arrows and stone arrow-heads, stone axes and spears, 
and how a little boy named Tig and his father Garff 
went hunting. In those days, when the food was nearly, 
or all, gone, it was a big event when the men came home 
from hunting and brought a bison with them. All the 
village got together and had a big feast and the dogs 
had their share, too. 

I. THE HARVEST OF THE FIELDS 

Although the people had learned how to grow barley 
and wheat, they could not raise large crops. They tilled 
the ground only in patches, and they had no ploughs or 
harrows. 

Most of the work was done by the women, although 
sometimes the old men and boys helped. They cleared 
the ground beyond the edge of the forest, and they 
turned up the soil with rude hoes, and in the spring 



1 




i 


:fll r*;. 


I 


■B. MKM^:M*, 



PRIMITIVE MAN'S FOOD 

they sowed their seeds. They worked in parties, and 
as they moved across the field, hoeing, they used to 
sing songs to keep in time with one another, one singing 
the verse and the rest all joining in the chorus. 

They were fond of singing whether they were at work 
or at play; they had songs and choruses for the different 
occupations, marching songs and harvest songs and 
songs about hunting the deer, and at the feast times 
they sang these songs and the choruses over again. 
When the time came to gather in the corn, the people 
often found their crops very short, for pigeons and 
rooks and other birds came and ate the grain, and the 
wild deer sometimes broke through the fences and 
trampled down even more than they ate. 

But for all that, the harvest was always a busy 
time. The women cut the corn with their flint knives 
and carried it home in baskets. They stored it up in the 
storehouses in the winter village, and when the last of 
the crops had been gathered in the people went back to 
the village for the winter. Then for many days they 
kept the feast of the harvest. There was plenty to eat 
and drink; and they sang and danced and offered sacri- 
fices, and gave thanks to the gods for the crops that 
they had gathered in. 

[What holiday do we have when we give thanks for 
our harvest? Talk a bit about our first Thanksgiving. 
The old Greeks had a story about the seed-time and 
harvest. Read from Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Tangle- 
wood Tales."] 



113 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 



II. THE HARVEST OF THE WOODS 

Tig used to enjoy more than anything else the days 
when they gathered the acorns. The women used to go 
in large parties, with some of the children and some of 
the young men, all singing and shouting. Then if a sav- 
age old wild boar was routing about among the fern, and 
munching the fallen acorns, he would listen to the noise 
of the party coming up, and grunt angrily at being dis- 
turbed, and move away into the deep forest; for he 
feared men, and never attacked them unless they chased 
him and brought him to bay. 

It was splendid for Tig and the other boys — cUmbing 
into the oak-trees, and getting as far out as they could 
on the branches to shake down the ripe acorns. Some- 
times they gathered a handful of fine ones and threw 
them at one another, or pelted the women who were 
gathering underneath; and then Gofa or some one else's 
mother would look up and say, "Have done now, little 
badlings ! or surely we will leave thee in the forest here 
to-night, and Arthas the She-bear will catch thee and 
carry thee to her den to make a supper morsel for her 
little ones!" 

And they gathered blackberries and nuts and wild 
strawberries, and sat down all together to eat the fruit 
with the bread that they had brought, and those that 
had not had enough to eat nibbled at the acorns. But 
nobody ate many of these, because they were meant to 
be carried home for storing, and not to be eaten raw at 
any time, but roasted beside the fire. And then about 
sunset the people all joined into a company again to go 

114 



PRIMITIVE MAN'S FOOD 

home. Every one had a load. There were big baskets 
that took two to carry, and smaller baskets for one, and 
little baskets for children: and some of the lads and 
women had wallets made of deer-hide slmig over their 
shoulders. 

And so they carried home the harvest of the woods, 
day by day, till all the trees were bare — and you may 
be sure that the squirrels had to be astir very early in 
the morning to get a share of acorns and nuts for their 
own winter stores. 

III. HOW GOFA MADE THE POTS 

GoFA did all the work of her own household, not only 
cooking the food, but also making the clothes, and pre- 
paring the skins out of which the clothes were made. 
Also she made the baskets for storing and carrying the 
food in; and the pottery too; and when her stock of 
household pots had become low, she used to set to work 
to make a fresh lot. And this was how she did it. 

She went down into the valley to a place by the river 
where there was good clay. She took with her a large 
basket and a rough-and-ready trowel made out of the 
shoulder-blade of a deer. She dug out the clay, enough 
to fill the basket, and carried it home on her shoulder. 

When Gofa was ready to make pottery, she first pre- 
pared the clay by mixing it with coarse sand, which she 
had also brought from the riverside. She moistened the 
clay with water when she added the sand, and kneaded 
it thoroughly with her hands, just as if she were making 
dough. She was always careful to mix the sand and the 
clay in the right proportions; for clay without sand or 

115 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

with too little, was apt to crack when it came to be 
baked, and with too much it was not stiff enough to 
mould well into shape. By long practice, Gofa knew just 
how to prepare the clay for use. 

Having got the clay ready, Gofa took a lump of it in 
her hands and laid it on a stone slab which served her as 
a working bench. Then with her fingers and a smooth 
stone and a stick shaped into a kind of blade she worked 
up the clay into a little bowl, building up the sides 
against this stick, and smoothing the inside with her 
pebble. But for the larger jars and the pipkins she had 
another way. She took a round basket shaped Hke a 
basin and set it before her. Then she took a piece of clay 
and rolled it with the flat of her hand on the bench until 
she had made it like a long clay sausage. Then she 
picked this up and began to coil it around from the bot- 
tom of the basket inside, pinching and pressing it with 
her fingers and the pebble, until it was flat and smooth. 
Tten she rolled out another piece and coiled this round 
as before, gradually building up the sides of the pot and 
pinching the coils together as she went on. At length by 
adding coil to coil, she raised the sides and neck of the 
pipkin, which she then smoothed and finished off out- 
side with the wooden tool. 

All the pots alike before they were baked had to be 
decorated. This Gofa did with a bone awl, engraving a 
pattern of lines and cross lines and dots upon the soft 
clay. She had also a little stamp of bone with which the 
dots could be put on in threes. 

When Gofa had finished a batch of pots, she carried 
them into the hut to dry, and generally on the next day 

116 



PRIMITIVE IVIAN'S FOOD 

she found that even the larger ones had dried enough in 
the air to enable her to take them out of their basket 
foundations. Then she took each one in turn and 
scraped and rubbed it outside with the wooden tool, 
very carefully and lightly. 

After this, she took them to where she had a fire burn- 
ing out of doors upon the ground. She raked away the 
fire to one side, and set the pots where the fire had been, 
standing them all upside down, and ranging them to- 
gether in as small a space as possible. Then she piled 
sticks and charred wood about the pots and laid little 
fagots all around and raked up the hot ashes and set fire 
to the pile. And she and Tig carried fresh fuel as the fire 
burned, and kept it going until they could see the pots 
all red hot. And then they let it sink gradually and die 
down of itself, and there were the pots baked hard and 
sound, and fit to use, as soon as they were cold. 

When Gofa or any of the other women wanted to 
make a large pannikin for holding water or milk or 
meal, she used to make a tall basket, like a bucket, of 
osiers and reeds, and daub it inside with clay. The clay 
was laid on thickly and then smoothed and trimmed 
with the stone and the wooden blade; and the wide neck 
and the rim were moulded by hand. She did not at- 
tempt to lift the pannikin out of the basket mould, but 
set the whole thing in the fire as it was and the fire 
burned off the basket work and left the marks of the 
reeds showing all round on the outside hke a pattern. 
And very likely it was the look of this pattern on the 
pottery which first gave the women the notion of en- 
graving a design upon the smaller vessels which they 

117 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

made entirely by hand. The women generally took 
pains to make neat patterns, by using different simple 
tools of wood and bone; and sometimes they tied a piece 
of twisted cord round a vessel, and impressed its mark 
upon the clay. 



XX 

THE FARMER 

' We plough the fields and scatter 
The good seed on the land; 
But it is fed and watered 
By God's Almighty hand; 
He sends the snow in winter. 
The warmth to swell our grain. 
The breezes and the sunshine. 
And soft, refreshing rain. 

* He only is the maker. 

Of all things near and far; 
He paints the wayside flower. 
He lights the evening star. 
The winds and waves obey Him, 
By Him the birds are fed. 
Much more, to us. His children. 
He gives our daily bread- 

We thank Thee, then, O Father, 
For all things bright and good; 
The seed-time and the harvest. 
Our life, our health, our food. 
Accept the gifts we offer. 
For all thy love imparts. 
And, what thou most desirest. 
Our humble, thankful hearts. 

* All good gifts around us 
Are sent from heaven above. 

Then thank the Lord, O, thank the Lord 
For all his love." 

Church Harmonies — New and Old. 

119 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 



FIRST TALK 



THE COW gave us milk and butter, cream, cheese, 
and steak, as you have seen, but who takes care of 
the cow? The farmer. 

Sometimes there are farms where nothing but cows 
are kept, and the milk is shipped in great cans to the 
city, whole car loads every day. Here also butter and 
cheese are made and sent in large quantities to people 
who have their houses so close together that there is no 
room to have cows. This sort of a farm we call a dairy. 

Now what does the cow eat, for we said that all men 
and animals had to eat to live? [Grass and grain.] So 
the farmer has to sow the seed and cut the grass and 
harvest the grain. What does the cow eat in winter 
when the fields are no longer covered with green grass? 
[Tell how the hay is made. Among the Perry pictures for 
a cent each you will find classic pictures with which 
every child should be familiar, illustrating all these 
workers of whom we talk. It will pay any mother to go 
to school and kindergarten supply stores and church 
publishing houses in any of our cities for stories and pic- 
tures for children on any subject which the child brings 
up or about which you wish to talk to him. Museums, 
too, if visited to see pictures, sculpture, or industrial ex- 
hibits, about which you have talked with the child, and 
in search of more knowledge about the particular thing 
in which you have interested him, will no longer be dull, 
useless places to him, but a vital factor in his cultural 
development. But don't drag him about from one unre- 
lated object to another.] 

120 



THE FARMER 

The farmer sows seed that the cows may have grass 
and grain for food. Can you tell me any other animals 
the farmer keeps who eat grain? [Show pictures of the 
farm animals. It is a good waj^ to teach their names — 
horse, colt, mare; sheep, lamb, ram; hen, chicken, 
rooster, etc.] Let 's see how many pictures we can find of 
the animals that live on the farm. Perhaps we can make 
a Barnyard Scrap Book of them some day. 

Without the farmer, you see, to keep the cows and 
raise their food, there w^ould be no bowl of milk for 
you or any one. Now let us see what else the farmer 
does. 

SECOND TALK 

[Talk of the spring work of the farmer. Ploughing, har- 
rowing, planting; of the care through the summer, and 
the weeding; of the need of sunshine and rain; and of the 
harvesting. 

Talk also of the returning birds, and of how they 
worry and how they help the farmer. Tell how the 
farmer scares the birds away and why.] When there 
were more birds than there are now the farmer had to 
shoot them or they would have eaten all his crops but 
there are so many people now and so few birds that un- 
less we are very careful there v>dll not be enough birds 
to keep our gardens and trees from being eaten up by 
insects. Watch the birds and you will see them the 
year round running all over the trees picking, picking, 
picking — at what? Yes, bugs and the eggs of bugs; and 
we are told by men who have studied long and hard 
about these things that if the birds should stop doing 

1.^1 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

this that there would not, in a few years, be a living 
green leaf left. Then what should we eat? 

Milk? Think back, what must we have to keep our 
cow alive? Grass. The grass is a live green thing which 
we could not have unless the birds ate enough insects to 
keep them from eating it. 

Bread and butter? Think back again to where the 
bread comes from, etc. 

And so the farmer has learned to scare away the birds 
when his plants first peep through the ground and 
during the harvesting of his fruit and grain and let 
them stay in the garden the rest of the time helping 
him. In fact, there are men who raise cranberries who 
put up birdhouses all over the bog where they grow so 
that the birds will come there to nest and bring up their 
babies; and they say that the birds pay many times 
over for the berries that they eat by cleaning the plants 
of the insects which do great damage. 

[At the room of the Massachusetts Audubon So- 
ciety, 66 Newbury Street., Boston, Massachusetts, or 
the National Association of Audubon Societies in New 
York City, leaflets of nearly all of our native birds can 
be bought for a few cents each, each leaflet giving a 
colored picture and one in outline to be colored, and a 
description of the bird and its habits. The children 
will enjoy these. There are also charts of the summer, 
spring, and winter birds which I have found helpful.] 

Cut open some fruit. [The children will enjoy seeing 
how many halves, quarters, even eighths and sixteenths 
there are and count and put together and see how many 
quarters make a half, etc. Then hunt for hidden treas- 

m 



THE FARMER 

ure — the seeds. These are the babies of that particular 
kind of plant or tree. Cut open the seeds and see how 
the kernel is protected.] If we should plant this little 
seed what would happen? 

It would grow soft and split open and out of it would 
come a little plant. Dotvti would go its tiny root and up 
through the earth would come its little stalk and grow 
taller and send forth tiny green leaves until some day, if 
it had sun enough and water enough and room enough, 
it would become a great tree. Then some day on the 
branches would appear tiny little hard bunches. In 
time these would swell and unfold and the tree would be 
beautiful and sweet with blossoms. Did you ever see 
any tree covered with blossoms? [Talk about these.] In 
two weeks, or sometimes less, these beautiful blossoms 
would all drop off, but if you should look sharp where 
they had been you would see what pushed them off; and 
if you watched these things that had done this in time 
you would see tiny green fruit which would grow larger 
day by day and then begin to change color until it 
looked like this one that we have just cut open; and in- 
side would be more seed babies. What a miracle is this 
story of our tiny seed ! In faith we hide it in the ground, 
and in due time it comes forth a mighty tree, which in 
turn bears more fruit, beautiful to behold, and delicious 
to eat, with seeds in which are hidden other trees, each 
bearing fruit according to its kind. From what tree do 
we get the apple? the pear, the peach, the orange, the 
banana? 

[Talk of the nuts in the same way.] Can you gather 
apples from oaks or oranges from grapevines? That is 

US 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

what was meant in the Bible by this verse which you 
often hear: "For every tree is known by his own fruit: 
for of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble 
bush gather they grapes." 

[As the child sorts the seeds, lead him to see the beauty 
and infinite variety of color and form. Let him try to 
make as many kinds of boxes as he can devise and see 
how far above any efforts of his are Mother Nature's 
little boxes in which she has stored her plants.] The 
fruit and the vegetables and the nuts are just little boxes 
in which to store the seeds which are planned to become 
more plants and trees. [Talk of the colors of the fruits 
and vegetables. Talk of the shapes and compare with 
cube, sphere, and cyHnder. Play a guessing game like 
this: *'I am thinking of a fruit that is shaped like a 
sphere." "Is it an orange, an apple, etc.?" until the right 
one is guessed. Then the guesser: "I am thinking of a 
vegetable that is shaped like a cylinder," etc.] 

How beautiful in form and color and variety this 
world is, even the things which we eat. [Talk of how the 
vegetables grow; on vines, bushes, trees, or under the 
ground, and of the parts which we eat. 

Potatoes, the root; spinach and lettuce, the leaves; 
celery, the stem; beans, peas, grain, the seeds, etc. 

Talk of the use of the roots and the leaves, etc.] 

Do the farmers gather more vegetables than they can 
use? What do they do with them? How do they send 
them to market? 

What vegetables are made into oatmeal, flour, hom- 
iny, corn meal, starch, sugar? 

Does the city child need the farmer and his work? 
124 



THE FARIVIER 

[As you tell of the farmer's work or tools or churn- 
ing or bread-making make motions with the fingers 
which the child can imitate. This will present the 
idea more vividly to his mind. Simple rhymes have 
been written with suggested motions, but if you can 
make your own the child will like them even better. 

Do not underestimate the value of the motions of the 
fingers. Better be making imitations of garden beds and 
fences, etc. than using the fingers in a less desirable way, 
and a good way to avoid wrong activity is to suggest 
wholesome activity.] 



XXI 
THE BAKER 

"Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man. 
Make us a cake as fast as you can; 
Roll it and roll it, pat it and pat it. 
Pick it and pick it, mark it with B, 
And toss it in the oven for Baby and me." 

THE farmer fed the cow, and the cow gave us milk, 
the dairy man churned the milk and made the butter ; 
now where shall we go for the bread for Alice's supper? 

No, Mother will not make it this time, but she will 
tell you how she saw the baker make it, and some time 
we will go and see how it is made there, for in many 
places people depend wholly upon the baker, not only 
for their bread but for all their cake and pastry. 

Some day I will let you make some bread and bake it 
yourself in the kitchen. 

The front room of the baker's shop had counters as in 
any store, with cases for the pies and cakes and rolls and 
loaves of bread, and paper and string with which to tie 
up the good things when they were sold. 

In the next room we found the baker at work. He had 
a great trough in which to mix the bread, and into this he 
sifted the flour which he scooped from a barrel. Then he 
put in salt and yeast and sugar and lard and water and 
mixed it all together. This he covered and left. Then he 
went to another trough in which the dough had risen so 
that it was almost running out of the trough and seemed 
all alive. Over this he sifted more flour. Then he 

126 




Copyright by Underwoud V L'udtiwuod, S.Y. 
BAKING BREAD 



THE BAKER 

took it out on a great table, cut off pieces, rolled and 
kneaded and shaped them, some into loaves, and some 
into rolls, put them into pans, covered and set them 
away in a warm place. Then he looked at his oven 
which was very, very large, eight or ten feet each way. 
With a great long-handled shovel he took out several 
pans of bread which he said had been made just as those 
which I saw had been, and after the loaves had risen to 
fill the pans they had been put into the hot oven to bake. 

My, how good they smelled, these brown loaves, when 
they came from the oven and were laid on a long table to 
cool! Later they were wrapped in oiled paper and car- 
ried into the front room to be sold. 

Barrels and barrels of flour stood along the wall, and 
these, he said, the miller had sent to him on a great truck. 

In fact, while I was there, a man brought in some bar- 
rels, and while he was unloading them and talking to the 
baker, suddenly the baker ran to his oven, and as he 
opened the door we smelled — not the sweet odors of 
the other loaves, but that of burning, and there were the 
next loaves all black as a cinder. 

How sad the baker felt, all that bread wasted! 
"Once," he said, "my oven was not hot enough when 
my bread was ready and it ran out all over the oven 
and soured." 

Just on time ! This is the rule for every one. The oven 
must be ready just on time; the bread must go in just on 
time; the loaves must come out just on time! 

Do you remember any story about a girl who had to 
leave a party when she heard the clock strike? [Tell the 
story of Cinderella.] 

127 



XXII 
THE MILLER 

WE went to the baker's for bread, but to whom do 
we go for the barrels and barrels of flour that we 
saw hhn use? 

Yes, back to the farmer for some of that grain with 
which he feeds his cow, pigs, and hens, etc., and for 
which they pay him with milk, butter, and eggs. 

The animals like the whole kernels of grain, raw, but 
we want it cooked or ground into flour or meal and made 
into bread before we eat it. The m.an who grinds the 
grain is called the miller, and to him the baker must go 
for his flour. 

There are several kinds of flour and the bread made 
from these does not all taste alike. [Do you know any 
kinds of bread? White bread, rye, oatmeal, corn, etc.] 
Each of these is named for the particular kind of flour 
from which it is made and each kind of flour is named 
for the particular kind of grain which has been ground 
to make it. 

First, let us see how the white flour is made. [Show a 
wheat stalk ot some whole grains of wheat or a picture 
of a wheat field. Sing the old-fashioned game, " Shall we 
show you how the farmer, shall we show you how the 
farmer, shall we show you how the farmer, sows his bar- 
ley and wheat? Look 't is thus the busy farmer," etc. 
Talk of the planting time, and as you talk of the plough, 

128 



THE MILLER 

harrow, etc., speak of his dependence upon the mmer for 
these tools. 

Speak of the unfolding and growing of each little 
plant, wheat from wheat, corn from corn, barley from 
barley. Tell the Parable of the Sower in the Bible, also 
the story of Ruth. Sort seeds of different kinds. Show 
Millet's picture of "The Sower," also **The Gleaners.'* 

Notice the little husk in which each kernel of wheat is 
wrapped and show how the kernel is separated from the 
chaff. Talk of threshing grain and go on with the play, 
*' Shall we show you how the farmer mows and then 
threshes his wheat, and finally sifts it." 

Make a hand flail and thresh some grain. This will 
make clear the Bible reference to the threshing floor and 
separating the wheat from the chaff. Although the hand 
flail is still sometimes used, most threshing is now done 
by machinery.] 

In country places one man will own a threshing ma- 
chine and take it around from one farm to another in the 
fall when the grain is ready and a number of men will 
work together and thresh all the grain in a day or two. 
They sweep the barn floor and thresh it there. Then it 
is shoveled into bags and carried to the miller to be 
ground. 

The threshers then hitch their horses to the threshing 
machine or start the motor and go on to the next farm 
and thresh the grain that that farmer has raised. The 
motor is fast replacing horses on farms just as oxen, 
so common once, are so seldom used now, that you 
have never seen one except in pictures. When I was a 
little girl father used oxen to draw the hay cart. 

129 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Often the neighbors get together, going from one farm 
to the other in the neighborhood, and the women see 
who can make the best pies and cakes and doughnuts, 
etc., for their dinners, and the threshing time, in spite of 
a great deal of hard work, is one of the joUiest times of 
the year. 

The kernels, threshed from the stalk and sifted, are 
now ready to be ground into flour or meal. 

The first time any one ever did this — and there are 
places where it is done the same way to-day — men, or 
more likely women, put the kernels on one stone and 
rubbed or pounded them with another. The stone on 
which they were placed was called the mortar and the 
stone with which they were pounded was called the 
pestle. 

In many places there are found to-day great rocks 
with deep hollows worn in them where whole families of 
Indians ground their grain in this way. 

The people learned to let wind turn wheels and push 
the stones around to grind their grains, and then, better 
still — for the wind does not always blow hard enough to 
turn the wheels — they made water wheels. The mills 
where the grain is ground are called grist mills, and you 
will find them beside nmning water. Outside the mills 
the water dashes merrily along until it comes to the 
mill dam, which holds it back, except when a little 
gate is raised to let it rush out and fall upon a great 
wheel. 

As the water flows over it, around goes the wheel with 
a great leather band around it which runs inside the mill 
around another wheel. This wheel is fastened to two 

130 



THE MILLER 

great flat stones which, as the wheels turn, go flying 
around, crushing whatever is between them. 

Above them is a hopper, into which the grain is 
shoveled and through this it falls between the two 
stones, which, whirling around, grind the grain. We 
will look for pictures of grist mills and of wind mills, 
which work much the same way, only the wind mills 
have a great wheel high up in the air where it will catch 
every breeze that blows. You have seen these wheels 
with great arms like fans. 

After being ground the flour is sifted through a cloth 
to make fine white flour, and after being put into barrels 
is ready for the baker. 

The entire wheat flour is not sifted through cloth. 
The husks, or what is taken out by sifting, are left in, 
and it is a darker color than the white flour. 

To make meal the grains are not crushed so fine as to 
make flour. The meal and flour all come from the grain, 
but they are ground and sifted differently. 

[To give a very definite idea of the process of bread 
and butter making and to lead up to a real spirit of 
Thanksgiving it is a good plan to plant some grain, 
wheat preferably, and harvest, thresh, and grind it. 
This can be done even in a city back yard, in the ground, 
or in a window box. 

For grinding, a small coffee mill will do very well. For 
threshing a hand flail can be made of birch switches tied 
together, and the piazza will serve for a threshing floor. 

Then sift the flour and mix and bake bread. 

As you mix the bread note the things used other than 
flour, and talk later about each of these. 

131 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

As you use the yeast the child can be given an idea of 
germs, helpful and harmful, and the rapidity with 
which they multiply; the need of cleanliness and of 
keeping food covered and cool to keep free from harmful 
germs. Notice that the yeast germs must be kept neither 
too hot nor too cold if they are to multiply and raise the 
bread. 

Get some milk and set it and skim it. 

If you have no churn use a glass cream whipper or a 
bowl and an egg beater. Wash and salt the butter. 
Then make some little butter balls. Show pictures of 
churns. This was the old-fashioned way of making 
butter, and each family raised its own cow and churned 
its own butter. Churns run by electricity are used now, 
and in many city stores you can see the butter churned 
in them and pressed and salted and wrapped in paper, 
all in a few minutes. The old way took hours, and 
some one had to keep the dasher going up and down all 
the time. When the butter took a specially long time 
to come they used to think some bad person had be- 
witched it. Many queer stories are told of the old-fash- 
ioned churning. 

Serve for supper the child*s own bread and butter and 
let him tell as much as he can of the story from the grain 
to the loaf, and give thanks to the Giver of every good 
and perfect gift. 

A lot of work .5^ Yes, but invite the neighbors' children 
and make it a party, and there will be nothing you do 
which will be more worth while.] 



XXIII 
WATER 

UNLESS the farmer sows his seed, the miller cannot 
grind the grain, the baker bake the bread, nor 
Baby have his supper. But suppose we plant some seed 
and put it away and do not water it? Will the plant 
grow and give us grain? No, it will wither away and die. 
And suppose the farmer plants his seed, ever so care- 
fully, and no rain falls upon it at any time? No, he will 
have no grain for the miller. And suppose the farmer 
does everything he knows how to do to make it rain, can 
he do so? He can dig ditches, as some men have done, 
and keep his plants moist through long dry spells, but he 
cannot make it rain, and without this in time his plants 
will die, in spite of all that he can do. And so every year 
when the grains and fruits and vegetables are gathered 
in we have Thanksgiving Day, a day to thank the One 
who alone can send the sunshine and the rain and wh© 
does send them to even the tiniest little seed, "under 
the leaves and the ice and the snow, waiting to grow.'* 

God not only sends the rain to water the plants, but 
in the summer when it is hot, every evening he sends the 
dew. The dew is water-drops just as the rain is. 

The Ancients used to tell a story about the dew. It 
was this: 

Every morning a wonderful goddess drove two horses 
across the sky to tell the people that the day was dawn- 
ing. She had a son, Memnon, who was a great king, and 

133 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

in the Trojan War he fought bravely to help Troy and 
was killed by Achilles, a great soldier, who fought for the 
Greeks who were trying to take Troy. Ever since, the 
goddess, Eos, has wept for her darling boy and her tears 
fall to the earth as dew, so that each morning in the 
warm weather when the grass was sparkling with dew- 
drops they said, "Eos has been weeping for Mem- 
non." 

There is water all about us — springs and ponds and 
brooks and rivers, waterfalls, and the ocean; and the air 
all about us is full of little particles of water so tiny that 
we cannot see them until they become warmer or cooler 
than the air and then they change into forms so different 
that it is hard to believe that they were once drops of 
water. 

One morning, after the summer had passed and Daddy 
had said the boat had better be put away for the winter, 
Spiffie woke and found beautiful pictures on his window. 
He began to sing: 

" Oh, Jack Frost is a merry little elf. 
And a merry little elf is he; 
He calls for his pipe and he calls for his brush. 
And he calls for his paint-pots one, two, three. 
And he calls for his paint-pots three." 

He rushed downstairs, and hardly stopping to say 
" Good-morning, " he was off to the pond. No use for the 
boat now, in which he had played on the pond all sum- 
mer. He threw a stone in just as he did in the warm 
weather, but there was no splash — instead away went 
the stone sliding across the pond as if it were a smooth 
floor, and then Spiffie stepped on the pond and sHd along 

134 



WATER 

over the sliming surface just as the stone had done. 
Then he ran home, caUing to the other boys, "Get your 
skates, the pond will bear.'* Sure enough, the pond was 
frozen and Jack Frost had turned the water into ice, 
just as he had turned the little bits of water in the air in 
Spifhe's room into ice on the window pane. The next 
morning when Spiffie awoke the trees were all white. In 
the night the North Wind had blown against the clouds — 
which are water-drops, you know, up in the sky — and 
before the water-drops could tumble out, as they do when 
the cold wind blows on them in a cloud, Jack Frost froze 
them into tiny white stars, each with six points, and they 
fell very gently, making everything pure and white; but 
while he was watching, it grew warmer and the snow- 
flakes turned to raindrops and then, as the wind changed 
again, the raindrops froze as they fell, and mother came 
in and said, "Why, it's hailing." 

The storm did n't last much longer, and after break- 
fast the sun shone out warm and bright, so that Spiffie 
took his sled and went coasting and built snow forts and 
had a snowball fight with the other boys. 

Jack Frost had done all that he could. He can make 
snow and ice and frost pictures and icicles, but he can- 
not change them back into water that you can pour 
from one dish into another, as you can do with water 
when we say that it is a liquid. Something else can do 
that. 

"Simple Simon had a snowball. 
And brought it in to roast; 
He put it by the kitchen fire 
And soon the ball was lost." 

135 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Yes, heat can change it back, and melt the ice and 
snow. There are no stoves out in the woods and fields 
and on the ponds, so why don't the ice and snow have to 
stay all the time? Because the sun is hot and melts 
them; yes. 

When water is heated it changes to vapor or steam. 
So tiny are the little particles of water forming the 
steam that you cannot see them until they float out into 
the air. Then, as they become a bit cooler, they run to- 
gether and are large enough so that we can see the steam 
floating off in thin, little clouds. As the water-drops are 
heated they need more room, just as heat makes every- 
thing expand or grow larger, and as the particles push 
against each other they push also whatever else is 
against them. Watch the teakettle lid, and if the water 
is boiling hard you will see it go up and down. One man 
noticed this long, long ago and he said, "If I shut up 
some steam tight I believe I can make it do some work '*; 
so he shut it up tight in a boiler and made it turn the 
wheels of a heavy engine around. Since then it has been 
used to turn the wheels of machines which make almost 
every kind of thing we need, and to carry long trains of 
freight cars loaded with things from one part of the 
country to another; also to push boats which take people 
and goods from one country to another. Of what bene- 
fit is this to you and me.^ 

Out of doors the heat from the sun is all the time 
changing water-drops into vapor, and these are floating 
together and forming clouds. The cold winds blow on 
these and change them back into raindrops, and these 
fall to the earth again to be drunk up by the thirsty little 

136 



WATER 

plants or run into the springs to bubble out again for 
you and me to use and so keep clean and well. Think 
of some of the things for which we use water. Can we 
live without it? 

[For a talk on forms of water, nothing could be better 
than the story of "Little Water-Drop's Journey," by 
Isa L. Wright.] 

LITTLE WATER-DROP'S JOURNEY 

By Isa L. Wright 

One golden morning in summer, a little drop of water 
out in the ocean climbed up on top of a foamy wave and 
began to cry. 

"Well, well, well!" said the big Sun. "What can a 
little drop of water be crying about?" 

"Lots of things," said the little drop. "I'm tired 
of splashing about. I want to have some fun." 

"Is n't it fun scattering shells all over the beach, and 
playing with the little children and tickling their toes?" 

"That's just it," sighed the little drop of water. 
"That is just what I like to do, but a big wave always 
comes and takes me away, and then the tide will not let 
me go back for a whole day." And the httle drop of 
water began to cry again. 

"I see! I see!" smiled the big Sun; then he shpped 
behind a little cloud to think. When he came out again, 
his smile was very warm. 

" How would you like to go for a ride with your old 
Grandfather Sun?" he asked. 

"And see the world?" asked the little drop. 

"And see the world," he assented. "But you must be 
137 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

very good and do as you are told, for that is the only 
way a raindrop can see the world.'* 

"I'll do it!" she promised. 

"All right." Grandfather Sun smiled warmer and 
warmer. "Now keep very still for a moment. I shall 
have to change you into a vapor fairy and put wings on 
you." 

Hardly were the words out of his mouth than the little 
drop felt herself growing lighter. She seemed to spread 
out and a strange feeling stole over her. 

"Where am I.^" she cried. "I can't see myself!'* 

"Of course not," smiled Grandfather Sun. "Nobody 
can see a vapor fairy. Spread your wings now and fly up 
on a sunbeam and come along!" 

And that was the way Little Water-Drop started out 
to see the world. 

"I hope I shall see little children," she said, after they 
had sailed a long way up in the sky. " I like to play with 
little children." 

"You will have lots of happy times with lots of little 
children in lots of different places before you get home 
again," said Grandfather Sun. "For seeing the world is 
a long journey. And now good-bye ! Uncle West Wind 
is going to take you to a party with a lot of other vapor 
fairies." 

"A party!" Water-Drop clapped her hands. But be- 
fore she had time to say any more, up came Uncle West 
Wind. 

"Well, well, well!" he said, as he blew a little kiss to 
her. "Another little drop of water going out to see the 
world ! My party is growing very big." 

138 



WATER 

"Where is the party?" Water-Drop asked. 

Uncle West Wind took hold of her hand. "It is up in 
that silver cloud that looks very close to the moon, but 
is n't," he laughed, as he whisked her away. 

"What do we do at a cloud party?" asked the little 
drop. 

"Oh, you dance and sing and fly around and guess 
guesses and wish wishes until the big surprise comes." 

"Oh!" said Little Water-Drop, "I love big sur- 
prises ! " 

"So do the other vap>or fairies," returned her uncle. 
"That is why they guess guesses about it." 

" WTiat is the big surprise? " Water-Drop asked before 
she thought. Then she clapped her hand over her 
mouth. "Don't tell me!" she cried. 

How Uncle West Wind did laugh. "How can I tell 
you when I do not know myself? " he said. "Your four 
uncles, North Wind and South Wind and East Wind 
and myself, decide the matter in council. Then one of us 
goes to the party and tells the big surprise. But, of 
course, you may guess guesses and wish wishes about it." 

And just that minute he lifted Water-Drop right up 
on the edge of the silver cloud. Hundreds of little vapor 
fairies came flying out to meet her. You can imagine 
how happy she was and what a merry time she had. 
They danced dances she had never heard of before and 
played games that only vapor fairies could think of. 
And they spoke often in whispers of the big surprise. 
"What can it be? "What can it be?" they asked over 
and over. By and by, it grew colder and they danced 
closer together. 

139 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

**I'm shivering," said Little Water-Drop. "Let's sit 
down and guess guesses and wish wishes." 

And that was just what everybody wanted to do. 
And when all the many little vapor fairies had guessed 
and wished to their httle hearts' content, Water-Drop 
said: "Is n't it lovely to see the world! I wish I might 
fly over to that purple mountain-top and play with the 
Httle children!" 

Then they all laughed. " Why, there are no little chil- 
dren on that high mountain," they told her. 

"Then I should run down the side till I found them," 
sshe announced. 

"Yoo-oo-oo-oo!" Everybody stopped to listen. 
They had all heard that sound before. "Why, it must 
be Uncle North Wind!" they all cried. 

"Yoo-oo-oo!" And there he was. And every little 
vapor fairy felt as though she were shrinking. "Yoo- 
oo-oo ! " he whispered once more. 

"Did you bring the big surprise.^" they all cried, as 
they shivered again. 

" Whee-ee-ee ! " hummed Uncle North Wind, puflSng 
hard. "Of course I brought the big surprise. You are 
all going to visit the purple mountain." 

"Oh ! Oh ! Oh ! " said Water-Drop. " My wish is com- 
ing true." 

"Yoo-oo-oo!" whistled Uncle North Wind. "Hurry 
up ! Cuddle up close ! It will be a cold ride, but you will 
soon be there." And with a bluster and a puff and a 
whistle and a roar, he carried the whole cloud of fairies 
away. 

The purple mountain with her face covered with haze 
140 



WATER 

saw them coming. She was so happy that she grew 
more purple still and seemed mistier than ever. "I have 
waited a long time for you, little vapor fairies," she 
called. "Your little nightie-caps were ready for you 
weeks ago. Six points I have embroidered on every 
one, and no two caps alike. Here it is November and 
not a single one of you asleep yet." 

"Do we have to go to sleep.?" asked Little Water- 
Drop. 

"Why, of course." Purple mountain was shaking 
out hundreds of little white nightie-gowns. "No one 
travels all the time. First a little journey and then a 
Uttle rest, and then a little journey. That is the way to 
see the world." 

"Of course," laughed all the little vapor fairies. And 
Water-Drop knew right down in her little water-drop 
heart that she was as sleepy as she could be. It was all 
she could do to count the six points on the nightie-caps 
the purple mountain was handing out to them. Oh, 
they were such cute little caps ! Ever so much prettier 
than the ones the waves wore. And when Water-Drop 
put hers on she was so surprised. 

"Why, I can see myself again!" she cried; "I am all 
white now." 

So were all the other vapor fairies. And when they 
all lay cuddled down against the purple mountain, they 
looked like a fairy garden of stars. 

Water-Drop was so fast asleep that she did not even 
hear the little children talking down in the valley 
below. 

They were looking up at the flower garden of stars. 
141 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

**0h, see the purple mountain!" they shouted. "It is 
all covered with snow!" 

She was so fast asleep that she did not even feel Jack 
Frost pinching her cheeks and tickling her toes and 
nipping her nose. She did not even know that King 
TVinter was ruUng the land. She was still fast asleep 
when Spring came and chased King Winter away. But 
all of a sudden, one merry morning, she opened her eyes. 
And who do you suppose it was that wakened her? 
Why, Grandfather Sun, of course. "Well, well, well!" 
he was saying. "Here we are again. And how do you 
like the world, now that you have seen something of it? " 

Water-Drop sat up in bed. " I think it is a wonderful 
place," she said. She was growing warmer and warmer 

— so warm that she loosened her nightie-cap and 
pushed it back a little way. Then she laughed. 

"I know what you are going to do. Grandfather Sun," 
she began, shaking her finger at him. " You are going to 
change me into a vapor fairy again." 

" You have guessed wrong," Grandfather Sun laughed. 
"I can do other things besides turning water-drops into 
vapor fairies. Keep very still for a minute, now, and see 
what happens." 

Water-Drop almost held her breath. She felt as 
warm as Uttle children do when they say they are nearly 
melting, and then, all of a sudden, her little cap and 
nightie were gone, and there she was, her own old seH 

— a water-drop again. 

"Nobody wears a nightie-gown and a nightie-cap 
when he travels around to see the world," laughed the 
old Sun. 

14S 



WATER 

**I look just the same as I used to," Water-Drop told 
him, "but I feel different. I seem to be lighter than I 
was when I splashed on top of the waves.'* 

"Ah, yes." The old Sun was nodding his head. " That 
is because you are not carrying the little bag of salt you 
played with in the ocean. You dropped it when you 
changed into a vapor fairy, but you will find it again. 
And now I suppose you will want to start on your 
journey, child, so good-bye ! I just stopped a minute to 
wake you all up and say, * Happy voyage!'" 

\^1ien Water-Drop looked around, sure enough, all 
the nightie-gowns and caps were gone, and there were 
lots of little water-drops like herself scampering about. 
"Come on! Come on!" they all cried, and they joined 
hands and ran down the mountain-side. "Good-bye!" 
they called, "and thank you for a happy visit. Purple 
Mountain!" 

They had a merry race and the first thing Water- 
Drop knew, so many others had joined them that they 
made a tiny little stream of water curving its way over 
the pebbles and dirt. "See how big we are growing!" 
thety all cried, as other little streams hurried from dif- 
ferent directions to catch up with them. "Let's all go 
on together and see the world ! " They called out their 
invitation to all the water-drops they could see. And 
every little drop that could possibly run there joined in 
with the merry little party going on to see the world. 
And the next thing Water-Drop knew they had splashed 
right into a big brook. 

"Glad to see you!" he said, welcoming them with a 
gurgle. "Come right on with me! I'll show you lots of 

143 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

interesting things." And he did, too. I can't begin to 
tell you how many — trees and bushes and big rocks 
and flowers and water-cresses and nesting birds and 
meadows, and children — oh, so many children ! They 
found them in the woods, they met them in the meadow, 
and they played with them down in the cowshp pasture. 
There were brown-eyed children and blue-eyed children, 
children with yellow curls and brown ones. "I did not 
know there were so many children in the world!'* said 
Water-Drop as she danced on and on. 

Sometimes she splashed up on the back of a green 
bull-frog and looked up at the trees and the birds. 
Sometimes she rested in the little pools and talked to 
the fishes. Sometimes she went to sleep on a water- 
cress leaf. But always the brook was in a hurry. " Come 
on!" he kept calling. "If you want to see the world, 
come on!" 

"Good-bye, lovely things!" called Water-Drop, and 
she said it over and over all day long. " Good-bye, little 
children!" 

"There is a river farther down," said the brook. 
"You will like the river. It is so big and splashing and 
it has ripples all over it. When the steamers go by, the 
ripples are big and white almost like the waves of the 
ocean." 

"Oh!" said Little Water-Drop, and she wished right 
that minute that she could see a little white ocean-wave, 
but then she remembered that there were more lovely 
things to see in the world, so she danced on. 

And when at last they came to the big river, both she 
and the brook were so happy that they splashed right 

144 



WATER 

in. "Glad to see you! Glad to see you!" boomed the 
big river, and then he splashed all over a little boat that 
was filled with children. 

"My! How happy the river must be!" laughed all 
the little folks. "He has splashed all over us." And 
they shook all the little water-drops off of their dresses 
and laughed some more. 

"Wait till you get down to the mill," said the man 
who was rowing the boat. "Then you will see some big 
splashing." 

"I shall just go down to the mill with them," Little 
Water-Drop decided. And down she went. And what 
do you suppose she did when she got there? "Br-rr-rr- 
splash!" said the big mill-wheel. And Little Water- 
Drop jumped right on and had a ride. She whirled 
round and round and round. "There, now!" she said, 
when at last she jumped off, "I have helped to grind a 
little bit of flour anyway." 

"Indeed you have, and I am much obliged to you," 
said the rumbly voice of the old mill. 

"Come on! Come on!" called the river. 

He was in as big a hurry as the brook. "Come on, 
and see the world ! Or maybe you had rather stay here." 

"Oh, no!" said Water-Drop. "I could n't stay here. 
I am only seeing the world and I must get home some- 
time." It was the first time that Water-Drop had said 
a word about home. 

"Getting homesick?" asked the river. "I am begin- 
ning to feel that way myself." 

"Where is your home?" asked Water-Drop. 

"In the ocean." 

145 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"Is n't that nice!'* Water-Drop danced faster. 
"We'll just go right on home together," she said with 
a happy laugh. 

"Too-toot-toot! Good-afternoon!" whistled a big 
river steamboat. "If you like riding on wheels, Little 
Water-Drop, why not come and have a spin around on 
one of mine?" 

"Whir-rr-rr," said the nearest wheel, "jump on!" 

Little Water-Drop ran as fast as she could, gave a 
big jump, and there she was, spinning round and round 
and round. And I can assure you it was as much fun 
for her as spinning a top is for boys. She rode almost to 
the mouth of the river before she jumped off. 

"I hear it!" she said, in a very joyful voice. 

"What?" asked the river, who was busy splashing. 

"The boom and the roar and the pounding of the 
ocean." 

"Of course." And the river splashed higher. "We 
are almost home." 

"Well, well, well!" said a familiar voice. "So here we 
are again. And how is the world. Little Water-Drop?" 

Little Water-Drop looked right up into the old Sun's 
face. "I think it is a lovely place. Grandfather," she 
smiled, "but still — " And then she began to laugh. 

"I see! I see!" The old Sun began to smile. "You 
are just like all the people in the world. There is n't any 
place you love so much as home. Am I right?" 

"Indeed you are, Grandfather Sun," said Water-Drop. 
"I can hardly wait to see the big whales spout water, 
and the porpoises jump up in the air. I want to watch 
the sea-gulls darting about and the little fishes wiggling. 

146 



WATER 

their tails. And I want to jump up on a little white 
wave and splash around." 

"Just where I found you," Grandfather Sun added. 

"Yes, but you will never find me crying again," 
Little Water-Drop told him. "This time, when I get 
home — " 

"You are home already!" shouted the Sun. "Can't 
you see that white wave coming out to meet you?" 

But before he could say another word, what do you 
think.? Water-Drop had splashed right up onto that 
white, foamy wave, and was sailing away. "I'm so 
happy!" the old Sun heard her say. And I am very 
sure she has been happy ever since. And there is ant- 
other thing I am very sure of — she found her little 
bag of salt. 

TO WHOM SHALL WE GIVE THANKS.? 

AnonyTnous 

A little boy had sought the pump 
From "whence the sparkling water burst. 
And drank with eager joy the draught 
That kindly quenched his raging thirst. 
Then gracefully he touched his cap, 
"I thank you, Mr. Pump," he said, 
" For this nice drink you've given me." 
(This little boy had been well-bred.) 

Then said the pump, "My little man. 
You 're welcome to what I have done. 
But I am not the one to thank, 
I only help the water run." 
"Oh, then," the little fellow said 
(Polite he always meant to be), 
" Cold water, please accept my thanks. 
You have been very kind to me." 
147 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

**Ah," said cold water, "don't thank me! 

For up the hillside lives a spring 

That sends me forth with generous hand 

To gladden every living thing." 

*'ril thank the spring, then," said the boy. 

And gracefully he bowed his head. 

"Oh, don't thank me, my little man," 

The spring with silvery accents said. 

"Oh, don't thank me, for what am I 
Without the dews and summer rain.' 
Without their aid I ne'er could quench 
Your thirst, my little boy, again." 
"Oh, well, then," said the little boy, 
"I'll gladly thank the rain and dew." 
" Pray, don't thank us. Without the sun 
We could not fill one cup for you." 

"Then, Mr. Sun, ten thousand thanks 
For all that you have done for me." 
"Stop," said the Sun, with blushing face, 
"My little fellow, don't thank me. 
*T was from the ocean's mighty stores 
I drew the draught I gave to thee." 
"O Ocean, thanks," then said the boy. 
It echoed back: "No thanks to me!" 

"Not unto me, but unto Him 
Who formed the depths in which I lie, 
Gk) give thy thanks, my little boy. 
To Him who will thy wants supply." 
The boy took off his cap and said 
In tones so gentle and subdued, 
"O God, I thank Thee for Thy gift. 
Thou art the Giver of all good." 



XXIV 
SALT 

SUGAR and salt we must have as well as flour. Where 
does the salt come from? 

When you went swimming in the ocean did you get 
some of the water in your mouth? Then you know that 
the sea is salt. Men evaporated the sea water and the 
salt was left behind. 

What do we mean by evaporated? 

When we hang our wet clothes upon the line, the air 
and the wind dry them, we say. That is what we mean 
by evaporating the water. There is so little salt in the 
water and it takes so long to evaporate by standing in 
the sun that sometimes men boiled the water in shallow 
pans, and the moisture went off in steam, just as you 
have seen the steam come out of the spout of the tea- 
kettle. 

There are salt springs in parts of the world and some 
of our salt comes from these. A spring is a place where 
the water bubbles out of the ground. Some springs have 
fresh water, but the water in other springs is full of salt. 

Then there are salt mines. Deep down in the ground 
in these mines there are regular cities made of salt out 
of which thousands of tons of salt are taken every year. 
Over these mines, once flowed the ocean, ages and ages 
ago, but now it is dry land, just as the coal mines are, 
with great white underground tunnels and rooms. 

The salt comes in coarse and fine crystals, and in 
149 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

powder as well, so that we have the different kinds of 
salt; rock salt for freezing ice-cream, and packing fish 
and meat, fine salt for table use, coarse salt, and salt 
for dairy use. Do you know what a crystal is? 

Animals love salt as well as people, and the farmer 
often calls his sheep or cows or horse with a lump of it. 

WHY THE SEA IS SALT 

Norwegian Folk-Tale {adapted) 

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there were two 
brothers. One was very rich, but so selfish that he 
wanted to keep for himself everything that he had. The 
other was very, very poor, but was willing to share even 
his last crust with any one in need. 

The night before Christmas there was nothing left in 
his house to eat. This was not the first time that his 
family had been hungry, but he could not seem to keep 
enough ahead. So in despair he went to his rich brother 
once more, for he had often had to call upon him for 
help, and begged for something with which to keep 
Christmas with his family. 

The rich brother was vexed indeed, for Christmas 
found him just as stingy as any other time, and at first 
he refused. Then he said, " I '11 give you some bread, some 
candles, and some bacon if you will promise never to 
step foot in my house again. Let this be the last of you." 

The poor brother took the loaves, candles, and bacon 
and thanked his brother for his great kindness. He 
promised never to bother him again and started for 
home, thinking how happy his family would be with 
what his brother had given him. 

150 



SALT 

On the road he met a poor old man so worn and 
hungry that in pity he handed the old man a loaf and a 
candle and was cutting off a bit of bacon for him when 
the old man stopped him. 

"I have more than enough for the little that you have. 
Save your bacon; and because you have been so kind to 
me in my want I '11 tell you a secret that will make you 
rich the rest of your days. 

" Go on your way and when you come to the two oak 
trees you will find a cave in the bank. Follow in and 
you will come to the home of the underground folks. 
They have everything there which they wish but bacon, 
and for that they will give you anything which you 
want. Now mind what I say and take nothing for the 
bacon but a little mill which stands behind the door. 
K you do just what I say you will not be sorry that you 
shared your things with me." 

The poor brother went on until he came to the two 
oaks, and there in the bank was the cave as the stranger 
had said. He followed in and the hill folk, great and 
small, swarmed around him, each offering something 
more than the last, for the bacon. He was sorely 
tempted to take some of the fine offers which they 
made, but instead clung tight to his bacon until he saw 
the Httle old mill behind the door. Then he said, "Well, 
I ought to take this bacon home for our Christmas din- 
ner, but since you want it so much I '11 not be selfish on 
Christmas Eve, and if you'll just let me have the little 
old mill behind the door, I '11 give you the bacon, and a 
good bargain you are getting, to be sure." 

At first they would not hear of such a thing as giving 
151 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

away the mill. So the poor brother started away with 
his bacon still under his arm. As he neared the door 
they called, *'Here is the mill, take it. It is yours if you 
Vvdll but let us have the bacon." 

When he left the cave with the little old mill under 
his arm he walked on a bit sadly, for, thought he, *' I had 
two loaves and some bacon for our Christmas at home, 
and now, alas, what have I but one loaf and some candles 
and a useless old mill. I cannot even go to my brother 
for more, for I have given him my word that I '11 not step 
foot in his house again." 

Then in the woods he met the man who had told him 
about the mill. The man rushed up eagerly and grabbed 
the mill. He turned the handle and said, "Grind, my 
mill, grind loaves of bread," and out from the mill came 
loaf after loaf of fresh white bread, to the utter astonish- 
ment of the poor brother. Then the stranger said, "And 
now I '11 whisper to you the words which must be said to 
stop the mill, or else it will go on grinding forever, once it 
has been started. Do not forget what I tell you are the 
words to stop your mill." 

The poor brother thanked the stranger and left with 
him a good Christmas dinner. Then he hurried home as 
fast as his tired legs would go. It was long past mid- 
night when he got there. His wife sat worrying when he 
got home and said, "Wherever in the world have you 
been so long? Here it is past midnight on Christmas 
Eve and I have never a thing in the house to give the 
bairns to eat." 

"See what I have brought you," said the poor 
brother, and he set the mill upon the table. He bade it 

152 



SALT 

grind candles, then a clean, white cloth, and then a whole 
Christmas feast. He had only to speak the word and it 
ground out anything that was wanted. The old woman 
first blessed her stars and then begged him to tell her 
where he got the mill, but the poor brother just kept 
right on grinding out good things enough to last through 
the holidays. Coax as she would, he would not tell her 
where he got the mill. 

The third day he made a great feast and invited all 
the neighbors and his rich brother. 

When the rich brother saw all the things which his 
poor brother now had, he was not pleased, as you might 
suppose. He was very angry. " Why, it was only Christ- 
mas Eve he came begging for a bite to eat, and what has 
he now?" 

He turned to his brother quite fiercely and said, "But 
where did you get all these things?" 

The poor brother did not care to tell too much about 
the mill, so he said, **0h, it all came from behind the 
door." 

All went well until late in the evening. He had bade 
the mill grind out ale, and he became quite merry as he 
drank too much of it. Then he brought the mill and 
showed them what it would do for him. 

The rich brother immediately wanted the mill and 
was determined that it must be his. So he bargained 
and bargained until they finally agreed that for three 
hundred dollars it should be his at the next harvest time. 

All the rest of the winter and all summer long that 
mill was kept busy grinding out things for the poor 
brother and his family. 

153 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Before any one else was out of bed on the first day of 
the harvest time the rich brother was pounding on the 
door. He had come for the mill. He paid the three hun- 
dred dollars, and away he went with the mill before the 
poor brother had time to tell him how to stop the mill 
from grinding once it had been started. Once he reached 
home, he told his wife to go out into the field and help 
the harvesters and he would stay at home and get the 
dinner ready. After she had gone he put the mill upon 
the table and said, "Grind, my mill, grind broth and 
herrings." 

Out from the mill flowed broth and herrings. Soon 
there were enough, and the rich brother tried to stop the 
mill. But in spite of all he could do on flowed the broth 
and herrings till everything in the house and the house 
itself were filled to overflowing. 

For fear he would be drowned in the broth and her- 
rings, he ran from the house with the mill in his hands, 
but so fast did the little mill grind that they came roar- 
ing like a great river behind him as he ran. Now his 
wife, working in the field, grew hungry and thought per- 
haps he would be glad of her help in getting the dinner. 
So she told the men to go with her to the house for dinner. 

Just as they had started up the hill what should they 
meet but the herrings and broth pouring down to meet 
them. Away ran the rich brother, shouting, "Eat, 
drink, but look out you are not drowned.'* 

Straight for his poor brother's house he ran and 
begged him to take back the mill at once lest the whole 
town be drowned in herrings and broth. 

So the poor brother took back the mill, and as soon as 
154 



SALT 

the rich brother was out of hearing it stopped grinding 
herrings and broth. 

Richer and richer grew the poor brother, finer and 
finer grew his house on the hill near the seashore. 

Gold and more gold the mill ground for him until, be- 
cause he knew of nothing finer, he covered his house 
with plates of gold. 

How it gleamed and glistened ! Far away to sea, sailors 
steered their ships by it and hardly one went by without 
going ashore to see the rich man who lived in a house 
covered with gold which he ground out of a wonderful 
mill. There was hardly a soul who had not heard of this 
mill. 

One day a skipper who came to see the mill asked if it 
would grind salt. 

"Grind salt.^" answered the poor brother; "it can 
grind anything." 

Now, you must know that this skipper took long voy- 
ages on the stormy seas to get a lading of salt. Salt, peo- 
ple must have, and it must be carried across the seas. 
If only he had a mill that would grind out salt he could 
sit at home with his pipe and risk his life no more in 
wind and wave. 

He bargained until the poor brother agreed that the 
mill should be his. Then, for fear he would change his 
mind, so glad was the skipper to get the mill, that he 
took it under his arm and sailed away and never waited 
long enough to be told how to stop it, once it began to 
grind. The poor brother shouted in vain, but away 
sailed the skipper, thinking he wished to take back this 
wonderful mill. 

155 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

When he had sailed out of sight of land he took the 
mill and said, "Grind, my mill, grind salt." 

The mill began to grind salt and kept on grinding 
salt. Out it poured until the cabin was full. It poured on 
until the ship was full. 

Twist and turn, command and plead as the skipper 
would, that little mill kept right on grinding salt. 

Higher and higher grew the pile of salt, down sank the 
ship as the weight was too much for it, but still the little 
mill kept on grinding salt. 

There lies the mill on the bottom of the sea, grinding 
out salt to this very day ; and that is the reason that the 
sea is salt. Anyway that is the story that my mother 
told to me and that is the story a great many very good 
mothers tell to their children, just as I am telhng it to 
you. I do know that a great many sailors cross the sea 
to this day for a lading of salt, just as did the skipper 
who is said to have run away with the poor brother*s 
mill. 



XXV 
CANE SUGAR 

ONE winter Winthrop was in the South and went to 
ride one day with Mother and Daddy. Oh, how 
sweet the pitch pines smelled as they jogged lazily along 
listening to the musical melody floating to them through 
the woods where some negroes were cutting the pines, 
and enjoying the bright flash of the redbird as he flitted 
among the branches. Presently they heard, "WTioa, 
gee up, whoa," and by the side of the road saw a group 
of men, and a horse going round and round. He was 
pulling a wooden bar around which was fastened to 
what looked like a cider press, and juice was running in 
a stream from this press. Not far away was a fire with 
a great kettle in which syrup was boiling. 

Daddy stopped the horse and spoke pleasantly, and 
after a few remarks about the weather and where we 
came from, one of the men said, "Have a drink.^" He 
gave us each a cupful of the juice which was dripping 
from the press. It was sweet and rather pleasant to 
taste. Then he gave Winthrop what looked like a little 
joint of a cornstalk and said, "All the little honeys like 
to chew the sugar-cane," and we saw that the press was 
filled with just such pieces of stalk. Just then a man 
drove out of a field near by with a whole wagonload of 
sugar-cane stalks and the rest of the field in which he 
had cut these stalks looked very much like a cornfield 
only the stalks were slenderer. 

157 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

When the barrel into which the juice was dripping 
was nearly filled the men poured it into another kettle 
and set it over the fire. That which was boiling had 
become thick like syrup, and we watched it for a few 
minutes longer. 

Little crystals like flakes of snow or ice formed around 
the edges as the syrup boiled away. This was the sugar. 
At the bottom of the kettle some syrup was left, and 
after the sugar was taken off this syrap was poured into 
barrels or jugs and called molasses. In the stores we 
had bought cane-syrup, sugar, and molasses. Now we 
knew that they all came from the sugar-cane which 
grows in the fields in warm countries. The juice is 
pressed out and boiled until it is thick. This makes 
syrup; boiled longer, it makes sugar, and what is left in 
the kettle after the sugar is taken out, is molasses. 

The sugar was not white and dry like the sugar that 
we see upon the table, but we did n't see them do the 
things to make it so. 

To make enough sugar for all the people to use and 
for the candy and pastry shops, it takes great factories in 
which machines press out the juice, and other great fac- 
tories, called refineries, where the sugar is freed from 
dirt and made fine and white. Sometimes it is powdered 
and sometimes pressed into cubes. Most of our sugar 
comes from Cuba. 

Sugar is also made from beets. There is a kind of 
beet which contains a great deal of sugar. These are 
called sugar-beets, and are much larger than the ordi- 
nary beet. From the juice of the large white roots 
of these beets a great deal of sugar is made, but the 

158 



CANE SUGAR 

greater part of the sugar we use comes from the sugar- 
cane. Once we planted some sugar-beet seeds, pulled 
the beets in the fall, and crushed out the juice in the cider 
press. This we boiled and made sugar, but it was dark 
colored and looked dirty. It was very sweet, though. 



XXVI 
MAPLE SUGAR 

ONCE we had no sugar. Almost the whole world 
was at war; and cars and boats, that had carried 
sugar from the warm countries where the sugar-cane 
grows to the cold countries where it does n't, were busy- 
carrying men and guns to the war, so that people had to 
get along without what they formerly brought. 

It was in the early spring, in March, and the sun was 
getting warm and the snow was most gone. One day 
Winthrop was out playing and wishing he could have 
some cake, such as his mother used to make when there 
was plenty of sugar, but trying not to wish very hard 
because he knew that every one was giving up, cheer- 
fully, things they wanted in order to help win the war, 
when he saw something which thrilled him through and 
through and heard something which made his heart 
dance with joy. It was a flash of the brightest blue he 
had ever seen and a trilling song that just melted into 
the blue of the sky till he did n't know whether he had 
seen them both or just felt something wonderful inside 
of himself, for it disappeared as quickly as it came, and 
look as he would, all he could see was something dripping 
from an old maple-tree near by. 

He thought it was the snow running down, and still 
dreaming of the lovely thing that had stirred him so, he 
lazily rubbed the dripping trunk with his finger and put 
it in his mouth. To his surprise it tasted a bit sweet and 

160 



IMAPLE SUGAR 

he tried it again. Then he called his mother and she 
said, *' Would you like to catch some of the water in a 
pail and then boil it until the water is boiled away and 
see what we have left? You know the sugar that we use 
is the juice of the sugar-cane boiled down and if the 
juice or sap of the maple-tree is sweet we may be able to 
boil the water away and have sugar left." 

"Let's try it," said Winthrop. So he got a pail. But 
it was hard work to catch the sap for it ran slowly. 
Mother told him that it would not hurt the tree to bore 
a hole in the trunk and drive a spout in on which he 
could hang his pail and leave it overnight. So he did 
this. He took his little auger and bored a hole and then 
hammered in a wooden handle, such as are used to carry 
bundles and out of which he had taken the wire. On 
this spout he hung a preserve jar. 

He was out bright and early the next morning, but 
there was not much sap in the jar. After breakfast the 
sun came out warm and bright. The next time he looked 
at his jar it was overflowing with the sweet water. This 
he took to Mother, who put it in a pan on the stove, 
and left it to boil while he went to hang his jar again 
upon the tree. Time after time he ran in to see if there 
was any sugar yet, but finally, when it seemed as if he 
just could n't wait any longer, Mother called him to come 
and taste. There in the dish was some clear, amber- 
colored syrup, only a spoonful left of the great panful of 
sweetened water, but a spoonful of what seemed to him 
the nicest syrup he had ever tasted. Mother said there 
was not enough to boil any more, but that if there were 
more she could boil it a little longer and pour it into 

161 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

pans and when it was cool there would be a cake of 
maple sugar. 

So then Winthrop got all the boys in the neighbor- 
hood together and said, "Let's do something to save 
sugar and have sugar at the same time. Something 
showed me the way yesterday and I don't know whether 
I dreamed it or whether it was a fairy. Oo-oo ! there it is 
now," and glorious on the top of the maple- tree was the 
flash of blue and the trilling song, and the boys shouted 
with one accord, "The first bluebird, hurrah!" 
^ Then they all got pails and spouts, hunted up 
other maple-trees, and went to work with a will till they 
had collected so many boilerfuls of sap that no one in 
the neighborhood had room on their stoves for anything 
else, and the maids threatened to leave because there 
was no chance for a wash day. 

"Making sugar has soured the whole neighbor- 
hood," said Winthrop; "but here's Daddy. He always 
knows what to do." And sure enough Daddy saved the 
day. He showed them how to make a tripod and hang 
a great kettle over a hot fire which they made in the 
woods. There they boiled down the syrup and had a 
jolly time sugaring off, too. 

Daddy promised Winthrop that some day he would 
take him to a real sugar grove in New Hampshire or 
Vermont where they have camps built on purpose for 
the men to live in while they are making the maple 
sugar. There they carry the sap on great horse sleds 
and have immense shallow pans to boil tlie sap down in. 
This is where the quantities of maple sugar and syrup 
come from which are sold in the cities. 



XXVII 
HONEY 

PEOPLE have not always known how to make sugar. 
My grandmother can still remember when white 
sugar cost so much that it was used only for a great 
treat. But long before sugar was made, perhaps before 
there were any little boys and girls to eat it, there was 
something sweet and some people even now think it 
more wholesome than sugar. Perhaps you can guess 
what, if I tell you — "The queen was in the parlor eat- 
ing bread and — " Yes, honey. 

Tiny little insects made it and hid it in hollow trees. 
Did you ever see an insect .^^ A fly? Yes, and mos- 
quitoes and — but this is one that stings only if you 
bother or hurt it. No, not a hornet or a wasp, but a bee. 
There are many kinds of bees, but this is the honey-bee. 

Nowadays in many back yards you will see rows of 
bee-hives, for people learned long ago to catch the wild 
bees and make houses — hives, they call the homes of 
bees — and so have honey without hunting the woods 
over for it. 

If you watch the flowers closely next summer it w^on't 
be long before you will see some bees. If you sit quietly 
you will hear, *'Buzz-zz-zz." They fly from flower to 
flower, sticking their long tongue — proboscis, men who 
study the bees call it — down into the bright-colored 
tubes of the flowers. Then you will see them fly in a 
perfectly straight line and very fast away out of sight. 

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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

If you should follow them you would find that they do 
not stop until they reach their home — the bee-hive. 
Perhaps the hive is miles away from the flowers on 
which you found them, often it is, but so straight do 
they always fly to their hive that people often say, "He 
made a bee-line for a place," when they wish to say that 
some one went the straightest and quickest way. 

One day late in the summer when I was in the woods 
in Maine, I saw some men cutting into a hollow tree 
which had been dead several years. I watched them 
awhile and saw them take out pounds and pounds of 
honey in the comb, just like the honey in the comb that 
you have seen and eaten. Then I heard one of the men 
say, "I should think there was nearly two hundred 
pounds in there, but I guess we 'd better leave the rest 
for the bees so they won't starve next winter." I asked 
them to let me look at the honey, and the comb looked 
just as the combs I have seen, with tiny cells on each 
side full of honey. When you have some honey again 
I wish you would look at these little cells: every cell 
shaped just alike, six-sided; " hexagonal," we call them 
because hexagon is the name of figures which have six 
sides; every one exactly the same size and every cell 
fitted to the next one so that not an inch of space is 
wasted. The honey which you buy you will find is fas- 
tened to square wooden frames, but this honeycomb 
which the wild bees had made was fastened to the in- 
side of the tree and could not be taken out whole in 
squares as it can from the hives which men have made 
and fitted with these wooden frames for the bees to 
fasten the combs to. 

164 



HONEY 

I will give you some toothpicks and you may try to 
make some little cells and fit them together hke those in 
the honeycomb. 

When you eat honey you will find the comb made of 
something which you can chew as you do gum. This is 
the wax of which the cells are all made, and the bees 
have to gather from the flowers the material of which 
they make each tiny cell and each drop of honey which 
fills them. People used to think that they took the wax 
all made from the plants and the honey from the Uttle 
nectar sacs of the flowers. 

If you bite the little end of the tube of a honeysuckle 
or a lilac blossom and suck it you will see what I mean 
by nectar sac, for at the end of the bright-colored tube 
is a little sac filled with a drop of sweet liquid. Did you 
ever do this? This is the nectar which the bees gather 
from the flowers. Some have more than others, but a bee 
has to visit over a hundred flowers to get only a third of 
a good-sized drop of this nectar. So when you think that 
in one hive is made as much as two hundred pounds of 
honey in a season, you will see why they are caUed 
**busy bees." It was found, too, that when bees were 
fed on sugar and water that they built the little wax 
cells just the same and filled them with honey. 

But one bee does n't do all the work in a hive. It is 
like a great city. In each hive there are often as many as 
fifty or sixty thousand workers. There is one bee who is 
larger and finer than the others and she is the Queen. 
She is mother of all the rest and never leaves the home. 
She is carefully guarded and cleaned and cared for and 
waited upon by some who are specially chosen for that 

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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

purpose. Some of the bees guard the home and drive 
away insects who would harm it. Some stand at the 
door and fan with their wings when the hive gets too 
hot. 

Each Httle bee is armed with a sting at the end of its 
body. This it pushes into whatever annoys or harms it 
and leaves a bit of poison which is very painful. Did a 
bee ever sting you? 

Other bees care for the home and the babies. Special 
little cells are made in the comb for the babies to be 
bom and reared in. There they are loved and carefully 
tended by the bees who are the nurses. After the babies 
grow big enough the cells which have been their cradles 
are then used for honey cells. When so many bees have 
been born in one hive that there is no longer room for 
them, part of them fly away, swarm, we say, and make 
a new hive. This happens in every hive once or twice 
or perhaps three times a year. 

Other bees gather pollen from the flowers and make 
it into bread to feed the family. Did you ever see any 
pollen.? If you never have, watch the flowers next sum- 
mer. See if you cannot shake a fine powder from the full- 
blown blossoms. 

Do you remember the little song, "The alder by the 
river shakes out her powdery curls, the willow buds in 
silver for Httle boys and girls"? Watch by the brook 
next spring, early in March, when the song sparrow be- 
gins to sing and the little ice crystals tinkle down- 
stream, and find an alder bush. Take a spray of this 
home, or some pussy willows, and put them in water in 
a sunny window and watch. By and by you will see 

166 



HONEY 

the alder blossoms growing larger. See whether thejr 
look to you like curls or like fat worms. Soon you 
will find the window sill covered with a yellow powder. 
This is the pollen and it is in every blossom. 

Unless this pollen falls upon a certain part of the 
flowers of each plant, called the stigma, there will be no 
seeds upon that plant. 

What good are the seeds? Yes, they are what we 
plant to make more plants and without seeds we can 
have no more plants with their leaves and blossoms, 
and fruit which holds the seeds. 

So when the bee comes to gather pollen for his family 
to eat he is one of the flowers' best friends. The wind 
blows the pollen from one flower to another, but the bee 
carries it, too. Look closely at the bee. If you have a 
pair of field glasses and can learn to look through them 
so you can find the bee with them you will be able ta 
see more, but sit quietly and watch the bee as long as 
he stays near and you will find out a lot about how he is 
made and what he gets from the flowers and how he 
carries these things home. 

First you will notice that the bee is covered with 
hairs. See if the hairs are all alike — those on its head 
and body and legs. Notice also what color they are. 
You will find that his body is covered with hairs almost 
like feathers and that his hind legs are covered with 
stiff hairs. When he flies into the flowers for honey 
these hairs brush off the pollen, and with the stiffer hairs 
the bee brushes it into the little hollows on each hind 
leg. These little hollows are just like baskets, and he 
carries the pollen home in them just as we carry our 

167 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

food home in a market basket. The bees fly from one 
flower to another until they have filled both their 
baskets with pollen. As they do this some of the pollen 
from one flower is brushed upon the stigma of the next 
flower as I told you it must be if we are to have any 
more seeds to plant. Watch and see if the bees usually 
go from one lilac to another lilac and from one larkspur 
to another larkspur and from one clover to another 
clover or from a clover to a rose and from a honeysuckle 
to a petunia. I have read that they go from a rose to a 
rose and then to another rose and then home, and next 
time to all clovers, but I wish you would watch and tell 
me whether this is so. When they fly home with this 
pollen it is stored away. Some of it is given to the 
baby bees for food and some of it is made into wax, of 
which the cells are made. 

After men take honeycomb from the hive they some- 
times take the honey from the comb. Perhaps you 
have had honey that comes in bottles instead of in the 
comb; do you remember any? Then they have the wax 
left which is used for a great many things. The hard- 
est candles are made of beeswax, also dolls' heads are 
sometimes made of this, and I know you have seen it 
in my work basket. 

On the under part of the body are four little wa'x 
pockets, and below the mouth is the honey bag. The 
lower part of the mouth is so wonderfully made that the 
bees can stretch it so as to reach to the bottom of the 
deepest blossoms. This rolls about and the nectar sticks 
to the hairs on it. Part of his mouth, the mandibles, 
the bee can use like scissors to cut his way into the 

168 



HONEY 

flowers when he needs to, to tear the old comb, to work 
the wax into cells, and to feed the pollen to the young 
bees. 

So when you see the bees buzzing among the flowers 
in the hot sun again remember that they are getting 
nectar and pollen to make into honey and wax, and 
bee bread for the babies at home. Remember, too, how 
they help the flowers and us. 

When the cold weather comes they stay in the hive 
and sleep most of the time until spring comes again. 



XXVIII 
FISH 

DID N'T we have a good time fishing? Was n't the 
water blue and the breeze cool? What fun it was 
to pull in the fish ! I suppose people have always liked 
to fish, but how would you hke to know that you would 
have no dinner if you did n't catch a fish for it? There 
have been times when people who lived near the water 
knew this. 

Always there have been fishes; many kinds of fishes; 
some in ponds, some in rivers, some in lakes, some in 
little brooks, and some in the salt water, the ocean. Can 
you name any kinds of fishes that we eat that come from 
salt water? Most of the fish that the fishman brings 
comes from the salt water. He brings us fish sometimes 
with hard shells, what are those? Yes, clams and scallops 
and oysters. These and the lobsters all come from the 
ocean. 

Did you ever see a fish try to breathe out of the 
water? Can a boy breathe in the water? Do you know 
why? 

When we went fishing we had a pole and a line and on 
the end a hook, and we got into a boat and rowed along 
till we came to a good place to drop our line over, but 
one day when Brother went fishing he had no boat and 
no hook, line, or pole. He just stood on the bank of the 
pond and wished he had. Brother never hkes to waste 
much time just wishing on a fine day when he can play, 

170 



FISH 

and so soon he went along the bank whistling till he 
found a birch tree, not very large. He took his knife, 
cut the tree, and trimmed off the branches. Then he 
fished, he told me — but only in his pockets — until 
he found a string. This he tied to the end of the pole. 
Under the edge of his coat collar he found a pin that he 
had *' picked up for luck" the day before. This he bent 
and tied to the end of the string. On this he put a worm 
and then sat on the bank and fished in the pond until 
he got tired. 

My, how he wished for a boat! He had learned to 
swim before we let him go fishing without Daddy or me. 

While he was wishing, a log came floating inshore. 
He reached out with his pole and guided it in where he 
could reach it. Then he jumped on. What fun it was 
to float along, but he did n*t have much luck fishing. 
He had all he could do to stay on the log, and it was n't 
many minutes before he was splashing along in the 
water trying to catch it again. 

While he was splashing around, on and off the log, 
Roger and Gene came along and shouted, "Bring her 
in and we'll get some poles and push her along." They 
had great fun sitting on the log pushing themselves about 
with poles, but they did n't dare go very far from shore 
because they tipped off so easily. Then they had an idea, 
and with great excitement pulled the log up on the shore 
and set to work. Roger ran home for some tools and they 
began to dig out the log. For weeks they worked on it all 
their spare time until they had hollowed the log so that 
they could sit in it as you can in a canoe. Then one fine 
day they slid it into the water and paddled around in 

171 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

their "dug-out." They went fishing more than once in 
this. One day when I went down to the pond to see where 
they were, I found them saiUng in it. With a birch pole 
stuck up in front for a mast, to which they had fastened 
a big piece of cloth for a sail, the wind was blowing them 
along, while Brother sat at the back — stern, we say, in- 
stead of back of a boat — steering with one of the poles 
with which they had been pushing the dug-out along. 
Do you know what we call the front of a boat? The bow. 

Daddy was much pleased with all this when we told 
him and he told the boys that when the first man went 
fishing he had neither boat, hook, nor line. He probably 
lay on a rock over the water and caught the fish with 
his hand. After he learned to make spears and bows and 
arrows he speared his fish or shot it. He learned to 
make his boat just as the boys had done, only for tools 
he had nothing but stones at first. Instead of digging 
out the logs often they burned them out. Probably his 
first sail he made by weaving grass or rushes together. 

This was such a clumsy way of getting around that 
he kept on trying to make his boat better, of course. 
The Indians learned to use birch bark for their canoes, 
and after cloth was made the canoes began to be made 
of canvas as they are to-day, and instead of sticks we 
have fine varnished paddles. These canoes were made, 
not for the ocean, but for ponds and brooks and rivers, 
and were light enough to be carried from one to an- 
other. 

The dug-out was too heavy for this. Some of these 
were hewed out of great cedar logs and would hold 
fifty people. 

172 



FISH 

One day Daddy took Brother down to the dock 
[The dock is a place built for boats to tie to and for 
people to step on to and to unload whatever is brought 
in boats.] 

A schooner had just come in with a load of fish from 
miles and miles away in the deep sea. What a fine sail- 
boat this schooner was ! Brother thought of his log dug- 
out with a piece of cloth for a sail when Daddy pointed 
out five masts with different kinds of sails on each mast 
and named them from the topsail to the fore and aft. 

He told him that there are schooners now with seven 
masts. These boats sail very fast when the wind is 
right, so when the fishermen get their fish they can bring 
it back quickly to the cities where people want it for 
food. 

In the schooner were small dories, and Daddy told 
him that when they find good fishing ground men row 
out in these small boats and fish, sometimes a good 
way from the schooner and often all night. Then they 
row back to the schooner sometimes with the dory so 
full of fish that there is hardly room for the men. It 
is some task to get the boat back onto the schooner 
without upsetting it, especially if the sea is rough. 

He saw them unload the fish, great barrels of cod and 
haddock and mackerel. Some of it was packed in salt 
and some of it in ice. These were loaded on to barrels 
or trucks and taken away to markets. 

In the summer while they were at the seashore Daddy 
and Brother saw some fishermen busy one day on the 
shore by the Httle huts where they lived. They talked 
with them awhile and found that they were mending 

173 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

fish nets. These nets are made of twine which is made 
from the stems of the hemp or flax plant, just as linen 
thread is made from flax. The twine is laid in lines; 
these lines are crossed by other lines of twine. When- 
ever the lines cross they are tied. Some of the nets are 
made with small squares; this is called a fine meshed 
net. Some are made with large squares and is called a 
coarse meshed net. All these nets used to be made by 
hand, but now like most other things machines do the 
work much more quickly. 

Along one edge of these nets was a row of stones, 
some of them had little chunks of lead instead of stones, 
and on the other edge was a row of round corks tied on 
through a hole in the middle of each. 

These nets are used to catch fish. The edge with the 
heavy stones or lead sinks and the edge with the light 
corks floats on the water. Just when men began to make 
nets we do not know, but we read many stories in the 
Bible of Jesus talking to the fishermen and how they 
cast their nets into the water. So we know it was long, 
long ago. 

Men also learned to set traps made of sticks and 
catch many fish in these at one time. In the ocean 
there seems to be an endless number of fish, but in 
small streams fish like the trout and salmon are caught 
so fast that for fear there will be none left men take the 
eggs (did you know that fish lay eggs?), and, in places 
called fish hatcheries, hatch these eggs and care for the 
tiny little fishes until they are big enough to look after 
themselves, and then'^they put them into the streams 
again. 

174 



FISH 

Men learned also to make hooks of all sizes and lines 
such as we buy in the sporting goods stores to-day. 

Trawls are used in deep-sea fishing; these are long 
lines to which shorter lines, each with several hooks, 
are fastened. 

Lead is fastened to the end of the long line so that it 
will drop deep down in the water. The shorter lines to 
which the hooks are fastened are some short and some 
long, so that they will catch fish in different depths of 
water as they trail along. The hooks are all baited and 
the long line coiled around in tubs. This keeps it from 
tangling until the fishermen are ready to drop it over- 
board. One schooner will carry miles of trawl with 
from 10,000 to 15,000 hooks. 

When we have our salmon, or broiled mackerel, or 
codfish cakes served so daintily with a sprig of parsley 
or a slice of lemon, we never have a thought of the times 
when men had only their hands to catch their dinner 
and only a log for a boat to go after the deep-sea fish, 
nor do we think of the fisherman's family watching 
for his schooner to come into sight so that they will 
know he is safe at home again, after a long sail on the 
sea, often in cold, stormy weather, when the waves rise 
high above the boat and great skill is needed to keep it 
from dashing onto the rocks. 

But the fisherman has his reward for his courage and 
good work, for he has the smell of the sea and the glory 
of the sunset, and a sense of the bigness and the wonder 
of the world, as he rides the great waves, trusting in 
their Creator; his family, too, have their reward for the 
sorrow of parting as he went on his dangerous trip, in 

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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

the joyous reunion when he sails in with a "good catch." 
It's always hard to have Daddy go away, but if be 
did n't go we could have none of the fun of his getting 
home, could we? 



XXIX 

THE COMPASS 

I REMEMBER when Brother was first old enough 
to join the Boy Scouts. How proud he was when he 
could pass all the tests and get his uniform. He had to 
know how to tie different knots, build a fire and cook, 
and a lot of other things beside. 

One day he said, "Mother, will you see if I can box 
the compass? The Scout Master said we must learn to 
do it"; and he put something in my hand that looked 
at first like a little watch with a glass face. Then he 
began, "north; north by east; north northeast; north- 
east by north; northeast; northeast by east; east 
northeast; east by north; east; east by south; east 
southeast; southeast by east; southeast; southeast by 
south; south southeast; south by east; south; south 
by west; south southwest; southwest by south; south- 
west; southwest by west; west southwest; west by 
south; west; west by north; west northwest; northwest 
by west; northwest; northwest by north; north north- 
west; north by west; north." 

How you laughed as he rattled these off as fast as he 
could talk ! As he talked I looked at what he had brought 
me, and through the little glass face I saw a flat, steel 
needle, swinging over a Httle, round card with letters 
and marks and numbers on it. I noticed that the letters 
stood for the things that Brother had been saying when 
he "boxed the compass." 

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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

As the needle swung, it pointed to these letters, and 
when one end pointed to "N," which stood for North, 
the other end pointed to *'S," which stood for South, 
and on the middle of the right-hand side of the card 
was an "E" for East and on the left a " W" for West. 

Brother said that the Scout Master wanted every 
boy to have a compass and hang it on his belt when he 
went into the woods so that he could find his way out 
if he were lost. 

He told them that if they did n't have a compass, 
but had a little magnet, like the little horseshoe magnet 
that Father brought home for you to play with, they 
could rub a steel needle on that and carry it with them 
in a little bottle. This they could balance on a splinter 
of wood in a cup of water and the ends would swing 
around and point North and South. 

Of course Brother learned long ago which corner of 
the house faced North and which South, which East and 
which West, and when he goes out in the woods he 
knows in which direction from home he is going. 

Before I let him go to the store alone, I taught him to 
tell me his name and Father's name, and what street he 
lived on, and what number our house is, and what town 
he lives in, and what state. It was hard for him to say 
all this at first, and it was fun to hear him try. See if 
you can do it. 

Before I let him go out into the woods alone, I taught 
him that the side of our house where the sun first shows 
in the morning is toward the East, and where we last 
see it at night is toward the West. Then, if he stood 
with his right hand toward the East he would be facing 

178 



THE COMPASS 

North, and his back would be toward the South, and 
always to think when he went into the woods whether 
he was starting North, South, East, or West from home. 

Another thing that helped him to learn North, South, 
East, and West was the weather-vane. He had a httle 
sailor boy in a canoe, with paddles in his hands, on the 
piazza railing. As the winds blew these around, the 
little boy in his canoe sometimes faced one way and 
sometimes the other. I would look at him often and say, 
"Why, the wind blows from the East, so it will rain to- 
day," or, "The wind is South, so it will be warmer," or, 
"The wind is North, and it is so cold we may have 
snow," or, "The wind is West and the sky is clear, and it 
will be a nice day for a picnic." 

But now he is a Boy Scout and carries a compass and 
can tell more than North and South and East and West. 
He can tell all the points between, and knows that if he 
is at the schoolhouse he must go North to get home, 
but not straight North. He must go a little bit to the 
East as well, and he calls that Northeast. 

I want you to learn East and West first, and then, 
when you are as old as Brother, you can be a Scout, too, 
and learn to "box the compass"; that is, name all the 
points to which the needle can point. 

There are places where you will need the compass 
more than in the woods, for in the woods there are 
things which you can learn to follow, and in the place of 
which I am thinking there is nothing but sky and water. 
Do you know where I mean? 

Yes, on the ocean, and every ship has its compass. 
Out of sight of land on the ocean there is nothing to 

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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

guide the ship but the sun and the stars, and the sailors 
depended on these until they learned to make and use a 
compass. 

On stormy days and nights, when they could not see 
the sun and the stars, they had nothing to go by. So 
the compass is a very important thing on a ship, and it 
is made large and kept in a brightly shining case, called 
a binnacle, where it is watched day and night by the 
men who steer the vessel. The next time we go on a 
boat we will try and see the ship's compass. 



XXX 

COOKING 

HOW would you like to eat all your food raw? Be- 
fore people learned how to cook that is what they 
did. For there was a time when people did n*t know how 
to cook or how to build a fire. If they had seen a stove 
which to use you have only to press a button, as you 
do with our electric stoves, they would have thought it 
magic and probably have run away from it frightened. 
When we read stories about the people who lived ages 
and ages ago we find that their houses were not as good 
as the homes which men now build for their animals 
and that at first they ate their food raw as wild animals 
do. 

Those people of long ago were afraid of fire. Probably 
the first fire they saw was set by lightning as it ran down 
a tree in the forest. Once I saw a fire in the woods run- 
ning from tree to tree. Men fought it so that it would 
not spoil the whole wood lot and kill every living thing 
in it or spread and burn a house just beyond the woods. 
The sparks flew and set fire to whatever they fell upon. 
How it roared and crackled and scorched if I got near. 
Then I understood why they feared it. Animals are still 
afraid of it and run from it. 

Men learned after a time to keep it in the place where 
they wanted it; to make it when they needed it and to 
use it to warm them and to cook their food. Animals 
have never learned to do this. 

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TALKS TO CHILDREN 

First men learned to put out fire so that it would not 
bum them and destroy their things. Then they learned 
how to make fire. Then in long, long years how to use 
it. Think what we do with it now. 

At first their only fire was an open one on the ground, 
just like the one you have seen us build when we had a 
picnic and roasted our meat on a forked stick over it. 
What fun it is for a picnic ! But we took the sandwiches 
and cake and other good things along in a basket. We 
could n't cook those over that fire. 

Then do you remember how the smoke got in your 
eyes? When it rained or the wind blew it was very hard 
to cook in this way. 

So after a while people learned to make a sort of oven 
in which they could roast things. They dug a hole in 
the ground and lined it with stones. Then they built a 
fire on the stones. When stones get hot they keep hot a 
long time and will heat or even cook things that are 
close to them. I should like to have seen the first man 
who saw a red-hot stone drop into some water and make 
the water hot. I have read that people used to boil food 
by putting hot stones into the kettle. There are places 
where the water comes from underground springs that 
are so hot that the water boils as it bubbles out of the 
ground. Perhaps sometime we can go to the Yellow- 
stone Park and see one of these boiling springs and boil 
some eggs in it. Would n't that be a jolly place to 
have a picnic ! Perhaps that is where the idea of boihng 
food first came from. At any rate, hot stones make what- 
ever touches them hot as well as water, and so, after 
they had heated these stones in the hole that they had 

18^ 



COOKING 

dug, people used to wrap whatever they wished to roast 
in leaves or skins and cover it in the red-hot hole until 
it was cooked. At many camps they do this now. At 
the logging camps, where the lumbermen stay when 
they are cutting wood, they often have what they call 
a "bean hole." It is made just like this, and in it they 
put pots of beans to bake. 

Do you remember our clambake on the beach? We 
built a fire among the rocks and when they were very 
hot let the fire burn down to red coals. Then we cov- 
ered the rocks with seaweed and put the clams, lobsters, 
and corn in, covered them with more seaweed, and left 
them until they cooked. It was great fun, we thought. 
The air was so sweet and the sky so blue and the waves 
lapped up on the beach. All we had to do when we had 
finished eating was to pick up things and burn them in 
our fire. No dishes to wash and no floor to sweep, and 
the great white gulls circled over our heads and laughed 
with us. Do you remember Daddy drew a deep breath 
as if he were drinking the wonderful sea air and the 
fragrance of the pitch pines as he feasted his eyes on the 
misty lovehness of the sea lavender and said, "Oh, 
yes, men have learned a lot and made wonderful things, 
but I wonder if it is n't better to live here in the open 
where the air is always pure and sweet than to shut our- 
selves up in musty houses and spend our lives dusting 
and cleaning the things which we put into them.** 

Then do you remember how gray the sky grew and 
the clouds rolled up and the waves began to roll in? 
How chilled we got as we rowed home ! Was n't it good 
to cuddle down in the easy chair in a cozy warm room 

183 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

by a fire that did n*t smoke and make our eyes ache, 
while Daddy read us a story? And did n't the supper 
taste good? How nice it seemed to have a clean, white 
cloth and pretty china and shining silver spoons and 
knives and forks and a comfortable chair at a table 
where your plate did n't slide around and the dirt and 
bugs did n't blow into your food and the wind did n't 
cool your soup too soon ! 

Do you remember how the wind blew the rain against 
the window? But Mother, all warm and dry, had no 
trouble with her cooking. The rain could n't reach the 
fire in the stove in her kitchen and the wind could n't 
blow the smoke in her eyes, for a stove pipe went from 
the stove to the chimney and all the smoke from the fire 
went through those straight out of doors and could n't 
get into the room. 

She did n't have to heat rocks either to make the ket- 
tle boil. Just think how wonderful her stove is ! There 's 
a box for the fire, and she can put on coal and shut up 
the drafts and the fire will burn for hours without even 
looking at it again. Then there is the oven in which she 
can bake all sorts of good things. What does Mother 
bake? 

On the top of the stove she can boil three or four things 
at once, and in the double boiler she can steam the 
cereal and pudding and things which are better when 
they are cooked for a long time. 

In some countries, to this day, they have no stoves 
and have not yet learned to cook, but in other countries 
they learned to cook and serve wonderful feasts long be- 
fore any books were ever written. You will learn about 

184 



COOKING 

those things when you are old enough to study history. 

In our country the Indians built fires in their tents, or 
wigwams, as they called them, right on the floor. Their 
floor, you remember, was the ground. The smoke, most 
of it — part of it blew in their eyes — went up through a 
hole in the top of the tent. 

The first white people built an open fireplace in their 
houses, and a chimney from this through the roof. Over 
this fire they had cranes, long pieces of iron, on which 
they hung great iron pots and kettles and in these 
cooked their food. Then they built an oven in the chim- 
ney beside the fireplace with a door in front. In this 
oven, which was like a big box built of stones or bricks, 
they built a fire. When it was hot they swept out the 
ashes and put in whatever they wished to bake. Some- 
times if it did n't keep hot long enough they had to take 
out the food and make another fire. 

After men found coal in the mines and learned to get 
and use it, they made stoves in which they could burn 
it. Then they made big stoves or furnaces which they 
put in their basements. They made holes in the top of 
these and fastened one end of a great pipe to each hole 
and the other end to a hole in the floor of each room that 
they wanted to keep warm. Over the hole in the floor 
they put a register. This had small holes in it so that the 
heat could go through but no one could fall through. 
Then the whole house could be heated with one fire and 
all the dirt of the fire could be kept in the basement in- 
stead of in each room. 

When they found coal men also found oil and gas. 
Some time we will talk about where they come from. 

185 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

When they learned that these would bum and give heat 
they made oil stoves and blue flame and gas stoves. 
With these you have only to touch a match and they 
bum, and when you need them no longer turn a little 
handle; no wood to cut or bring in and no ashes to carry 
out as in the wood or coal stoves and fireplaces. 

Men watched the lightning and after many, many 
years and many, many men had thought and tried and 
tried and tried and tried they learned what caused the 
lightning flash and named it electricity. Finally men 
learned enough about this great force to make it work 
for them. So to-day we have electric stoves, the most 
wonderful of all the things which have been used to 
cook food. Just press a button on one of these stoves 
and you can boil or steam or fry or roast or bake any- 
thing which you have to cook. There is a wonderful 
story in the Arabian Nights about Aladdin's Lamp 
which I will tell you some time. It is a fairy story, but 
I don't believe you will think it any more wonderful 
than our electric stove. 

In the olden days men used to worship Fire. They 
did n't know what it was or where it came from but they 
said it was a gift from the gods. We do not know to-day 
what fire is, but we do know that if we are not careful of 
it, it is a very terrible and cruel thing, but if we are care- 
ful and learn how to use it, it is one of our best friends 
and helpers, in very truth a "Gift from the gods." 



XXXI 

FIRE AND SMOKE 

By C. H. Claudy 

WELL, Little Son,'* said Old Pops, settling himself 
on the small of his back in the big chair, so Little 
Son could sit on his lap, *'Well, Little Son, what is the 
big puzzle to-night?" 

[Think what it would mean if each father or mother 
took Little Son or Daughter upon his or her lap in the 
evening for a few minutes — their few minutes — 
and allowed just one question. Suppose this question 
were answered so intelligently and so simply that the 
child could understand and be satisfied. What a bond 
of sympathetic understanding would grow up between 
parent and child.] 

"The big puzzle," he said slowly, "is a very big puz- 
zle. This is it : * Why is fire bright, and what is smoke, 
and why does fire make smoke, and why is fire fire any- 
way?'" 

Little Son had been thinking up that question all 
day. There were so many kinds of fire. There was the 
bright fire in the fireplace, and the little fire on a match, 
and the blue fire in the gas stove, and the red fire on the 
Fourth of July, and the green fire on the beach last sum- 
mer, when the driftwood was burned up — and there 
was the white smoke from a cigar, and the black smoke 
from the chimney, and the blue smoke from a wood fire 

187 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

— it really was a good deal of think- work to get it all in 
one question. Little Son was proud of his big puzzle. 

"Humph!" said Old Pops. "There you go again. 
Now we've got to travel on a great, great, great long 
journey and go away, way, way off, back to the time 
when Old Father Gravity first made a world out of the 
Mess. Of course, we could go farther off, but that is far 
enough. I 'm afraid if we went any farther we might n't 
get back in time for bed." 

Old Pops laughed at this, and so did Little Son. 
There was n't much reason to laugh, of course, for Little 
Son knew that all the while he was taking that long 
journey he would really be right there, plastering up and 
down his Old Pops' lap. Old Pops are sometimes rather 
foolish. 

"All right," said Little Son. "Let's start." 

So they started. 

"Away back in the time when Mother Nature and 
Old Father Gravity first came to agree on what they 
would do with the Mess," began Old Pops [this refers to 
the story about the beginning of the world in the book 
from which this story is taken, "Tell Me Why Stories 
about Mother Nature," in which he explains what grav- 
ity is], "there was a great deal of bother about things 
that would n't do as they should do. The fish for in- 
stance did n't want to be fish. They thought they would 
rather be birds. And the birds were n't a bit satisfied 

— they thought they 'd rather be fish. And the animals 
were n't satisfied either — some of them wanted to be 
people ! And then the other things, too — the water 
that wanted to run up hill, in spite of Old Father 

188 



' FffiE AND SMOKE 

Gravity, and the mountains that did n't want to stay 
mountains, and the air that did n't want to stay air, but 
wanted to get into a lot of things where it had no busi- 
ness — Mother Nature found her nice round world that 
Old Father Gravity made, very unruly. All the living 
things and all the things that just are without being 
alive — they all wanted to do their own way. 

"So after Mother Nature had had a few very serious 
times with her unruly children, she became first dis- 
tressed, then displeased, and finally very provoked, in- 
deed. 

"*This won't do at all!' I suspect she said, although 
of course I was n't there. ' I must have some rules that 
everything will obey — the birds and the fish and the 
animals and the rocks and the water and air and the 
stones and everything ! Old Father Gravity does n't 
care as long as none of my rules interfere with him, and 
he is left alone in the Middlemost Middle of all to hold 
things down. But I care. Why, there is n't any order at 
all ! It 's all just as mixed up as it can be — or almost as 
mixed up. Therefore' — and I suspect Mother Nature 
thought a long time. But when she spoke, she spoke, I 
think, in a tone which made everything mind at once. 
There was n't any question about Mother Nature hav- 
ing her own way. And all the laws that she made were 
very wise and very good and sometimes very, very hard 
for us to understand. First she made it a law that fish 
should be fish and not birds. Of course, those that were 
half birds already stayed that way — and we have fly- 
ing fish to this day. And of course those animals that 
were n't satisfied and wanted to be fish had to be left 

189 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

that way, just as they were and so we have whales, 
which are animals that live in the water, and seals and 
crocodiles and alligators and things hke that. And the 
animals that wanted to be people — well, they only got 
as far as being monkeys, but some monkeys do look a lot 
like real people, and their hands are sometimes almost 
as cunning as a person's hands. 

"But when Mother Nature said, *Now, this is the 
law,' why, everything just turned in and minded. 

"Now one of the Laws Mother Nature made con- 
cerned the air. This live part is called by a funny name 
— and we might as well call it by its name, even if it is 
funny. It is Oxygen. Oxygen had a great desire to go 
and live with lots of things that did n't want it at all! 
It liked to go and live with wood, and with certain kinds 
of gas and with animals. And when it did so, it usually 
first ate up the things it lived with, and then turned 
them into something else. Not at all a nice sort of person 
was Oxygen, until Mother Nature came along and made 
a Law for him. 

"This was the Law. 

"There are certain things you can live with aU the 
time — plants and animals and everything that lives 
and breathes and moves. And while you can change 
them and eat them up, you must do it very, very slowly, 
so they can have plenty of chance to grow as fast as you 
eat! And there are other things you can live with only 
once in a while. The time you can live with them is only 
when you get Friend Heat to come and introduce you. 
Friend Heat is wise, and if he says you can, you can — 
and if he says you can't, you can't. 

190 



FffiE AND SMOKE 

" So Oxygen just had to do as he was told. 

"But he commenced to look around at once for 
Friend Heat. Now Friend Heat comes from the Sun, 
and from Lightning, and is n't this funny the meal 
Oxygen makes off what he lives with! But Friend 
Heat has many forms and in turn he made a law, and 
he said: 

"*When I say you can live with Tree, or Wood, or 
Coal, you must let the people that will be in the world 
know it, so that when I come out they can use me. And 
to do this you must shine brightly, as much like the Sun 
as you can. And I will call that bright shining by a new 
name — Fire — and whenever you live with anything I 
say you can live with, there shall be this bright shining 
thing. And where that is I shall be, too.' 

"By this time Oxygen did not know just where he 
was, or what he could or could n't do. So he begged 
Friend Heat to tell him something he could live with 
and let him find out. And Friend Heat asked Mother 
Nature to help him, and, sure enough, down came a bit 
of lightning out of the sky, and Friend Heat in it, and 
straight away Oxygen and a Tree began to live and play 
together. And true to his promise, there was the bright 
and shining thing like the sun — the Fire. And wher- 
ever and whenever Friend Heat had made Oxygen and 
the Tree to live together, there was Fire and there was 
Friend Heat. 

"Now, we have to go back a little. One of Mother 
Nature's first laws was this: 

"'Nothing must be lost. There is only just so much 
in the world, and there must n't be any loss. I 've got to 

191 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

do with what I have, and I can't afford to throw away 
any of it ! ' 

"So when Oxygen and the Tree Hved together, and 
the Fire came, and the Tree was what we called ' burned 
up,' both the Tree and Oxygen knew that they had to 
obey Mother Nature. So while there was n't any tree 
when Oxygen and Fire got through, the things the Tree 
was made of had not been lost. Some of them were 
down on the ground in the form of Ashes — and some of 
them were up in the air in the form of Smoke. And some 
of them were left on what was left of the Tree in the form 
of Black Charcoal. And if Mother Nature had cared to, 
I have no doubt she could have found out that every bit 
of the Tree and Oxygen were still on the Earth or in the 
air. 

" But I don't suppose she did, for she was busy doing 
something else. 

**'Here you Ashes,' she said, *you get to work. I've 
sent for Wind, and when he scatters you, you set to 
work and help some plant to grow. And as for you. 
Smoke, up there in the air, why you can have a little 
playtime, but then you just settle down on the Earth 
and help something to grow, too. If you and Oxygen 
and Fire and Tree are going to play, you ' ve got to get 
to work in between times.' 

"And it has been that way ever since. We can't 
really burn anything up so it is no good any more. We 
can bum it up so it 's no good to us, but somewhere, and 
somehow, and sometime, it will be good for something 
else. 

"But I am forgetting about the Smoke. You see, 
192 



FIRE AND SMOKE 

Mother Nature told Oxygen what he must do, and told 
Friend Heat what he must do, but she did n't say what 
everything else must do with them. So there were some 
parts of the Tree that thought they'd rather play by 
themselves than with Oxygen and Fire — thought 
they 'd rather go up in the air than down on the ground 
as White Ashes. So they struggled and fought and got 
loose from the Tree as Oxygen and Fire were playing, 
and because Friend Heat always goes up before he goes 
out, they just hung on tight to him, and climbed up in 
the air with him. And there the Wind got them, these 
tiny, tiny parts of the Tree, and whirled them away 
until finally they got tired and dropped to the ground 
again — and it has been so to this day. And that is 
what Smoke is — tiny, tiny pieces of whatever it is that 
is burning up, which have gotten clear away from 
Oxygen and Fire and Friend Heat, and are taken up 
into the air. For Friend Heat, like all of Mother Na- 
ture's people, plays fair. He does his best to make 
Oxygen and Fire and Wood and Tree and Coal play to- 
gether and change each other and have a good time, 
but when he finds that some part of Coal or some part 
of Tree is anxious to play by itself without Friend Heat 
or Fire, he says to them : 

"* Jump on — I 'm going straight up in the air — and 
if you can get up before Fire and Oxygen get hold of 
you, I won't stop you!' 

"And so we see Smoke nearly every time we see Fire 
— sometimes we see Smoke when we can't see Fire — 
and that is when Oxygen and Fire and Friend Heat get 
tired and worn out and just work hard enough to loosen 

193 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

up parts of the thing that's burning and not hard 
enough to change it into White Ashes. 

"And, of course, the less hard Fire and Heat and 
Oxygen play, the less hot the Fire is, and the harder 
they play the hotter Fire gets. That's why the blue 
flame of the gas stove is hotter than the yellow flame of 
the firelight — because there they are playing so hard 
that the smoke is burned up ! And they played so hard 
because Man has arranged the gas stove so as to get 
ahead of Gas. The stove is made so that Oxygen gets 
all mixed up with the inside of Gas, instead of just 
waiting to play on the outside as he must do with 
wood in the fireplace. And so Fire is hotter and 
Smoke is all burned up, and the ashes are all burned 
up, too ! 

"And so now you know the answer to the Big Puzzle 
of to-night. You know Fire is the bright Light we see 
when Oxygen and Tree or Oxygen and Coal are living 
together, and that they have been told they could by 
Friend Heat. And you know that Smoke is little, little 
tiny, tiny pieces of Tree or Coal or whatever it is that is 
burning, getting away to play by themselves in the air. 
And you know that Ashes is what is left of Tree or Coal, 
that Oxygen is tired of playing with or living with. And 
most of all you know, that though Tree burns and Coal 
burns and goes away in Smoke and Friend Heat and 
Ashes, it is n't really gone from the world, but is out 
and free, and that sometime, somewhere, somehow, it 
will come down to the earth again and be of use to 
Mother Nature. 

"For that is one of the greatest of her Laws that she 
194 



FIKE AND SMOKE 

made to rule the world and make all the things in it live 
and be together for good.'* 

"Well, but, Pops," said Little Son, "why did — " 
"I don't know," said Old Pops, smiling and looking 
at his watch. "I don't know. All I knov/ is that we 
have had the big Puzzle and taken a long journey, and 
that my middle is most broken in two with you sitting 
on it, and that there is Mamma looking over the ban- 
ister and saying something about a bed and a Teddy 
Bear!" 

And so I don't know, any more than you do, just 
what Little Son wanted to ask when he said, "Why 
did—" 



xxxn 

MATCHES 

FIRST men learned how to put out fire so that it 
would not burn them. Then, when they found 
what a blessing it was to them, after they had learned 
to use it they learned to make it when they wanted it. 

To-day, when we want to start a fire, what do we do? 
I am glad you said that: "Ask Mother if we may." I 
hope you will always do this, for fire can burn you badly 
and has burned many a little child to death who has 
played with it when his mother did not know. Many 
a house has been burned, and I know of one httle boy 
who set the barn on fire just because he lighted a match 
there and dropped it. He did n't mean to do any harm, 
but the match dropped in the hay and before he could 
stop it or get help the whole building was on fire. If he 
had only asked Mother first. Some other little boys 
whom I know tried to roast potatoes once in the hay 
mow and the whole barn burned, and how the cows and 
horses suffered! 

But what do I do when I want to start a fire, or some- 
times when I am watching and let you start it, what do 
I give you to start it with? 

Yes, a match. This is a little piece of wood with 
something on the end which fights when you rub it 
against something rough. When we touch this little 
flame to dry paper or chips or shavings the fire flames up 
and kindles the wood. 

196 



MATCHES 

Now it is a simple matter to start a fire in this way, 
but not so very many years ago men did n't know how 
to make matches. 

When we went on a picnic Daddy had plenty of 
matches in his pocket and in a second after we had laid 
the fire it was lighted. The day that Brother went with 
the boys he forgot his matches. He wanted to roast his 
potato, so they said to him, "Be a good scout and start 
a fire without any match." So he started his fire in the 
same way that the Indians did, for they had no matches 
either. He found some dry grass and two dry sticks. 
He rubbed the two dry sticks together till his wrists 
ached and drops of perspiration ran off his forehead and 
his cheeks were as red as the fire he was trying to make. 
Then he threw the sticks down and began to whistle 
while the boys laughed and said, "Be a good scout and 
eat 'em raw." Then he tried rubbing the two sticks to- 
gether again. I won't tell you how many times he 
stopped and whistled, but before the ends of the sticks 
became so hot that they made a little spark of fire was 
long enough to prove that if a good scout never gives 
up then he is a good scout. This spark of fire he held 
against the dry grass which he had ready and the grass 
began to burn. Quickly he whittled some shavings 
from a dry stick of wood and put them on the burn- 
ing grass. Then, as the shavings blazed up, he put on 
dry twigs and branches of pine wood and the boys 
shouted, "Hurrah for a scout who can build a fire 
without matches. You sure are a 'heap good Injun 
boy.'" 

The Indians found other ways to light a fire. They 
197 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

made a fire-stick. That was a piece of board with a row 
of holes in it which they rested upon the ground, 
and a stick which was whirled in one of the holes. 
Around the holes they placed strips of dry bark from 
the trees, or pith. 

Pith comes from the inside of plant stalks. Cut open 
a golden-rod stem, or a sunflower stalk or almost any of 
the weed stalks that have heavy stems, and you will find 
some pith. Perhaps you will like to play with this pith 
as I did when I was a little girl. I used to take a glass 
rod and rub it with a silk handkerchief and then hold 
it over the pieces of pith. As I moved the rod back 
and forth the pieces of pith would dance and come up 
to meet the glass. 

As the Indians whirled a stick very fast in one of 
the holes in the board it got hot enough to light — 
ignite, we say — the dry bark, or pith, and with this 
they could start the camp-fire. 

The Eskimos improved this a little. They used the 
same kind of a fire-stick, but at the top of the stick 
which they whirled they set in a little piece of bone and 
above this a piece that they could hold with their mouth. 
They wound a strip of skin, a thong, about the stick and 
fastened this to a bow, like your bow with which you 
shoot arrows. With the point of the stick in the fire- 
stick and the other end in his mouth the Eskimo whirled 
it around with the bow instead of whirling it with his 
hands. 

When the white men came they brought with them 
a still better "strike-a-light." They had a little skin 
pouch, something like a tobacco bag, in which they car- 

198 



MATCHES 

ried the dry bark or pith. They had also the end of a 
horn. You have seen a cow's horn? This was filled from 
the pouch which kept the pith dry. This pith they 
called "punk." They held the horn in one hand and 
with the other struck a spark into it by hitting a piece 
of a file on a piece of flint. Flint is a very hard stone, and 
you have seen a file in my tool-box. Did you ever see a 
horse strike a spark by hitting his iron shoe on a hard 
stone in the road when he was running? They found 
other ways, too, to strike a light. Whenever we have a 
chance to go to a Museum anywhere we will see if we can 
find any of the things people used in those days before 
we had matches or just pressed a button when we want 
heat or light. 

Of course, when it was so hard to start a fire people 
were very careful not to let it go out. If by chance they 
did they used to send the children to the neighbor's, 
perhaps he lived a mile or more away, with a pail to 
"borrow" some live coals. How would you like that? 

After a while men learned to make what they called 
a slow match. This was made by twisting a long rope 
of bark, usually cedar bark. This burned very slowly 
and could be kept for hours when they went out for a 
trip. 

Always wishing for an easier and better way to light a 
fire, after many years a match was made, but it was not 
such a match as we have to-day. To light it the head 
had to be put in a little bottle of acid. Of course it was 
a bother to carry a little bottle around all the time, so a 
better way had to be found, and now we have a match 
that we can fight by just striking its head. How pre- 

199 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

cious they would seem to the people of old, and yet they 
are made in such quantities and are so cheap to-day 
that we even waste them and leave them about so care- 
lessly that they have started many a fire which has 
burned valuable buildings and whole families before it 
could be put out. 

To make them, narrow strips of wood are cut, split, 
and rounded off. (Again dependent on the lumberman 
and the forest.) Then they are dipped in something 
called phosphorus and dried. Drying these inflammable 
— what does inflammable mean? — things is dangerous 
work, for they will not dry unless they are put in a dry, 
hot place, and if they become too dry or hot they will 
catch fire. To prevent this they are fanned while dry- 
ing. When dry enough, so that their heads will not 
stick together, they are packed in boxes and shipped to 
the stores to be sold to you and to me. 

Who makes the boxes and how they are carried is an- 
other long story. 



CLOTHING 



XXXIII 
CLOTHING 

■^"How proud we are, how fond to show 
Our clothes, and call them rich and new! 
When the poor sheep and silk-worm wore 
That very clothing long before, 

"The tulip and the butterfly 
Appear in gayer clothes than I; 
Let me be drest fine as I will 
Flies, worms, and flowers, exceed me still. 

" Then I will set my heart to find 
Inward adornings of the mind; 
Knowledge and virtue, truth and grace; 
These are the robes of richest dress. 

"It never fades, it ne'er grows old. 
Nor fears the rain, nor moth, nor mould; 
It takes no spot, but still refines; 
The more 't is worn, the more it shines." 

Isaac Watts, "Our Clothes." 

WE know that people cannot live without eating, 
and so Mother's first thought is to feed you, to 
give you not things that will make you sick, but what 
will build up a strong, healthy body. Then, what must 
you have? Yes, clothes. 

So next she plans your clothing. She wants you to be 
comfortable, not too warm and not too cold, not pinched 
anywhere by clothing that is too tight and not bothered 
by things so large as to get in your way. 

At night, so that you can sleep more comfortably, 
£0S 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Mother says, "Take off your clothes and hang them up 
nicely, 'and put on your nightie"; a thin, cotton one in 
summer and a warm, woolly one in winter. 

Then she tucks you under some other clothes. Yes, 
the bedclothes. First there is a thick, soft pad and then 
a smooth, white sheet to lie upon, and over you she 
draws another cotton sheet and some warm, woolly 
blankets and then a pretty spread and perhaps a big 
downy puff, if it is very cold. 

Now have you ever thought where Mother gets all 
these things? 

Yes, you did go to the store with her one day when 
she bought these things; and when she paid for them she 
told you that Father could n't stay at home and play 
with you as much as you wanted him to because he had 
to go and earn all the money that she spent for our home 
and food and clothes and the things that we like to have. 
But where does the store-keeper get all these things .f* 
Can't you think.'' 

Well, first, have you ever noticed how any animals 
are dressed? Are all the birds dressed just alike, and are 
the fishes dressed just as the birds are? What sort of a 
suit does the cow and horse and dog and cat and hens 
and squirrel, etc., wear? Can you think of any animal 
that lives where the Eskimos build their houses of ice 
and snow? The polar bear. And what sort of a coat 
does he wear? Yes, a thick warm coat of fur and white 
as the snow that he lives in. 

Do all these creatures make or buy their clothes? 
Did you ever see a Mother Cow sit down and make a 
blanket for her little calf baby? Did you ever see a 

204 



CLOTHING 

Mother Hen go to the store and get a little yellow puff 
for her baby chick? Do you suppose the Mother Squir- 
rel says, when she whisks around putting away nuts for 
the long, cold winter's food, "Now I must make some 
nice warm mittens for my little Baby Nutkins before 
the snow flies "? And Old Mother Fish, does she say, "I 
must go and get my child a nice rubber suit, he 's out in 
the wet so much"? 

This makes you laugh, but none of these creatures 
run around in their bare skin. They are clothed and 
very beautifully, too, as you will see if you watch them 
and try to tell me all about their clothes and how ofteir 
they change them, and how and why; and how many 
colors each one wears. 

People make or buy their own clothes, you tell me; 
yes, and they always have, or have gone without any. I 
have seen pictures of people who live in countries where 
it is never cold who wear nothing and some who had 
pictures pricked into their skins; they were tattooed, 
they said; and some others who wore just a wide belt or 
sash. Yes, if people want clothes to keep themselves 
warm or to look pretty, they must find them for them- 
selves and put them on, but who does this for the ani- 
mals? Yes, God, who made them. And I want you to 
take walks and find out for yourself how wisely He has 
done this. See how their clothes are made for the places 
where they live. See how warm the polar bear's coat is 
and how much it is like the white snow where he lives so 
that he can hide easily if anything is chasing him. See 
how much easier it is for fishes to swim than if they 
were dressed like the birds, and so on. 

205 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

In winter we put on warm clothes, now what do the 
BIRDS do? Some of them go south where it is warmer. 
We call that migrating; and when it gets too hot where 
they have gone and warmer here, what do they do? 
Yes, come back again. That is why we have different 
birds in summer than we do in winter. We will put a 
little shelf where we can watch it this fall; and keep 
crumbs and suet and nuts and sunflower seeds and per- 
haps some hay seed or scratch food on it, and see what 
birds stay with us this winter. Next spring, early in 
March, we will put a bird-house with an entrance hole 
an inch and a half in diameter — remember about that 
hole — on a high post, where we can watch it. We will 
keep a pan filled with water near by, in which they can 
bathe and drink, and see if we can find out what birds 
make their nests in a hole, what ones build in the shrub- 
bery and vines; how their babies are clothed all summer; 
whether they ever change their clothes and how they 
keep them clean and whole. What do animals do? 

Did you ever go to ride and get all covered with 
horse-hairs, and did Father say, "Old Dobbin is shed- 
ding his hairs or changing his coat"? Many animals do 
this. Do rabbits wear the same colored coat all the year? 
Did you ever see a snake shed its skin and come out 
all bright and shiny? Perhaps you have found his old 
one in the woods or used as a lining in a bird's nest. 

When God provided animals with their clothing and 
left man to find his own, he provided all the things that 
man would need to use and gave him a mind to think 
out the way to do this. 

At first men knew no way but to kill the fierce beasts 
206 



CLOTHING 

that tried to kill them and to use their skins, or furs, to 
cover themselves. In hot countries, where furs were too 
warm, they learned how to make cloth and then how to 
color or dye it. At first the cloth or skin was wrapped 
about the body in one piece hke a robe. Robes are still 
worn in some places though many of them are not as 
simple as at first; some of them are richly embroidered. 

Then needles and thread were used, in a clumsy way, 
to be sure, but it was a beginning of finer things. They 
slightly pointed the bones of fishes or animals and tied 
on the sinews and used a little bodkin made of stone to 
pierce holes before they could put in the stitches. How 
different from our bright, sharp needles of all sizes, and 
thread wound neatly on little spools, fine or coarse, cot- 
ton, linen, wool, or silk in just the color to match what- 
ever we wish to sew. And a thimble ! Look in Mother's 
work basket and see how many things have been made 
to make sewing easy and pleasant. 

But that is only the beginning. How long it takes to 
sew a little seam by hand ! 

Men said, "This will never do." So they thought out 
a quicker way and invented a sewing machine. Even 
that was not quick enough, and to-day if we should go to 
a factory we should find not only machines for sewing, 
but machines for cutting the different parts of each gar- 
ment, machines for making buttonholes, and machines 
for sewing on buttons. 

Some time we will talk about where the buttons came 
from and how clothes were fastened together before 
buttons were made; and what we have besides buttons 
to use now. 

207 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

You will see no one running these machines as Mother 
does hers by pushing the treadle up and down with her 
feet. It is as different as running a bicycle is from run- 
ning an automobile. Men or girls just guide the ma- 
chines and do not have to push to make them go. 

Each man or girl does just one kind of thing all day 
long, some cut out one part and some another, some 
make buttonholes and some just sew on buttons while 
others do nothing but pack the clothes and others 
mark on the bundles where they are to go. 

It takes many people to keep a big factory running, 
but when those can be found who are willing to do this 
work day after day, enough clothes can be made so that 
every one in the world can be comfortably and well 
dressed and most of them never even see the machines 
that made the clothes they wear. All they have to do is 
to go to a store and buy whatever they need and per- 
haps wear it home. 

Some one had to work, though. No food or clothes arc 
found in the stores unless many people have worked 
hard to get them there. 

So is it fair for us to go to the store with money some 
one else has earned and buy these pretty things and 
then do nothing but play.'^ 

Think how many have worked hard and long to give 
these things to the world. When you go with me to buy 
some pretty clothes, try to think of all the people who 
have helped just to make the thread with which they 
are sewed. See if cotton or linen thread has been used 
and try to think back of the factory from which it was 
sent to the store to the field in which it grew. 

208 



CLOTHING 

Think of all who helped to plant and pick it and ship 
it to the factories, as well as of the men who invented 
the machines, the miners who got the iron and coal and 
other metals which are used in making machinery, and 
the long chain of workers who built the factory. 

Then to count all who have helped just in the sewing 
together of the pretty clothes which we shall buy we must 
think farther back than the field in which the cotton or 
flax grew. 

For you must remember that all of your clothing, as 
does your food, comes from plants or from animals, and 
that for the life of these we are dependent upon the sun 
and the rain without which nothing can grow. 

It is well to give thanks to each of these helpers and to 
choose our own place among them, but we must not for- 
get that there are some things that no man can do for us. 

No man can cause the sun to shine or the rain to fall 
upon the earth. 



XXXIV 
WOOL 

"Baa-baa, black sheep, have you any wool? 
Yes, Sir, yes, Sir, three bags full ; 
One for my master, and one for my dame. 
And one for the little boy who lives in the lane." 

DO you remember when you came in shivering and 
said, "Where are my mittens? There's ice on the 
pail of water." Do you remember the mittens were all 
wrapped away to keep them from the moths and dust 
through the summer and so you put on your cotton 
gloves? In a little while you came in crying because 
your fingers ached with the cold, did n't you? Then 
Mother got out the woolen mittens and you played out 
in the cold all the morning as happy as could be. What 
other clothes did Mother get out that were made of 
wool? At what time of the year do we wear these woolen 
clothes? Yes, the cold time. Do you know any other 
name for the cold time? The winter. Some time we will 
talk about the cold time and the warm time and the 
time when the farmer plants his seed and the time when 
he gathers the fruit and the grain, but now I wonder 
why we wear woolen things in winter. Because they 
keep us warmer. Yes, the heat of your body is kept in 
better by woolen clothing than by any other. How 
many things can you name that are made of wool? 
Baby's shirt and stockings; Father's suit, and yours, too, 

210 



WOOL 

Mother's and Brother's and our coats, and stocking 
caps and mittens and leggings and blankets and the rugs 
and Baby's soft ball, etc. 

Did you see Grandma knit your mittens? What did 
she use? Why, yes, I forgot those myself; bright steel 
needles. So here again the miner's work has to be done 
before Grandma could do hers for us. But what else? 
**I helped her, too, I held the yarn while she made a big 
ball of worsted to knit with." 

You remember, then, what the wool looked like be> 
fore Grandma knitted it into mittens, and we will try to 
find a picture of how it looked before it was made into 
yarn. [Show a picture of sheep.] 

That makes you laugh; I wonder why? Because this 
is n't yarn like that which Grandma used, but just an 
old sheep. If you could feel of his coat you would see 
that it is as soft and woolly as any of these warm things 
you have just told me were made of wool, and here is a 
piece of a sheep's coat for you to feel of and look at. Do 
you know what they call a baby sheep? Do you know 
what they call the coat of a sheep or a lamb? No, not 
a jacket, but a fleece. 

Sometime I'll tell you a story that the old Greek 
people used to tell their children about a golden fleece. 
[See " The Golden Fleece," Volume II, " The Chil- 
dren's Hour."] 

But your mittens were red or gray and your blanket 
is white and your suit was dark blue, etc., and not at all 
like this dingy-looking stuff. Well, just as it is a long 
story from the iron and the coal in the mine to the fire 
in the bright kitchen stove, so it's a long story from 

211 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

the wool on the sheep's back, the fleece, to your mit- 
tens and blankets. 

When Grandmother was a little girl nearly every 
family kept a few sheep in their own yards. When the 
coldest part of the winter was over, just before they be- 
gan to shed their coats as Old Dobbin does, so as not 
to be too warm in the hot days that come every year, 
just as you throw off your coat when days get warm, the 
men used to take the sheep down to the brook and scrub 
them clean, for they get their fleeces as dirty as you get 
your jacket, and sometimes they get them all matted 
together with burrs. We made baskets and nests with 
the burrs, you remember, and you saw how they cling. 
When they were dry, sometimes it took days for them 
to get wholly so, they took great shears (the miner 
helped here, too, you say) and sheared off their fleece. 
Every year they did this, for it grew again just as your 
hair does after you go to the barber. 

The women then straightened it out wath cards. A 
«ard is a square piece of board with sharp teeth and 
a handle. Drawn through the wool it acts like a comb 
and smoothes and straightens the wool. 

Let us find a picture of what they used next. Perhaps 
you remember the one at Grandmother's or when we 
go to the Museum in the city again we will look for one 
— a spinning-wheel. You can find the place where the 
raw wool was put, I am sure, and as the wheel flew 
round and round the yarn was made. 

Then it went to the loom, another machine — only a 
few families owned one of these — to be woven into 
cloth, or in many homes was knitted into garments by 

212 



WOOL 

hand with knitting needles like those you have seen 
used. Clothing made in this way was called homespun. 

Of course, when people did all these things at home, 
these was little time for anything else. Think of all the 
books and papers, and theaters and clubs, etc., we have 
now. Why then even the children were kept busy on the 
farm and could go to school only a very few months of 
the year. And now think of the cities and how close the 
houses are in the big towns. There are whole families 
who never saw a lamb and many who have seen them 
only in parks, and their rooms are so small and crowded 
that they could n't get a loom into one. Of course, all 
these people cannot raise sheep enough to make wool 
for their clothes. They have n't yard enough to raise 
potatoes enough for one dinner. Some one else must 
supply them with clothing. Even the country people 
seldom make their own clothing now. 

Great factories have been built and men have learned 
to use water to run machines. They have also learned to 
make steam and electricity do this for them in places 
where there are not great streams of water but where 
they want factories. Is this cheaper and easier than 
making them all by hand? Why? Can you think of any 
ways in which it might have been better to have done 
it all at home by hand in the old way? 

The weaving of the cloth on these looms is quite the 
same as on the hand looms and that in turn is like the 
weaving of your little mats. If you ravel out a little 
piece of cloth you will see that there are threads running 
two ways. Those up and down are the warp, and those 
that go over and under are the woof. The woof is the 

213 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

thread that you draw through with your needle going 
over one or more of the warp threads or under one or 
more of the woof threads according to the patterns that 
you wish to weave. But remember that all weaving is 
the same, whether it is done on a great machine by 
water, steam, or electric power or by hand in a little mat. 
It is just over and under, over and under, the woof 
thread running through the warp threads. On your little 
mat you use a needle to draw through the threads but 
in the machines a shuttle is used. We will go to a fac- 
tory some day and see the weavers work. 

Just as the weaving and spinning is now done in great 
factories, so the sheep are no longer raised a few together 
on each farm, but in great flocks on ranches. We will 
read some time how these are tended by the shepherd, or 
herder as he is called, and how the dogs help to keep 
them from straying too far over the hills and plains 
where they might be eaten by the prowling animals, 
coyotes or mountain lions. The sheep are divided into 
bands of from a thousand to three thousand and once 
or twice a year the sheep are sheared. Very often now 
they are not washed before shearing; all this is done by 
bands of shearers who go from one ranch to another to 
do this work. They use clippers very much like those 
used to clip a horse and the fleece comes off much more 
quickly done by machinery in this way than when a 
man used the old-fashioned shears. One man can shear 
nearly two hundred sheep in a day. The fleeces can be 
washed much quicker after they have been cut. Then 
the wool is packed in bales and shipped to market. 

But you say again that your blanket is white and your 
2U 



WOOL 

coat is blue and your mittens are red, and this wool from 
the sheep is not any of these colors. You are right. Men 
learned how to make dyes, which, boiled with the wool, 
would color it. Some of these came from plants and 
some, you remember, came from the coal tar that the 
miner found. We will talk about the dyeing and see 
how many colors you know some other time. 



XXXV 

COTTON 

MOTHER must begin to make some thin clothes 
for summer; some blouses for Brother and some 
dresses and underclothes for you. See this pretty per- 
cale for the blouses, and is n*t this a pretty gingham for 
a dress? And see, I found this calico in my box, and I'll 
show you how to cut out for your doll some aprons just 
like mine. 

When I was a little girl my grandmother used to 
make all our sheets and pillow slips and sew them by 
hand; all the seams over and over. She used to ask me 
to sit on a little hassock in her room by the fire and 
learn to sew over and over on the long seams. She 
pinned the seams together and told me to sew between 
two pins each time. Usually she took it all out as soon 
as I had finished and told me to do it again the next day 
and make the stitches smaller and evener. Then she 
would give me a peppermint that she had made. I 
learned to know just where she kept the box in the 
corner of her top drawer. 

One day she asked me if I knew where the cloth came 
from that we were making into bedclothes, and then she 
told me all about it. 

Every plant has seeds and these seeds are hidden 
away in some sort of a little box. Where are the apple- 
seeds hidden? In the core. Think of all the fruits and 
berries that you eat and where the seeds are hidden. 

216 



COTTON 

Some time see if you can find the pine-tree seeds and the 
lilac-seeds and the seeds of each kind of flower that you 
have in the garden. 

Now the cotton plant, which grows only in countries 
where it is warm all the year, hides its seeds in round 
pods. When the seeds are ripe, these pods, which look 
like brown nuts, burst open. Out of each one pops a 
bunch of white cotton. How pretty a great field must 
look with the soft, fluffy balls hanging on every stem; 
almost as pretty as when the snow clings to the trees in 
the country where the cotton cannot grow on account 
of the cold winters. Inside each little fluffy white ball, 
tiny black seeds are wrapped like babies in a blanket. 

To make good cotton cloth these balls must be picked 
as soon as they burst, before the frost or the rain can 
spoil them. So men, women, and children, usually 
black ones, go out with great baskets and pick them. 
The sun shines warm, the sky is blue, and birds and 
negroes sing together as the baskets are filled and taken 
to the place where the seeds are taken out. It used to 
be a tiresome task to pick out all these tiny black seeds 
which cling tightly to the ball of cotton, but now a 
machine called the "cotton gin" has been made which 
takes them out very quickly and easily. 

Then the cotton is tied in bales — big bundles, that 
is — and sent in ships to great factories to be spun into 
thread, which is wound on spools and sold. You often 
run over to the store to get a spool of thread for Mother. 

Much of the cotton is made into cloth. As the cotton 
is spun it is wound on spindles and these spindles are 
put into the weaving machines. 

U7 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

All weaving is done just as it is in your paper mats. 
A mat is made with the threads all going one way, and 
the threads are drawn, one at a time, in a needle, or 
many threads at a time in a shuttle, over and under the 
first set of threads. The pattern or weave of the cloth is 
not always alike, as you have seen in your mats. You 
can make many different patterns as you draw threads 
through, over one and under one, or over two and under 
one, or under three and over two, then under one and 
over one or two, etc. When the machine draws the 
threads through, how fast the shuttle flies! You can 
hardly see it, it goes so fast, and what a whirr it makes 
as it carries the threads back and forth, from left to right, 
from right to left ! Some one has to watch each machine 
for fear a thread may snap or the wheels stop running 
or the shuttle become empty. That is why so many 
people work in the cotton factories. 

When the cotton is made into thread and the thread 
is woven just as it is, we have unbleached cotton cloth. 
You have seen this. We made our sail from it. To make 
very fine white cloth, like our sheets and slips and dim- 
ity spreads, the thread is boiled and washed in powders 
to bleach or whiten it. 

To make the cloth for dresses and aprons, etc., the 
cloth, as soon as it is woven, is run through a machine 
which clips off every uneven httle thread and then run 
over a flame that singes off any little rough fibers. This 
is called "shearing'* and "singeing.*' 

Then it is either boiled with a dye to color it or figures 
are printed on it by running the cloth through great 
rollers on which the pattern has been cut and covered 

218 



COTTON 

with dye of the colors the pattern is to be. Then the 
cloth is dried and cut into long strips which are rolled 
up and wrapped in paper and sent to the stores for you 
and for me and other mothers, who are fortunate enough 
to have such dear little girls, for whom to buy and cut 
out and sew together the pretty clothes for them to wear. 



XXXVI 
LINEN 

•Oh, tlie little flax flower! 

It groweth on the hill, 
And, be the breeze awake or 'sleep. 

It never standeth still. 
It groweth, and it groweth fast; 

One day it is a seed 
And then a little grassy blade 

Scarce better than a weed. 
But then out comes the wax flower 

As blue as is the sky; 
' And 't is a dainty little thing,* 

We say as we go by. 

'Ah, 't is a goodly little thing. 

It groweth for the poor, 
And many a peasant blesses it 

Beside his cottage door. 
He thinketh how those slender stems 

That shimmer in the sun 
Are rich for him in web and woof 

And shortly shall be spun. 
He thinketh how those tender flowers 

Of seed wUl yield him store. 
And sees in thought his next year's crop 

Blue shining round his door. 

•Oh, the little flax flower! 

The mother then says she, 
• Go pull the thyme, the heath, the fern, 

But let the flax flower be. 
It groweth for the children's sake. 
It groweth for our own; 
220 



LINEN 

There are flowers enough upon the hill. 

But leave the flax alone! 
The farmer hath his fields of wheat. 

Much Cometh to his share; 
We have this little plot of flax 

That we have tilled with care.* 

"Oh, the goodly flax flower! 

It groweth on the hill. 
And, be the breeze awake or 'sleep. 

It never standeth still. 
It seemeth all astir with life, 

As if it loved to thrive. 
As if it had a merry heart 

Within its stem alive. 
Then fair befall the flax field. 

And may the kindly showers 
Give strength unto its shining stem. 

Give seed unto its flowers!" 

A'Iary Ho WITT, "The Flax Flower." 

SHOW a piece of linen and a piece of cotton.] Can 
you see any difference between these .'^ Can you feel 
any difference? [A very good game is to name, from 
feeling, different fabrics; cotton, linen, wool, silk, velvet, 
etc., and as he plays it is a very good time to find out 
how many colors the child knows.] 

Let 's wash and iron these two pieces, or two handker- 
chiefs or towels. [Don*t name them to the child but be 
sure one is linen and one is cotton. Note how much bet- 
ter the linen launders than does the cotton. Then name 
the two.] 

This is the linen and this is cotton. You have seen the 
cotton, and we have talked about how it was made into 
thread and then into cloth. Would n't you like to plant 
some of these shiny little seeds and watch the little 

221 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

plants grow that make the linen? We can plant some on 
a sponge in the house, and if we keep it moist in a sunny 
window you can see just how the little plants unfold and 
grow from these tiny seeds. You have seen these seeds 
before? Yes, I boiled some for medicine once when you 
had a cough, and once I made a poultice of them. 

In the spring we will plant a little bed of flax in the 
garden. Imagine how beautiful a whole field of flax is 
with the tall, slender stalks, each one tipped with a pale 
blue flower, rising and falling like waves in the breeze. 
"Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax," sang the poet. 
When it has grown all that it will, we will pull a stalk 
and look at the strong fiber that runs all up and down 
the stem. This is what makes the thread. What do we 
make especially from the linen? Yes, handkerchiefs, 
shirts, collars and cuffs, napkins and tablecloths, etc. 
Andersen's story, "The Flax," tells you how the flax is 
made into thread and cloth, and so I will read it to 
you. 

THE FLAX 

By Hans Christian Andersen 

The flax was in full bloom; it had pretty little blue flow- 
ers as delicate as the wings of a moth, or even more so. 
The sun shone, and the showers watered it; and this was 
as good for the flax as it is for httle children to be washed 
and then kissed by their mothers. They look much 
prettier for it, and so did the flax. 

"People say that I look exceedingly well," said the 
flax, "and that I am so fine and long that I shall make a 
beautiful piece of linen. How fortunate I am ! It makes 

222 



LINEN 

me so happy, it is such a pleasant thing to know that 
something can be made of me. How the sunshine cheers 
me, and how sweet and refreshing is the rain ! My hap- 
piness overpowers me; no one in the world can feel hap- 
pier than I. 

'* To-morrow the sun will shine, or the rain descend. I 
feel that I am growing. I feel that I am in full blossom. 
I am the happiest of all creatures." 

One day some people came, who took hold of the flax 
and pulled it up by the roots. Then it was laid in water, 
as if they intended to drown it; and after that, placed 
near a fire as if it were to be roasted. 

*'We cannot expect to be happy always," said the 
flax. 

It was steeped, and roasted, and broken, and combed; 
indeed, it scarcely knew what was done to it. At last it 
was put on the spinning-wheel. "Whirr, whirr," went 
the wheel, so quickly that the flax could not collect its 
thoughts. 

"Well, I have been very happy," he thought, "and I 
must be contented with the past"; and contented he re- 
mained till he was put on the loom, and became a beauti- 
ful piece of white linen. All the flax, even to the last 
stalk, was used in making this one piece. "Well, this is 
quite wonderful. I could not have beheved that I should 
be so favored by fortune. How wonderful it is that, after 
all I have suffered, I am made something of at last. I 
am the luckiest person in the world, — so strong and 
fine; and how white, and what a length! This is some- 
thing different from being a mere plant and bearing 
flowers. Thea, I had no attention, nor any water un- 

2^ 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

less it rained; now, I am watched and taken care of. 
Every morning the maid turns me over, and I have a 
shower-bath from the watering pot every evening. Yes, 
and the clergyman's wife noticed me, and said I was the 
best piece of Hnen in the whole parish. I cannot be hap- 
pier than I am now." 

After some time the linen was taken into the house, 
placed under the scissors, and cut and torn into pieces, 
and then pricked with needles. This certainly was not 
pleasant; but at last it was made into little dresses for 
babies ! 

"See now, then," said the flax; "I have become some- 
thing of importance. This was my destiny; it is quite a 
blessing. Now I shall be of some use in the world, as 
every one ought to be; it is the only way to be happy.** 

Years passed away; and at last the linen was so worn 
that the little dresses fell to pieces. " It must end very 
soon," said the sleeves to each other. "We would gladly 
have held together a little longer, but it is useless to ex- 
pect impossibilities." And at length they fell into rags 
and tatters, and thought it was all over with them, for 
they were torn into shreds, and steeped in water, and 
ground into a pulp, and dried, and they knew not what 
besides; till all at once they found themselves beautiful 
white paper. "Well, now, this is a surprise; a glorious 
surprise, too," said the paper. "I am now finer than 
ever, and I shall be written upon, and who can tell what 
fine things I may have written upon me. This is wonder- 
ful luck!" And sure enough the most beautiful stories 
and poetry were written upon it, and only once was 
there a blot, which was very fortunate. Then people 

9M 



LINEN 

heard the stories and poetry read, and it made them 
wiser and better; for all that was written had a good and 
sensible meaning, and a great blessing was contained in 
the words on this paper. 

"I never imagined anything like this," said the paper, 
"when I was only a little blue flower, growing in the 
fields. How could I fancy that I should ever be the 
means of bringing joy to men? I cannot understand it 
myself, and yet it is really so. Heaven knows that I 
have done nothing myself, but what I was obliged to do 
with my weak powers for my own preservation; and yet 
I have been promoted from one joy and honor to an- 
other. Each time I think that the song is ended, and 
then something higher and better begins for me. I sup- 
pose now I shall be sent on my travels about the world, 
so that people may read me. It cannot be otherwise; in- 
deed, it is more than probable, for I have more splendid 
thoughts written upon me than I had pretty flowers in 
olden times. I am happier than ever." 

But the paper did not go on its travels. It was sent to 
the printer, and all the words written upon it were set up 
in type to make a book, or rather many hundreds of 
books, for so many more persons could derive pleasure 
and profit from a printed book than from the written 
paper; and if the paper had been sent about the world, 
it would have been worn out before it had got half 
through its journey. 

"This is certainly the wisest plan," said the written 
paper. "I really did not think of that. I shall remain at 
home, and be held in honor like some old grandfather, as 
I really am to these new books. They will do some good. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

I could not have v/andered about as they do. Yet he 
who wrote all this has looked at me as every word flowed 
from his pen upon my surface. I am the most honored 
of all." 

Then the paper was tied in a bundle with other papers, 
and thrown into a tub that stood in the washhouse. 

"After work, it is well to rest," said the paper, "and a 
very good opportunity to collect one's thoughts. Now I 
am able, for the first time, to think of my real condition; 
and to know one's self is true progress. What will be 
done with me now, I wonder? No doubt I shall still go 
forward. I have always progressed hitherto, as I know 
quite well." 

Now it happened one day that all the paper in the tub 
was taken out and laid on the hearth to be burnt. Peo- 
ple said it could not be sold at the shop, to wrap up but- 
ter and sugar, because it had been written upon. The 
children in the house stood round the stove, for they 
wanted to see the paper burn, because it flamed up so 
prettily, and afterwards, among the ashes, so many red 
sparks could be seen running one after the other, here 
and there, as quick as the wind. They called it seeing 
the children come out of school, and the last spark had 
come, and one would cry, "There goes the schoolmas- 
ter!" but the next moment another spark would appear, 
shining so beautifully. How they would like to know 
where the sparks all went to ! Perhaps we shall find out 
some day, but we don't know now. 

The whole bundle of paper had been placed on the 
fire, and was soon alight. "Ugh!" cried the paper, as it 
burst into a bright flame; "Ugh!'* 

£^6 



LINEN 

It was certainly not very pleasant to be burning; but 
when the whole was wrapped in flames, the flames 
mounted up into the air, higher than the flax had ever 
been able to raise its little blue flower, and they glistened 
as the white linen never could have glistened. All the 
written letters became quite red in a moment, and all 
the words and thoughts turned to fire. 

"Now I am mounting straight up to the sun," said a 
voice in the flames; and it was as if a thousand voices 
echoed the words; and the flames darted up through the 
chimney, and went out at the top. Then a number of 
tiny beings, as many in number as the flowers on the flax 
had been, and invisible to mortal eyes, floated above 
them. They were even lighter and more delicate than 
the flowers from which they were born; and as the flames 
were extinguished, and nothing remained of the paper 
but black ashes, these little beings danced upon it, and 
whenever they touched it, bright red sparks appeared. 

"The children are all out of school, and the school- 
master was the last of all," said the children. It was 
good fun; and they sang over the ashes: 

"Snip, snap, snurre, 
Basse lurre. 
The song is ended." 

But the little invisible beings said, "The song is never 
ended; the most beautiful is yet to come." 

But the children could neither hear nor understand 
this; nor should they, for children must not know every- 
thing. 



XXXVII 
SILK 

** Silkworm on the mulberry tree. 
Spin a silken robe for me; 
Draw the threads out fine and strong. 
Longer yet, and very long; 
Longer yet — 't wUl not be done 
Till a thousand more are spun. 
Silkworm, turn this mulberry tree 
Into silken threads for me! 

"All day long and many a day. 
Busy silkworms spin away; 
Some are ending, some beginning. 
Nothing thinking of but spinning! 
Well for them! Like silver light. 
All the threads are smooth and bright; 
Pure as day the silk must be. 
Woven from the mulberry tree! 

"Ye are spinning well and fast; 
'T will be finished all at last. 
Twenty thousand threads are drawn 
Finer than the finest lawn; 
And as long this silken twine. 
As the equinoctial line! 
What a change! the mulberry tree 
Turneth into silk for me!" 

Mart Howitt, "The Silkworm." 

WE decided the other day that all our clothing 
came either from plants or from animals. Can 
you remember anything that we wear that comes from 
animals, and any things that come from plants? Which 

£^8 




POLYPHEMUS MOTH AND COCOON 



SILK 

of these came from countries that are cold all the year? 
[Flax.] And which from countries that are warm? [Cot- 
ton.] Now what do you suppose gives us the silk for 
your ribbons and dresses? Would you like to know 
where it lives? [Show a picture of the Polyphemus moth 
and caterpillar.] We will look under the oak, chestnut, or 
beech tree some sunny day in September, and we may 
find a great, beautiful, pale-green caterpillar. I know 
you will agree with me that you have never seen a pret- 
tier color and never knew that a worm or caterpillar 
could be so pretty. 

If we do find one we will bring it home and put it in a 
box where it cannot get out but will have plenty of light 
and air; and watch it. We must be sure and bring home 
plenty of leaves of the tree under or on which we find it, 
and give it a fresh supply every day, until some time it 
will spin itself a warm covering and sleep; perhaps ail 
winter. If we do not find the caterpillar under the tree 
we may find him rolled away in this covering, a cocoon 
we call it, and if we do we will bring it home and watch 
it. It will be a good plan to sprinkle it with water once 
in a while, every time it rains say, and if we are fortu- 
nate, just such a beautiful brown moth, as I have shown 
you in the picture, with one great blue eye in each wing, 
will burst out. Some men know all the moths by name, 
and when they see one flying about can say what family 
he belongs to, just as you know what the names of all 
your little friends are and whether it is Dana Draper or 
Dana Packard whom you see. This moth is Polyphe- 
mus; Telea is his first name. Some day I'll read you a 
story about Polyphemus, another story that the Greek 

229 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

people used to tell to their children, and if you listen and 
then look sharply at the big blue eye in each wing of 
your moth, perhaps you can tell me why he was named 
Polyphemus. 

Now, while this is the silkworm which w^e find in Amer- 
ica, not much of our silk is grown in America. Most of it is 
brought in great ships from France, Italy, China, Japan, 
and India, and grows in the warm parts of these coun- 
tries. To-morrow I'll read you the story of the silk- 
worm that lives there. If you would like to know about 
other moths and other spinners we will get some books 
that tell about moths and spiders and we will watch in 
the roads and fields for cocoons to bring home and find 
out more about them. You may have a box in your 
window with wire netting over the top if you wish, and 
we will make it pretty with mosses and whatever you 
like that we find on our walks, and in it we will watch 
all the cocoons that we find. 

It was in China that silk was first made. A Chinese 
Empress, Yuen-fi — is n't that a funny name? — saw a 
worm feeding on the mulberry leaves. You know the 
mulberry tree we planted in our garden Arbor Day. 
How the birds love the mulberries! She saw it spin 
a tiny golden-yellow, peanut-shaped house and hide 
away inside. Then I wonder how she happened to 
think of it and plan a way to do it? She unwound the 
cocoon, which is what we call the house which the worm 
had hidden away in, then she made a sort of a loom 
and learned to spin into a thread this raw silk of which 
the cocoon was made. After a while many people in 
China learned to raise the silkworms and spin silken 

230 



SILK 

ttread and weave it into wonderful silks. NowherO 
were such beautiful robes made as were these of silk. 

Yuen-jS has been known in China ever since as **The 
Goddess of Silk,*' and every year when the mulberry 
leaves first appear the Chinese make offerings to her in 
their temple in Pekin. 

People all over the world have now learned how to 
make silk, and people in many places raise the silkworm 
and the mulberry trees for them to feed upon. The raw 
silk, as it is called, as it comes from the cocoons, is sold 
by men who raise silkworms as a business, and there are 
great silk factories where silk is made into cloth just as 
the cotton is in cotton factories. 

Silk-raising is not easy. The little worms must be 
cared for most tenderly or they will die. They are so 
dehcate that even too much noise will kill them. If the 
air gets just a little hotter or colder they will die, and 
they cannot even stand many odors. They will eat only 
the mulberry leaves. These must be only tender ones 
and warmed to just the same heat of the room in which 
the silk worms are kept. They eat more than any little 
boy, even, would beheve they could. From the time the 
worm is born he begins to eat and keeps on eating 
steadily day and night. He has a pair of large jaws and 
makes more noise when eating than we think polite. He 
eats so much that about every five days he bursts his 
skin and it cracks off, leaving him in a larger one. 

When he is about a month old he begins to spin his 
cocoon and hang himself up. Glands run the whole 
length of his body where the silk is made and these meet 
near the mouth in a spinneret in a place where he makes 

231 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

the thread which he winds up into his cocoon. If left 
to himself he will sleep for a month or so, and then burst 
a hole in the end and fly away — a moth, to lay eggs out 
of which in time will come more worms, to do as he has 
done. The silk raisers let the perfect moths do this, and 
that is how they keep getting more and more silk worms 
to make silk for them. If they want the silk they heat 
the cocoon very hot, which kills the moth quickly, for if 
he comes out he breaks the thread on the outside of the 
cocoon and spoils the silk. Then, as with the wool or 
flax or cotton, the silk must be reeled, spun, dyed, and 
woven into cloth before you can have your hair ribbon or 
silk dress. 




Coprjright by Underwood Sf Underwood, N. Y. 

RAISING SILKWORMS 



xxxvm 

LEATHER 

OUR coats and mittens are made of wool, and where 
does that come from? 

Our thin blouses and dresses and sheets are made of 
cotton, and where does that come from? 

Our collars and tablecloths are made of flax, and where 
does that come from? 

Now, what do we wear on our feet? "VVTiat are they 
made of? Yes, our shoes are made of leather. Now, 
where does that come from? 

It comes from the skins of animals. Sheep and cattle 
mostly, but skins of all sorts of animals and even fishes 
are sometimes used to make leather. Look at your shoes 
and look at a cow or a picture of a cow. They do not 
look much alike, but neither does a hair ribbon look like 
a piece of raw silk or a blouse like a cotton blossom, or a 
collar like flax. 

When the animals are killed for food the skins are 
taken off and sent to a tannery, which is the name of the 
place where leather is made. 

First they are salted, then put into great kettles, 
called vats, and soaked in lime and other things to take 
the hair all off. You know how hairy a cow's skin is. 
Then the skins are scraped and washed and soaked. To 
keep the skins from spoiling, and to make them strong 
so that the leather will wear well, they must be tanned. 
It was found out long ago how to do this. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

A liquid was made of water and oak bark, and the 
skins soaked in this for months ; sometimes it took two 
years or more. Then it was found that the bark of some 
other trees, hemlock and chestnut, could be used as well 
as oak and the roots of sumac and palmetto. Now very 
often chemicals are used instead and the tanning is done 
in a few weeks. 

Some of the animals have heavy, thick skins, and 
leather from these is used for the bottom, or sole, of 
heavy shoes. Look at father's tramping shoes and your 
play shoes and my slippers, and you will see how different 
the leather is in the heavy and light shoes and in the 
different parts of the shoes. Do you know what a baby 
goat is called.'^ A kid. The tops of thin slippers are 
made from this skin. Kid is also used for gloves. Cow- 
hide is heavy and is used for soles. 

Before the leather is used it is colored. It is not dyed 
like cloth, but the color is put on with a brush. 

Then the leather is tied up in great bales and shipped 
on trains or boats to market to be sold to people who 
make things of leather. 

Can you think of anything we use that is made of 
leather besides shoes? [Gloves, harnesses, straps used 
in machines, bags and trunks, belts, pocketbooks, book 
bindings, etc.] 



XXXIX 

THE SHOEMAKER 

THERE is a very old story of a king who lived 
before people knew how to make shoes. One day 
his horse fell dead, and he tried to walk over the sharp 
stones and briars. This was so painful that he decided 
not to leave his tent until there should be spread a carpet 
over the earth. All his people began to weave carpets 
and spread them on the ground. Then he went out but 
he soon came to the end of them and was angry. 

At last one of his servants came and brought him a 
carpet for the whole earth that he might climb mountains 
and cross valleys and deserts and his feet need not be 
bruised or torn or scorched. This servant was not a 
magician. Now what kind of a carpet could he bring to 
the king in his hands? 

I '11 have to tell you that he had made the king a pair of 
shoes. Always men have needed something to cover their 
feet if they walked. In sandy, hot countries the sand 
would burn their feet if they were not covered, in moun- 
tains the rocks would bruise them, in the fields the bram- 
bles would scratch them, and in cold countries they 
would freeze. 

What did the Indians make? Yes, moccasins of deer 
skin. Sometimes they made them very beautiful with 
beads and porcupine quills. 

The Eskimos made fur moccasins, with leather lacings. 

The Chinese and Japanese make shoes of straw or 
satin, and paint or embroider them, 

235 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

You have seen the wooden shoes which the Dutch 
people wear. In Museums we shall find collections of 
curious shoes worn by people in all parts of the world. 
People in our country have worn shoes made of leather, 
and for many years these were made by men called 
cobblers. Each cobbler had his own little shop with a 
bench at which he worked, or perhaps a bench in a room 
in his own house. He cut the shoes out with a pair of 
scissors. He cut out of wood a block shaped like the 
foot which he wished the shoe to fit. This is called a last, 
and over this he fitted the pieces of leather. Then with a 
little awl he bored holes in the leather. He waxed the 
ends of thread to make it stiff, twisted the thread into a 
point, and pushed it through the holes in the leather. 
This is the way he sewed the parts of the shoe together. 
Then out of wood he cut little pegs and with these 
fastened on the soles. 

Now there are great shoe factories, in each of which 
hundreds of people work all day. Different machines 
cut out each part of a shoe. Then these parts are put 
together by other machines, and thousands of pairs of 
shoes are made and put into boxes and shipped to stores 
each day. Shoes enough are made for all the people — 
think how many there are in the world — to have them 
and made so quickly and easily in the factories that they 
can be sold for very little money. Think how many 
kinds of shoes we have now, heavy ones and light ones, 
high ones and low ones, and slippers of all kinds. 

We will read Grimm's story of "The Elves and the 
Shoemaker," "Cinderella, or The Glass Slipper"; the 
story of "Goody Two-Shoes," and "Hans Brinker." 



w 



XL 

RUBBER 

E have talked about the wool for our warm 
clothing, cotton and flax for thinner clothing, 
silk for our ribbons and best clothes, leather for our 
shoes, and now, what do we have to keep us dry? 

Yes, rubbers and rubber boots and mackintoshes. 
[You know where these come from because you have 
seen my rubber plant.] We keep the rubber plant in the 
house in the winter. What would happen if we left it out 
in the cold? Yes, it would freeze, because it grows in 
warm countries, such as those in which the brown and 
black babies live. What did we talk about that we get 
from there? [The cotton.] 

It is a tall, slender tree, as you see, with leaves shaped 
much like our chestnut leaves, though having smooth 
edges, and being much thicker and more glossy than 
any of the leaves in this country. How did we get the 
maple sugar from the maple tree? In much the same 
way we get our rubber. 

Men bore holes in the rubber trees, and put in faucets. 
What runs out of the faucets? No, not water, but milk; 
the milk is not good to drink, though. It is thick like 
cream, and sticks like molasses. The men take some 
sticks covered with clay, and dip these into the pail of 
rubber milk, and then hold them in the smoke until the 
milk turns stiff like molasses candy; then they dip the 
stick in the milk again. Every time the stick is dipped 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

in the milk, some of it clings, until there is as much on 
the stick as a man can lift; the stick, being covered with 
clay, is easily pulled out, but the clay stays in. These 
great bunches of hardened rubber milk are put into ships 
and sent to the rubber factories in Boston and New 
York and other large cities. 

When the milk stops running from the faucet, an- 
other hole is bored in the tree, and the faucet put in the 
new place, until the tree has been milked three times, 
when it is left to rest for three years to make more milk. 

This hardened milk is rubber, all smoky, you remem- 
ber. In the rubber factory they put these great lumps of 
rubber against saws that whirl very fast, and saw them 
up into cakes. These are put in a machine and chopped 
as fine as hash, after which the smoke and clay are 
washed out, until it is white as milk again. 

After being washed and chopped fine, it is pressed out 
in thin sheets and put away to get perfectly dry, which 
takes many months. 

When it is dry it is ready to be pressed into balls; but 
other things have to be mixed with it to make it gray, 
yellow, or brown, as you see in things made of rubber; 
for it will always turn black unless something is put in to 
make it another color. 

After the rubber is made, other great factories are 
needed to make the things which we use that are made 
from it. Perhaps some time we can go to one of these 
factories. 

You must see how many things you can find each day 
that come from the sap of the rubber tree. 



XLI 
BEADS 

WHEN Brother was a little boy there were no 
kindergartens in the little country town where 
we lived. So one day when I went to the city I took him 
with me to visit one. There sat the children all stringing 
beads. There were round ones like' balls, which they 
called spheres; and long, round ones with flat ends, like 
the can which the baking powder comes in, only very 
small, which they called cylinders; and square ones, 
with a flat face on top and a flat face on the bottom, a 
flat face in front and a flat face in back, a flat face on the 
right side and a flat face on the left side, which they 
called cubes. 

These beads were made of wood and were colored. 
There were red ones — find me something red; there 
were orange ones, like the orange which you ate for 
breakfast; there were yellow ones, the color of a lemon; 
there were green ones like the grass in the summer; 
there were blue ones like — can you think of anything 
blue? And there were purple ones, like the crocuses and 
the violets and Mother's sweater. 

The strings that they made did n't all look alike, for 
some of them were stringing all red spheres; some of 
them were stringing all blue cubes ; some were stringing 
yellow cylinders; some were stringing first a cube, then a 
cylinder, and then a sphere, all orange; some of them 
were making a rainbow of spheres, playing they were 

239 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

little raindrops and the sun was shining through them, 
and when they had put on their string, first a red one, 
then an orange one, then a yellow one, then a green one, 
then a blue one, and then a purple one, they held it over 
their heads in a half-circle like a rainbow and smiled 
through it as the sun shines through the raindrops and 
makes the colored rainbow. 

Some of them were doing harder things, for they were 
stringing three of one color, then two of another, then 
five of another; then beginning with three of the first 
color again and two of the next and five of the next, and 
so on. 

None of the strings were alike; some of them were 
very pretty, and some of the children were careless and 
made mistakes so that there was no number or color 
plan at all. 

On the way home we went to a store and bought some 
beads, but we could not find any wooden ones, so we 
bought a box of glass ones. Oh, they were pretty ! They 
were so shiny and all colors, not just the six clear colors 
that we saw in the kindergarten wooden beads. Those 
colors we have learned to call the six standard colors, for 
all the other colors that we have come from them, some 
lighter and some darker, which we call tints and shades. 
When we have all the colors together so that you see 
them as just one, we have white. When there are no 
colors we have black. 

These little glass beads were black and white and all 
the tints and shades between. They were all sizes, some 
so tiny that when we tried to string them only the finest 
silk in the tiniest little needle would go through, and 

^40 



BEADS 

some so large that we used an elastic corset lacing, with 
the little metal end serving for a needle. 

When Brother was tired of stringing I showed him 
how to make some beads himself. He took some mod- 
eling clay and made spheres and cubes and cylinders. 
Then with a wooden skewer, such as comes in meat, he 
made a hole through each. Some of these he left to 
harden in the sun and some of them he baked in the 
oven. Then with his water-color paints he tinted them 
different colors and strung some of these. 

All the children that came to play with him loved to 
string beads. The little girls used them for chains for 
their dolls. Some of them made several chains and put 
them all on one doll. That made me think of pictures I 
had seen of people who had lived ages ago and of some 
who hve now in different countries from ours. Some of 
these people, whose pictures had been taken by people 
who had visited these countries, wore no clothes, but 
they wore strings and strings of beads for ornament. 

Some of them had no beads but had made chains of 
flowers or leaves. In other places they had strung small 
seeds, and others had made holes in shells and strung 
those for chains and belts. 

In some places they string fish bones and walrus teeth 
and elephant tusks, some of which are wonderfully 
carved. 

One of the chains which, next to a daisy chain. Brother 
and his httle playmates loved best to make was a pine- 
needle chain. He took the long needles of the pitch pine 
and pulled out all but one, then tucked the end of this 
one in beside where the other end was fastened, shpped 

241 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

another needle through the loop thus made and tucked 
the end of that one into the second as before, and so on, 
until a long enough chain had been made. 

One day as he was making new patterns with the 
glass beads, I showed him a bag which Auntie had cov- 
ered with beads in a beautiful pattern. 

He had such fun with his beads that I became inter- 
ested, too, to see what a pretty pattern I could make with 
them, and I made beautiful cuffs and trimming for a 
whole dress with the bright little beads. 

When we went to the city again we went to the Art 
Museum and asked to see what they had that people 
had made with beads, and such beautiful things we 
found. Eskimos and Indians, black people and white, 
Christians and savages, people before history and people 
of to-day had loved and played with and made beautiful 
things with beads. 

The next thing Brother wanted to know was where 
these glass beads came from, and I looked in the En- 
cyclopaedia, a book which tells about most everything un- 
der the sun, and told him what I found out. It was this: 

Glass is melted — we talked about how glass is made 
before — and some of it colored. Many beads are not 
colored. You have seen them the color of glass. Two 
workmen dip in long blowpipes and hft out what they 
can hold on the end of these. They blow down their 
blow pipes, much as you blow soap-bubbles. Did you 
ever join your soap-bubble to Brother's? They do just 
that with their glass bubbles and then walk slowly away 
from each other while the glass is still soft, pulling it out 
into a long, long tube. Sometimes the tube is large 

242 



BEADS 

around with a large hole in the middle, and sometimes a 
tiny little tube is drawn out, according to what sized 
beads are to be made. Then the glass is cooled quickly, 
and the long rods are cut up into pieces about as long 
as your ruler. 

These are put on a sharp cutting machine and cut into 
the size that the beads are to be. 

These are heated again and whirled about with sand 
and ashes, then washed and strung. Then they are sent 
off to be sold. 

These are the cheapest kind of beads. You have seen 
gold beads and pearl and amber and coral ones, which 
not every one can afford to buy. 

Where each of these comes from is a long story, but 
glass beads are made that look so much like these pre- 
cious ones that unless you look sharp and are very wise 
you cannot tell the difference. 

The pearl beads are made from pearls which are found 
in oysters. Not all oysters have pearls, but those that 
do are found sometimes in the ocean and sometimes in 
rivers. If a tiny object, sand or something else, gets into 
the shell of an oyster and bothers it, the oyster covers it 
up with some of the material out of which it makes the 
inside of its shell and so the pearl is formed. They are 
not always the same shape, size, nor color. They are 
white, pink, rose-colored, and some are black. 

Pearls are sometimes, but very seldom, found in the 
oysters that we eat. There is another oyster, known as 
the pearl oyster, which is not good to eat. Its home is on 
the bottom of the ocean, and how do you suppose men 
can get them so far down under the water? They dive? 

£43 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Yes, they do; but even Daddy could n't dive so deep as 
that and stay down long enough to pick up a lot of pearl 
oysters without drowning. 

Men go out in boats to the place where the oysters 
are. Then the diver puts on a rubber suit into which 
neither water nor air can get except in one place. That 
is in the top of his metal hat. Over the hole in the top of 
this hat is put a long rubber tube and the other end is 
fastened to a pump in the boat. With this pump men in 
the boat keep pumping air through the hole in his hat 
for the diver to breathe. Fishes — and the diver sees 
them all around him as he goes down to the bottom of 
the ocean — can breathe in the water, but a man must 
have air to breathe, else he will die, as will the fish kept 
out in the air. 

When the diver is ready heavy weights are fastened 
to his feet so that he will sink, and a rope is tied around 
his waist so that the men in the boat can pull him up 
again when he is ready. 

When he is so far under water, the water presses so 
hard upon him that he cannot stand it very long, any 
more than you could stand it to have a very heavy box 
press you down long at a time. Besides this there are 
sharks in the water, for which he must be on the lookout, 
and so the diver must work very quickly and gather oys- 
ters as fast as he can, for he can only stay on the bottom 
of the sea for a short time. Then he is drawn up again 
by the men in the boat. He goes down several times in 
one day. 

We got some oysters to eat one day, and I remember 
how the sharp shells cut my hands and how sore they 

244 



BEADS 

were for a long time. The shells were black with mud, 
too, so that they had to be washed before we could see 
what the shells looked like. 

These pearl oysters are just as muddy. They are 
taken ashore and washed and then carefully looked over 
for pearls. Only one pearl in a good many oysters is 
found. 

The shells are all saved and are used to make buttons, 
handles of knives and forks, buckles, jewelry, and those 
things which are made of mother-of-pearl, as this shell 
is called. 

Coral comes from the sea, too, and is made by the 
little coral polyp, the tiniest little bug that you can 
imagine, that lives in many parts of the ocean. Fisher- 
men sink nets for this and break off great bunches at a 
time. 

Men have learned to make beads of glass that look so 
much like real pearl that they often pass for them. To 
do this they catch a certain kind of small fresh-water 
fish. Did you ever see a fish's scales? No, the Mother 
Fish does n't weigh her baby on them. They are what 
cover the fish. These scales are soaked, after being 
washed clean, and left for a time. Then the water is 
drained off and what is left is mixed with ammonia and 
saved. This is poured into thin glass beads. The best 
ones have besides this a little wax poured in. 

Even better ones than these are made by not having 
the glass beads perfectly round. Instead, they are made 
uneven as the real pearls are; then they are held for a 
very short time in heated gas and instead of wax melted 
gum-arabic is poured into the bead. 

245 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

The gold beads are another whole story, and for the 
gold we must go to the miner, just as we went to the 
miner for iron and coal. In fact, the miner had to do his 
work before we could have our glass beads, for without a 
fire we could not make the glass nor melt it again to 
draw it out to be cut into beads. 

So you will see, as you think about your beads and 
what other people have done with beads, that people 
tried to make themselves look pretty even before they 
knew how to make clothes. As well as wearing beads 
some of them had pictures pricked into their skins with 
thorns dipped into the juice of plants. Some people wore 
feathers in their hair and made belts of them; some wore 
rings, made of whatever they could find, in their noses 
or ears. We even read of places where the girls wear 
rings on their fingers and little bells tied to their toes. 

Do you remember the Mother Goose rhyme that is 
like that? 

"Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, 
She shall have music wherever she goes." 

All of these things do not seem beautiful to us, but I 
wonder if all the things that we make and wear would 
seem beautiful to those people. And I wonder if we are 
making the things that we use so that they will seem 
beautiful to the little children that some day will call 
you Grandfather (or Grandmother)? 



LIGHT 



XLII 
CANDLES 

LET'S draw the shades and come and sit by the fire, 
and I'll read you a story, dear." 

"I'll draw this one," answered Spiff, and he bounded 
to the window, for there was no time in the day he liked 
so much as the hour when it began to grow dark outside 
and Mother cuddled him by the fire and talked or read 
to him. 

With his hand raised to reach the shade he stopped 
and gazed silently up into the deep, dark sky. 

"What is it, little Son.?" said Mother as she joined 
him. 

He turned, and the corners of his mouth reached for 
the twinkle in his eyes as he hummed, 

" Dear Mother, how pretty 

The moon looks to-night! 
She was never so cunning before; 

Her two little horns 

Are so sharp and so bright, 
I hope she'll not grow any more. 

*' If I were up there 
With you and my friends," — 

" Yes, dear, * We 'd rock in it nicely, you'd see,' " Mother 
went on with the song, " but we 'd never forget how the 
song ends, *And on the next rainbow come home,' 
would we?" 

Then they drew the shade and cuddled up in the big 
249 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

chair by the open fire. Mother put in some dry pine and 
the fire flared up brightly. Then she reached to turn on 
the electric light, but Spiflae said, "Oh, don't light up. 
Let's just tell stories that the fire makes; it 's almost as 
bright as day here anyway with all that blaze." 

" In the days when people lived here in log cabins the 
fireplace fire was almost the only light they had," Mother 
answered. "In the woods grew pine trees which were 
cut up into sticks to burn and called fat wood because it 
was so full of fat that it burned with a great flame and 
smoke, just as fat does on the stove if it catches fire. In a 
corner of the fireplace was kept a flat stone, and this 
wood was burned on it so that the smoke would go up 
the chimney. It gave a light bright enough to read by 
and was called the pine torch. 

" Every year in February we hang out our flag and 
tell stories of two great men who have been presidents 
of our country. One of these, Abraham Lincoln, was 
born in a log cabin, and read and studied by just such a 
light, a knot of pine wood in an open fireplace. 

" His mother had another light which she made her- 
self, and I believe this boy. Little Abe she called him, 
helped her. This was a candle. Nearly every family 
made their own candles, and every year they had a 
regular candle-making time. All through the year when 
meat was cooked, the fat was * tried out,' that is, boiled 
with water enough to keep it from burning and then 
strained and put away. 

" At candle-making time a great kettle was hung over 
a fire out of doors, and in it all the fat that had been saved 
was melted. This fat is called tallow. Near the fire two 

250 



CANDLES 

rods were stretched between two chairs or benches, or 
logs perhaps, and from these hung candle rods. 

" The candle rods were sticks from which hung several 
wicks. The wicks were cotton strings a little longer than 
the candle was to be. Other things were used for wicks, 
where it was not easy to get cotton. Have you ever seen 
or gathered rushes near a stream of water.? You remem- 
ber the story of Moses and how his mother hid him in a 
basket in the bulrushes down on the river bank. Some- 
times the outside of these rushes was stripped off and the 
stalks used for wicks. Candles made from these are 
called rush lights. Sometimes grass was twisted and used 
for the wicks instead of cotton. 

*' These wicks were dipped into the melted tallow, 
sometimes in a kettle, often in a long trough, and hung 
up for a few minutes to cool while another rod of wicks 
was dipped into the tallow. As they hardened they were 
dipped once more until the candles were as large as they 
wanted them to be. Then they were put away safe from 
the dirt and the mice. The longer they were kept the 
harder and better they would be. Such candles were 
called tallow dips. Can you see why? 

*' Better candles than these dip candles were made 
by pouring the melted fat into what were called candle 
moulds. These were tin or pewter pipes, several of them, 
in a frame that would stand. In each pipe or tube was a 
wick with a little stick at the end to keep it from slipping 
down into the mould as the fat was poured in. When the 
fat hardened the candle was pulled out by the end of the 
wick. Candle makers went about with these moulds 
from house to house and made candles for the different 

^1 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

families, just as umbrella menders sometimes go about 
now to mend umbrellas. 

*' In many places in the woods grew bushes with ber- 
ries which were full of fat. Do you remember when we 
picked some bayberries last fall and put them in the lit- 
tle blue vase? Those are the berries, and the bushes on 
which they grow are the bay berry bushes. I '11 rub my 
hot iron over some of them and let you see how the fat 
in them greases the iron and how sweet it smells. These 
berries were used to make candles. The berries were 
boiled in water and the fat skimmed off the top and 
saved and then used for making candles, just as the tal- 
low was used. It takes bushels of bayberries, though, 
for one candle, and so this is sometimes mixed with tal- 
low. Other things are used now for candles as well as 
these, and candles are made much more quickly by 
machinery and give a steadier and a clearer light. The 
best candles are now made either of paraffin or bee's 
wax, which comes from the honeycomb. 

" All sorts of holders have been made to burn candles 
in, and I think it will be interesting to find pictures of 
candlesticks of all times and countries and lanterns in 
which candles were burned, and when we go shopping or 
to museums to see where we shall find the prettiest ones, 
and of how many different things they are made. Of 
what are ours made? [Glass, brass, silver, etc.] 

" Do you remember when the minister called one day 
he said that when he was a boy he lived away out in the 
country on a farm, and that as soon as it grew dark, very 
early in the winter, the only light they had was from the 
fire or from one candle which his grandmother always 

25^ 



CANDLES 

held near the paper which she read? There was no 
chance for the rest to see to do very much, and so he 
dreaded the long evenings in winter. He said there were 
no books or games in the house for children and they 
were supposed to sit quietly when they were in the house. 

" I remember two lamps that my grandmother had 
which she said her grandmother had used. One was 
made of glass and one of pewter, and she said that her 
grandfather had a sailing vessel in which he took long 
trips. He brought home whale oil which they burned in 
these lamps. The whales were caught in the seas in cold 
countries. Men went out in boats and harpooned the 
whales. Then they cut the blubber, which is the fat next 
to the skin of the whale, in great pieces. This they 
melted and then skimmed off the oil. This is the sort of 
oil that grandmother burned in her little pewter and 
glass lamps and is called whale oil. 

"People have found very beautiful lamps made long 
before Jesus was born; made of stone, some of them, 
and some of gold or silver and decorated with precious 
stones, such as we have in rings to-day. Olive oil was 
burned in these lamps. Olives, you know, grow on trees 
in warm countries, and the oil is pressed out as cider is 
out of apples. 

" The Eskimos fill hollow shells or stones with oil from 
the whale, walrus, and seal. We must find pictures of 
these animals that live in the cold seas so that we shall 
know what they are like. The Eskimo children in the 
summer help gather moss, and this is twisted into wicks 
for these lamps, over which they cook their food, as 
well as hght their homes. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

" Not until men learned to make glass were there any 
chimneys, and the flame flickered and smoked and was 
not so very much better than a pine torch. They had no 
burners by means of which they could turn the wick up 
and down, but had to pull the wick up with their fingers. 

" All this time in the ground was the oil which we 
use to-day in our lamps and in our oil stoves. 

" In the mines was the gas which we use now and in 
the air all about us was what we consider the most won- 
derful light and heat of all, electricity; but how men 
found and learned to use each of these is a whole story 
in itself, and anyway here 's Daddy and it 's time to turn 
on the light and have supper." 

Mother pressed a button in the hall, and the steps 
were at once lighted for Daddy but Spiff asked if he 
might go to bed by candle light, so he could learn not 
to be afraid of the dark corners and could play with the 
shadows on the wall. [Read Andersen's *' Story of th© 
Candle."] 



XLIII 

KEROSENE 

ALL children enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson's "A 
Child's Garden of Verses" from which the follow- 
ing lines are quoted : 

"My tea is nearly ready and the sun bfls left the sky; 
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by; 
For every night at tea-time and before you take your seat. 
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street." 

[It was in the eighteen eighties that this little girl 
knew the lamplighter and in the nineties the electric 
lights were put into the little country town in which 
she lived. Young mothers nowadays will probably not 
remember these things, but by changing "mother's" to 
** grandmother's " or to "grandmother's grandmother's " 
time you can almost always reach the child's interest 
and give an idea of how far back in history things 
go.] 

When I was a little girl every afternoon I watched for 
" Uncle Pat " with his lantern and his ladder, just as the 
little boy in Stevenson's poem watched for Leerie. He 
was 

" Very lucky, with a lamp before the door, 
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more." 

Always "Uncle Pat" stopped and put his ladder 
against the lamp post, reached inside the glass chimney, 
and lighted the lamp. Then he would look up to my 
window and smile and wave to me, put his ladder under 

255 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

his arm, and go on to the next lamp. In this way he 
trudged all up and down the main street of the town. 
There were no lights on the other streets and if any one 
who lived on them had to go home after dark they must 
carry a lantern or stumble along, feeling their way. 

Twice a week " Uncle Pat " went around with a horse 
and wagon and brought home all the lamps, cleaned 
them, filled them with oil, then carried them back and 
put them in place on the lamp posts again. 

One day I asked my mother where the oil came from 
that " Uncle Pat "put into the lamps and she said it was a 
long story and she was afraid I would not understand it 
anyway. She said her grandmother used to tell her 
about the times when the streets never had any lights at 
night except in the big cities, and there iron baskets were 
hung up at the street corners and pine torches burned in 
them. She said that she had been told that the Indians 
caught fireflies and tied them to their hands and feet 
when they had to travel or went out hunting at night. 

Then she tried to tell me where the oil came from that 
" Uncle Pat " used to fill the street lamps and that we 
used to light our house. She said that dowTi in the earth 
among the rocks are hidden wells of oil just as there are 
wells of water. Sometimes these wells, or springs of 
water, bubble up to the surface of the ground and some- 
times the wells are driven way down and the water is 
pumped up. 

The oil is shut up in beds of rock. Some kinds of 
rock have the grains, or little particles which make it, so 
tight together that nothing can get through, while some 
have the httle particles not so close. Water, you know, 

«56 



KEROSENE 

can't soak into a piece of iron. It will just run off, 
but it will soak into a sponge and the sponge will hold 
a lot of water. If you squeeze a dry sponge and then 
soak it in water and squeeze it again you will see what I 
mean. We say the sponge is porous and the iron is not. 
In the same way some rocks are porous and some are 
not. So the oil soaked into the porous rocks and the 
hard rocks below and above held it in. 

It has to stay there until some one comes along and 
bores a hole in the hard rock, and then out it bursts. 

If you squeeze your Jack-in-the-box in very tight and 
suddenly loosen the cover he pushes out very quickly. 
If the Jack were very big and the box very small it would 
come out with more force than if he were smaller and 
the box bigger. It is just the same with the oil wells. 
Sometimes the place between the rocks which hold it in 
is not so big as in other places and more oil has been 
squeezed in than in some larger places. Then when the 
hole is bored the oil will spout out with a great rush, 
sometimes high up in the air, and flows for weeks before 
it stops. Some of the wells have fairly flooded every- 
thing within reach. Other wells seem to have too little 
force to flow out, and then the oil is pumped out. 

The first of these oil wells were found by accident, 
and we are told that men soaked up oil in blankets from 
the top of lakes where it had flowed, and because oil is 
lighter than water it floated on the top of the lake. 
They squeezed the blanket and used the oil for medi- 
cine. 

Sometimes this oil caught fire and men were fright- 
ened to see water burning, as they supposed it was. 

257 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

This oil, as it comes from the earth, is called petro- 
leum and is dark colored and does not give a clear light. 
This is now refined, as they say, and several things taken 
out before it is clear and safe to burn in lamps and stoves. 

Some of the things that come from the petroleum are 
gasoline, naphtha, paraffin, from which candles are 
made, lubricating oils (which are what we use to oil the 
sewing machine, lawn mower and any of the wheels that 
squeak and run hard), and kerosene, which is the oil 
that "Uncle Pat" used to fill the street lamps. 

Before we can buy this kerosene it must be tested to 
be sure that all the things that explode too easily have 
been taken out and that it will give a clear light. 

At first the petroleum was carried in wagons to the 
places where the kerosene was taken out, but now great 
iron pipes are laid from the wells, hundred of miles, to 
cities, and the kerosene is forced through the pipes by 
pumps. Great steel tanks are built on wheels and the oil 
is carried about in these to be sold. Great tanks are 
built on boats, too, and these go all over the world, 
carrying hundreds and hundreds of gallons of oil. The 
oil is pumped right into these tank ships and wagons. 

That was what my mother told me about the oil that 
we used for light when I was a little girl, but before 
" Uncle Pat" grew too old to light the lamps any more 
I saw him one day taldng the lamp off the post in front 
of the house and asking my father if he would like to 
have it set up in the back yard near the bam. After that 
" Uncle Pat " did n't come any more, but a brighter light 
flashed out from a much taller pole each night as it 
grew dark, so much brighter than the little kerosene 

258 



KEROSENE 

lamp that I could have seen to read if I had been old 

enough to know how: 

"And 0! before you hurry by with ladder and with light; 
O Leerie see a little child and nod to him to-night!" 

Always when the light flashed out from the high pole, 
as if by magic, I thought of faithful " Uncle Pat'* with 
his ladder and his lantern, who never failed us when the 
nights were dark, and although the electric light was 
much more brilliant and steady, for a long time I missed 
the radiance of his friendly smile as he nodded to me 
each night. 

Mother told me to think of the electric light as the 
smile from the men at the Power Station, as we could 
not have this light if the men there were not doing their 
work as faithfully as *' Uncle Pat" had done his. 



XLIV 
GAS 

I HAVE told you how candles are made and where 
kerosene comes from. There is something else 
used to light our cities beside these, and this is gas. 
Many people will tell you that they can cook more 
quickly on a gas stove than on any other kind. 

Just as with everything else, not one man but many, 
as they worked with one thing, saw other strange things 
happen, watched them, tried to do other things with 
them, and to find out how and why they were done. In 
the same way men learned to use gas and to get a bright, 
clear light and quick heat from it when they wanted it. 

As soon as coal was found and used, men saw gas. In 
many coal fields gas escapes from the coal, — escape 
means gets away from, — forces its way out of the 
ground into the air, and bursts into flame. This is natu- 
ral gas, and men learned to force it up through tubes 
and use it to burn instead of coal. That is not the gas 
we use and does not give the clear, steady light that 
we have to-day where gas is used for lighting. 

Sometime when Daddy is here (for I do not like to play 
with gas or fire unless some one is here to help put out 
a fire in case it got away from us) we will take a clay 
pipe and fill the bowl with coal dust. Then we will plug 
the bowl with clay and put it in the fire. The heat will 
drive the gas through the stem of the pipe and we will 
light it and see it burn as it comes out. 

260 



GAS 

Each city has its gas works where the gas is made and 
stored, and from there forced through pipes under the 
ground into the houses. There the gas is made much as 
it can be made in the clay pipe. Instead of putting the 
coal into a small clay pipe it is put into great iron tanks, 
called retorts. Under these burn hot fires, and the gas is 
driven off through tubes. 

This gas will not give a clear light because it is not 
yet pure gas. With it are mixed several things. Some of 
them are ammonia, tar, and sulphur. To take out some 
of these things gas is whirled through water. To take 
out some others it is run through beds of lime, etc. 
Mother does not know why whirling it through water 
and running it through lime separates the gas from these 
other things that came out of the coal with the gas when 
the coal was heated, but when you grow older you can 
study chemistry, and as you learn all that has been 
found out about these things perhaps you can find out 
something which no one has thought of before. 

The first gas that was used gave a dull, flickering 
light, but the gas that is now used for heating and light- 
ing gives a clear, steady flame. 

After the pure gas has been taken from the coal there 
are left coke, which makes a hot, quick fire, the things 
with which aniline dyes are made, and paraffin, out of 
which candles are made. 

Until used, the gas is stored in tanks which are made 
in two parts. The lower part is kept full of water, and 
the gas is held in the upper part. Unless great care is 
taken the gas is liable to explode. 



XLV 
ELECTRICITY 

ONE evening Spiff was listening to the "Country 
Fiddler in New York" on the phonograph. The 
fiddler says, "All the hght they had in that room was 
a red-hot hairpin shet up in a bottle." He goes on ta 
tell how he tried to blow it out and finally climbed up 
on the bureau, took down the bottle, and "shet" it up 
in the bureau drawer. 

Spiff's brow began to pucker, and he looked hard at. 
the electric light. 

"Is that a hairpin in the bulb and what makes it 
shine like that and why does it stop shining when I turn 
it off .? " he asked, turning the light off and on as he spoke. 

"That's a hard question, Little Son," said Mother, 
and she unscrewed the bulb and let Spiff hold it and look 
carefully for "the red-hot hairpin." 

Mother told him that electric light bulbs were all made 
of glass like the one he held, but that they were not all 
the same size nor all shaped as this one was, very hke a 
bottle. He looked through the glass, and, hanging in the 
bulb so that they did not touch, were wires, fine as hairs^ 
which did look something like hairpins, as the country 
fiddler had said. He saw that the ends of these thread- 
like wires were fastened to wires a little bigger and these 
bigger wires were fastened to some a little bigger which 
ran up through the bulb. 

He saw that the end of the bulb was covered with 
262 




THE NATIONAL CAPITOL LIGHTED BY ELECTRICITY 



ELECTRICITY 

brass and made so that he could screw it into the socket 
on the wall. 

Mother said that when the bulb was screwed in tight 
that the ends of the wires in the bulb touched the ends 
of copper wires that run through the wall and out of 
doors to other and much bigger wires that run all the 
way from there to the electric power station. 

When we want water we turn a faucet, and the water 
runs through the small pipes in the house from the 
bigger ones in the street. These pipes run back to the 
water works or pumping station where the water is 
forced into them. Some time we will go and see how 
this is done. 

Now there is in the world something called " Elec- 
tricity" just as there is something called *' Water." 

Water will flow through pipes, but it will not flow 
through a pail unless there is a hole in it. Water will 
flow through a glass tube, but it will not flow through 
a bottle unless there is a hole in the bottle. Water will 
flow through a sieve, but it will not flow through a 
sponge. The sponge will soak it up and hold it. You 
can see the water and dip it up and pour it from one 
place to another. 

Now electricity, in the same way, flows through some 
things, but not through others, and men have found out 
some of the things through which it will flow and some 
of the things which will hold it. No one can see elec- 
tricity, though. All that can be seen is what it does. 
One of the things it will flow through is copper wire, 
and it goes through this Uke a flash. Water sometimes 
dawdles along, but electricity is always in a rush. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

When a lot of electricity goes through a very fine wire 
it goes through so fast that the wire gets very, very hot, 
so hot that it glows red, just as the end of the poker will 
if you put it in the fire and leave it long enough, or the 
piece of iron that the blacksmith heats to hammer into 
a horseshoe, and then it gets hotter still until it is white 
and as bright as a candle light, and then it gets so hot 
that it burns the v/ire right up. 

When this happened men kept looking for a stronger 
wire. Finally they found the kind which is used now; 
but first they tried putting the wire into a Httle glass 
case out of which they took all the air and sealed it up 
before any more air could get in. Then no matter how 
hot the wire got, if the air could n't get at it, it just 
glowed and gave bright light, but did n't burn up. That 
is why the electric light bulbs are made of glass. They 
are air-tight cases for the tiny wires. Electricity runs 
through the little wire, but it cannot run through glass, 
and while wire will burn up if it gets too hot in the air, 
it can't burn up when the air cannot get to it, and so 
the electricity rushing through the tiny wire keeps it 
glowing until something stops it from flowing through 
the wire. The wires are put together so that when you 
press the button the little wires in the bulb connect 
vAth the wires which run to the power station and so 
the electricity runs through and gives light, but when 
you press the button again the wires are separated and 
the electricity stops flowing into the wires in the bulb. 

The electricity in the power station comes from the 
dynamo, and I will tell you what a dynamo is. The air 
and the earth are full of electricity, although we cannot 

264 



ELECTRICITY 

see it. We do not know how it came to be there any 
more than we know where air came from or water, but 
there it is. It first showed itself to men when ages and 
ages ago some one rubbed a piece of amber and tiny 
things moved toward it and stuck to it for a second. 

If you rub a piece of amber to-day on a dry coat 
sleeve or with a silk handkerchief and hold it over 
some bits of paper they will begin to dance toward the 
amber. 

Some clear, cold day if you rub the cat's back — you 
can see it better if you rub a black cat — bright sparks 
will flash. 

Balance a spoon or any piece of silver on a cork so it 
can turn. Rub a stick of sealing wax with a silk hand- 
kerchief and hold it near the spoon. You can lead the 
spoon around in a circle as it tries to catch the wax. 

Line a shallow cigar box with tin-foil. Cut tiny dolls 
out of tissue paper or dry pith. We can get the pith 
from the inside of weed stalks or sunflower stalks. Per- 
haps we can make them look like butterflies or birds. 
These we will put in the box. Then rub a piece of thin 
glass that will fit the top of the box with a piece of silk 
or soft leather and the little things in the box will try 
to touch the glass and have a jolly dance as they do it. 

When you comb your hair on a clear, cold morning 
you may hear it crackle, and it will follow the comb if 
the comb is made of hard rubber. 

Rub the comb hard and hold the end toward a feather 
and see the feather dance toward it and then away. 

In the story of Aladdin when the African magician 
rubbed the lamp a genie appeared and said, "What 

^Q5 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

wouldst thou have? I am ready to obey thee as thy 
slave and the slave of all those who have that lamp in 
their hands; I and the other slaves of the lamp." 

The genie not only said this to the magician and 
Aladdin, but to Aladdin's mother when she, all unsus- 
pecting, rubbed the lamp. 

Not by rubbing every lamp could Aladdin or his 
mother or the magician call forth a genie who could do 
for them what they wished done, but Aladdin found the 
right lamp. When by chance his mother rubbed the 
lamp and the genie appeared, she was so frightened that 
she fainted, but Aladdin boldly told the genie what to 
do and he obeyed. 

So when the genie electricity was first called out by 
chance by some one rubbing the right thing, a piece of 
amber, men were afraid of it. They said amber was a 
magical thing and had a soul, for it could draw things 
to it. 

Not until men became bold enough to tell it what to 
do did electricity carry us in cars, carry our messages 
through the telegraph and telephone, ring our bells, 
cook our food, heat and light our houses, and run our 
big machines so that things which we want appear 
before us almost as quickly to-day as when Aladdin 
commanded the genie to set things before him in the 
magical stories of the Arabian Nights. 

But we do not call electricity a genie now. We call 
it a great force, that is, something strong enough to do 
things, just as steam is a great force, because it can 
run an engine and push our trains, and a waterfall is 
a great force because when it falls on a wheel it sends 

266 



ELECTRICITY 

it spinning around to turn any other wheels that are 
fastened to it. Sometimes, instead of calling it force 
which does these things, we call it energy. 

After Baby Brother has had his bath, he stretches and 
kicks against my hand. I love to watch him do this; 
do you know, every baby I ever saw does this and every 
mother I ever knew loves to hold her hand against her 
baby's feet and let him push. She loves to find that 
every day he pushes a little harder than before. Do you 
remember when Brother pushed one day, I said, "Is n't 
Baby growing strong.^" You did this, too, and one day 
you scared Mother. You had been creeping about for 
some time and every morning I said to Daddy, "See how 
strong Baby is getting; why, he has so much energy he 
can almost pull himself up. Almost any time now I 
think he will walk." You were sitting on a puff near 
the open fire playing with a rattle. While I was sewing 
near by, you pulled yourself right up off the floor and 
took a step toward the fire, reaching out toward it. 
I was so afraid you would fall in that I screamed and 
rushed to pick you up and scared you so that it was a 
number of days before you tried to do it again. We 
shall always remember the day when you got energy 
enough to pull yourself up and take your first step. 

It was something hke the steam in an engine, this 
energy that you had gained by kicking and stretching 
until you could move your body along with it. The 
world is full of energy. It shows itself in steam, in 
Baby's strength, in little plants pushing themselves out 
of tiny seeds and up through the earth, and in elec- 
tricity. 

267 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

After men had once seen electricity working, they 
began to find it doing things not only when amber was 
rubbed, but almost everywhere, and learned other ways 
of calling it out and how to make it do many things. 

You had to learn to use the energy in you just right 
or it would hurt you instead of help you. Mother kept 
you from falling into the fire until you could walk alone^ 

When men began to use electricity it sometimes 
burned the thing they were trying to make it move and 
sometimes killed the men who were using it. Even now 
we have much to learn about it, and just as you must 
not build a fire unless some one who knows how to take 
care of it is with you, you must not touch the electric 
wires unless some one is with you who knows which ones 
are safe to touch. A little boy whom I knew was walking 
in a park in Washington. He saw a wire lying in the 
path and picked it up. It threw him to the ground and 
badly burned his whole side so that he had to He there 
until some one found him, and a doctor took care of him 
for weeks. It was what is called a live wire; that is, a 
wire with the electricity still flowing through it, and the 
covering of the wire, which is always made of something 
that electricity can't flow through, had worn off. When 
he picked up the wire with the covering gone, the elec- 
tricity flowed right through the wire into him and burned 
him. Enough electricity, as there is sometimes in these 
wires, would have killed him. Until you know what has 
already been learned about these wires never touch a 
wire which you find lying about unless some one who 
does know about them is with you to tell you they are 
safe. 

268 



ELECTRICITY 

Before men learned about electricity they told aU 
sorts of stories about what made it. When the thunder 
went rippety-boom-bing-bang and the lightning flashed 
they said that Jove was hurling his javelins to punish 
those with whom he was angry, and hid their faces in 
terror until the storm was past. 

Some people do this now. When I was a little girl my 
mother asked me to go to the window and watch it 
through the glass with her. I hid my face at first until 
she told me that the One who takes care of us while we 
sleep will be just as near through the storm and that 
surely we could be no safer hiding our heads and crying 
than when we were watching the sky. Then I watched 
for each flash and tried to count between them and see 
how many I could count between each flash and between 
each thunderclap and flash, and found that the storm 
was more wonderful and brilliant than ever our Fourth 
of July fireworks had been and that it had n't hurt me 
haK so much as my sparklers had when I set them off 
and took hold of the burned ends before they were cool. 

In time there came men bold enough to face the Hght- 
ning and see what they could learn from it and about it. 

When you rub a cat's back in the dark in dry, cold 
air, you can see tiny sparks. Men came to believe that 
the flash of lightning was just the same kind of spark 
only a very much greater one and that both were caused 
by electricity. To find out if this were true Benjamin 
Franklin sent a silk kite up into the cloud and brought 
down a spark on a brass key tied to the string. When 
you study about these things as you grow older you 
will find out how he did this. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

This is what we have found out since FrankHn brought 
down a bit of Hghtning on his wet kite string and proved 
that it was caused by electricity. 

When water is heated just right it floats off and forms 
clouds, and when the clouds are cooled just right they 
come down again in a shower of water which we call 
rain. 

Electricity sometimes gathers on clouds, too. Heat 
causes more and more of it to gather, and when the 
water-drops in the clouds stretch out and try to fill the 
air where the electricity is already gathering more and 
more, the electricity is crowded out and falls to the 
earth in a shower of electric sparks which we call 
lightning. 

Men found electricity in another way, too. Do you 
remember the horseshoe magnet Daddy brought you one 
day? How you shouted and clapped your hands when 
the pins and tacks and httle things made of iron and 
steel followed it around and clung to it! When you 
rubbed pieces of iron on it things followed that around, 
too, and Daddy said, "See, you have made a magnet by 
rubbing your magnet on these." When I was a Uttle 
girl my father brought me a box of "magic fishes," and 
what fun I had ! These little fishes each had a bit of soft 
iron in its mouth. There was a little bamboo rod to fish 
with, with a piece of bent steel for a hook, and as I hung 
the line over these fishes in a Httle dish of water they 
would jump to this hook and cling while I pulled them 
out of the tiny pond. 

Long, long ago the first magnets were found, bits of 
iron in the ground, and they were called lodestones. 

270 



ELECTRICITY 

As men played with them and found what things fol- 
lowed them, in time the truth came to them that in 
these magnets electricity was working as in the amber 
and the hghtning. They learned from this to make the 
compass, without which sailors could not tell where to 
steer their boats when they could not see the sun or 
stars. Some time I '11 tell you about steering by the 
North Star. 

I've told you all these things about the magnets so 
you could understand how men learned to make the 
dynamos with which they gather up electricity in the 
power stations. If one takes a piece of soft iron and 
winds copper wire which has been covered with cotton 
or something, through which electricity will not flow, 
and whirls it very fast, electricity comes from wherever 
it is and runs through the wires. This is a dynamo and 
it is the dynamos in the power stations that call up the 
electricity which flows through wires fastened to these 
dynamos and then through smaller wires fastened t( 
them and into the tiny wires in the bulbs here in th;- 
house which gives us our electric lights. 

Of course a dynamo in a great power station is not 
made of one piece of soft iron wound with a little wire 
and whirled by a man. Many things have been added 
to the first simple dynamo which could send only a wee 
bit of electricity over the wires. No such bright light 
as we have to-day could be made with such a simple, 
little dynamo. 

There are many great bars of iron and so many wires 
that you can hardly follow them, and great turbine 
engines whirl them around. 

271 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

These turbine engines are hitched to great waterfalls, 
and so the dynamos are kept whirling by the force of 
the water falling upon wheels which are fastened to 
them. 

Think back to the time when all the light people had 
was a pine torch. What do you suppose they would 
have said if any one had told them that all they had to 
do was to harness up the waterfall and then, by pressing 
a button, a thousand lights would dance in a city miles 
away where an instant before all was darkness. 

Yet this is what men have learned to do, and the 
story is more wonderful to me than the story of Aladdin 
and his lamp. 



XLVI 

SUNSHINE 

'''The spacious firmament on high. 

With all the blue ethereal sky, 
And spangled heavens, a shining frame. 

Their great original proclaim. 
The unwearied sun from day to day 

Does his Creator's powers display. 
And publishes to every land. 

The work of an Almighty Hand. 

" Soon as the evening shades prevail. 

The moon takes up the wondrous tale. 
And nightly to the listening earth 

Repeats the story of her birth; 
Whilst all the stars that round her bum, 

And all the planets in their turn. 
Confirm the tidings as they roll. 

And spread the truth from pole to pole. 

** What though in solemn silence, all 
Move round this dark terrestial ball? 
WTiat though nor real voice nor sound 
Amidst their radiant orbs be found? 
In Reason's ear they all rejoice. 

And utter forth a glorious voice. 
Forever singing as they shine; 

* The hand that made us is divine.'" 
Joseph Addison, "The Spacious Firmament.'* 

HANG a glass prism in the window. Some day it 
will put a rainbow edge on a commonplace min- 
ute. Let the child try to catch it as follows :] 

"Let's catch the sunshine." Mother caught the light 
273 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

on a tiny mirror and flashed it on the wall and floor and 
ceiling. Spiff danced about gleefully and tried to catch 
it in his hands. Such a tricky little light-bird. Gayly he 
called it, but as gayly it danced away, deaf to all his 
calls and begging to come to him or at least to stand 
still a second. Finally it settled down in a spot on the 
rug, and he slammed both hands over it. Surely he had 
it then, but what did it do? He did n't know, but when 
he looked down to lift it carefully there it was laughing 
at him on top of his hands. He put his feet, his hat, his 
coat over it, but nothing could keep it down. On top of 
them all it gayly beamed at him. 

He scooped it up in his hands and took it to Mother, 
only to find his hands empty when he reached her. He 
scooped it up in a pail, covered the pail tightly, and 
carried it to her, but where was the light-bird when he 
took off the cover? Right there on the floor still shining 

gayly. 

And then he found that he could not catch the light- 
bird in his hands. 

He took his httle mirror into the garden while mother 
did her work. He came in again after a while, thinking 
hard. Mother could always tell when he was thinking 
very hard, and then she always waited for him to speak 
first. Then he said, "Mother, does the light-bird shine 
everywhere? It was in the garden and the playhouse 
and the barn and out on the sidewalk and I called to 
Walter and he said it was over in his yard. He said he 
could n't catch it either, and a lot of the boys had tried 
one day but none of them could." Mother told him to 
shut his eyes. " Can you see it now? Can you remember 

274 



SUNSHINE 

how it looked, dancing on the wall and flying from your 
hands as you chased it? Does it make you feel glad 
to think how bright it looked and what a jolly time 
you had? Then you have caught the hght-bird after 
all. You could n't catch it in your hands, but you 
did catch it with your eyes and you hold it in your 
heart. 

" Shut your eyes again. Can you remember when 
Father smiled at you this morning how he looked and 
how happy it made you? Then you caught his smile 
with your eyes and you can keep it always in your heart, 
although you never had it in your hands." 

A field of daffodils grew near the home of the poet 
Wordsworth. Years afterwards when he thought of 
these daffodils he wrote, '*My heart with pleasure fills, 
and dances with the daffodils," and this is what the 
song which is used in kindergarten means when you 
sing, "No hands can catch the light-bird, but eyes can 
catch, and hearts can hold, the light-bird on the wall." 

The light-bird comes from the sun. It is a bit of sun- 
shine caught on the mirror and flashed here and there. 
No one person can take the sunshine for his own and 
hide it away. Some things only rich people can have, 
but sunshine and air and love cannot be bought, nor 
stolen, nor hidden away. There is enough for every- 
body, always, and they are the only really precious 
things. As you grow up remember this and try to find 
out what I mean by it. 

You will find men building houses and shutting out 
the sunshine and air. You will find families living in 
them, and then there will be stories Hke the story of 

275 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Little Benny Sunshine. His grandmother lived in a 
dark room in the basement of a city house. Do you 
know that many rich people own houses that are so 
close together that very little sunshine can get into the 
windows and let poor people live in rooms in the cellars 
because they can make money by doing this.^^ Men let 
their children live in these dark houses away from the 
sunshine because they can get money in the city and do 
not know how to do the kind of work to get money out 
in the country and are afraid they will be lonesome 
away from many people. You know how well the plants 
grow in the fresh air and sunshine, and you remember 
the little plant that almost died when we kept it in the 
dark; and so these little children get pale and sick away 
from the sunshine. You cannot understand all this now, 
but try to remember that Mother wants you to love the 
sunshine and live in the sunshine and when you have 
little children, as I hope you will some day, to keep them 
in the sunshine. 

I was teUing you about Little Benny Sunshine, and 
there are many other stories very much like it. His 
grandmother was not very strong and the doctor told 
her that if she could get away from the cellar out into 
the sunshine she would get better. One day a kind lady 
took Benny and some other children out into the coun- 
try for a picnic. Before they went home he thought of 
Grandmother and longed to take her some of the sim- 
shine. He borrowed the lady's pitcher and filled it. This 
he carried carefully all the way home, but when he tried 
to pour it out on Grandmother's bed you know how dis- 
appointed he was. Grandmother was so pleased at what 

276 



SUNSHINE 

he had tried to do for her that her heart was more full 
of love for him than ever and she always called him 
*' Benny Sunshine." You will be glad to know that 
when the kind lady came for her pitcher and heard the 
story, she found a new home for Benny and his grand- 
mother where they could have the sunshine all day long. 

SECOND TALK 

"Hast thou named all the birds without a gun? 
Loved the wood-rose and left it on its stalk? 
At rich men's tables eaten bread and pulse? 
Unarmed, faced danger with a heart of trust? 
And learned so well a high behavior. 
In man or maid, that thou from speech refrained. 
Nobility more nobly to repay? 
O, be my friend, and teach me to be thine!" 

R. W. Emerson 

This httle verse says beautifully what we mean when 
we say that we cannot catch the light-bird in our hands, 
but can catch it with our eyes and carry it always in 
our hearts. Suppose you shoot the birds and take them 
in your hand? How long does their beauty last.? Where 
is their song, and how would you like a world without 
the bluebird's song.? How much harder it is to name 
each bird as it flies than to shoot them. How much 
better to leave them to eat the bugs in our gardens and 
trees and to make the world beautiful than to hold them 
in our hands a few minutes, dead ! 

How long will a wood-rose keep bright and sweet in 
your hand? There you only can enjoy its fragrance and 
loveliness. Leave it on its stalk, and every passer-by 
may love it, too. Some kinds of flowers we shall have no 

277 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

more, for people have picked them and dug them up 
until none are left. What kind should we not pick now 
and why? 

Bread and pulse was the simplest food that people in 
King David's time had. Some men drank wine and ate 
sweets until they were ill or drunk, but David, the shep- 
herd king, lived on the simple foods that would make 
him strong and keep him well and was man enough not 
to take the other things which tasted better, but which 
would harm him. You remember what David did, and 
how he, a shepherd lad, killed the giant Goliath to save 
his country. 

The rest of the verse means to love truth and right 
so much that we shall not think of praising a friend for 
doing well. That would seem as if we had not expected 
him to be fine enough to tell the truth always, to help 
others, and to do the right thing. 

We might praise a little boy who made a letter very 
well the first time, but we would not praise Brother for 
writing his whole name well. We expect him to do this 
every time. We expect him to tell the truth, and so we 
do not praise him each time that he does this. We 
might praise a little boy who had no mother to tell him 
that this was what he should do when he first began to 
talk, or we might praise a little boy like that for saying 
*'If you please" and "Thank you." We shouldn't 
think of praising you for doing that. You learned to do 
that so long ago that we should be more suiprised if 
you forgot. How fine it would be to learn so well to 
think of others every time we speak or act that it 
would be as easy and natural to be unselfish as it is to 

278 



SUNSHINE 

breathe, and people would so expect it of us that they 
would not make us vain by praising us for it. 

Emerson said he would like a friend like that and to 
be a friend Hke that, and when you play with the hght- 
bird try and let love like that dance from your heart to 
mine and back again to fill our eyes with sunshine and 
the world with the brightness of our lives. 



w 



XLVII 

THE RAINBOW 

E caught a bit of sunshine on the mirror and 
flashed a white Hght all about. Now let's hang 
this glass prism in the window and let the sun shine 
through it. 

"Oh, it's another hght-bird, but it's all colors," called 
Spiff, and he danced away after it just as eagerly as if 
he had never found out he could n't pick it up. 

Mother took some colored crayons and his colored 
balls and a little book of strips of colored papers, and 
they tried to match up the colors that the prism had 
shown them there were in the white light that came to 
them from the sun. 

Sometimes as it flashed about they found only two 
or three shades of one color. Then there would be more 
colors, and finally they got all the shades of a rainbow. 
With the colored chalk she made this on the blackboard, 
and they tried to name them together: red, orange, 
yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. After that for a 
long time when they went to walk they found the rain- 
bow colors, in the grass, in the sky, in the trees, the birds, 
the flowers, and fruit, in people's clothes, hair, and eyes; 
color everywhere. When the big brother of one of 
Spiff's little playmates wanted to get into the Navy in 
the big war they said he was color-blind and they 
could n't take him. So Spiff worked hard to see the 
colors and name them, for he said with two good eyes 

280 



THE RAINBOW 

and a tongue to tell their names he did n't want to be 
color-bHnd. 

One day they were hunting for colors and Spiff felt 
something wet on his cheek. Then he felt it again and 
looked up at the sky. 

"Why, where is the sun?" he said, for in an instant 
it seemed to him the sky had grown dark, and the wind 
blew his hat across the field. 

"Oh, it 's up there just the same as ever," said Mother, 
**but those black clouds have been rolling up for some 
time. I hoped they 'd go by, but they ' ve hidden the sun 
completely and we 'd better run for that Httle shed." 
As they ran the drops of rain came down faster and 
faster, but they got under the shed before they got very 
wet and watched the rain and listened as it pattered on 
the roof. The air was soft and sweet and everything 
seemed to grow bright and fresh as the drops came down. 
It was just a little shower, and soon the sky began to 
brighten; and before the last sprinkle of raindrops 
stopped falling the sun shone again and they saw a 
wonderful colored arch in the sky. "A rainbow! " they 
called together, and Spiff found out that when the sun- 
light falls through the raindrops it makes the colors 
just as it did when it fell through the glass prism. They 
watched the rainbow until it faded away, for every one 
loves a rainbow. After dinner he blew soap bubbles, and 
when he floated them in the sunshine his joy knew no 
bounds, for here again were the rainbow colors floating 
in his bubbles. He never had known before that the 
water he used for his bubbles, and the water that he 
drank, had once been raindrops, and that when the 

281 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

sun shone through the water-drops the white light 
showed the rainbow colors just as when the sun shone 
through the falling raindrops the rainbow arched the 
sky. 

Mother told him of the little Indian boy Hiawatha 
and read the verse about the rainbow: 

"Saw the rainbow in the heaven 
In the eastern sky, the rainbow. 
Whispered, 'What is that, Nokomis?' 
And the good Nokomis answered: 
'T is the heaven of flowers you see there; 
All the wild flowers of the forest, 
All the lilies of the prairie. 
When on earth they fade and perish. 
Blossom in that heaven above us.' " 

THE WATER BLOOM 

A child looked up in the summer sky 

"WTiere a soft, bright shower had just passed by; 

Eastward the dusk rain-curtain hung. 

And swiftJy across it the rainbow sprung. 

*'Papa! Papa! what is it?" she cried. 
As she gazed with her blue eyes opened wide 
At the wonderful arch that bridged the heaven. 
Vividly glowing with colors seven. 

" Why, that is the rainbow, darling child,'* 

And the father down on his baby smiled. 
"WTiat makes it, Papa.'^" "The sun, my dear. 

That shines on the water-drops so clear." 

Here was a beautiful mystery! 
No more questions to ask had she. 
But she thought the gardens' loveliest flowers 
Had floated upward and caught in the showers; 
282 



THE RAINBOW 

Rose, violet, orange marigold 
In a ribbon of light on the clouds unrolled! 
Red of poppy and green leaves, too. 
Sunflower yellow and larkspur blue. 

A great, wide, wondrous, splendid wreath 
It seemed to the little girl beneath; 
How did it grow so fast up there. 
And suddenly blossom, high in the air? 

She could not take her eyes from the sight; 
'Oh, look," she cried in her deep delight. 

As she watched the glory spanning the gloom, 
'Oh, look at the wonderful water bloom!" 

Celia Thaxter 



XLvm 

THE MOON 

*'0h, look at the moon! 
She is shining up there; 
Oh, mother, she looks 
Like a lamp in the air. 

** Last week she was smaller. 
And shaped like a bow; 
But now she 's grown bigger 
And round as an O. 

*' Pretty moon, pretty moon. 
How you shine on the door. 
And make it all bright 
On my niu*sery floor! 

** You shine on my playthings 
And show me their place. 
And I love to look up 
At your bright, pretty face. 

"And there is a star 
Close by you, and may be 
That small twinkling star 
Is your little baby." 
**0h, Look at the Moon," from Mrs. Pollen's Little Songs 

DO you remember when you were a little baby, just 
begimiing to walk.'* I remember very well the 
first time you ever noticed the moon. Daddy and I had 
taken you down to the Maine Coast for his vacation, 
and when we came back the trains were all late so that 
it was dark when we went home from the station. 

£84 



THE MOON 

In the sky was a wonderful, great round moon making 
the evening *' almost as bright as day,'* we said. You 
nestled cozily in Daddy's arms with your head in the 
little hollow in his shoulder, that was made for a little 
sleepy head to cuddle in, sound asleep we thought. 

After a while we heard a little gurgle, and there you 
were with your eyes as bright as stars, staring wonder- 
ingly at the great round ball of light in the sky, stretch- 
ing your arms and reaching longingly toward it. Bab- 
bling and gurghng to us, you said very plainly, "Moon, 
moon, Baby wants the moon." After that you saw the 
moon many, many nights, from your crib while you 
were very little, and when you got bigger you used to 
beg to look at the moon "just once more" before you 
got into bed. 

When the moon was roimd and full you used to ask 
to have the curtain left up so it could shine into the 
room. You always loved the nights when the moon 
seemed to come up from behind the pine trees over in 
Rogers' woods, sometimes like a great red ball and 
sometimes like a great yellow one, but always big and 
round and shedding a glorious, kindly hght over every- 
thing. Everything looked so beautiful in this soft light. 
Things that looked shabby and dirty in the daytime 
were beautiful in the moonhght. Even the weeds in 
the garden seemed lovely. 

Sometimes you used to wish for the moon, to hold it 
and have it with you all the time for your own, but I 
told you it must stay in the sky and shine for every one 
on the earth, for other children loved it as much as you 
did. One day you asked me where it stayed when the 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

nights were dark. You never asked me where it stayed 
in the daytime, but once Brother asked me that. 

One night you looked at the moon harder and longer 
than I had ever seen you. The moon had come up early 
and it was a warm evening. We were in the garden watch- 
ing some moths flying in the dusk among the fragrant 
sweet rocket blossoms. Do you remember the sweet 
rocket .f^ The blossoms are very much like the phlox, 
only it is sweeter and blooms in May and the phlox 
comes later in the summer. 

I was so interested in the moths that I had n't noticed 
how quiet you were or that you were thinking of some- 
thing else until you said, "Mother, is the moon made of 
green cheese?'* 

"No more than the sun and the earth are made of 
green cheese, dear. There are lots of stories told about 
the moon, just as there are many stories told of every- 
thing which it is hard for us to understand. You re- 
member some of the stories that I told you that different 
people in different countries and times told to explain 
how the sun was made, and I will tell you some of the 
stories told in the same way about the moon. 

" First, I want to be sure that you understand what 
has been learned about the moon.'* 

Then you said, "Yes, Mother, I want to hear about 
it all, but I think I could find out more about it if I could 
get up close to it, myself. The sky seems so near to- 
night that don't you suppose if I put the ladder up on 
the roof of the house — the great long 'stension ladder, 
I mean — I could almost touch the moon.?" 

Then you began to tease to stay up until Daddy could 
286 



THE MOON 

help you put the ladder up and just see-ee-ee if you 
could n't touch it. 

We almost had an unhappy time, you teased so hard 
and so long and were so sure that you knew more than 
Mother, until she reminded you of the light-bird and 
how hard you had tried to catch the sunshine, and you 
agreed to let her tell you what she had learned about the 
moon before you tried to put the ladder up against the 
sky. 

Mother said: Sometimes you have looked through 
Daddy's little magnifying glass or Grandmother's reading 
glass and things looked bigger and nearer and you could 
see them plainer than without it. Men have made tele- 
scopes through which they look into the sky, and the 
sun, stars, and moon become clearer. With this same 
sort of glass, a lens, through which you look in the tele- 
scope, fitted into a special camera, men have taken 
pictures of the moon. Some of these pictures tell us a 
great deal. They show mountains and melted rocks 
and craters. Do you know what a crater is? There are 
places on the earth where great masses of melted rocks 
and flames and gases burst out. These places are called 
volcanoes, and the cup-shaped hollows out of which all 
these gases and cinders and melted rock and water pour 
are called craters. Men are always trying to make cam- 
eras that can take pictures of things farther and farther 
away and have the pictures clear, and when we think 
that they have been able to take pictures of the moun- 
tains and craters on the moon we think that perhaps 
in time we shall be able to know exactly what is going 
on there. 

287 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Although the moon looks so bright and shining as it 
floats in the sky and shines into our dark room, it is not 
really bright and shining and hot like the sun, but 
shines only when the sun shines upon it; so the bright- 
ness that it sends to us really comes from the sun. We 
say it reflects the light of the sun, just as a mirror re- 
flects things. The mirror has no face in it, and yet if 
your face is in front of it, it shows your face. We say 
the mirror reflects your face, my face, the sunshine, etc. 

So the moon reflects the sunshine but has no bright- 
ness of its own. The sun is always shining and always 
moving very slowly, much more slowly than the moon, 
about the sky in a great circle. We'll draw a circle on 
the blackboard as big as we have room for, and as we 
draw it you may play it is the sun moving. Now, if you 
could draw a circle as big as this whole world it would 
not be as big as the circle in which the moon travels, and 
the sun takes so long to go around once that no one has 
ever hved as long as that takes. 

The moon is always shining, too, as it follows the 
earth, which is always moving around the sun. It takes 
the earth a year to go in a circle about the sun. We'll 
draw a little ball for the sun with yellow chalk and then 
you may draw a circle around the sun, playing you are 
on the earth and the earth is carrying you around the 
sun. It takes the earth as long as from Christmas to 
Christmas again to take you in this circle, and the earth 
moves so slowly and so steadily that you do not even 
know that you are moving. While the earth is making 
this circle about the sun it is turning over and over, 
first one side of it facing toward the sun and then the 

288 



THE MOON 

other. It turns over faster than it moves along in the 
circle, too, for it only takes a day and a night to turn 
over as it runs along. It seems as though we should be 
dizzy with all this whirling and making circles; but the 
earth is so big and solid and steady that we do not feel 
it at all, and the only way we know is that when we are 
turned away from the sun it is cooler and darker and 
when we begin to turn toward the sun it is warmer and 
lighter. The moon always follows the earth, and as it 
goes in a circle around the earth it is shining all the time, 
except once in a great while when the earth gets between 
it and the sun. It does this sometimes, for it takes the 
moon only a month — there are twelve of these from 
Christmas to Christmas — to go around the earth. As 
it goes around the earth it is turned always toward the 
earth, so we never see but one half of it — the half that 
is turned toward us. 

Does the moon always look the same to us.^ How did 
it look last night, the last time you saw it? The night 
before Christmas? You remember: 

"The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow 
Gave a luster of noonday to objects below.'* . 

Jean Ingelow wrote the following verse in a poem 
about the little bow in the sky: 

" O moon, in the night I have seen you sailing 
And shining so round and low. 
You were bright, ah! bright, but your light is failing 
You are nothing now but a bow." 

So many nights you have looked at the little new 
moon and called it a boat or a cradle, and once in the 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

morning you saw a tiny, pale old moon in the sky after 
the daylight had come. You were washing your face 
just as I like to have you do in the morning, and when 
you reached for the towel you saw the moon through 
the window way up in the top of the elm tree, you told 
me. You said it made you feel all glad inside to see it at 
first, and then it looked so pale and thin you almost cried, 
because you thought the moon was sick. 

Celia Thaxter saw the moon when it looked that way 
and wrote this poem about it: 

" The moon is tired and old; 
In the morning darkness cold 
She drifts up the paling sky. 
With cheek flushed wearily. 

" A little longer and lo ! 
She is lost in the sun's bright glow; 
A thin shell, pearly and pale. 
Mid soft white clouds that sail. 

" Art faint and sad, dear moon? 
Gladness shall find thee soon! 
Sorry art thou to wane? 
Thou shalt be young again! 

" And beautiful as before 
Thou shalt live in the sky once more; 
From the baby crescent small 
Thou shalt grow to the golden ball. 

" And again will the children shout, 
*0h, look at the moon, look out!' 
For thou shalt be great and bright 
As when God first made night." 

Let's draw pictures of how the moon looked; first the 
little cradle, a tiny crescent, then a little bigger and 



THE MOON 

bigger each night, till we have a half -circle; then bigger 
and bigger until it looks like a whole circle. Then it 
began to get smaller and smaller until it was a tiny- 
crescent with its horns turned a different way from what 
they were when it was a new moon; then there were 
nights and nights when w^e could see the stars but we 
could see no moon. 

At New Year's time we hung a calendar on the wall 
— here it is — and on it we find pictures of the moon 
showing when it will be new moon, first quarter, second 
quarter, full moon, last quarter, and dark of the moon. 

We can make a little calendar of our own and each 
day paste on a circle or piece of a circle showing how 
big the moon is and a black circle v/hen we can see no 
moon. 

Let me show you w^ith an apple how we find half an 
apple; then we will cut each half in half and see how 
many pieces we have. Each piece we call one fourth, 
or one quarter. Let us see how many pieces or quarters 
there are in one half; now how many quarters there are 
in the other half. 

The moon at first shows just a little curve of a moon, 
then grows bigger and bigger till we have a quarter of 
the moon; then it grows bigger and bigger again till we 
have half a moon, which we call second quarter; then 
another quarter, which we call third quarter; and then 
one more quarter and it is full moon. All this time it is 
growing we call it a waxing moon and will turn the cres- 
cents with their points facing the left. You know which 
is your left hand, do you not? Show me. 

As it grows smaller, the third and last quarters, we 
291 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

will face the crescents the other way with their points or 
horns facing toward the right, and we call this a waning 
moon. 

Of course, there will be nights when the moon is shin- 
ing that we cannot see it. Why? Yes, because it is 
cloudy or stormy and the clouds get between us and the 
moon. One night, do you remember, we saw a little 
cloud sail right across the moon, and for a minute the 
moon seemed to hide behind it. 

One day I found some children playing they were the 
earth and the moon. The sundial in the garden was the 
sun. A long way off the one who was the earth went 
whirling around on one toe and as she whirled tried to 
move in a circle around the sundial. The moon child 
held a mirror in her hand and walked in a circle around 
the earth child, always keeping herself turned toward 
the earth child and watching to see the sun thrown from 
her mirror, which she held still in one hand all the time, 
upon the face of the earth child. They were having a 
merry time, as you can imagine. 

This is a little like what is happening in the sky. Of 
course, the moon and the sun and the earth are millions 
of times bigger than they seem to us. Some time you 
will learn how astronomers — that is what we call men 
who study the sky — measure the moon and the sun 
and the stars and can tell how big they are and how far 
from each other and from us. 

They began just as you will have to begin with one 
and one are two, and two and two are four, and then 
they were ready for harder things. 

To-morrow I'll tell you some of the stories people 
29£ 



THE MOON 

told about the moon before they knew better than to 
try to make children believe it was made of green cheese. 
There is the story about the shadows on the moon 
that Nokomis told little Hiawatha in her wigwam in the 
forest: 

"Saw the moon rise from the water 
Rippling, rounding from the water. 
Saw the flecks and shadows on it, 
Whispered, ' What is that Nokomis?* 
And the good Nokomis answered: 
' Once a warrior very angry. 
Seized his grandmother and threw her 
Up into the sky at midnight; 
Right against the moon he threw her; 
'T is her body that you see there.' '"* 

The Indians used to count time from one full moon to 
another. We say, "It was so many months ago"; they 
would say, **It is so many moons ago," for it is about a 
month from the time when we see one full moon to the 
time when we see it full again. 

The Greeks and Romans told many stories of the 
goddess of the moon, just as they did of the sun god. 
She was the sister of the sun god, and most statues which 
they made of her have a half -moon on her forehead and 
a veil on the back of her head. The poets wrote about 
her, calling her Luna or Selene; a white-armed goddess 
with brilliant stars in her beautiful hair. In the evening 
she was supposed to rise out of the river, Oceanus, and 
drive across the heavens in a chariot drawn by two 
white horses. 

Diana also was called a goddess of the moon, and there 
are many beautiful statues of her for us to find in Art 

293 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Museums some time. She is usually pictured as wearing 
sandals and with a quiver of arrows over her shoulder. 
She was very pure and beautiful, and in some statues she 
is protecting animals; in some she is shooting them. 

And last, I will read the Bible story that was told to 
the Jewish children. I have told you that as the earth 
turned toward the sun it grew lighter and warmer, and 
you have seen that sometimes the days are very long 
and sometimes they are so short that it is dark when 
you get up in the morning and dark when you eat sup- 
per. It is because we do not stay the same distance 
from the sun that we have different seasons and day and 
night; and the time that it takes for the earth to go 
around the sun we call a year, and so we have different 
years and months. 

We will talk some time about the year and the seasons. 

But this is the Bible story of the moon. 

"And God said. Let there be lights in the firmament 
of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let 
them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and 
years : 

" And let them be for lights in the firmament of the 
heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so. 

"And God made two great lights; the greater light 
to rule the day, [what was that?] and the lesser light to 
rule the night: [and that.'^] he made the stars also. 

" And God set them in the firmament of the heaven 
to give light upon the earth, 

*' And to rule over the day and over the night, and to 
divide the light from darkness : and God saw that it was 
good." 

294 



THE MOON 

LUDWIG AND MARLEEN 

When I cried for something which it was as selfish 
and silly for me to demand for myself alone as it is to 
cry for the moon, my mother used to tell me an old folk 
tale called *'Ludwig and Marleen." 

I '11 not tell it as it is written, but the story was about 
a little boy and girl who lived on the edge of a forest 
in Germany many years ago. They had no toys except 
what they found in the woods but there are always 
lovely things there to play with. Think of Hiawatha 
and the things he did, or some of the things you have 
found in the woods. 

They lived in a little house. There were berries in the 
woods, and every day when they were ripe they went 
out with their pails to pick them. One day Ludwig 
heard a noise in the forest as of something in pain. It 
turned out to be a fox, but, unlike any fox he had seen 
before, it could talk. In return for helping him the fox 
asked Ludwig to name something which he would like, 
but Ludwig was a knightly boy and asked for nothing 
in return, until urged to do so. Then he asked to have 
his pail heaped with berries. When he returned home 
and told Marleen she was at first pleased to have a pail 
heaped with such splendid berries, but the more she 
thought about it the more she thought how foolish her 
brother had been to lose such a wonderful opportunity 
to have a pail always filled. So she worried Ludwig with 
her teasing until he went back to the forest, not believ- 
ing that he should find the fox again. He did, however, 
and shamefacedly, in response to the "How, now, Little 

295 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Brotlier, is not all well with thee?'* with which the fox 
greeted him, make his request in Marleen's name and 
received the reply, " Very well, it shall be as she wishes." 
Marleen greeted him gladly when he reached home and 
showed her what the fox had sent to them. 

But Marleen was soon unhappy again and the story 
continued with her forcing Ludwig to go back again and 
again each time demanding more and more; fine toys, 
a fine house, fine clothes, nothing was enough. Each 
time that he met the fox the same words were used in 
greeting and each time the fox replied, "It shall be as 
she wishes.'* 

Each time Ludwig was a little more reluctant and each 
time Marleen was a little more insistent, and less happy 
and grateful. 

The climax was reached when she demanded "the 
great shining ball in the sky." Ludwig reminded her 
that it is the moon and shines for all, but finally yielded 
to her commands and sought the fox once more. The 
story here is told so that the woods seem different. A 
hush is over all. When the greeting and request are 
made in the usual form, the fox replies, slowly and 
solemnly, "Tell Marleen that she can not have it," and 
disappears never to be seen again. When Ludwig re- 
turned he found Marleen in tears and nothing left but 
their own little cottage. 

[Be sure with the children to tell it more simply and 
use the repetition of "How, now. Little Brother, is not 
all well with thee?" and, "Tell Marleen it shall be as 
she wishes." You can put in any demands that occur 
to you as likely.] 



XLIX 
THE STARS 

** * When the stars go to sleep. 

The babies awake. 
And they prattle and sparkle all day; 

Then the stars light their lamps, 

And their playtime they take. 
While the babies are sleeping away. 

" * So good-night, little baby. 

And shut up your eyes; 
Let the stars now have their turn at play; 

They soon will begin 

To shoot through the skies. 
And dance in the bright Milky Way. 

No, no, my dear nurse, 

I cannot go to sleep; 
Since you 've put the thought into my head. 

Let us have with the stars 

One game of bo-peep; 
Then good-night, and a kiss, and to bed.' " 
"The Stars and the Babies," from Mrs. Fallen s Little Songs 

WHEN Brother was a little boy he asked me 
nearly every night to say, "Twinkle, twinkle, 
little star." Can you say all the verses for me? 

One night we were in the garden, and as Daddy car- 
ried him into the house to go to bed, just at the door 
he turned his head and waved his hand toward the sky 
where, as we turned to look, we saw a tiny crescent of 
a moon with a star near by. "Good-night, Star," he 
said, "have a nice sleep in your little moon cradle." 

297 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

When he said his prayer he added, "And God take 
care of the little star-baby out there in his cradle in the 
sky." 

In the hot weather we used to let him stay in the 
garden with us until after sunset when his room grew 
cooler. 

As the sky grew dark and the stars began to show in 
the sky he was always the one to call us to look at the 
first one. The first time he saw it, it was near the new 
moon, and so when he first saw it each evening he would 
shout, "Here's the evening star-baby looking for its 
moon cradle." 

How he loved to watch it and wonder about it ! If I 
should tell you all the things he wondered about we 
should talk all night. 

Sometimes it seemed so big and bright and beautiful 
and the sky so wonderful that he could n't find any 
words to say what he felt. Then he would sit and silently 
gaze into the heavens with eyes as big and shiny as the 
stars. 

One night he said, "Oh, Mother, the evening star- 
baby is red." 

Then I told him that way back in the time of the 
ancients, which is what we call people who lived ages 
and ages ago, that people had watched this evening star- 
baby and all the other stars and had tried to count them 
all and had named many of them. 

Can we count them all? Can we count all the flowers 
or grasses or weeds or birds or even the hairs on our 
heads? Only God can do this, there are such countless 
multitudes of wonders that He shows us. 

298 



THE STARS 

There are men now who watch the stars and study 
them. We call them astronomers, and they have learned 
to call by name all those that the Ancients named. Be- 
sides these they have fomid some new ones and named 
them. When you have to think out something, instead 
of saying, "I can't do that," remember what a man who 
studies the stars did. He thought from something that 
he saw in the sky that there was another star some- 
where, and after nights and nights of watching and 
studying he said to all the astronomers, ** Point your 
telescope to a certain place" — and he named the 
spot — "at a certain time '* — and he named the time 
— "and you will see a new star." They did this, and 
there, sure enough, was a star that no one had seen be- 
fore. 

When I was as small as Brother I never saw that the 
stars were not all the same color, so, of course, I was 
pleased when Brother told me the evening star was red. 
For it is not always the same star that we see first in the 
evening and the star that he saw that night was called 
Mars and is red. 

The lovely bright one that came one night, almost 
before it was dark, sooner than any other star came in 
the evening, is called Venus. 

When I told him his red star had a name and that the 
lovely bright one had another name, he was very pleased 
and wanted to know their names. 

When we went in that night he waved his hand to the 
sky and said, " Good-night, Mars." Then he blew a kiss 
and said, "iind here's a kiss for your sister star-baby, 
Venus." 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

In the winter the sky was dark when he went to bed, 
and often he asked to have the curtain up so he could 
see the moon, for his bed was by the window and he 
could see a good deal of the sky. 

He had been learning a little song about the bees, in 
which he played that his fingers were bees and counted 
them as they came out of the hive. In this way he had 
learned to count, one, two, three, four, five. 

One night we heard him counting and saw him point- 
ing to the sky as he did so. Then he called, "Mother, 
come here, quick. I see a bunch of tiny stars all together 
and there are five and one more." 

"Five, and one more is six," I told him. Now let 
me tell you that these stars which he had counted 
six are such tiny ones that most people see them only 
as a misty blur, and most people see only four or five, 
although there are really more than six of them. 

So I cannot tell you how pleased I was that Brother 
had seen them and counted six. 

"Tell me about them," he said. "Who are they?'* 
For since he knew Mars and Venus by name he felt as 
if the whole star family were his friends, and he wanted 
to call them by their names when he saw them in the 
sky playing. When they twinkled a lot he always wished 
he knew what they were playing or telling each other, 
for he said they were laughing so hard then that they 
shook, and he loved jolly things. 

"The ancients called them the Pleiades," I said, and 
there is more than one story about them, but there is 
one that says that the Pleiades were seven sisters who, 
because of their grief for their brother who was killed 

300 



THE STARS 

by a wild animal, were allowed to become stars in the 
heavens. 

After that he often said, "Oh, I hope the stars will 
shine to-night so I can play with the six little star-girls. 
What did you say their names are? And I wonder 
whether I shall see my red-faced boy evening star-baby, 
or the little girl-baby, Venus. Hurry and turn out the 
Ught and draw the curtain." 

Sometimes when it was cloudy or rainy he wondered 
where they were and what they were doing. 

Mother told him they were shining just the same up 
behind the clouds. 

One night he looked for his six little girls. There were 
stars and stars, so many that he got tired of counting 
one, two, three, four, five and one, two, three, four, five, 
all over the sky. Even then he had n't begun to count 
the stars and stars and stars and stars that he could see, 
but he could n't find the six Pleiades anywhere or any 
stars together that looked a bit like them. There were 
twinkly stars and blue stars and clear stars and yellow 
stars and big stars and little stars and stars that looked 
like dippers and wagons, but no six little sister-stars 
that he could find. He called, *' Mother, " and she said, 
"If I '11 find them for you, will you just look at them and 
say * Good-night,' and then shut your eyes and go to 
sleep?" 

Of course he would; and so I let him go and look out 
of my window on the other side of the house, and in 
another part of the sky the six sisters smiled and winked 
at him. He waved his hand to them and said, "Good- 
night, little girls, come over on my side of the sky to- 

301 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

morrow night. What did you tell me their names are, 
Mother?" he called from his bed a little later. "Oh, 
yes, the Pleiades sisters." 

The next night when he went to bed he said, " Mother, 
how did my Httle what 's-their-name sisters — yes, Ple- 
iades sisters — get from my part of the sky over to your 
part of the sky last night?" 

So I took him in my lap a little while, and we talked 
about the stars and what they are. I had told him long 
before this that this great earth on which we live is a 
great ball, always turning and at the same time moving 
in a circle around the sun. He had looked at an orange 
swinging and tried to fancy his room a speck not so big 
as the point of a pin, on an orange so big that the longest 
ride he had ever taken would be so short on this great 
orange that it would n't seem as if he had moved. 

He tried to fancy this ball so big that he could n't 
think of anything so big, circling around another great 
ball of fire, the sun, and the moon, another great ball, 
swinging around the earth and all of them turning just 
right and never stopping. 

Now I told him that the stars, too, are great swinging 
balls like the sun and earth. The sun is a star, too, no 
larger or brighter than many of the stars that we see, 
but so much nearer to us that it seems brighter and 
makes our world feel its heat more. If you get close to 
a lamp it will almost burn you, and you can see to read 
from its light, but if you go across the room it does not 
seem so bright nor so warm, and if you go across the 
street it will twinkle with a Httle light almost like a star. 
So the sun, which is a star, is nearer to the earth than 

302 



THE STARS 

any of the other stars. The farther away the stars are, 
the more they twinkle. 

If we were on another star our world would look like 
a star to us. Because our earth is always moving and 
the stars are always moving, we do not see them in the 
same place every night. They are shining all the time; 
but we can see them only when the sun's light is hidden, 
as the earth turns us away from it because the sun is so 
near the earth that its light is much brighter. Some- 
times when the sun shines we can hardly see the light 
which we forgot to turn off on the automobile, although 
in a dark night it gives a very bright light. 

Great observatories are built now where men can 
study the sky and take pictures of the stars and draw 
maps of the sky with the groups of stars that are always 
seen together, for while the stars are seen in different 
parts of the sky each night, those that are seen together 
once are always seen together, as the six little Pleiades 
sisters, which Brother saw. They have telescopes, and 
with these men have found new stars and told others 
how to find them. 

Some men will tell you that in these observatories 
men have seen things through their telescopes that 
make them believe that people live on your red-faced 
star-baby Mars. 

When you grow up I hope you will buy books and 
read about these things and take time very often to 
look at the stars. 

There is one star that has helped a great many people 
to find their way. The sailors depend on it a great deal 
as they steer their ships over the ocean; and that is the 

303 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

North Star. Sometimes it is called the Pole Star. It is 
the only star that seems to keep in one place in the sky, 
night after night, and year after year. When men see 
that, they know that if they go toward it they will be 
headed north. 

Show me your right hand; your left hand. If you face 
the North Star your right hand will be toward the east 
and your left hand toward the west; your back will be 
toward the south. This is always so, and men depend 
a great deal upon the North Star. 

Shakespeare wrote about it in one of his plays, 
"I am constant as the northern star." I hope some 
time you will read the whole play and be able to say 
about yourself, "I am constant as the northern star." 
It stands right there in the northern sky, pointing the 
right way to go, shining steady and true and has been 
ever since the time of the ancients, and before. Is n't 
that a record for us to think of when we want to scowl 
and run away from work! 

Now we will look up in the sky and I will show you 
how to find the North Star. 

I pointed out the Big Dipper and said: "Do you see 
four stars that look like a dipper and three more stars 
beyond one corner for a handle.'* " Follow the two stars 
at one end of the Dipper and straight above them you 
will see a bright star. That is the North Star. If you 
follow in a line with the North Star to the first one, you 
will find four stars which make the handle of another 
smaller dipper. The last one of the four which make the 
handle is the corner of the Little Dipper and the Little 
Dipper is pouring into the big one. The North Star is 

304 



THE STARS 

always at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper and 
you can always find it by following a line from the 
bottom of the Big Dipper through the two stars on the 
edge away from the handle. 

I pointed out these two dippers again and again until 
one night he found them himself with the North Star 
at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper and in a 
straight line from the two pointers of the Big Dipper. 
We call them pointers because they always point right 
toward the North Star. 

How he danced and laughed and how his eyes shone 
when he really found the North Star all by himself! 

There is a beautiful legend of the Great Dipper which 
has been told again and again and in many different 
ways. It is about a time and place where all the people 
and animals and plants were dying of thirst, for there 
was not a drop of water to be had. A little child went 
out with a tin dipper and prayed that it might be filled 
with water for her mother. 

When she arose from her prayer it was full of clear, 
cold water, and she ran with it so fast that she fell. As 
she tried to rise she saw a little dog beside her who was 
dying from thirst. She gave him a little of the precious 
water, so precious that she had drunk not even a drop 
herself. The dog was refreshed at once, and a wonderful 
thing happened to her dipper, although she did not see 
it. It had changed from tin to silver. 

She hurried with the water to her mother; but just as 
she was about to drink she heard the moan of a servant 
who was trying to raise the mother's head that she 
might drink, and the mother put the dipper in her hands 

305 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

and bade her drink instead. Neither of them saw that 
the dipper changed from silver to gold. The servant 
instead of drinking was about to give the water to the 
others of the family when she saw a stranger enter the 
room as weak and sick from thirst as they. 

She pressed the dipper into his hands, saying, *' Sacred 
are the needs of a stranger in a strange land.'* 

The dipper changed again. This time the golden dipper 
was studded with diamonds and from it gushed a foun- 
tain which could quench the thirst of the whole nation. 

The stranger stood before them a radiant vision, 
then as it faded a silver trumpet proclaimed, ''Blessed 
is he that giveth a cup of cold water in my name." 

To this day, in that country, each child is given a tin 
dipper at birth, and as they grow up a few, just a few, 
find their dipper changed to gold and blazing with dia- 
monds. These diamond dippers cannot be bought nor 
sold nor given away. Many fooUsh people try to get 
them and fail and bitterly blame others because their 
dipper does not change. Only by unselfish deeds can 
the change be made, and then the owners are not proud 
but thankful and happy. 

After Brother had heard this legend of the dipper, 
whenever he used the diamond-studded dipper in the 
sky to find the North Star, he seemed to be thinking 
soberly and nearly always some kind act for Daddy or 
me foUowed. 

TO THREE LITTLE KATHARINES 

Oh, Katharines three. 
Come sail with me 
Where the ship of my Fancy flies! 



THE STAES 

We'll wander free 

Over land and sea. 
Then sail away to the skies. 

If I were a star, 

So far — so far — 
From this Earth where the children dwell. 

My twinkliest beam 

For that ship should gleam; 
And my truest secret I'd tell 

To the eyes that look 

Through fancy. — No book 
Nor telescope serves so well. 

Katharine Fay Dewey 



THE SAILOR'S STAR 
By Katharine Fay Dewey 

"Once upon a time, so long ago that nobody can re- 
member when, a beautiful ship was sailing along under 
a spanking breeze with all sails set. The name of the 
ship was the Jane Ellen, and she was named for the 
Captain's wife. At her prow was the figure of the mer- 
maid, with long waving hair; and the head of the mer- 
maid was like the head of the Captain's wife. But that 
was when she was young. Now she sat at home and 
knit; but to the Captain she looked just like the lovely 
mermaid, and he kept the Jane Ellen spick and span 
from truck to keel, — the finest ship afioat, as she was 
the best of wives. 

"Now, as the ship was sailing along on this fine star- 
light night, and everything favorable, the Captain in 
his cabin felt a great jolt, then a s-sci-ape, and the ship 
leaned away over, and everything that could slid down 
to one side. The next minute it tilted the other way, 

307 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

and most of them slid back again, and then the ship 
went on as before. 

"The Captain jumped up and put his head out of 
the cabin window and looked fore and aft along the 
deck. He saw a man coming toward him, and called, 
very sharply, *Mr. Morganwg!* ^ 

"It was the Mate of the Jane Ellen. He was young 
and big, and he had gray eyes and black hair and heavy 
black eyebrows that almost met over his eyes, and he 
could look very stern, but his eyes laughed; and he could 
sing, and if he had had time, he could have played on a 
harp, because he was a Welshman, and his name was 
Taffy. But he did n't have time, because if you are 
mate of a ship like the Jane Ellen, you have a great deal 
to do, and have to be everywhere at once, to see that 
things are done as the Captain wants them. 

"*What was that?' asked the Captain. 

"*We struck on Porpoise Rock, sir,' said Taffy. 

"'Who's steering.?' 

"* Nelson.' 

"'Well? — he knew the rock was there, didn't he? 
It's marked on his chart plain enough. There's no ex- 
cuse, a bright starlight night like this.' 

"'Yes, he knew it,' said the Mate, 'but he says he 
did n't make enough allowance for the stars moving. 
He says if there was one star, only, he could depend on 
to be in the same place every night, it would be all 
right.' 

"'Well, there is n't,' said the Captain. 

^ He called it " MoTgan-ough," but he was particular about the 
spelling. 

308 



THE STARS 

"*I know it,' answered the Mate. *But you know 
yourself, it's confusing to steer by them.* Taffy spoke 
quite respectfully, but he often made suggestions to the 
Captain when no one was listening, and the Captain 
loved him like his own son. 

"*H'm!' said the Captain. *You go and drop anchor 
right now. I won't have any more paint scraped off 
from this ship. Then you come here and we'll talk it 
over. Something's got to be done.' 

"'Very well, sir,' said Taffy, touching his cap. And 
R few minutes later a great quivering and trembling 
went through the ship as the anchor chains slid out; 
and then they lay quiet, rocking gently on the waves, 
and everybody went to bed except the Lookout and the 
Captain and the Mate. 

"No one knows just what was said in the Captain's 
cabin, or whether he or Taffy made the suggestion, but 
this is what happened : 

"The next morning, just before sunrise, the Mate 
stepped out of his cabin and walked for'ard. He leaned 
over the fo'c's'le hatch, which stood open, and called, 
*Bos'n!' 

"*Ay, ay, sir,' answered the Bos'n from below. The 
next minute he stood beside Taffy on the deck. 

"* Assemble ships!' ordered the Mate. 

"*Ay, ay, sir,' said the Bos'n again. He had a whistle 
hanging from a string around his neck that he used for a 
signal to the sailors, but he did n't use that now. In- 
stead he took from a pocket inside his shirt another 
whistle. It was no larger than the first, but when he 
put it to his lips and blew, — the sound was so high and 

309 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

clear it seemed as if it must go all around the world! 
And before very long, — just as if it had gone, and was 
broken up on the way, and was coming back in little 
pieces, — from every direction came a faint, thin little 
answering whistle. And then the Captain and the Mate 
and the second mate and the four Quartermasters and 
the Bos'n and the sailors and the cook and the cabin 
boy — who were all on deck by this time — saw appear- 
ing, one by one, on the horizon, little specks, that as 
they came nearer, showed themselves to be ships of all 
descriptions, — schooners and brigs and barkentines 
and barks and frigates and luggers and full-rigged ships. 
And every time one of the little specks appeared the 
Lookout would call from the masthead, *Sail ho!* and 
the Captain would say, * Where away.^* and the Lookout 
would answer, *Two points on the weather-bow,' or 
whatever it happened to be. 

"All the morning long, all these different kinds of 
ships tacked and jibbed and went about and missed 
stays and luffed and beat to ^ind'ard, and in all these 
ways drew nearer and nearer, until, just as the Quar- 
ter-master made it seven bells, the last one of them 
hove to, and the Jane Ellen lay surrounded by fifty-two 
ships of every kind you ever saw, — but none so fine 
as she! 

"Then from the peak of the Jane Ellen fluttered a 
string of little flags, — red and yellow and white and 
green, — and the little flags said to the captains of the 
other ships, *Will you please come aboard the Jane 
Ellen .^' Then from every ship a boat put out, and was 
rowed to the side of the Jane Ellen, where a rope-ladder 

310 



THE STAES 

was let down to the water's edge. Her Captain stood on 
the deck by the rail, with the Mate standing by, and 
shook hands with every captain as he came over the 
side, and said, *I'm glad to see you, sir!* 

"When they all had come aboard and were assembled 
on the hurricane deck the Captain made them a speech, 
while the Mate went and told the cook to *look alive 
with lunch, to have it ready when the *'01d Man" gets 
through with the powwow ! ' 

"This is the Captain's speech: *I suppose you wonder 
why I called you together? Perhaps you noticed a big 
mar on the Jane Ellen's bows, where the good new 
paint is scraped off?' All the other captains nodded. 
*That happened last night,' said our Captain. *We ran 
on Porpoise Rock; and my quartermaster. Nelson, said 
he ran a-foul of it because he did n't make enough allow- 
ance for the stars moving. I've got as good quarter- 
masters as any ship afloat, but I know — you all know 

— that kind of thing happens to all of us.' The captains 
nodded again. *The trouble is n't with the man at the 
wheel, it's just here,' — and the Captain struck the 
palm of one hand with the forefinger of the other sev- 
eral times, and they all looked at it to see what it was, 

— *He has n't the right kind of stars to steer by!' The 
captains all looked up at the sky, and blinked, because 
it was just noon and the sun was very bright, and 
then looked at one another, and one of them said, 
*Y\^hat kind of stars could we have? We've got all 
there are.' 

"*0h, these stars are all right, but they move about 
so! Night after night they go 'round and around! 

311 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

A man is almost too old to take his trick at the 
wheel before he learns to make allowance for it. Now, 
we've been fair and honest, and we've steered by 
these stars — and sworn by them — as long as there 
have been ships and sailors, and the Star People 
ought to do something to help us out. So I propose 
to send some one to put it to them fairly, and see if 
they can't keep one star always in the same place. 
Then we could start from that, and know where we 
were.' 

"*How are you going to get up there?' asked the 
same captain who had spoken before. 

"*We'll show you after lunch,' said the Captain of 
the Jane Ellen. *That is, if you all agree.' 

"The other captain asked, 'Do you all agree?' and 
they all nodded. 

"Then the other captain said, 'Three cheers for the 
Skipper!' and fifty-one captains shouted, 'Hurrah!' 
three times. So that was settled, and they went down 
to the cabin for lunch. 

"Every one took a second helping until Taffy was al- 
most discouraged. He was in a hurry to be through. 
But at last they were finished and back on the deck 
to hear what the Captain had to propose. 

"'Now,' said the Captain, 'we shall have to borrow 
your masts and some anchors.' They nodded, and the 
Captain called: 'Mr. Morganwg! You may set to 
work.' 

'"At once, sir,' said Taffy, and called, 'Bos'n!* 

"*Ay, ay, sir,' said the Bos'n, running up. 

"'Call the men,' ordered the Mate. 
312 



THE STARS 

"The Bos'n blew his ordinary whistle, and at the 
same time the captains began to go over the side of the 
Jane Ellen to return to their own ships. They all looked 
very smiling and good-natured but one man, — the one 
who had n't cheered. 

"WTien it came his turn to say good-bye, he just 
humped up his shoulder and growled, and then he 
turned around and said, very loud, *The rest of you can 
do as you like, but I'm blowed if you take my main- 
mast for any such foolishness ! ' Then he went down the 
side of the ship and was rowed away. 

"The captains who heard him looked perfectly dis- 
gusted, and TaflFy said to his captain, * Shall I attend to 
him, sir?' 

"'Yes!' said the Captain, and they all nodded. 

" So, before they did anything else, Taffy and the 
Bos'n and his men went to the rude Skipper's ship (it 
was a brigantine, the Wandering Willie), and they set 
all the sails, and tied the ropes in hard knots instead of 
just belaying them, as every one knows is seamanlike. 
Then they weighed the anchor, and got off as quickly 
as they could — and off went the Wandering Willie ! 
And it had gone only a little way when the wind changed, 
and the Skipper shouted in the roughest voice, 'Ease 'er 
off ! ' And when the sailors tried, they could n't untie the 
knots, and the ship keeled over, farther and farther, 
until, all at once, she turned bottom up, and every one 
had to swim back to the other ships! The crew were 
glad of it, because they were better off; and the rude 
captain, {who could n't swim very well, had to be thank- 
ful to be pulled aboard and allowed to ship before the 

313 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

mast on the Jane Ellen. And he learned in time to be a 
very good sailor. 

"But while all this was happening, the work was go- 
ing on on all the ships. The first thing they did, they 
brought twenty-four large anchors, and anchored the 
Jane Ellen, twelve on a side and her own two at the 
bows, so she could n't even wabble. Then they drew up 
all the other ships in a long line, one after another, with 
a space between, and unstepped the mainmast of every 
ship. When every ship had her mainmast lying on the 
deck, beginning with the Jane Ellen, they spliced them 
all together, the top of one to the bottom of the next 
one. It took them all the afternoon and part of the 
next morning to do it. 

"Meanwhile, other sailors had brought twenty 
mizzen-masts to the Jane Ellen, and, one after another, 
they were carried up her mizzen-mast and spliced to the 
top of the one below. When they were all in place some 
hoisting-tackle was made fast to the top, pulley-ropes 
were run through it and carried out over the other ships 
and fastened to the spliced mainmasts, about a third of 
their length away. 

"By this time it was four bells in the afternoon, and 
everybody was pretty tired, so the Captain said they 
might rest for an hour, all except the cook, and he had 
to serve out grog. So all the seamen had their grog, and 
lay around on the deck and looked up at the tall mizzen- 
mast and the hoisting-tackle, and thought what a good 
captain they had, and that the Jane Ellen was the finest 
ship afloat. 

"Six bells had hardly finished striking when the Mate 
314 



THE STARS 

jumped down from the rail where he had been sitting, 
and called, *Bos'n!' 

"The Bos'n sprang up and said, *Ay, ay, sir!' 

"*Pipe the men aft,' ordered the Mate. 

" * Ay, ay, sir,' said the Bos'n again, and blew his whistle. 

"The seamen all jumped up nimbly and came troop- 
ing aft to the foot of the mizzen-mast. There some of 
them brought a winch, and some more arranged the 
pulley-ropes and passed them around the winch, and 
carried them fore and aft, and arranged more tackle 
around the heel of the mainmast, and did a great many 
things to them that I don't know anything about, but 
the Mate did, for he directed it all, without stopping 
even to think. And the Captain came and looked on, 
and he looked as proud as if he had done it himself! 

"At last everything seemed to be done, and Taffy 
asked, *ATe you all ready, Bos'n. ^' 

"'Just waiting for Tom Green to sing the chanty 
sir,' said he. And in a minute, Tom Green came. 

"He was n't a very large sailor, but he had one blm 
and one brown eye, and red and blue anchors and ship( 
and stars and a weeping-willow tattooed on his arms; 
and he wore his sleeves rolled up high to show them. 
And he stood up on a water cask in the stern, and the 
sailors all stood ready, in long lines, with the ropes in 
their hands. 

"Then the Mate said, *Are you ready, Bos'n?' and 
the Bos'n said, *Ay, ay, sir!' 

"*Then hoist away!' ordered the Mate. 

"The Bos'n blew his whistle, and Tom Green began 
to sing the chanty, and this is how it began: 

315 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

(Tom.) *We have left our happy home 
On the ocean for to roam.' 

(Sailors.) 'Yeo, ho! Away we go! 

Round the world and back again. — 
Yeo — heave-Ao/' 

(Tom.) 'And our wives and sweethearts dear. 
May not see for more'n a year.' 

(Sailors.) 'Fair winds! White sails flowing free. 
Blue water 'neath our keel, — 
That's the life for me.'' 

" I give you only one verse of it, but there were ninety- 
three, and it told all about their life on the ocean wave 
and what they wanted to do, and Tom Green made 
most of it up as he went along, — so perhaps he worked 
as hard as any of them ! 

"Now, every time when they sung the refrain, the 
sailors all pulled together on the ropes, and little by 
little — inch by inch, almost — the great long main- 
mast rose in the air. And on all the other ships the 
sailors stood watching, because they had nothing else 
to do, and they all joined in the chanty, and the sound 
of it mounted up through the clouds. There never was 
a chanty like it since the world began ! 

"It had been bright, sunshiny weather when the 
work began, but all the afternoon the clouds had gath- 
ered until the sky was completely overcast, like a solid 
roof of gray, and when the mast rose up, about one 
quarter of it pierced the clouds. At last it stood, straight 
and tall, the heel firmly fixed on the step above the deck 
of the Jane Ellen, and the top hidden from sight in the 

316 



THE STARS 

cloud roof, and a shout went up that must have reached 
the heavens ! Then everybody drew a long breath, and 
went to rest, and waited for it to be quite dark. 

"When it was time, and every one was on deck (the 
other captains had come aboard again), the Captain of 
the Jane Ellen looked up at the great tall mast, going 
up and up until it went out of sight in the clouds, and 
he said to the other captains, *Whom shall I send up 
to talk to the Star People?' And the other captains 
said, very decidedly, * You '11 have to send an able sea- 
man.' 

"So the Bos'n picked out the very best able seaman 
there was, and he stepped out before the captains. He 
swayed his body when he walked, and hitched up his 
trousers, and he could dance a hornpipe better than any 
man aboard, and wrap his leg four times around a rope 
when he climbed. He was just the man to cHmb to the 
top of that great tall mast. 

"The Captain looked at the Able Seaman, and said, 
*You go aloft there; and when you get to the top, you 
tell the Star People you want to talk to their captain. 
Do you understand.'^' 

"The Able Seaman pulled his forelock and said, *Ay, 
ay, sir,' and the Captain went on: *You tell him, we 
want one star that we can depend on, to steer by. We 've 
steered by them ever since there were ships, and they 
move about all the time, and we can't stand it any 
longer! We've done the fair thing by them, and now 
they can do the fair thing by us, or by Jiminy! we'll 
throw the whole lot of 'em over, and they '11 be out of a 
job! — Do you understand?' 

317 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"The Able Seaman pulled his forelock and said, *Ay, 
ay, sir.' 

"*Then, up you go!' and the Able Seaman turned 
away and came to the foot of the great tall mast. 

"There were two ropes that ran from the top to the 
bottom. He wound his leg four times around one of them, 
and took hold of the other and began to climb. And 
everybody watched him go up and up, and grow smaller 
and smaller until he was n't nearly so large as a fly. And 
then he went clear out of sight in the clouds. And they 
could n't have seen him at all, any of the way, if they 
had n't thrown a strong light on him as he went up. 

"Then — though there was nothing to see, and their 
necks ached — nobody could take his eyes from the 
spot where he disappeared. And before very long they 
saw a little speck, smaller than a fly, appear again and 
come down the great tall mast, — so tall it took thirty- 
eight minutes to come down from the place v/here it 
entered the cloud. The captains hardly could wait for 
him to get down. 

"*What did you find?' asked the Captain. 

"* A lot of Star People — I dunno who they was,' an- 
swered the Able Seaman. 

"* Well, — what did they say.?' 

"*They wanted to know what that singin' was, this 
afternoon.' 

"'But what did they say about the siarF' 

"*I did n't ask 'em.' 

"*Did n't ask them!' 

"*No. I come back to ask what to say about the 
singin'. You did n't tell me that.' 

318 



THE STARS 

**' Thunder!' said the Captain. *Did you come clear 
down here to ask me that? You get back, as quick as 
ever you can, and tell them what I said. Of course 
you 're to answer a civil question ! * 

" * Ay, ay, sir,' said the Able Seaman without winking; 
and he climbed up the mast again. And all the captains 
watched him as before, only their necks ached a little 
harder. He was gone a trifle longer, and then back he 
came. It only took thirty-six minutes this time, because 
he was more used to it (beside the time it took to go 
up, of course, and the time he was above the clouds). 

"*Well.?' said the Captain. 

'*'I toF 'em it was the chanty. And I asked to speak 
to the captain, an' a big man said they had n't no cap- 
tain, — they're a Republic' 

*"Then what.''' asked the Captain, as the Able Sea- 
man paused. 

"*Then, I did n't know who to ask for, — so I — ' 

"*Thunder-a^207i/' cried the Captain. *Did you come 
clear down here again, to ask me thai? You go back — 
quick — and don't you come down again till you finish 
your errand!' And the Able Seaman said, *Ay, ay, sir,' 
— and all the other captains looked at each other and 
said, * Thunderaiion! ' or some other word that meant the 
same thing. 

"Then the Able Seaman climbed up the mast again, 
and nearly all of them watched him. But some of the 
captains who had short necks could n't watch another 
minute, until one of them lay down on his back on the 
deck; then a good many of them did the same thing, 
and were more comfortable. 

319 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"And this time he was gone a long time — so long, 
the Captain was just going to send up the second-best 
able seaman to see what was the matter, when they saw 
him coming down. It took a little longer, because the 
leg of his trousers caught in the third twist of the rope, 
and he had to unwrap his leg and twist it around again. 
It took forty-one minutes this time, and it seemed for- 
ever to the captains ! Three or four of them waited at 
the foot of the mast, and caught at him as he slid down. 

"* What did they say?' — * Will they do ilV — they 
asked eagerly. 

"The Able Seaman breathed hard. *You wait a min- 
ute — till I get — my breath.' 

"They waited. Finally the Captain said: *Now.?' and 
the Able Seaman pulled his forelock and said: *I tol' 
'em, sir, — just as you said, — an' they all talked an' 
talked—' 

'''Who talked?' asked the Captain. 

" *I dunno their names. I ain't no navigator. — Ther^ 
was the big man, an' a woman sittin' in a chair, an' an> 
other man, and a feller with a head in his hand — all 
snakes ! — an' a big dragon kep' pokin' his blame head 
in all the time, — an' some more people; an' they all 
talked to onc't.' 

"*What did they say? Will they give us the star?* 

"*I can't make out,' said the Able Seaman. *I guess 
they was willin', but they did n't seem to know what to 
do, and they was quarrelin' about who 'd do it.' 

"The Captain looked around. *Mr. Morganwg!* he 
said. (The Mate was there almost before he spoke.) 
*It'snouse. You '11 have to go.' 

320 



THE STARS 

"'Certainly, sir,' said Taffy, and his eyes shone when 
he said it, and he turned and walked to the foot of the 
mast. 

"He weighed two hundred and eleven pounds, but he 
walked so lightly his feet seemed hardly to touch the 
deck; and when he sprang into the ropes and began to 
go up the mast, he made the Able Seaman look like an 
apprentice! And the captains all stood and watched 
him, and they were so pleased and so sure it would be 
all right, their necks almost forgot to ache. 

" Up and up climbed Taffy, higher and higher, until it 
seemed to him a thick cloud came down and wrapped 
him about so he could see only a few feet ahead of him. 
But he knew it did n't come down at all. It was he 
who had climbed up into the clouds. So he kept stead- 
ily on, and very soon it began to grow thin; and as he 
came out of it he saw a sight] that almost took his 
breath away, and made him lose his hold of the rope. 
But he would n't even look, but kept climbing on 
until he reached the top of the fifty-second mast, and 
with one leg wrapped easily around one rope, and his 
elbow resting on the gilt ball on the top of the mast, 
and his chin in his hand, he was as comfortable as a boy 
in an apple tree. Now he had time to look about him, 
— and he could take it, for the Star People were so 
busy talking among themselves they had n't seen him 
come. 

"Two persons seemed to be the center of the group. 
One was a tall, splendid man with a sword on his belt 
and a shaggy lion's hide hanging carelessly over his arm. 
Set in his belt and on his head and in the clasp around 

321 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

his knee were great blazing stars, and two dogs were at 
his heels. This was Orion. 

" Taffy knew him at once. The person to whom he 
was talking was a beautiful lady (not so very young), 
who sat in a massive, star-jeweled chair, and was al- 
ternately crying and scolding, while a man, evidently 
her husband, leaned over the chair and tried to quiet 
her. Near by stood a young man, looking very sulky; 
and from his hand swung a curious object. It was a 
woman's head, with snakes instead of hair. 

"They had once been quite stiff and wriggly snakes, 
and had stood up on end, each one of them, and 
squirmed, but now they were limp and raggy. And 
Taffy did n't wonder when he saw how Perseus was 
absent-mindedly swinging it by one or another of the 
snakes, and letting it wind up and unwind again around 
his finger. 

"Like Orion and his dogs, these people and others who 
crowded near were studded and decked with shining 
stars; and it was by their stars, that he knew so well, 
that Taffy recognized these Star People in their unac- 
customed places. 

"*Yes, I could r the lady in the chair was saying. 
*And he is n't the one to say, anyway!' 

"'What's the matter?' asked Taffy; and they all 
jumped, and then all began talking at once, so he 
could n't understand a word they said. 

"*Hus-sh!' he said, holding up his hand. And they 
gradually stopped talking, all but Orion. (And Cassi- 
opeia kept on saying things to her husband — but that 
did n't count.) 



THE STARS 

"*Wlio are you?* asked Orion. 

" * I 'm the Mate of the Jane Ellen/ said Taffy. * And I 
want to know what's the trouble. It does n't seem much 
to ask for — just one star.' 

"*No/ answered Orion, *it doesn't. And we're all 
willing. But who is going to hold that star? — and how 
are we going to know it's always in the same spot?' 

"'I should think you might agree about that easily 
enough,' said Taffy. 

"*Well, we can't,' said Orion. *I can't do it; I have 
other things to attend to.' 

'**And you won't let any one else!' broke in Cassio- 
peia. * You know how I just sit in my chair, and I 'd love 
to hold it.' 

"*She can't,' said Orion. 'Pretty thing for a woman 
to do!' 

"'I'm not a woman,' observed Perseus. 

" ' Don't you say another word ! ' said Cassiopeia. 
*And stop twirling that Gorgon! — You make me nerv- 
ous. You know perfectly well, you have to keep away 
the monster from my darling child.' 

"Perseus said no more, but he looked sulkier than 
ever. 

"*No, he can't,' said Orion. 'And beside that, you're 
used to seeing us move about. Now if one of us gives 
up his own place, it will mix you all up.' 

"'That's true,' said Taffy. And just as he spoke, 
something rubbed against his hand, — something that 
sent a little prickly shock through him at first, and at 
the same time, the very softest thing he ever had felt or 
imagined. 

323 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"He looked down and saw a little bear — but such a 
little bear ! His long fur was, in color, a beautiful blue- 
gray, and the tip of each hair seemed to have been dipped 
in moonlight or powdered with star-dust, for it shone 
and glinted in the starlight as he moved; and his eyes 
twinkled like two little stars themselves; and curiously 
enough for a little bear, he had a great long tail. And 
unlike any of the Star People, he had n't a star on him 
anywhere. 

" * Hello, little one ! ' said Taffy. * What are you doing 
here?' And he bent down to stroke Little Bear. Little 
Bear leaned against his leg; and as his hand sank in the 
soft, soft fur, and again the electric tingles ran up his 
arm, it was as if they took the message to his brain: 
*0h, dear Taffy, let me take care of the Sailor's Star!' 

"It came so clearly to him, Taffy spoke again: * Would 
you really like it?' — and the answer came, Hke a long, 
•Oh-h!' of rapture. 

"*See here,' said Taffy to the Star People. *Why 
don't you let this little chap have it? That would 
settle it.' 

"* Little Bear?' said everybody. Then everybody 
looked at everybody else, and said, *Why not?' — be- 
cause they all loved Little Bear; and they were glad to 
find a way to settle the dispute and stop talking. 

"Taffy told them what to do; and Cassiopeia was the 
first one to take a lovely star from the back of her dress, 
where it never had been seen by the sailors and would n't 
be missed; and they all agreed that, if she could n't hold 
the Sailor's Star herself, she should be the one to give it. 
And they fastened that star on the very tip of Little 

324 



THE STARS 

Bear's tail. Then Orion and Perseus and the Big 
Dragon, who came and looked on, and the rest of them 
gave more stars to fasten on Little Bear, and he stood 
pressed against Taffy's knee while they did it; and his 
fur sparkled and shone and his two bright eyes twinkled, 
bright as any of the stars, while little electric thrills of 
pleasure and gratitude ran to Taffy's heart as his hand 
stroked the beautiful fur that was softer than anything 
in the whole World ! 

** * There ! ' said Orion, as he fastened the last star and 
pushed one of the dogs back with his foot, while Little 
Bear growled, a soft small growl. 'He's fine as a birth- 
day cake ! Now I want to know how you are going to be 
sure that star is always in the right place?' 

"*Easy enough!' said Taffy. *You know where the 
North Pole is, don't you?' 

"*0f course we do,' said Orion, and the other Star 
People echoed: *0f course!' 

"*Then, all Little Bear has to do is to keep the star 
directly over that Pole. And he '11 do it,' said Taffy, lay- 
ing his hand on Little Bear's head — and the message 
thrilled through it: *0h, I will, dear Taffy! The Sailor's 
Star shall never wander ! ' 

" When the Mate stepped on to the deck of the Jane 
Ellen it was almost morning, and all the captains who 
were n't asleep had such stiff necks they hardly could 
turn their heads to look at him. And when he touched 
his cap and said to the Captain of the Jane Ellen : * It 's 
all arranged, sir,' they were so worn out they were glad 
to go back to their own ships and go to bed without 
asking a single question. It would n't have been any 

325 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

use if they had, for the Captain took Taffy straight into 
his own cabin and shut the door; and that was the last 
any one saw of them that night. 

"The next morning every one was as busy as a bee; 
and they worked so fast that before evening every mast 
had been put back, and the twenty-four anchors re- 
turned to their own ships, and they were all ready to 
sail. 

"During the afternoon the clouds had broken up, and 
the sun went down in a clear sky. As darkness fell, the 
crew of each ship assembled on the deck, with every eye 
fixed on the Northern sky, 

"Taffy stood beside the Captain of the Jane Ellen 
while the rose-red faded into yellow, and palest green, 
and violet, and a few large stars came out, one by one. 
Then, — faint at first, then, brighter and brighter, — 
the stars that told Taffy Little Bear was at his post! 
And a great shout went up from all the ships, that must 
have reached the sky ! It seemed to Taffy that the stars 
glowed brighter, and he could almost feel the touch of 
soft fur, softer than anything in the world, and a little 
thrill went to his heart, that said : * You see, Taffy dear, 
I 'm here ! ' 

"Then the fifty-two ships set sail in every direction, 
and the Jane Ellen was alone once more. And all night 
long, as she went on her way, whenever Taffy looked up 
at the Northern sky, the Sailor's Star hung over the Pole. 
But Little Bear swung slowly, slowly around it, watch- 
ing, watching the ships that were sailing to all quarters 
of the world. And on every ship the sailors said: 

"*God bless the Little Bear!'" 
$26 



THE STARS 

STAR OF BETHLEHEM 

One of the loveliest star stories I know is the one that 
we find in the Bible about the star that the wise men 
followed. 

When I was a little girl I used to watch the stars from 
my bed until I went to sleep at night. 

Once I was sick and went to a hospital, and my bed 
was where I could not see the stars, and how homesick 
I was. After that I dreaded to go away from home, for I 
thought the stars shone nowhere else, and I loved them 
so. 

After a while I did go away to live for a little while. I 
did n't get there until after dark, and then all the way 
up the street — can you imagine my joy — the stars 
shone down on me just as they always had at home. 

I looked up and found the Great Dipper, and followed 
the two stars at the end, and found the North Star right 
at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper, and I knew 
that over that way was my home and mother, and the 
same stars were twinkling and vvinking down at her 
there as they were at me so far away, and I was n't 
lonely any more. I looked at the one I saw first of all 
and I just whispered, 

"Star light, star bright. 
First star I've seen to-night. 
I wish I may, I wish I might 
Have the wish, I wish to-night.'* 

And what did I wish? ''Make Mother happy." 

The Bible story of the first Christmas tells about the 
stars, although this story was written so long ago that 

327 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

no one now Kving can remember about that first Christ- 
mas, so you see the stars must have been shining then 
for the people in that coimtry so far away, just as they 
do for us now. The story begins Hke this : 

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, 
in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise 
men from the east to Jerusalem, saying. Where is he 
that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star 
in the east and have come to worship him." 

The king told them to go to Bethlehem and find him, 
and the story goes on : 

"And lo, the star which they saw in the east, went 
before them till it came and stood over where the young 
child was. \Mien they saw the star, they rejoiced with 
exceeding great joj^ And when they were come into the 
house they saw the young child with Mary his mother, 
and fell down and worshipped him, and when they had 
opened their treasures they presented unto him gifts; 
gold, and frankincense and myrrh." 

You see this story of the first Christmas tells you that 
it was the birthday of a baby. The wise men studied the 
stars even in those days so many hundreds of years ago, 
and when they saw a star that they had never seen 
before they tried to find out more about it. They went 
first to their great city and told the king about it. Then 
they went as far as the little town of Bethlehem and 
there, still studying this wonderful new star, brighter 
than any they had ever seen before, they found a little 
baby. His mother called this little baby Jesus, but the 
wise men gave him another name. They said that this 
little baby would live such a good life that every one 

328 



THE STARS 

who knew him would see how they should live. He 
would be so unselfish, so truthful, so pure, that others 
seeing him would learn for the first time how to five so 
that this world would be like heaven. There would be 
no fighting, nor hurting, nor stealing, nor fear, just lov- 
ing and sharing, and growing, and so he should be called 
a Saviour because he would save men from sin and un- 
happiness. Sometimes he is called the Saviour now, and 
sometimes The Christ, which means the same thing, and 
sometimes Jesus, as his mother called him. That was 
the story of the first Christmas, part of it, and you see 
it was a birthday. Just as we remember your birthday 
and you remember mine and Daddy's, every one remem- 
bers this little Jesus' birthday every year at Christmas. 
We have a Christmas tree, and on the top a star to re- 
mind us of the story of the star that the wise men fol- 
lowed. 

The stars have shown many things worth knowing to 
men who have been wise enough to watch them and 
study them. 

[The mystery play, "Eager Heart" is one of the best 
Christmas plays to be found. I tell it to my children, 
each Christmas Eve, as a story, as follows :] 

THE STORY OF EAGER HEART 

{The Christmas Mystery Play) 

When people began to have plays they used to make 
them up about the saints or about Jesus. Those about 
the saints they called Miracle plays, and those about 
the Lord they called Mystery plays, and the one they 
wrote for Christmas being about Jesus was, of course, 

329 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

a — yes, a mystery play, and they called it Eager Heart. 
This is the story, then, of Eager Heart. 

Eager Heart was the name of a beautiful woman. 
Perhaps you would not have called her beautiful. She 
had no fine clothes, nor high-heeled, dainty slippers, no 
diamond necklaces, and I am not sure that she even 
had curly hair or very white, small hands. I am sure 
that her hands were as clean as she could keep them and 
do all the work that she had to do to keep her little 
cottage bright and sweet, and her family well clothed 
and fed. 

She did not live in a grand house, because she was not 
rich. Just a little home she had, but such a happy one 
it was. Every one helped. Daddy worked hard every 
day to get the money for the things she must have and 
the children were loving and sweet and helpful. Eager 
Heart cooked and sewed and cleaned, and in the evening 
they all talked and played together, and small though 
it was, it was a much nicer place than many a palace. 

Now on a certain night, the story goes, every one 
expected a great king to pass through their village. 

Everj' one was on the lookout for Him and had their 
homes ready hoping that He would come to them to rest. 

Eager Heart, like the rest, prepared her home for His 
coming. The food, the best that she could get, was 
ready, and the table never was set better; the bed was 
all ready with her finest linen, fresh and spotless, and 
the lamp shone brightly in the window. 

While she was waiting she heard steps coming to the 
door, and her heart almost stopped beating. As some one 
knocked at the door she caught her breath quickly and 

330 



THE STARS 

hastened to open it. What if it should be the King, and 
He had come to her humble home! 

But no; there stood a poor, tired workman, and beside 
him, shivering with the cold, because so poorly clad, his 
wife and little boy wrapped in her shawl. 

"Could we come in and warm ourselves and rest in 
your cottage just for to-night.?" he asked. 

Poor Eager Heart — to-night ! And this was not the 
King; but she was sorry for the tired man and his shiver- 
ing wife and little boy, and yet to-night; why, she had 
so longed to have the King for her guest, and only this 
one night would He pass her way. 

She looked at the workman and said, "Oh, not to- 
night, not to-night. I am expecting a friend, a dear, dear 
friend, to-night; come to-morrow night, yes, and the 
next and as many more as you will, but not to-night; 
any night but this." 

The workman turned av/ay and sighed. "That is 
what they all say," he said. "No one wants us to-night. 
Every one is expecting a guest to-night, and there is no 
place for us." 

Eager Heart, sad and sorry, was about to close the 
door when she looked into the face of the little child. 
It was so wistful, so beautiful, that the next moment she 
had it in her arms and was leading the three weary 
people into her warm, sweet home. She fed them and 
laid the dear child on the bed that she had so fondly 
prepared for the King. 

The people were gathering in the streets, singing 
carols and watching for the expected Guest. 

After she had done what she could for the strangers, 
331 



r 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Eager Heart, too, went out to watch for the King. Her 
dream of having Him for a guest was gone. Now it could 
never, never be, and disappointed, she took her lamp 
in her hand, hoping to at least catch a glimpse of Him, 
and perhaps touch the hem of His garment as He passed. 

There she found the people of the village, shepherds, 
who had come in from the plains where they had been 
tending their sheep, and Wise Men who had come from 
the East, and led them all, following a wonderful, bril- 
liant star, brighter than any Eager Heart had ever seen, 
searching for the King whom they all knew would be 
found in this village that night. 

Eager Heart followed the gathering crowd from street 
to street and from house to house. Down all the fine 
streets of the village, past many a palace and stately 
home, they passed until Eager Heart ran to catch up 
with the Wise Men, for they were passing down her 
own street and back to the door of her humble home. 

Low above the cottage, hung the wonderful star, and 
here the Wise Men stopped, and both the Wise Men and 
the shepherds said that in that house they would surely 
find the King. 

Eager Heart rushed forward. "Oh, no," she cried, 
"not in there, surely not in there, for that is my home, 
and I have just left only a poor workman and his family 
resting in the only bed that I might have offered to the 
King." 

The Wise Men and the shepherds pointed to the star 
hanging low above her cottage and Eager Heart, trem- 
bling, opened the door. 

The whole house was ablaze with light. There they 
332 



THE STARS 

found the Holy Family, and on the bed, which she had 
so lovingly and longingly prepared with spotless linen, 
was the infant King. 

She fell at His feet in worship and wonder. The Wise 
Men left their gifts and led away the following crowd. 



/^ 



L 

LIGHTHOUSES 

WHEN we were staying on the Maine Coast the 
summer that David was just beginning to walk, 
do you remember how tired we got going around the 
road to the farm for milk for him? 

How pleased we were when we found that we could 
row over from the point where v/e were staying, out 
through a narrow channel and across the open water to 
the shore where the farm was. There was a sandy beach 
— do you remember? — where we could land easily. 
Then it was just a few steps to the farmhouse and back 
to the boat, and we were saved that long walk. 

We noticed that just beyond the little beach where 
we landed, a high, rocky ledge jutted out into the water. 
Great, jagged rocks, higher than our house, stood out 
in the sea, and the whole point was formed of solid rock. 

When the wind blew hard we knew that we were not 
strong enough to guide our boat against it, so we never 
tried to go this way in bad weather. We knew the waves 
would dash the boat against the great rocks beyond our 
sandy beach, and it would either be smashed to pieces 
or a hole punched in it so that it would quickly fill with 
water and sink. 

One day when we landed, we decided to follow a little 
path through the grassy field which led up to the top of 
the great ledge. It was a quiet, sunny day, and daisies 
nodded in the breeze as we passed. Cows were eating 

334 



LIGHTHOUSES 

the grass, and we could hear the bell which the leader 
wore as she lazily moved her head about as she fed. 
Away up on the top of the ledge we found a white house 
with the tallest tower you had ever seen. Here and 
there all the way up there were little windows in this 
round tower. Near the top outside there was a narrow 
platform, built around the tower, with a railing. Above 
that was a room with the sides all made of glass and 
brightly shining in the sun. 

As we started to go around the house to the tower a 
pleasant-faced woman, who sat by the kitchen window 
knitting, came to the door and invited us to go in, which 
we did. 

There we found a happy family and a cozy home with 
plants blossoming in the sunny windows and everything 
freshly painted and brightly shining. 

The mother was baking cookies, and the little boy was 
cutting out a sailor boy from some of the dough. 

She asked us if we had ever seen a lighthouse before, 
and when we told her that we had not she said that she 
would take us up in the tower and show us the light. 

Then we loiew that the tall round tower was a light- 
house and that in the rest of the house the lighthouse 
keeper's family lived. They were a long way from neigh- 
bors and the village, but they had a garden and cows 
and hens and lived very happily. Many a time after 
that we went over to see the cows milked and to play 
with the lighthouse keeper's little boy. 

The grandmother left her knitting and took us 
through a long, narrow hallway to the foot of the stairs 
that led to the light at the top of the tower. 

335 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

There she left us and told us that we would find the 
lighthouse keeper at the top cleaning the lamps. 

So we climbed the stairs which went round and round, 
like the way into the spider's parlor, which you remem- 
ber was up a winding stair. At each turn we found a 
tiny window which let in light enough for us to see 
our way up and through which we could peek out and 
look way off to sea. It was a long climb, and we were 
glad the grandmother had not tried to go with us. We 
kept on, however, until we came to the little round 
room with walls of glass which we had seen when we 
walked up through the fields before we went into the 
house. 

Up here the daisies were so far away that we could 
not see them, and the cows looked as small as dogs, but 
we could see shij>s miles away out at sea; and when we 
looked through the great telescope which the Hght- 
house keeper showed us we could see plainer still. 

Straight down below we could see the great, sharp 
rocks jutting out from the solid ledge, and as we looked 
at them we realized that no ship was ever built strong 
enough to run upon those rocks without being dashed 
to pieces. 

While we were watching the lighthouse keeper clean- 
ing the great lamps and polishing the reflectors behind 
them we had not noticed the clouds gathering in the 
sky until presently we heard a great bell ringing. 

Then we looked at the lighthouse keeper and he said, 
** Fog bell, look out to sea.*' 

Out where a little while before we could see so far, 
now we could see nothing but the gray fog. Not a ship 

336 




A LIGHTHOUSE 
(White Island Light, Isles of Shoals) 



LIGHTHOUSES 

could we find. Down below, where we had watched the 
waves lapping the rocks we could hear them booming 
with a great roar, but we could see the rocks no more. 
The fog shut out everything from our sight. 

Because fog and darkness hide the rocks so many- 
times, lighthouses have been built in rocky places, or on 
sand-bars, where ships are liable to go or be driven 
against them. In these have been put great lights to 
shine through the darkness and bells to ring when the 
fog shuts them from view to warn the sailors to keep 
away from them. 

Not all the lighthouses are as pleasant to Kve in as 
this one is, though. 

There are great rocks in the ocean, always hidden by 
the waves, which can be reached only in a row-boat. 
There is no place for anything but the high tower. No 
garden can grow in such a place. In many of these 
places even the lighthouse has been swept away more 
than once and the keepers drowned when the great 
waves rolled in and beat upon it in a heavy storm. 

In some places not even a tower can be built. In such 
a place a great ship with a Hght upon it is anchored as a 
warning to passing ships. This is a lightship and you 
can imagine how you would like to live in such a place, 
tossing about in wind and storm. 

In some hghthouses now, electric lights are used, but 
not many can be lighted in this way. Some burn gas, 
but most of them use kerosene, and the lamps have to 
be filled and cleaned regularly. Before people learned 
to use kerosene, candles were used. 

When ships pass these lights they usually whistle 
337 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

and the keeper learns to know the boats which pass 
often by their whistles. 

The lights, too, are all different so that the captains 
of the boats learn to know which lighthouse they are 
passing. 

They are all built differently, some of wood, some of 
stone, or concrete, or steel. It is not an easy thing to 
build a lighthouse so that it will not be washed or blown 
away by the wind and waves. 

Then the lights are of different colors or shine dif- 
ferently. A machine shuts off the light and then lets it 
shine again so that the light winks different numbers. 
In some places there are twin lights. 

High as these lighthouses are, the waves often dash 
up against the glass so hard that the windows are 
smashed. 

It takes brave men and women to tend these lights. 
There are many stories told of the faithfulness and 
courage of the keepers. 

In spite of the danger there are always brave men 
and women enough to be found to keep the lights flash- 
ing out over the sea and the fog bells ringing to warn 
the sailors off the rocks and the shoals and to keep their 
boats from being dashed to pieces. 



TELLING TIME 



LI 

DAY AND NIGHT 

THIS is the day the Lord hath made. Let us be 
glad and rejoice in it." This is what Brother 
learned in kindergarten. 

We talked quite a bit together about what it meant 
and how much better it is to begin each new day cheer- 
ful and smiling than long-faced and gloomy. One little 
boy whom we know is no brighter nor any happier than 
any of the others, and yet we love to have him about for 
he has such a cheery grin, and when we say, "Let's do 
so and so," he almost always says, with that grin which 
makes us smile, "All right, then we will." He never 
seems to have time for a grouch or more than the be- 
ginning of a scowl, there are so many other things to do; 
and so we agreed to think of him as we said to ourselves 
each morning: "This is the day the Lord hath made. 
Let us be glad and rejoice in it." 

Brother was only three years old at the time, and you 
were a wee, wee baby not more than half a year old. 

A few mornings later you woke up and began to howl. 
How you did yell ! Spiff slid out of his little bed and ran 
to your crib. He leaned over you and fairly beamed into 
your eyes. "No, no, Baby," he said. "Baby must n't. 
* This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us be glad 
and REJOICE in it ! ' Baby must n't cry. Baby must 
smile and be happy." 

One would have thought you understood, for never 
341 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

did I hear a sweeter gurgle than answered Brother's 
sweetly spoken words. Morning after morning he 
beamed you into happy waking. 

But I started to tell you about day and night and 
why it is dark part of the time and light the other part. 
Years ago little Jewish children used to ask their fathers 
and mothers this same question. In the Bible we find 
what they told them about it. 

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth. . . . And darkness was upon the face of the deep. 
. . . And God said, Let there be light: and there was 
light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and 
God divided the light from the darkness. And God 
called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. 
And the evening and the morning were the first day." 

This, the Jewish people told their children, was be- 
fore any man was made to live upon the earth. 

Every morning when we wake how good it is to find 
our room flooded with light. Often at night when you 
go to bed you beg me to leave the light on. You are 
afraid of the dark corners, because you cannot see what 
is in them, but I've never known you to be afraid in 
the morning when the fight shows you those corners as 
they really are and just as they were last night when it 
was dark and you could not see them. You see we often 
say, just as was said at the beginning of the world: 
"Let there be light!" 

Years before these stories in the Bible were told, 
children were asking where the light came from, and 
mothers and fathers were telling stories about it. Some 
of these stories we have to-day in books of Mythology, 

342 



DAY AND NIGHT 

which were the Bible stories of the Greek and Roman 
people. 

In the morning if you look out of the window [men- 
tion the east window as the front window in our room] 
just before the sun comes up, you will see the sky all 
rosy. Often we have watched the sun go down behind 
the barn [instead of barn speak of what you have seen 
the smi disappear behind] and then every cloud became 
rosy, with bright flames of color across the sky. Do 
you remember the night at camp last summer when the 
days were so long that we were in bed before dark and 
we watched the sun sink down like a great red ball into 
the sea? Do you remember we watched the sky grow 
rosy and the sea take on the same rosy glow and then 
the soft clouds roll along changing as we watched and 
making pictures for us of islands and mountains, castles 
and giants, and finally forming, we fancied, a whole 
circus parade.? Were n't we glad there was a place where 
we could see so much sky and such beautiful colors, 
greens and purples that we had never dreamed of ! 

At night we see the colors in the sky after the sun 
has gone out of sight and those fade away as the dark- 
ness of night comes on. In the morning we see the colors 
just before the sun comes in sight, bringing with it the 
Hght of a new day. 

Many beautiful stories have come to us that have 
been told about the coming and the going of the sun, 
and pictures have been painted and statues have been 
modeled to tell these stories. 

The Greeks and Romans told stories very much alike. 
They said a glorious goddess — the Greeks called her 

343 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

£os, the Romans, Aurora — with beautiful hair, rosy 
arms and fingers, rose from her couch very early every 
morning. Smiling she gayly wrapped a saffron-colored — 
do you know what saffron color is? Something between 
yellow and orange — mantle about her and harnessed 
her horses. Their names were Lampus and Phaethon, 
which mean brightness and luster. Then she drove away 
in her chariot announcing day to the sleeping world. 

As we begin to read we shall find many poems written 
about this goddess and often find her spoken of as 
"Aurora, rosy-fingered goddess of the dawn." 

Behind her, the story goes on, came the Sun-god; Sol, 
the Romans called him, HeHos the Greeks called him. 
He was a handsome youth with flashing eyes and shining 
hair covered with a golden helmet. Every morning he 
rose out of the ocean in the east, and, drawn in a sun 
chariot by four fiery horses, crossed the sky and drove 
out of sight each night in the west. 

The story never told how he got back again. Poems 
have since been written about this god, and in these he 
sails back in a golden boat. When I read them I wonder 
how they thought his horses and chariot got back to 
draw up the sun the next morning. 

Where he went down in the west this god of the sun 
was supposed to have a splendid palace and a wonderful 
garden. It was called the Garden of the Hesperides. 

The Indians told their children another story about 
the sunrise. They told of Waban. He was young and 
beautiful, and his cheeks were painted with the brightest 
streaks of crimson. With his silver arrows he shot away 
the darkness and brought the morning. 

S44 



DAY AND NIGHT 

In kindergarten many little children in these days 
sing about the sunshine each morning, and in one song 
they ask, "How did you wake so soon?" The answer is 
that the sun never goes to sleep but shines all night. As 
the world turns around the light is hidden until it turns 
the child back again where he finds the sun waiting 
always in the same place to shine upon the children 
each morning. 

When I asked my mother why it is dark part of the 
time and what makes the sun come up in the sky on 
one side of the house and go down at night on the other, 
she told me that swinging in the heavens is a great 
shining ball, a million times as big as the earth, so large 
and so bright that I could n*t think of anything so large 
or so bright. This is the sun. She showed me a ball and 
said that this earth on which we live is Hke a ball, too. 
It was very hard for me to think of the world in this 
way, but she made a little cross on the ball for the town 
in which we lived and on the other side of the ball a 
different colored cross for a town on the other side of 
the world, and then let my finger travel around the ball 
just as I could travel around the world. 

Then she put a stick through the ball and turned the 
ball around. She held a candle so that it shone upon 
the mark on the ball which she had made for the town 
where we lived. I could see the mark and the fight on 
that side of the ball. As the ball swung around, the 
light fell upon the other side of the ball, and it was dark 
where the cross stood for the place where we lived. Just 
so she said the earth was turning round and round as it 
swung in the air so that the sun shone on one side of it 

345 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

until that side turned away and then that side was dark 
and the side toward the sun was light. It takes the 
earth just a day and night to turn around, and it never 
stops; so we have first darkness, which we call night, 
and then light, which we call day. 

So, although the sun is always shining, it is hidden 
from us every night by the earth itself getting between 
us and the sun. You can understand this better perhaps 
if I tell you that the earth is round like an apple only 
more times bigger than you can think. Suppose a light 
shines on one side of the apple. If a tiny mosquito 
lights on the side of the apple in the light and then the 
apple turns around while the mosquito stays right 
there, when the apple is halfway round the mosquito 
cannot see the light any more because the apple is be- 
tween him and the light. As it keeps on turning he gets 
back into the light. 

Men have learned a great deal about the earth on 
which we live, and the sun which gives it light, since 
the days when "God saw the Light, that it was good"; 
but they still wonder at the glory of the sunset, as it 
brings the darkness each night in which all things may 
rest and gain strength, and at the beauty of the sunrise 
each morning which brings with it the never-failing 
light of day in which all things work and grow. 



Ln 

THE CALENDAR 

HAPPY New Year," called Daddy, one morning 
a week after Christmas, on his way down to 
breakfast. 

"Happy New Year, Spiff," echoed Brother, and later 
in the morning when Spiff went walking with Mother 
almost every one we met greeted us with the same 
cheery "Happy New Year." 

That night Spiff said, "Mother, why did every one 
say * Happy New Year' to-day?" 

"Because to-day is the first day of January, and it is 
just three hundred and sixty-five days since the first 
day of January last year, and so we are beginning a 
new year. It's just the same as * Good-morning,' which 
we say to each other at the beginning of each new day." 

I took down the calendar which I had hung up last 
New Year's Day and showed Spiff the number at the 
top. He read the figures, 1-9-1-9. Then I showed him 
the new calendar which had been given to me for this 
year, and he read the number at the top of that, 1-9-2-0. 

I told him that 1-9-1-9 meant nineteen hundred 
and nineteen years, and that 1-9-2-0 meant nineteen 
hundred and twenty years, and that these years had 
begun to be counted the year that Jesus was born. You 
know that last week we had a holiday and a Christmas 
tree and candies and presents because it was Jesus' 
birthday. 

347 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

When you had a birthday how many candles did we 
put on your cake? Yes, five. How many did we put on 
last year? Four. How many do you think we shall put 
on next year? Six. Why shall we put on six? Because 
you will be six years old. Last year there were four 
because you were four years old, and this year we had 
five because you are five years old. 

Let us make a mark on the blackboard for every 
year that you have lived. Now let us try to make a 
mark for every year in the number on the calendar 
which shows us how many years it is since Jesus began 
to live. How many will that be? One thousand nine 
hundred and twenty. That is too many to make. I 
think so, too. 

Now let us look at this calendar again before I hang 
it up. You see there are pages, let *s count and see how 
many. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12. Now at the top of 
each page we shall find a name, and I will read them to 
you. January, February, March, April, May, June, 
July, August, September, October, November, De- 
cember. These are the names of the months, and in 
each year we shall find these same twelve months. Let 
us look at last year's calendar and see if they are there. 
Let 's look again at the new calendar. What do you see 
on each page besides the names of the months which 
are on the top, and the number which we said was the 
niunber of the years since Jesus was born? 

Little squares, and at the top of each little square a 
letter, and in each square a number. Some of the pages 
have thirty-one numbers and some have thirty and one 
page has only twenty-eight. I know a little rhyme which 

348 



THE CALENDAR 

will help us to remember which months have thirty-one 
days and which thirty and twenty-eight. It is: 

"Thirty days hath September, 
April, June, and November; 
All the rest have thirty-one. 

Except the second month alone. 
To which we twenty-eight assign 
Till leap-year gives it twenty-nine.** 

These letters and figures mean something, too. 

Do you remember when we talked about the sun and 
moon we found that the earth is turning over and over, 
and that it took just a day and a night to do this once? 
Do you remember that we found also that it is moving 
around the sun and that it takes three hundred and 
sixty-five days to do this once? There was something 
else we found out, too, which is that we see the moon 
full, that is, as a round ball, once a month. 

This is why we have a calendar; to show these things. 
Men used to say, "In so many moons we will do so and 
so," but it won't do to tell time that way now. We plan 
our time to a minute, or if we are catching a train, to a 
second. So that one person could let others know just 
what time they meant to do a certain thing, or to be at 
a certain place, they called the time that it takes for 
the world to turn over, a day, and named seven of these 
and called that many a week. Then they called four of 
these weeks a month and twelve of these months a year, 
but that did not come out an even three hundred and 
sixty-five days, which is the time it takes for the earth 
to go around the sun, and so they added two days to 
some of the months and three days to some others and 

849 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

now we have a calendar to tell us the days of the week 
and month and year. On some calendars a picture of 
the moon is drawn so that if you want to know when 
there will be a full moon, or a new moon, or a half a 
one, you won't have to reckon from the last one to find 
out, all you need to do is to look on your calendar. If 
you forget what year it is, just look at your calendar. 
This saves trouble, too, for if there were no calendar 
you might think it was nineteen hundred and eighteen 
years since Jesus was born and I might think it was 
nineteen hundred and twenty-one years and Brother 
might think it was something else, and then who could 
prove what it is anyway? 

I wonder if you can tell me the names of these seven 
days that are marked on the top of each page? 

First, there is the day that we go to church. What is 
that? Then there is the day for washing when we start 
the week at school. What is that? Then the day for 
ironing. This is hke "Going to see Miss Jennie Jones," 
is n't it? or "I went to visit a friend one day." I think 
it would be nice to make or find pictures of the things 
people do on each day of the seven and make a calen- 
dar of our own. We have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 

Each morning we have a new day. It is n't very long 
between the nev/days, is it? You can remember yester- 
day and the day before that. You can think back easily 
to the first of the week and remember what we did 
Sunday, and here it is Saturday night again and time 
to think of another week; but can you think back as 
quickly to last New Year's Day and to all the days 

350 



THE CALENDAR 

between? So it was a very good plan to name only 
seven days and then number the weeks from moon to 
moon and name twelve months instead of having to 
learn a name for every day in the three hundred and 
sixty-five that make a year, was n't it? 

There is something else in the year that the turning 
and moving of the earth around the sun gives us. If the 
sun stood still and the earth stood still we should always 
have the same amount of sunshine, and then the weather 
would always be the same instead of part of the year 
warm and part of the year cool, part hot and part cold, 
as it is now. 

Do you know what we call the hot part of the year, 
when the grass is green and we like to go swimming? 
Summer. What is the cold part called, when we go 
coasting and skating? Winter. Then there is the time 
between summer and winter when the leaves turn red 
and gold, and the squirrels hide the nuts and acorns, and 
Jack Frost first comes and turns the gardens black with 
his chill breath, and this is called the fall or autumn. 
Between the winter and the summer is another time, 
when we watch for a flash of blue and hear a little 
caroling song to tell us that the first bluebird has come 
back from the Southland, where he has been staying all 
through the cold winter, and when this happens, and 
we hear also the frogs peeping down in the meadows, we 
are sure that spring has come. We call these the four 
seasons. 

What a lot of things a year brings us ! No wonder we 
take time to say on the first day of each one " Happy 
New Year!" 

351 



TALKS TO CHE^DREN 

Let us see if we can remember all the things that the 
calendar tells us. 

First, the number of years since Jesus was born; 
then the names of the twelve months, the names of the 
seven days of each week, the number of the days in 
each month, the changes that we shall see in the moon, 
and the four seasons in the year. Each season has three 
months. 

Almost every month in the year has one day that we 
keep as a holiday; a day when we need not work or go 
to school but remember some special thing that hap- 
pened on that day. Can you remember any of the good- 
time days that we had last year? 

Christmas? We could never forget that, could we? 

Let's play a little game for the months of the year. 
We will have a grand procession. Shall we have paper 
dolls, or our little chairs, or shall we draw the people on 
the blackboard for our grand march? When you have 
as many as twelve children to play with again you can 
play this game of the months with them. 

You think we had better draw them on the black- 
board? Well, here is January. We will draw a little 
man for January, and what does he bring us? Ice and 
snow and sleds and skates? Yes, and best of all, the 
New Year. So let's have January lead our procession 
and carry either a little baby to show that the year has 
just been born or a banner with the new number on it. 
It's easier to draw a banner with the number of the 
year, so let's do that. 

Now, we will draw February next, and what do we 
remember February brought us last year? Washington's 

352 



THE CALENDAR 

Birthday. Washington was the President of our coun- 
try, and so we '11 remember him best by the flag of our 
country; so February shall carry the Stars and Stripes. 

And what else comes in February? A day when the 
postman is busy and letters are full of love and sur- 
prises. St. Valentine's Day, to be sure; and in his other 
hand February shall carry a valentine. 

Look on the calendar, and I will read for you what 
comes next. March. He brings no holiday. How could 
he? — for it's March that calls the bluebird back and 
the frogs and the crocuses; spring, with cleaning enough 
in the house and gardens to keep us all busy and happy 
the whole thirty-one days without having a holiday on 
any one of them. So March shall carry a caroling blue- 
bird, for the bluebird stands for happiness, and we are 
always happiest when we are busiest. 

Then April with Mother's birthday and Brother's, 
too, and showers to start the mayflowers; so we'll let 
April carry an umbrella and a loving greeting. Next in 
the procession we must have a queen and children gayly 
twining a pole with garlands and baskets and wreaths 
of flowers, for these are for May and Memorial Day. 
Roses and strawberries for June, and a grand hurrah 
for the Fourth of July. Fireworks, too, and a flag, of 
course, for the grand hurrah was because our country 
stood for Right and Freedom and the flag stands for 
our country. 

August comes with hammocks and boats, berries and 
picnics, for it 's vacation time and summer and brings a 
chance to rest and play. 

Then comes September with baskets of fruits and 
353 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

vegetables, and ripened grain ! Such loads of apples and 
peaches and pears and grapes, squashes and turnips, 
potatoes and the rest, golden corn and yellow wheat. 
What a load for September, the first of the autumn 
months ! 

Now, what shall we draw for October? Nuts and 
bright leaves. Nothing could be better, but we must 
have a pumpkin to make the children a Jack-o'-lantern, 
for the last of October brings us Hallowe'en; and how 
could we have a real Hallowe'en frolic without a pump- 
kin Jack-o'-lantern? 

And now November and the winter months have be- 
gun. Have we anything left for November? Thanks- 
giving Day, of course, a day to give thanks for all that 
has gone before and especially for September's heavy 
baskets and stalks of golden grain; and what shall we 
draw for November but a turkey, of course? 

And now let's count and see how many more we 
have. Let 's count on our fingers as we name. January 
with its Happy New Year, February with its flag and 
valentines, March with its signs of spring and happy 
work — and did we forget the children's kites and mar- 
bles and jump-ropes? I believe we did — April with its 
showers. May with the Maypole and the day when we 
remember the soldiers who fought to keep our country 
peaceful, June the month of roses, July the month the 
boys love best of all, August for vacation, September 
for harvest, October with pumpkin Jack-o '-lanterns, 
November with turkey and plum pudding and all the 
family at Grandmother's house. That is eleven, so we 
have one more. 

854 



THE CALENDAR 

December, last of all. But best you say, and why? 
For he brings the Christmas-tree with its glorious star, 
and stories of loving and giving, and of the "gladdest 
of birthdays of all the year." 

And then it's best because it's nearest to another 
New Year which will bring us twelve new months with 
all these good times all over again. 

All these days to grow in, too. Stand up by the wall, 
and I will put a little mark to show how tall you are. 
Next year we will measure again and see if you have 
grown any. [Or measure and weigh and keep the record 
each month on a card.] I want you to grow broad- 
shouldered and straight and tall this year, and I w^ant 
you to grow two other ways. One of them I am sure 
you know. Yes, good. Here is a little prayer. I am go- 
ing to pin it up on the wall beside your bed, and I will 
read it and let you say it after me every night and that 
will help. This is the prayer : 

A BOY'S PRAYER 

By William DeWitt Hyde 

Give me clean hands, clean words, and clean thoughts. 
Help me to stand for the hard right against the easy 
wrong. Save me from habits that harm. Teach me to 
work as hard and play as fair in Thy sight alone as if 
all the world saw. Forgive me when I am unkind, and 
help me to forgive others who are unkind to me. Keep 
me ready to help others at some cost to myself. Send 
me chances to do a little gogd every day and so grow 
more like Christ. 



355 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

There is a poem that I used to read to Brother when 
he was six years old which helped him to grow good, and 
I will read that to you, too. It is called "If" and Rud- 
yard Kipling wrote it. 

Now there is one more way to grow and that is to 
grow wise. The best way to do this is to learn the lessons 
which Mother and Father and our teachers ask us to 
learn each day. 

We must learn to read, for in books have been writ- 
ten all the things which others have found out about 
this world and how it is made and the things in it. 
People will read to you now that you are little, but 
how they will laugh at you when you are bigger if you 
cannot read for yourself. Letters will come to you, too, 
and these you cannot read if you do not learn your 
letters and their sounds now. 

Then you must learn to write, because you will want 
to tell your friends things when they are far away, and 
you can do this if you try hard now to make each letter 
that the teacher asks you to, for you can write in a 
letter and mail anything which you wish to say. You 
must learn your number lessons before you can learn 
what men have found out about the stars or about 
flowers or birds or buying or selling things. Numbers 
are used in almost everything we do. You want to get 
some milk for your supper, and you cannot be sure you 
are paying what you should for it unless you can count 
the money. The man who keeps the cow has to know 
his numbers before he can measure the milk and give 
you a quart or a pint or as much as you want, whatever 
that is. He must know how many quarts of grain to 

356 



THE CAXENDAR 

give his cow. Men could n't build a bam for the cow to 
live in if they could not measure yards and feet and 
inches and add and subtract and multiply and divide, 
and all these things you will learn in your number 
lessons. 

So when you have to say, once one is one, two ones 
are two, and make figures and write letters until you 
are tired, remember that you cannot grow wise unless 
you learn these things to help you and try to get each 
day's work all done in time. Then next New Year's Day 
I shall say. How my child has grown; strong and tall, 
wise, and best of all, good. Then what a happy Mother 
you will have! 

THE NEW YEAR 

By Hans Christian Andersen (adapted) 

It was the last day of the Old Year. The snow was fall- 
ing heavily, and twirling and whirling through streets 
and alleys. The windows were white with Frost. Snow 
shpped in masses from the roofs. 

The people on the streets were in a great hurry. They 
ran through the blinding flakes, and bumped into each 
other, then ran on again. The Frost on the wagons and 
horses looked like powdered sugar. 

But when night was come the storm died down. The 
air was calm, the Sky was deeply dark and transparent, 
and the Stars shone brightly like silver. Midnight 
drew near, — the last minute of the Old Year slipped 
away, the New Year was born. 

And when the Sun rose, it sparkled on the Snow that 
crackled under foot. In the street some little Sparrows 

357 



TALKS TO CHELDREN 

were hopping about, searching for food; but the Wind 
of the Old Year had swept the Snow clean. It was ter- 
ribly cold. 

"Tweet! Tweet!" said one Httle Sparrow to another. 
"People call this the Happy New Year! I think it is 
worse than the Old ! I am very sad ! Last night people 
rejoiced because the Old Year was gone. They fired 
guns and made a great noise to welcome the New Year. 
I, too, was glad, for I hoped that warmer days were 
come. But it is colder and freezes worse than ever! I 
think people must have made a mistake — it is not the 
New Year!" 

"When Spring comes, the New Year begins," said 
an old Sparrow with a white head. 

"But when will Spring come.^" asked the others. 

"When the Stork returns," replied the old Sparrow. 
"No one in town knows when that will be. Only the 
country people know. Shall we fly away to the fields 
and wait.'^ Surely Spring will come sooner in the coun- 
try." 

"That sounds very well," said another Sparrow, 
who had been hopping about, chirping. "But I have 
found too many comforts here in town. I should miss 
them in the country. Where I live the family have 
placed three flower-pots by the garden wall, with the 
openings against the wall and the bottoms of the pots 
pointed outward. They have cut a hole in each pot big 
enough for me to fly in and out. I and my husband 
have built a nest in one of them, and there we have 
brought up our children. The people strew bread- 
crumbs for us every day, so we have plenty of food. 

358 



THE CALENDAR 

No! I think my husband and I will stay where we 
are." 

"But we will fly away to the fields," said all the other 
Sparrows, **to see if Spring is come." 

And off they flew. 

It was really Winter in the country. It was much 
colder than in the town. The freezing Winds blew over 
the snow-covered fields. The farmer, wrapped in his 
coat, sat huddled in his sleigh. The reins lay on his 
knee. He beat his arms across his breast to warm them. 
The horses ran and their sides sent up clouds of steam. 
The Snow snapped and sparkled. 

And the little Sparrows hopped about in the road, 
shivering and crying. 

"Tweet! Tweet! When will Spring come.'* It is a very 
long time in coming!" 

"Very long, indeed!" sounded a loud voice over the 
meadow. 

Perhaps it was an echo, or perhaps it was the voice 
of a strange old man who sat on a mound of Snow. He 
was clad in white. He had flowing white locks and a 
pale face. His eyes were large, and clear, and blue, like 
ice. 

"Who is that old one?" asked the Sparrows. 

"I know who he is," croaked a Raven. "He is Old 
Man Winter himself. He rules here still. He did not 
die when the New Year came. He is watching for the 
coming of little Prince Spring. Oh! how cold it is and 
how you shiver, my little ones ! " 

But the Sparrows did not answer; they only hopped 
about, still crying: 

859 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"Tweet! Tweet! When will Spring come?" 

Week after week passed by. The woods were dark 
and drear. The lake was frozen and gray. Icy mists 
hung above the land. Flocks of black Crows flew silently 
overhead. But one day a little Sunbeam touched the 
lake. The Ice softened and shone like silver. The Snow 
did not sparkle any more. 

Still Winter sat on his white mound, ever gazing 
southward. He did not see that the Snow was vanishing 
and sinking into the earth, and that here and there 
green grass was springing up. 

In the grass the little Sparrows hopped. "Tee-weet! 
Tee-weet!" they cried. "Surely Spring is coming." 

"Spring!" And a joyous cry sounded over the 
meadows and through the brown, leafless woods ! 

The moss freshened on the tree-trunks, and from the 
land of the South two Storks came flying with out- 
spread wings, and on the back of each Stork sat a lovely 
child, a little boy and a little girl. They sprang to the 
earth and kissed the green grass. 

They drew near to Old Man Winter, whose icy 
breath stirred the air. They threw their arms about 
his neck and kissed him. A thick, damp mist rose from 
the moimd and like a veil wrapped itself about the two 
children. Then a soft Wind blew away the mist, and 
the Sun shone. 

Old Man Winter was gone ! And the lovely little chil- 
dren of Spring sat on a flowery throne. Then the little 
girl held her apron up; it was filled with blossoms. She 
cast white and pink petals over Apple and Peach trees, 
and showered the grass with spring flowers. Next, the 

360 



TIIE CALENDAR 

boy and she both clapped their hands, and flocks of 
birds came twittering, and singing: 

"Spring is here!" 

How beautiful it all was ! 

And the little Sparrows hopped with joy, and cried: 

"Now the New Year is really cornel" 



LIII 
CLOCKS 

FROM the time you were a baby you never got into 
Daddy's lap but what in a few minutes you were 
poking about for the vest pocket where he carries his 
watch. Up to your ear it would go, and then your eyes 
would dance, and up and down would go your lids just 
in time to the tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick 
of the little watch. How that little watch would rush 
along with its soft, hurried tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, 
tick, tick, tick. 

It sounded as if it were trying to catch up with some- 
thing, and one day you said it was. You were holding 
Daddy's little watch while he held you by the fire, and 
once in a while you would look at the tall grandfather 
clock. The big hand on the face of the clock went around 
once in just the same time as the big hand on the face of 
the watch. When the big hand of Daddy's watch, tiny as 
it was, pointed to I on the face of the watch, the big hand 
of the grandfather clock pointed to I on the face of the 
clock. When the big hand on the watch pointed to II, 
the big hand on the tall clock pointed to II also. The 
little hands on each did not move as fast as the big ones 
did, but the one on the watch and the one on the tall 
clock always pointed to just the same number on each. 
They did n't sound the same, though. The grand- 
father clock' was very dignified, and very slowly said, 
tick — took — tick — tock. While it said tick — tock twice, 



CLOCKS 

the little watch was saying tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, 
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, 
tick, sixteen times. 

"Just like Grandfather and Baby," you said. "He 
has long legs and takes great, long steps, and Baby's 
legs are short and he toddles along with little quick 
steps to keep up." 

That made me think of something, so I showed you 
the dining-room clock and told you to Hsten. You 
laughed, "That's like me," you said. "Listen, — tick- 
tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. My legs are not 
so long as Grandfather's, but they are longer than 
Baby's, and so they have to go faster than Grand- 
father's, but not so fast as Baby's to keep up." 

Brother had brought home some horse-chestnuts and 
I tied one to the end of a string almost as long as the 
grandfather clock was tall. Then I tied one to a string 
half as long and one to a very short string. These I tied 
to a chandelier and \\dth a little push set them swinging. 
You may try the same thing if you wish. Let's make 
two of each length and see what happens. Yes, the 
shorter they are the faster they go, and the longer they 
are the slower they go, and if they are the same length 
they keep the same time in swinging back and forth. 

A cord swinging in this way is called a pendulum. 
Brother looked through the glass in the lower part of the 
front of the grandfather clock, and sure enough there 
was the pendulum, very long and swinging very slowly, 
just in time to the tick — tock, tick — tock of this same 
old grandfather clock. 

Li the dining-room clock there was a pendulum, too. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

about half as long as that in the grandfather clock, and 
it was swinging just in time to the tick-tock, tick-tock, 
tick-tock, tick-tock of the dining-room clock. We 
could n't see the pendulum in the little watch, but we 
could still hear the tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, 
tick, sixteen to one of the tick — tock of the steady, old 
grandfather clock. 

"VMiiie we were watching and listening, vvc had for- 
gotten the pendulums we had made of the horse-chest- 
nuts imtil Brother called to us to see that they had 
stopped swinging. We gave them a little push, and 
away they went, but it was not long before they had 
stopped again. The old grandfather pendulum and the 
pendulum in the dining-room clock went right on, and 
the little watch never stopped its tick, tick, tick, tick; 
but the pendulums we had set going had to have a little 
push once in a while or, just as when we were swinging 
under the apple-tree, they would go slower and slower 
till they stopped. 

Did you ever have five pushes when you were swing- 
ing and then "let the old cat die".'^ That is the way we 
played with the pendulums. 

"But why doesn't the clock pendulum stop swing- 
ing.'^ " you asked. " What keeps that going so steadily? " 

A little wheel inside gives the pendulum a push as it 
turns around, and as they touch each other we hear a 
little click. That is the tick-tock which we hear when 
the clocks are going. 

I'll not try to tell you all about the way a clock is 
put together, but I will tell you that there are different- 
sized wheels, all connected with each other and with 

364 



CLOCKS 

the hands and the pendulum and the part that strikes. 
As these wheels turn around they push the pendulum 
back and forth and the hands around. 

To keep the wheels turning there is a cord with a 
weight on the end, wound around a cylinder which is 
called a barrel. Did you ever wind your fish line around 
the pole with a sinker on the end? When you wind the 
clock you turn this barrel over and over, and the cord 
winds round and round it till the weight is up high in 
the clock. You can see this in a cuckoo clock which you 
wind by just puUing up the weights which are on the 
ends of chains hanging below the clock. Start the clock 
and the weights begin to drop slowly. This motion 
turns the wheels. When the cord is all unwound the 
wheels stop turning, and we say the clock has run down. 
It will not run until we wind it again. 

They are so made that they do not need to be wound 
oftener than once a day, and many of them once in 
eight days. These are called eight-day clocks. You 
have seen Daddy go around the house the last thing at 
night sometimes to see if Mother has forgotten to put 
the cat out, lock the doors, and wind the clock, have n't 
you.f^ So you see that nothing in a home runs itself, not 
even the clock, unless some one winds it. 

The night we forgot the clock, we found how much 
we depended on it, for when we woke in the morning it 
was dark and rainy, and we had no idea whether it was 
six or eight o'clock or when to start for the train or 
school. 

The first clocks were very simple, but those that are 
made now have springs as fine as hairs and a balance 

365 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

wheel instead of weights and a pendulum. Great fac- 
tories have been built with a different machine for mak- 
ing each little part and a special room where all these 
parts are put together; ^nd thousands of clocks and 
watches are made every day, so that there is hardly 
any little town so small or far away but that a watch 
can be found there and bought for as little as a dollar. 

I know a man who has a whole room full of clocks 
that he has bought from time to time, and it is an 
interesting place to visit: so many different kinds of 
clocks, big and little, handsome and ugly, some so simple 
that you could put them together, and some with so 
many little parts so finely fitted that very few watch- 
makers could put them together again if they were once 
taken apart. 

The one that I loved best was a tall grandfather clock, 
and for striking it had a chime of bells. Above its 
face was a half -circle marked off with numbers from 
one to thirty, as the clock-face was. Two circles showed 
each half of the world turning, and above two circles, 
for the moon, painted with jolly faces, turned, so that 
by looking at the figures above one could tell the date. 
The face of the moon showed whether it was full, half, 
or which quarter at that date. 

The very first clocks had no pendulum and could run 
only when standing straight up and dowTi. Of course, 
these could not be carried in any one's pocket. Brother 
used to tease to see the wheels go round in Daddy's 
watch. One day he almost did a dreadful thing. He 
knew better than to touch Daddy's watch unless he 
was told especially that he might, but one day he found 




Copijriijhthij Underiiood %■ Umlerwood, N.Y, 

A FAMOUS CLOCK 



(Houses of Parliament, London) 



CLOCKS 

it on the bureau and he opened it to see the wheels go 
round just once. Then he thought that if he could only 
just get it out of the case, he could find out better what 
made the little tick. He looked hard to see how to do 
this, and was just starting when a little voice in the 
watch ticked out, "Do right, do right." This made him 
stop a minute, and that minute saved Daddy's watch 
from being ruined, and Brother from a very sad time. 
For I found him just then. I did n't scold him. He was 
very much ashamed to be found with the watch, for he 
knew he ought not to take it from the bureau; and I '11 
not tell you all we said about that ; but he never touched 
the watch again, for he was not a bad boy and he did n't 
want to make Daddy and me unhappy. 

Some time after that he found an old clock which was 
no longer of any use to tell the time. This we let him 
have to take apart and use as he wished. How pleased 
he was! Carefully he sorted all the wires and wheels. 
He noted the sawlike edges of these and how they 
fitted together, and how the springs unwound and 
pushed the wheels, and what kept the springs from un- 
winding with a jerk, all at once. He saved all the little 
screws and bars of steel. 

Then he looked at the face and saw that that was 
metal like the wheels, and painted white. He played 
with the little hands, and turned them round and round 
before he took them off, to find how they were fastened 
in the center and to the wheel inside of the clock which 
turned them. 

Then he tried to put them all together. Days and 
days he worked to do this, and he learned for the first 

367 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

time how much easier it is to tear things to pieces and 
spoil them than it is to make something worth while. 
Daddy's watch was safe now. Not long after this he 
learned to tell time all by himself, and on his next birth- 
day one of his happiest surprises was a watch all his own. 

No matter where he was he could look at his little 
watch and know what time it was. 

One day we went on a picnic, and both he and I for- 
got our watches. We had planned to get back home at 
three o'clock in the afternoon to meet Daddy. How 
should we know when to start without a watch to tell 
us the time? 

"We can't tell the time to a minute," I told him, 
"but we shall have to do the best we can as people did 
before watches and clocks were made.'* 

"How was that.'^" he asked. 

I looked about and found a straight stick. "It 's lucky 
the sun is shining," I said, as I pounded it into the 
ground. "Now see that shadow." 

"How long it is!" Brother called; "why, it's longer 
than the stick itself." 

"Look at your own shadow," I called back to him; 
"it's longer than you are yourself." 

Then Brother began to chase his shadow and make 
animals with his hands, and I told him Stevenson's 
poem, "I have a little shadow." 

All this time the shadow kept creeping up and up on 
the stick. While he played, I kept track of it, and when 
there was no shadow at all on the ground, I called, 
"Let's eat our dinner now, for it's noon. Look at the 
stick." 



CLOCKS 

"Why, it's swallowed the shadow!" said Brother. 

"Look for the sun," I told him. "It is the sun 
that shows the shadow, and when it is straight over- 
head you will see no shadow on the ground. This will 
be at noon." 

When we looked closely we found just a tiny shadow 
there, because the shadow is not the same in all places 
in the world at noon. 

"There is the sun now right up over our heads," he 
told me. 

"That is how I knew it was noon and time for din- 
ner," I answered. 

After dinner the shadow peeped out on the other side 
of the stick and stretched farther and farther away. 
We watched the sun and the shadow, and as the sun 
sank toward the west the shadows grew longer. 

" When the shadow is about half as long as the stick 
we must go," I said, "for three o'clock is about half 
the afternoon and the shadow will show us that." 

When the shadow told us it was time, we gathered 
our things together and started. As we went through 
the garden on the way to the house, I said, "Let's stop 
at the sundial and find the shadow on that." 

For the first time Brother noticed the shadows on the 
sundial. This, you remember, is a little stand with a 
face on top, something like a clock-face, with little 
marks to measure the lengths of the shadows at dif- 
ferent hours. Standing up in the middle is a piece of 
metal which casts the shadows as the stick did for us 
at our picnic. Before there were any clocks these dials 
were used to tell the time. 

369 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

There was the shadow showing that it was about 
three o'clock, and we went on into the house and found 
that the clock said quarter-past three. So the shadow 
had told us the time fairly well, only it was lucky we 
had n't planned to take a train at just three o'clock, for 
at quarter-past it would have been gone, and as far as 
that train was concerned we might as well have been 
an hour late as a few minutes. 

When we had our story-time we talked more about 
telling time without clocks. You wondered how people 
could tell time in the night with the sun-dial, and I told 
you about the moon-dial which was used with the moon 
and stars. 

Another way that has been used to tell time is to 
watch a cat's eyes. Look at Kitty some time and you 
will see a dark spot in the middle of her eye. In the 
morning this is almost round, but at noon it is hke a 
straight line. After noon it grows slowly wider until at 
night it is round again. 

To tell time in these ways the sun must shine, and, of 
course, the sun did n't shine all the time for people be- 
fore there were clocks any more than it does now. I 
don't mean quite that either, do I? For you remember 
that I told you the sun was always shining, only when 
we turn away from it we cannot see it, and when the 
clouds come between us and it we cannot see it. 

So slowly other ways were learned. 

King Alfred, we are told, watched a lighted candle 
and learned to tell time by that. Can you see how.'^ He 
could try several, and learn on a sunny day how long it 
took to burn a certain part of the candle. By making a 

370 



CLOCKS 

notch for each hour on the candle he would have a 
fairly good measure for the time. 

Also water was poured into one vessel and allowed 
to drip one drop at a time into another one, and time 
measured in this way. An arrangement of this sort I 
found in the Encyclopedia was called a "clepsydra." 

You have seen my three-minute-glass that I use when 
I boil eggs. This, you remember, is a glass which stands 
in a little frame, big at the top and bottom and squeezed 
in at the middle like a waist-line no bigger than a pencil. 
You did dress it up once, I know, with a bonnet on the 
top and a ribbon around the middle for a waist. 

In one side there is sand enough to take three minutes 
to run down into the lower half. If you turn it over, the 
sand will run back again in three minutes more. 

They were also made with sand to run for one min- 
ute. These were minute-glasses. Bigger ones were made 
which ran for an hour. Those were hour-glasses, and 
there were day-glasses. 

Such glasses were used in England in many churches, 
and some with very elaborate stands can be seen there 
to-day. 

Out of all these ways of telling the time grew the 
clocks and watches that we use to-day, but we still 
watch the sky for the time to set our watches. 

In great observatories the time is determined by men 
who watch the sun, moon, and stars through telescopes, 
and their clocks are set by what they see. This time is 
made the standard time in one place and sent by tele- 
graph to cities and towns. Most places, even small ones, 
have some signal each day by which the people there 

371 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

set their clocks and watches, for even the best of them 
lose or gain a little once in a while, and most people 
forget sometimes to wind them. 

In our town we listen for the curfew at ten minutes 
of nine. You have heard us say, *'Ten minutes of nine, 
look at your watch," have n't you? But not often, for 
at ten minutes of nine little folks should be sound 
asleep. My mother used to say, "Beauty sleep is before 
nine o'clock, so my little girl must get ail she can." 

So close your eyes, and to-morrow I '11 tell you about 
the hours and minutes, and we will try to learn to tell 
time by the clock. 



LIV 
HOURS AND MINUTES 

WHEN I was no more than three years old, my 
mother used to say, "Rim and see what the 
clock says," and I would look at the clock and say, 
"The big hand is on one." Then she would say, "Where 
is the little hand?" I would come back again and say, 
**The little hand is on eleven." Then she would say, 
"Five minutes past eleven; time to see about dinner." 

I remember all this so well! I don't remember ever 
telling her anything else but where the hands were at 
&ve minutes past eleven; and whether it was a game 
which we played or I only did this once or twice and 
always at about the same time of day, I do not really 
know, for it was a long time ago when I was three that 
all this happened. I do not really remember when I 
learned to tell time, but I do remember the day that 
Mother gave me a little watch for my own. 

It had a little case that looked just like her gold one, 
and I could wind and set it without any key, just by 
turning the stem where the ring fastened onto my little 
chain. I was more pleased than with anything I had 
ever had and did n't notice that it did n't tick until I 
showed it to one of the big girls who was passing a^ I 
played in the yard. 

"'T ain't a real one," she said. 

"Yes, it is, a really, truly watch," I said proudly 
and happily. 

373 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

"'T ain't either," she said. "It don't tick." 

It might as well have been night. The sunshine was 
all gone for me for that day, and as the big girl walked 
on, looking very wise, a sad and meek little girl took 
her "real" watch, which had now become nothing but 
a toy, out under the lilacs to tell her best doll all about 
it. Really there are some things that big girls do not 
need to tell little ones, even if they are quite sure they 
know all about them. 

That nightMother said, "Where is your watch, dear? " 

"I gave it to my doll," I answered. "It is n't a real 
one, you know." 

"I know," said Mother, as if she expected me to say 
just that, and did n't notice that I was trying hard not 
to show how disappointed I was. "I thought perhaps 
we could teach Dolly to tell time with it, it is such a 
pretty little one, and then when you are big enough to 
really use it you may have a real one." 

It was night now, but the sunshine had all come back 
to me, and I ran for Dolly and the watch. 

Mother showed me the numbers round the face. 
She had taught me before this to name figures from one 
to twelve, but these numbers looked different. She told 
me that these were the figures that the Roman people had 
used and were called "Roman numerals"; "numerals" 
being another word for "numbers." So all we did that 
night was to try to learn these. The next morning, when 
I did n't know what to do, she told me to draw a circle 
and put XII at the top and VI at the bottom. 

I made lots of these circles, and sometimes I put the 
Roman numbers, XII at the top and VI at the bottom, 

374 



HOURS AND MINUTES 

and sometimes I put the figures 12 at the top and 6 at 
the bottom. Then I made a tiny circle in the middle of 
my big circle, to show where the two hands on the clock- 
face are fastened on and turn. Then I drew a line 
with an arrow-point from the middle of the circle to 
XII and another partway to VI. These lines were to 
show the hands on the clock, and I made one shorter 
than the other. 

The next day Mother told me to draw another circle 
as I did before with XII at the top and VI at the 
bottom, and the long and short hands. Then she told 
me to make a circle with XII and VI and no hands, 
but to look at my little watch, and halfway between 
XII and VI to put what I saw there on each side of 
the face that I had drawn. 

I played this way until I had learned that XII was 
always at the top of the clock-face and VI at the bot- 
tom; IX halfway between at the left hand, and III 
halfway between at the right hand, and could draw a 
circle and make the four numbers. I drew the hands 
from VI to XII so that they cut the circle in halves 
and from III to IX so that they cut the circle in 
halves across that way. 

Mother cut an apple in halves and showed me that 
the pieces were just the same size, and told me, when 
anything is cut in two pieces of just the same size, 
that each piece is called a half. She went further and 
cut the apple into four pieces by cutting each half into 
two pieces, each of the four pieces being the same size, 
and told me that each of the four pieces is called a 
quarter. 

375 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Tben I made anotlier circle with XII at the top and 
VI at the bottom, III in the middle at the right side 
and IX in the muddle at the left side, and drew a line 
from XII to VI and one from IX to III. This divided 
the circle into quarters. 

Then we took the little watch — not for a good many 
days, though, and until I had learned to divide the 
circle very quickly into halves and quarters, and surely 
knew the Roman numbers for six, twelve, nine, and 
three, and where they belonged on the clock-face — 
then we took the toy watch, as I said, and turned the 
hands so that both hands pointed to XII. 

**The little hand always shows what hour it is," 
Mother said. 

In every day there are twenty-four hours. Long 
ago men told time with twelve hours, and never 
counted the twelve which make the night, and they 
have counted in different ways in different times 
and places, but we count nowadays from twelve to 
twelve for a day and from twelve to twelve for a night, 
beginning to coimt one in the middle of the day and 
one again in the middle of the night. 

When both hands point to XII right at the top of 
the clock it is twelve o'clock. Now turn the big hand 
to III and leave the little hand where it is. Remem- 
ber the little hand points to what hour it is, so as long 
as the little hand points to XII it is twelve o'clock. 

Now I want you to know that in every hour there are 
sixty minutes, so if you look at the little watch you will 
find dots between the figures, five of them between each 
two, and each one stands for a minute, so the figures 

376 



HOURS AND MINUTES 

are each five minutes apart. Let's count and see if 
there are five between each two figures. The Httle 
hand points to one hour all the while the big hand goes 
way around the clock, and then it points to the next 
number, for each number stands for an hour, and in 
one day and night the little hand goes twice around the 
clock, once for the twelve hours of the day and once for 
the twelve hours of the night. It does n't jump from one 
to the next number, but it slides along so slowly that 
we do not notice it has left XII until we see it at I. 
Brother says it kind of slides its base as he does in base- 
ball unless some one looks too soon and catches him. 

Now look at the watch. Here is the little hand telling 
us it is twelve o'clock, but the big hand has gone to 
III, and that is what part of the way round the circle? 
Yes, just a quarter, so we say it is quarter-past twelve. 
Now turn the big hand to the bottom. The little hand 
still stays at XII and tells us that it is twelve, but 
the big hand has gone what part of the way round the 
circle this time? Yes, half, and so we say it is half -past 
twelve. The big hand has been running past XII all 
this time, but turn it to the middle of the other side to 
IX and watch it go toward XII. When we drew the 
line to III and IX we said it made quarters, and it is 
just as far from XII at IX as it was at III, only it 
is on the other side. So, now, instead of quarter-past 
or after twelve, as it was at III because the hand was 
running away from XII, it is quarter before twelve 
because the hand is moving toward XII again. 

For a number of days we played just this with the 
clock, until I could tell when it was twelve o'clock, 

377 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

quarter-past twelve, half-past twelve, and quarter of 
twelve. Then we put the little hand on I and the 
big hand on XII. Remember the little hand always 
shows what hour it is, and when it is on I it is one 
o'clock. The big hand begins at XII, and when it is 
at XII we know it is just on the hour and look to see 
where the little hand is, to tell us what hour. We 
kept the big hand on XII and turned the little hand 
to each hour of the twelve until we had learned them 
aU. 

When I could turn the little hand of my watch to 
each of the twelve hours and name it, and the big hand 
to XII and then to quarter-past, half -past, and quarter 
of any of the twelve hours, and tell which it was, I 
made five dots on the board and made a Roman num- 
ber I beside them. Then next to that I made five more 
dots and put a Roman II beside them, then five more 
and a Roman III. Then I learned to count five-ten- 
fifteen. 

It took days to learn that. Then I made twenty dots 
and put a Roman IV beside it. I learned that this was 
sometimes written IIII and sometimes IV. Next I made 
twenty-five dots with a Roman V beside it and thirty 
dots with a Roman VI beside that. 

Then I learned to count by fives to thirty. It was n't 
hard, for we did this when we played hide-and-seek. In 
fact, I could count to a hundred this way. 

With the little dots and the numbers beside them I 
learned to count by fives the minutes past any hour 
that the little hand pointed out on the clock-face. I did 
it this way: one five is five and turned the big hand to 

378 



HOURS AND MINUTES 

I, which was at the end of five dots; it is now five 
minutes past; two fives are ten, turning the big hand to 
II; it is now ten minutes past; three fives are fifteen, 
turning to III; it is now fifteen minutes or quarter- 
past; four fives are twenty, turning the big hand to 
IV; it is now twenty minutes past; five fives are twenty- 
five, turning the big hand to V; it is now twenty-five 
minutes past; six fives are thirty, turning the big hand 
to VI; it is now thirty minutes or half -past. 

The next thing we did with the httle watch was to 
keep at this until I could turn the little hand to each of 
the twelve hours and the big hand to I, II, III, IV, V, 
or VI and tell whether it was five minutes, ten minutes, 
quarter, twenty minutes, twenty-five minutes, or half- 
past whatever hour the little hand pointed to. 

Not till then did we begin on the minutes before the 
hour between six and twelve on the right-hand side of 
the clock. 

Then we began at quarter of each hoiu*, keeping the 
big hand at IX and moving the little hand imtil we 
could tell quarter before each of the twelve hours. 

When we were sure of this, we put the big hand at X, 
and found that this was always ten minutes before 
whatever hour the little hand pointed to. 

Then in the same way we learned that when the big 
hajid was on XI, it was always five minutes before. 

Not until I was a big girl did I learn that when the 
big hand was on VII it was twenty-five minutes of, and 
when on VIII that it was twenty minutes of. 

When I could do this, for a present one birthday I 
had a real watch. Of course I was pleased, but I never 

379 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

had half the fun with it that I did with my Httle watch 
teaching myself and Dolly how to tell time so that I 
could have the real one. 

To help you learn to tell time, I have this little card- 
board clock-face which I bought at Milton Bradley's 
school-supply store. I have this one with the Roman 
numbers, and I have made one Vv ith the figures which 
you already know. I think it will be easier to learn first 
with the figures. 

Your watch has two hands, the little hand which 
shows the hours and the big hand which shows how 
many minutes past or before an hour it is. WTien you 
were sick and the nurse felt your pulse, I saw a tiny 
little hand on her watch and this little hand went way 
around the v/atch while the big hand moved from one 
httle dot to the next. You know we watched the big 
hand that tells the minutes go round the clock once 
while the little hand that tells the hours was going from 
one number to the next. 

We know that every day and night has twenty-four 
hours, that is, twelve hours from noon to midnight, and 
that every hour has sixty minutes; this little hand that 
is on some watches ticks out sixty seconds in every 
minute. 

There is a little verse about this that we will learn: 

** Sixty seconds make one minute — 
How much good can I do in it? 
Sixty minutes make one hour — 
All the good that's in my power. 
Twenty hours and four a day, 
Time for work and sleep and play. 

380 



HOURS AND MINUTES 

Days three hundred sixty-five 
Make a year for me to strive 
Right good things each day to do. 
That I wise may grow and true." 

With clocks and watches to teli us when to get up in 
the morning, when to wash and eat and work and play, 
when to read and when to sleep, I wonder why mothers 
have to say "Hurry" so much and teachers have to 
put so many tardy marks on report cards. 

There is a story about Dilly-Dally, a little girl whose 
real name was Edith, which you will like to hear some 
time. She never was on time for breakfast. She 
dawdled over her dressing until her mother was sad, 
and had to scold her every morning. She never was on 
time at school, and lost half her work, she wasted so 
much time when she had writing to do. She was so 
late one day that she missed a picnic, and finally the 
teacher forgot her real name, and she was known as 
Dilly-Dally wherever she went. 

The story tells how ashamed she became of this and 
how she learned to be on time for everything until she 
could have her own name, Edith, back again. 



LV 

THE SEASONS 

DON'T we have a fine time when we can go out on 
a hill and see the whole great arch of the sky? 
There are the v/onders — the sunrise and sunset; the 
rainbow and the clouds; the moon and the stars. 

From these men have learned to divide time and 
name the parts. You know what makes day and night. 
We talked of how the day was divided into hours and 
minutes and seconds. 

Then came weeks, and, as the moon changed to our 
sight, from a crescent to a sphere, came the months, and 
then the years. 

In every year we have, too, four seasons. Can you 
name them? 

Spring, summer, autumn — or sometimes we call this 
one fall — and winter. As the earth turns and whirls, 
sometimes we are near the sun and sometimes farther 
away. The nearer the stove we get the warmer we are, 
and so with the sun : the part of the earth that is near- 
est the sun is warmest. For this reason there is not 
the same kind of weather at the same time all over the 
earth. When we are having summer, in South America, 
where Mrs. Clayton has gone, the people are having 
winter, and when we have winter they will have summer. 

In some places the snow never melts, and in others it 
never gets cold enough to snow. You remember Jack, 
who came from Southern California, had never seen the 

382 



THE SEASONS 

snow fall, and came to our town to spend a winter so 
that he could play in the snow. And what fun he had ! 

When you get older and study geography you will 
leam more about the seasons and what each brings. 

Tell me some of the things that we always see and 
hear in the spring. [Speak of frogs, pussy willows, snow- 
drops, bluebirds; of how the gardens are ploughed and 
planted and everything cleaned indoors and out.] Think 
of what we have in the summer. [Haymaking, hot 
weather, long days, swimming, bare feet and no hats; 
when gardens are green and beautiful, and fresh berries 
and vegetables are picked.] What do we remember 
about the autumn.^ [Nuts and rosy apples; the squirrels 
busy gathering food, the birds fly south, the bright- 
colored leaves fall and are raked up or burned; this 
is the harvest and Thanksgiving time as barns and 
cellars and jars are filled with the winter's food.] 

[Talk about winter. Trees are bare; most of the sum- 
mer birds are gone; a few others come; the gardens are 
all asleep; Jack Frost freezes the water and ground, and 
snow covers everything over. We coast and skate and 
wear warm clothes.] 



TRA.VELING 



LVI 

TRANSPORTATION 

HOW do animals get from place to place? [Walk or 
rmi.] Do fishes do this? [Swim or float.] T\Tiat 
about the birds? Can they run or walk? Yes, and they 
can hop and fly. 

[Talk about the birds that migrate, and point out 
that no matter how long or hard their journeys have 
been, they have f oimd or made nothing to carry them 
from place to place, although they have been taking 
these journeys for so many years. The " National Geo- 
graphic Magazine " with its pictures of plants, animals, 
and people of the whole world, is invaluable for moth- 
ers to show to their children.] 

How do the birds carry their food and the materials 
of which they build their homes? Watch the ants and 
bees and birds. Sit quietly in the yard or fields and 
woods and watch patiently, if you would learn any of 
these little creatures* secrets. 

Now what have men done? Do they still have to 
walk wherever they go and carry on their backs what- 
ever they use? For a long, long time, when the world 
was new, we believe they did, but just as they have 
learned other things they learned to tame the wild 
deer, dogs, goats, horses, oxen, and camels, and even 
elephants, and to ride upon them. 

Do you remember the story of Mary and Joseph? 
What did they ride on? The donkey. It took a long 
time for their trip, the donkey travels so slowly. 

387 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Then men learned to harness the animals to wagons 
of one sort and another, those with wheels for smooth 
roads, with runners for ice and snow, so that more 
people and more things could be carried in one trip and 
much more quickly. 

How many ways can you ride to the city? [Trolley 
car, steam train, automobile, bicycle, carriage.] 

Yes, it is easy now to get about and easy to get things 
from all parts of the world. Think what we had for 
dinner. Where did all these things come from.f^ See 
how many we can name and tell where each came from. 
How different from the time when men carried every- 
thing in their hands or on their backs or head. Did 
you ever see any one carry things on his head.^^ Have 
you enough poise to do this? 

Now think of the great freight trains hurrying back 
and forth and motor trucks whizzing to and fro, taking 
what grows in one part of the world to the part where 
it does not grow and bringing back what does grow 
there. So that now we can have, at any time of the year, 
in any place, almost anything that we want. 

What do we care now if Jack Frost freezes everything 
up out of doors? With coal from the mines and green 
things from the sunny South, we can shut old Jack 
Frost from our homes. And if people in any hot country 
need it, they can have part of our ice. All these things 
have been made possible because men have learned to 
think and to work. And how we enjoy these things ! But 
we can have them only so long as the miner will mine 
and the farmer will farm, and only if all the men that 
work on the railroads will faithfully do their part to 

388 



TRANSPORTATION 

keep these wonderful vehicles running. (Do you know 
what a vehicle is?) If any of these men in the long 
chain of workers strikes and won't work, what then? 

What happens if the miners won't work in the coal 
mines or in the iron mines? 

What happens if the men who work on the trains 
won't work? 

What happens if the farmers are lazy and won't 
plough and plant their fields or milk their cows, or if 
they cannot get men to dig the potatoes and pick the 
corn and cut the wheat? 

Suppose no one will pick the cotton that grows in 
the sunshine of the Southland; what will the men and 
women who earn their money in the cotton mills do in 
the winter when the mills cannot run without any cot- 
ton to spin and weave, and so these people cannot earn 
money to pay for coal to keep them warm? What will 
you and I do for cloth to use at home? 

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem "Each and All,'* 
and in it he said, 

" All are needed by each one; 
Nothing is fair or good alone." 

So the man in the city needs the farmer in the country; 
the man who works in the cotton factory in the North 
needs the black man in the South who picks the cotton; 
the engineer on the train needs the miners who get the 
coal and iron from the ground; the college professor 
cannot teach without the food, clothes, heat, and trains 
which all these men working together provide. 

" All are needed by each one." 



LVII 
THE WHEELWRIGHT 

WHAT goes round and round like this? [Roll one 
forearm around the other, then the hands and 
then quickly the fingers, playing they are big wheels, 
little wheels, and middle-sized wheels. There is nothing 
a child will enjoy more than to play turning these 
wheels, making, with his arms, large and small circles 
winding one over the other. It is not easy to-day to 
find the shops where children can see things made and 
thus gain respect for the men who, by their knowledge, 
strength, and skill, make them. When I was a httle 
girl we could find a blacksmith hammering out and 
fitting the horseshoe and the iron rims for wheels. We 
could find the shoemaker's shop and see all the tools 
with which he worked. Now machines have replaced 
tools, and it is not easy to find a place where one man 
makes anything from start to finish. A wheelwright's 
shop is a thing of the past, and yet wheels make up so 
large a part of our lives that it will be well to let the 
children understand a little of what they owe to them 
and the men who first taught the world to make and 
use them.] 

You roll yoiu* hoop, push your little wheelbarrow, 
ride your " kiddie " car or tricycle, carry a load in your 
express wagon, go to ride in the automobile, look at the 
clock to see what time it is, eat your dinner, look at 
your picture books, wear pretty clothes, take a trolley 

390 



THE WHEELWRIGHT 

car to the station, ride to the city in the train, and never 
once do you think of a wheel. Stop and think a minute. 
What one of these things could we have if there were 
no wheels in the world? 

Can your watch run without wheels? Just see them 
go round. Think of the wheels in factories that must 
turn before you can have your clothes, food, or books 
made, and of the wheels of trains that must turn to 
bring these things to you. Think of the wheels that are 
used by the farmer to plough the ground and plant the 
seeds and grind the grain before you can have flour out 
of which bread is made, and think of the wheels that he 
uses to harvest the hay for the cow to eat before you can 
have milk which is brought to you in wagons or on 
trains, if you live in the city. 

To be sure, there are places where people live very 
simply, where a goat is driven to each home and milked 
there. There are places where when men want boards 
they tie them to a donkey, flat against each side, and he 
carries them. Other things they put in bags and hang 
these from the saddle. When the donkey comes to a 
stream of water and there is no bridge, he swims across 
with his load. 

There are people who carry great loads, from a jar of 
water to a load of wood, on top of their heads. They 
stand so straight and walk so carefully that it does not 
seem hard to balance it there. Suppose you try to carry 
something this way. Please do not take anything that 
will spill or break. Better try a little basket at first. 

But we are not willing to go back to this way of hv- 
ing. Look at your little wheelbarrow. I remember how 

391 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

pleased you were with it when Daddy first brought it 
home to you. It was luncheon-time and you had taken 
your first bite when he came in with it. There was no 
more luncheon eaten that day and no nap taken either. 
The wheelbarrow went to bed with you and you patted 
it lovingly until it was time to play again. 

The little wheelbarrow goes along easily enough as 
long as the wheel turns round and round, but what 
happens if the wheel breaks.^ 

Yours did one day, and you know that the wheel- 
barrow was not much good without the wheel. 

Can you remember how you felt when you first saw 
that wheelbarrow? How do you suppose the man felt 
who made the first wheelbarrow that ever was made? 

I do not know who made the first wheel or for what 
it was used. Probably it was a great, round, flat stone, 
something like a grindstone. Wheels are pictured and 
spoken of in the stories of the very first people of whom 
we can find any trace of how they lived or what they 
made or used. When the wheelbarrow was made, with 
its wheel of wood, that was the beginning of what we 
see done with wheels to-day. Wood wore out easily, 
however, and when men learned to use iron an iron 
rim was added. 

Look closely at the wheelbarrow or little cart. In 
the center of the wheel is the " hub " with a hole in it. 
Through this hole is put the stick or axle on which it may 
turn, and by which it may be fastened to whatever it 
is to move by its turning. From the hub to the rim 
run the spokes, and outside the wooden rim is the iron 
one. This outside rim is called the " tire." 

392. 



THE WHEELWRIGHT 

The men who made wheels were called "wheel- 
wrights," and wheelwrights and blacksmiths were very 
necessary people. When the roads were only paths in 
the grass, horses wore no shoes, or at best soft leather 
ones, but when they began to draw wagons, as they did 
soon after the first wheelbarrow was made, there came 
the need of better roads. Wheels run better on smooth, 
hard roads, and so smooth, hard roads were made. 
Then horses needed iron shoes and wheels needed iron 
rims, and, men learned to make these and w4th them to 
go farther and farther away from home. So people in 
one part of the world learned about what was going on 
in other parts of the w^orld and to trade with each other. 

The blacksmith heated this iron and hammered out 
tires for the wheels and iron shoes for the horses and 
nails to put them on with. 

The wheelwright carefully shaped his rim, spokes, and 
hub from the wooc. that the lumberman brought from 
the forest. With an auger he bored the holes in the 
center of the hub for the axle, and other holes in the 
sides of the hub and rim into which he fitted the spokes. 
Then he nailed on the iron rim and tried out the wheel 
to see that it was perfect. 

Longfellow wrote a poem about the " Village Black- 
smith" and it tells us what fine, strong men these were 
who swung the heavy hammers and shaped the glowing 
iron so that horses could travel and draw heavy loads 
to help the world. The miners, too, who worked in the 
dark, each one with a lamp on the front of his cap, down 
in the damp ground, and the iron workers in the dirt 
and heat of great furnaces in the foundry, where the 

393 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

iron is melted and got into shape so that the blacksmith 
can use it, are workers whom the world cannot get 
along without. [Read the story of "The Little Gray 
Pony," by Maud Lindsay, in Volume I.] 

It is not often, to-day, that we can see a blacksmith 
shoe a horse or a wheelwright do his work. The wheels 
that these first wheelwrights made in their little shops 
have made it possible to have great machines. In fac- 
tories these machines, run by wheels, make wheels of 
all kinds. Big wheels and little wheels, wooden wheels 
and iron wheels, and wheels of other metals are here. 
So many people are working, each on a different part; 
so many wheels are turning to keep the machines going, 
that you and I get so confused that we cannot see how 
it is all managed. But these wheels turn, and at the end 
of the day hundreds of new wheels will be ready to ship 
away to be used« Not only simple wheels with spokes 
and an iron rim are made, but flat wheels of solid metal 
with edges like the teeth of saws, called " gears." These 
fit one into another as do the tiny wheels in a watch. 
Think of the wheels on Ci fine automobile, with rubber 
tires filled with air, because of which little jar can be felt 
as you ride along. See the difference between that and 
the wheel on the old farm wagon. 

We might talk about wheels all night and still find 
things that we had not spoken of. Watch the wheels of 
the world go round and see what more you can learn. 
So important have wheels become in business that I 
have heard men say, when they wanted to show how 
necessary something is, "Why, without that the wheels 
of commerce would stop." What does that mean.'* 

394 



THE WHEELWRIGHT 

When the wind blows the wheel of the windmill around, 
the windmill will work. When the water turns the 
water-wheel around, the grindstones in the gristmill will 
grind the grain. When the factory wheels turn, the 
machines will make clothes, shoes, etc. ; when the wagon 
wheels go round, the wagon will move. 

Take the wheels off your cart or automobile or tri- 
cycle, and then you will see what we owe to the wheel- 
wright. 

When Brother built a boat and wanted to get it to 
the pond, it was so heavy that he and Nonnie could not 
move it. What did they do? They found a pair of old 
wheels that had once been on a wagon and got the boat 
onto the rod which went from one wheel to the other. 
With Brother holding the end of the boat off the ground, 
away they went wheeling the boat as easily as if it were 
light as a feather. 

When you wanted a little cart you tied a string to a 
box and dragged it along. Then you set your box on a 
great wooden spool. The two ends rolled Hke wheels, 
and how pleased you were as it rolled along ! 

The next time I saw it you had the box on two spools 
and had a four-wheeled cart in which you seemed to be 
able to carry more things, and it did not tip over so 
easily. 



Lvin 

HOW STEAM WORKS FOR US 

"London Bridge is broken do\\Ti, 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
London Bridge is broken down, 
With a gay ladye. 

" How shall we build it up again? 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
How shall we build it up again. 
With a gay ladye? 

" Silver and gold will be stolen away. 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
Silver and gold will be stolen away, 
With a gay ladye. 

*' Build it up with iron and steel, 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
Build it up with iron and steel 
With a gay ladye. 

" Iron and steel will bend and bow. 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
Iron and steel will bend and bow. 
With a gay ladye. 

" Build it up with wood and clay. 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
Build it up with wood and clay, 
With a gay ladye. 

" Wood and clay will wash away. 
Dance o'er my lady lee; 
Wood and clay will wash away. 
With a gay ladye. 
396 



HOW STEAM WORKS FOR US 

" Build it up with stone so strong. 

Dance o'er my lady lee; 
Huzza ! 't will last for ages long 
With a gay ladye." 

Mother Goose — London Bridge 

AWAY across the country in four days ! That is, 
from Boston to San Francisco. In a train as 
comfortable as a fine hotel. 

Across the ocean in a week in a steamer even more 
comfortable ! This is what we can do now. 

Yet we know that once man had to walk or catch a 
wild animal to ride on if he wished to go anywhere. 

Then there were no railroad tracks, no, nor roads, 
just a trail through the forests, and if men came to a 
stream of water too deep or too wide to wade or swim 
across he could go no farther. But he learned to cut 
down a great tree and let it fall across the stream and 
cross on that. He learned to tie several logs together 
and keep this sort of raft fastened on the side of the 
streams that he used often to go back and forth on. 
This was the first ferryboat. Then he learned to make 
better bridges and bridges that would last longer than 
wood. He made them as he did his houses of brick or 
stone or concrete, and more and more beautiful. 

It is hard for us to think of those times as we whizz 
across these bridges in cars heated and lighted and 
pushed along by steam engines. 

It is hard for us to think of men crossing the great 
ocean in little boats with nothing but oars and sails to 
move them along. You know how hard it is to row a 
boat in bad weather. You know how hard it is to walk 

397 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

when the wind blows hard, and it is just as hard to sail 
when the wind blows against the way you want your 
boat to go instead of behind your boat to push it. So 
many times, too, there is no wind, and at other times 
there is so much that the waves dash into the boat. Yet 
men did cross the great ocean many times in sailboats. 

Some day you will read how Columbus crossed the 
great ocean and found this country of ours before people 
on the other side of the ocean believed there was any 
land on this side. They thought the world was flat, with 
nothing but their land and the ocean, and that if you 
sailed far enough you would fall off the edge and keep 
on falling forever. Columbus watched the great ocean 
and dreamed, and wanted to see what was beyond where 
he had been. Then he thought, as he watched the sky 
curve where it met the water as far as he could see, that 
the earth was like a great ball swinging in the sky and 
turning round, and that was why he saw the sunset and 
the sunrise and day and night. When it turned, the 
part that was toward the sun was light and we had day, 
and when that part turned away it was dark and we 
had night, but the other part was then toward the sun 
and was having day. How he wished that he could 
sail and sail, and see for himself if he were right. 

Of course, people said he was crazy, until he told his 
story to the Queen of Spain. She gave him money 
enough to get three ships, and with these he sailed 
across the ocean, found this country where we are liv- 
ing to-day, and proved that he was right. But he did 
not come across the ocean in those sailboats in a week. 
It took him ten weeks (that is longer than the summer 



HOW STEAM WORKS FOR US 

vacation when Brother's school is closed — a whole 
summer), and his sailors were scared all the way, and 
wanted so much to turn back that they were just going 
to kill him, if he went any farther, when they found 
land. 

Since then men have learned what steam is and how 
to use it in an engine that will send a train across the 
country in four days and a boat across the ocean in a 
week, that it took Columbus all summer to cross in 
a sailboat. 

Now what is steam that works these wonders for us? 

Steam is water just as ice is water. Only ice is water 
changed by cold so that little particles are made to take 
up less room, and steam is water changed by heat so 
that the little particles are made to take up more room. 

If you want to learn something about steam, watch 
the teakettle. When James Watt was a little boy he 
used to stand for hours catching the steam from the 
spout of the teakettle on a spoon and watching the 
little drop>s of water into which it turned run together. 
He stopped up the spout when the water boiled and 
watched the lid as it was pushed up and down. When 
the water is changed into steam it cannot be seen, but 
as it becomes a wee bit cooler as it floats out of the 
spout into the cooler air, it is changed back, not into 
drops big enough to fall as water-drops, but into fine 
little particles of water-dust which we call " vapor." 

If you will hold a spoon over the spout of the tea- 
kettle when the water is boiling, you will see how the 
steam pushes the spoon out of the way. This shows the 
force or power in the steam. Men have found ways to 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

use steam in great engines so that it will push wheels 
around. When you see an engine pulling a long train of 
cars, you may know that it is steam which drives the 
engine. This is just the simplest kind of a steam engine. 
When you are older you will learn about the safety 
valves and the governor and exhaust pipes, and how the 
steam is connected to blow the whistle, and of many 
different kinds of engines. Now what makes the whistle? 
Whenever you watch the teakettle remember the 
little boy — James was his name, James Watt — who 
watched his mother's kettle until he found out that the 
little drops of water, changed to steam, took up more 
room than when they were drops, and if they were shut 
up that they would stretch and push so hard to get 
out that they would push anything along that held them 
back; and that is why we are able to have trains and 
steamboats that go so fast to-day and machines in fac- 
tories to make almost anything that we need. 



LIX 
HOW ELECTRICITY WORKS FOR US 

WHEN we went down to the woods to see the old 
Indian mill that Brother and the boys found, 
do you remember that Daddy said there was a time, long 
ago, when men made all their tools and weapons out of 
stone, and that when we read about that time now it is 
always called the Stone Age? 

What is a tool, and a weapon? Yes, and you cannot 
do much work, or take care of yourself, if animals or 
wicked men try to hurt you, without something to use 
beside your hands. The first things that were found 
were sticks or stones. The Indian mill, you remember, 
was a place where the Indians ground their corn into 
meal. It was a great rock, and hollows had been worn 
in it by rubbing the corn with other rocks. 

When men found iron in the ground and learned to 
make tools and weapons of this, it was no longer the 
Stone Age, but the Iron Age. What did they make of 
iron? What do we make of iron? 

As each kind of metal was found and used, there be- 
came what was called a " New Age." When you are old 
enough to study history, you will learn about all these 
different ages and what was found and used in each. 

Men were not satisfied with tools that they had to 
use by hand. As they worked with these they got tired, 
and they wanted to do things that were too big and too 
hard to do with these small tools. So they thought out 
ways to make machines which would work for them. 

401 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

They learned to make the force that they found in the 
wind and the water turn the wheels, and so work these 
machines for them. That brought the age of machinery. 

Then they learned how to make steam and let that 
turn their wheels. To-day men have learned to take 
electricity — which has always been in the air, just as 
coal and oil have always been in the ground, waiting 
for men to learn how to use them — and let that work 
for them. 

Let us think what can be done in the home with 
electricity to-day. First, the house is wired and con- 
nected with the power station. Then by pressing a 
button much of the work of the household may be 
made easy if not actually done. At the door is an elec- 
tric bell. In the basement is an electric heater which 
warms the house and all the water needed. In the laun- 
dry is an electric machine which washes and wrings the 
clothes and irons the flat pieces, such as towels, sheets, 
napkins, etc. For the other pieces there is an iron which 
is heated by pressing a button. 

The sweeping is done by an electric vacuum cleaner 
which makes no dust. There is no dust or dirt from the 
electric heater either. No one has to run down to the 
cellar for coal or carry away the ashes from the electric 
stove in the kitchen as Brother does from the stove in 
which we burn coal. If the house is too warm, a button 
is pressed, and an electric fan whirls around and cools it* 
If things are spoiling in the ice-chest, just press a button 
and this electric refrigerator becomes cool enough to 
keep the food sweet. The iceman does not have to call, 
and there is no water or dirt from the ice to wipe up. 

402 



HOW ELECTRICITY WORKS FOR US 

To do the cooking no fire has to be laid; just press a 
button and wait a few minutes and the oven is hot 
enough to bake and you can boil or broil food. 

You do not have to turn by hand the ice-cream freezer, 
nor work the food chopper, the egg or cream whipper, 
or the churn; just press a button and a little electric 
motor keeps them whirling till you press the button again 
to stop them. A motor runs the sewing-machine also. 

If a person needs a hot-water bottle there is no need 
of filling a rubber bag with water, which must be heated 
first and perhaps may leak and wet the bedclothes; just 
put an electric pad beside the person and press a 
button. 

Electricity has given us the telegraph and the tele- 
phone so that we can talk and send messages to people 
in any part of the world in almost no time. 

Suppose a storekeeper wants some oranges to be sent 
from California, where they grow. He can telegraph or 
telephone to the man who has them to send them right 
away. The message will reach him in a few hours, and 
he can put the oranges on an express train. In a week, 
or perhaps less, the storekeeper will have them to sell. 
Suppose the storekeeper had to walk, or to ride a donkey, 
to California, find the place where the oranges grow, 
and then bring them back before we could buy 
any? 

Wires called " cables " have even been put under the 
great oceans, and we can send messages across the sea 
as well as across the country. 

This age in which we are living is called the "age 
of electricity." Wonderful things have been done with 

403 



TALKS TO CHILDBEN 

this great power, and we have no idea of what is yet to 
be done with it. 

To draw great trains full of people and of things 
which we use with the steam engine, is almost too 
wonderful to believe, but to make steam there must 
be loads of coal carried along to keep the jfires in the 
engine burning, and where the coal burns there are 
soot and smoke and cinders. So in some places elec- 
tricity has already taken the place of steam on the 
railroads, and may in time do so wholly. It is cleaner 
and there is less danger of setting things afire along 
the tracks, as sparks from the fire in the steam engine 
often do. 

When trains first ran from one city to another men 
were willing to walk or drive to the station. But the 
time came, first in the cities, when men said, "Why 
don't we have cars that will carry people from street to 
street so they can get off at whatever store or house 
they wish?'* That was the beginning of the street cars. 

At first these cars were drawn by horses. At certain 
places along the way there were bams where the horses 
were changed. There the horses were fed and kept when 
they were not drawing the cars. 

Filled with people, these cars were very heavy. Over 
the paved streets or rough roads the horses could not 
possibly draw them. Even on a smooth road where 
wheels slip along easily I do not believe they could. 
But wheels run more easily on steel rails. What is steel? 
Yes, it is iron heated and cooled and hammered in a 
certain way, and it is very strong. Men had learned to 
get iron from the ground and to make steel. Out of this 

404 



HOW ELECTRICITY WORKS FOR US 

steel they made rails such as you see in the car track 
every day. 

The laying of these rails is a whole story in itself. 
You can see how it is done some time when you are 
near a track. See how strongly and carefully the pieces 
of track are riveted together. Unless the road between 
two rails is smooth the cars will go bumpety bump. So 
the track has to be repaired every little while to keep 
the rails from springing apart and to keep the road 
smooth. The rails are laid just far enough apart so that 
the wheels of the car will fit on. 

On this track two horses could easily draw the car 
full of people. Then they could be taken from the 
stations where the steam trains left them to the part of 
the city where they wished to go. But in time this was 
too slow. People learned to use electricity. Just as 
electricity could be sent from the power station through 
wires to light and heat houses, it could be sent through 
wires and steel rails to cars to heat and light and push 
them along. You have seen wires running from pole to 
pole. On these wires runs a little wheel. This wheel is 
held against the wire by a pole inside of which is a live 
wire which carries the electricity to the car. This is 
called the *' trolley " and so we sometimes call these cars 
"trolley cars." li this little wheel gets off the wire the 
car stops, for then the electricity running from the 
power station through the wire has no wire between it 
and the car to carry it to the car. 

Sometimes when the wire is coated with ice or is very 
wet in a heavy storm the car will not run well, for elec- 
tricity cannot travel through ice. Sometimes it will 

405 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

jump over a little ice to the wire beyond and as it 
jumps you will see sparks. 

These cars ran so well that there are few places in this 
coimtry to-day without trolley cars. In many places 
they carry freight as well as people. 

In cities the streets have become so crowded with 
other things, and so many people ride in the cars, that 
there is not room for all the cars needed, and so tunnels 
under the ground have been dug and tracks laid in these 
for the cars to run on. This is called the *' Subway " 
and in this cars run quickly from station to station. 

Great, strong, steel frames have been built in the air 
and tracks laid on these for cars to run high over the 
heads of the people in the street. Stairs and elevators 
and escalators — things not even dreamed of by my 
grandmother — take people up to a platform so that 
they may get into these cars. This is called an "ele- 
vated railroad." 

On the electric cars the conductor sees that each one 
pays for riding, and rings a bell to signal the motorman 
to start or to stop the car. 

The motorman is able to make the car go slower or 
faster and to stop or to start it. In doing these things he 
uses two handles. To put on the brakes he turns one; 
to make the car go he moves the other. As he moves 
these back and forth he gets more or less electricity or 
shuts it off altogether. 

How much farther you can go in an hour in these 
electric cars than you can walk or go with horses ! The 
trolley, too, never gets frightened and never gets tired. 
I remember riding in a horse car in New York City once 

406 



HOW ELECTRICITY WORKS FOR US 

and the horses became so frightened that they broke 
away from the car, raced around, and nearly came in at 
the other end of the car before they were quieted. Some- 
times things go wrong with the electric cars, to be sure, 
but when they run smoothly it is a very comfortable 
way to get from place to place, with the warm cars in 
winter and the open cars in summer, and all for a fare 
of a few cents. 



LX 

MOTOR CARS 

STEAM cars and electric cars run where the track 
has been laid. Now we have motor cars that whizz 
past the trolley car, needing no rails, going almost to 
the ends of the earth. Even in the far-away country 
roads you will find them carrying fruit, vegetables, eggs, 
milk, butter, poultry; whatever is raised on the farms 
to people in the city. 

City people hop into their motor cars and in an hour 
or two are at the mountains or the seashore or their 
country place. Farmers not only have touring cars to 
ride in, but they have great motor trucks to carry from 
the farm what is raised there and to take back to the 
farm what is needed by them. They have motors to 
which they hitch the plough, the harrow, or the planter 
which scatters the seed. And when the time comes for 
harvesting, these motors are hitched to the harvester 
and to the binder, which cut and bind the grain into 
bundles. They used to hitch horses to these and guide 
them through the field, but with these motors they can 
go all over the field in less than half the time it took 
with the horses. 

You must plant and weed a little garden of your own 
this summer, and then you will see how much work a 
farmer has to do to raise vegetables and grain and how 
much time it takes to do it all with small tools. 

To make the steam cars go there must be a fire in the 
408 



MOTOR CARS 

engine and water must be changed to steam. Some one 
must keep shoveling on coal. 

To make the electric car run there must be a power 
station and wires from that to the trolley, and usually 
tracks for both the steam and electric cars. 

What makes the motor car go? 

Gasoline, you say. You know, for Daddy always has 
it put in at the garage. They keep it there in a big tank 
and pump it through a rubber hose into a small tank 
in the automobile. 

When we talked about kerosene, which gave us the 
best light we had before gas and electricity were 
known, you remember that it comes from petroleum, 
which is drawn from oil wells in the ground. Gasoline 
is also made from petroleum. 

In every motor car there is an engine which pushes 
the wheels around to make it go. 

It is arranged so that the gasoline, which is kept in a 
tank on the car, will flow as it is needed, being mixed 
with air as it goes into the engine cyHnders. There 
are a great many parts to the engine which you will 
learn about when you use one. These parts are made 
so that the engine can be stopped or started, made to 
run faster or slower by letting little or much gasoline 
into the cylinders, or none at all. 

There are engines where all this work is done by four 
cylinders and there are engines with as many as twelve 
cylinders. With them all working, burning gasoline 
and making little explosions to push, the cars can go 
very fast and smoothly, or if one cylinder quits work be- 
cause some Httle part gets broken or out of place the 

409 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

car will still go from the push of the other cylinders. 
With this sort of an engine, which can carry its own 
electric power and gasoline enough in such a little space 
to keep it going so many miles, there is no end to what 
can be done with it. 

See how many trucks, and what loads they carry, 
are whirling all over the world. These engines can be 
made and put into almost any sort of wagon, and so 
you will see motor cars made to carry one or two per- 
sons, hke the motor-cycle, runabouts for two persons, 
touring cars for four or seven passengers or with seats 
enough to hold as many passengers as an electric car 
could carry. Some are open and some have closed 
tops with little heaters and lights in them. All of them 
carry lights outside, because they run so quietly and 
swiftly that if they could not be seen in the dark no one 
would be safe on the streets. 

Some people think that in time they will take the 
place of the trolley car altogether, for it is expensive to 
lay tracks, the poles and wires are very ugly to see, and 
the motors can run almost anywhere. 

They run best on smooth, hard roads, and so smooth, 
hard roads are being built for them to run on. Once we 
had very few good, hard roads, but that is not so now. 

The motor cars run so easily that it is hard to remem- 
ber sometimes that we have no right to go as fast as we 
can, because if we do we may hurt some one who gets in 
the way. I do hope when you are big enough to run a 
car that you won't feel that the whole road belongs to 
you because your car runs so well that you can take it. 

When the fire alarm rings how every one hurries to 
410 



MOTOR CARS 

put out the fire! I remember how the firemen used to 
rush two handsome strong horses into the harness at 
the engine house. Then away they would gallop with 
the steamer or the hook and ladder truck. How they 
used to dash along vnih their heads up, almost as ex- 
cited as the driver, and doing their very best to get 
there in time to do some good. Now a man cranks a 
motor right in the engine house, and with a clang, clang, 
clang, or honk, honk, honk, they 're off and at the fire 
in less time almost than it used to take to harness 
the horses. 

The gasoline and the electric spark send the truck 
along quick as a flash to put out the fire. 

This sort of an engine has been put into boats, and 
very few of even the small boats now depend upon the 
wind to sail them. A little motor can be bought now 
which can be used in a small rowboat. All there is to do 
is to turn a crank and the little motor will go putter^ 
putter, putter, and carry the boat wherever you steer it. 

Men have thought so much about how to get around 
easily and fast that all these machines have been 
made for us to rush about in. The danger now is that 
we shall rush so much that we shan't find time to stop 
long enough in one place to do anything when we get 
there, but because it is so easy to go, just to keep whirl- 
ing along. 



LXI 

AIRSHIPS 

WHENEVER I think of airships I think of the 
" Story of the Doodang " in the book of '* Uncle 
Remus and the Little Boy." We must read those stories, 
for Brother liked them so much. It begins: "'I wish,' 
said the little boy, sitting in the doorway of Uncle 
Remus's cabin, and watching a vulture poised on 
motionless wing, almost as high as the clouds that sailed 
by, *I wish I could fly.'" And then Uncle Remus told 
him about the Doodang. 

Ever since boys and men have watched birds, and I 'm 
not sure but little girls, too, they have had this same 
wish, but so far as lifting their own wings and soaring 
into the heavens is concerned the most they have been 
able to do is to dream till supper-time and then, as 
Uncle Remus told the little boy to do when his story was 
ended, "fly right in de house ter yo' mammy!" 

Many people have just wished to fly like the birds. 
When it is cold and the flowers are frozen, so the gardens 
are no longer warm and beautifiil places to sit in, they 
have wished they could stretch their wings and fly to 
the South. Others have played with kites and even gone 
up in the air in balloons, but I suppose the men who 
have done the most to make it possible to sail about in 
the air, just as we do in the water, are the men who have 
worked to make engines small enough, light enough, 
and strong enough to be put into wagons and boats and 
push them along. 

412 



AIRSHIPS 

The gasoline motor has been made to work so well to- 
day that with one of these in a machine with wings 
men can fly hundreds of miles. Anything thrown up 
into the air falls back to earth unless there is some- 
thing in it strong enough to pull it up, and this is what 
the gasoline engine does — pulls the airship wherever 
the man who is in it steers it. When airships fall and 
men are killed, almost always it is because something 
goes wrong in the engine. The better engines men learn 
to make, the safer it will be to fly in airships. Some- 
times the man flying does something wrong in han- 
dling his engine, just as men do when they run auto- 
mobiles. Engines have not yet been made that will keep 
an airship in the air unless they run very fast, and fast 
running gets an engine out of order more quickly than if 
it were not run so fast. It is easier, too, to manage a 
machine which goes slowly. Going so rapidly one must 
think and act very quickly. This is why it is so danger- 
ous to fly. 

I can remember when it was thought a joke to talk of 
flying. Then came the time when Daddy and I saw Gra- 
hame- White put his Bleriot monoplane together and 
start it across a field in Atlantic. It ran along like an 
automobile on the ground. Then I held my breath, for 
the end of it started up in the air, and away he went, up, 
up into the air with a whirr of the motor and I heard it 
sputter, putter, putter until it was but a speck in the sky 
and then went out of sight altogether. Then out came 
Wilbur and Orville Wright, and in a larger machine with 
two planes and four wings, called a "Wright biplane," 
they ran along the ground, — then up into the air they 

413 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

went and with a whirr and a putter of the engine sailed 
away out of sight, Kke another great bird. 

Eagerly we watched the sky imtil both machines 
came back and down to the ground, where they ran along 
a little way and then stopped. I shall never forget the 
thrill of wonder with which we watched these men do 
what had always been called impossible. 

Since then airships have been used so much that in 
the big World War they did a valuable work. Every 
night we read in the paper of those things. 

When Daddy was in Washington he sent us a letter 
by airship. It left Washington in the afternoon and the 
next morning was in Boston to tell us all the things that 
Daddy wanted us to know. 

Men are working all the time to make better engines 
and better machines, and who knows how long it will be 
before you will say, " Come and fly with me and see if 
we can catch the old woman who is sweeping the cob- 
webs out of the sky *' ? 

Anyway you'd better fly into your bed now and sail 
away to Dreamland, for it 's time the Sandman was here 
long ago. 



MUSIC 



LXII 
THE FIRST INSTRUMENTS 

WHAT a racket!" Did you ever hear any one 
say that when you were shouting and banging 
things? Do you remember when we went to visit the 
school, and all the children were racing and yelling in the 
yard as we went in? Do you remember what a scuffle of 
feet there was as they rushed up the steps to the ding- 
clang of the bell? Then some one banged loudly on the 
piano, and the children shouted the "Star-Spangled 
Banner" at the top of their voices. I remember you 
cried and wanted to go home; the uproar confused you so 
that you were very unhappy. 

I do not know exactly why the noise made you so un- 
happy, for I have seen you bang two tin covers together 
or play with a stick on a tin pan by the hour, and smile 
like one entranced with heavenly music all the while. 

I took you later to a kindergarten. The teacher was 
seated at the piano playing a lullaby. Every little head 
was on the table, and there was no sound but the sweet 
tones of the music. Gradually it changed from a lullaby 
to a rollicking dancing tune. Every little head came up. 
Each little boy and girl danced to another, and bowing 
low they skipped together in time to the piano. When- 
ever the teacher wished them to stop what they were 
doing, or to listen to her, she struck one chord of music 
and each child answered its call. We did n't see any 
pushing or hear any scuffling feet or clanging bell, and 
yet the children did not sit still long at a time. They 

417 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

played and worked and sang as in the other school. Yet 
you liked to stay here and the other place made you cry. 

It is so with all sound. Some sounds please, and some 
not only do not please, but annoy, and from some sounds 
we just have to run away. Noise and music are much 
the same, just one sound after another; that is, a succes- 
sion of sounds. But why, do you think, do we call some 
successions of sound noise and some music .^^ "Soimds 
that please us are music and just banging is noise," 
Brother told me. But not all music pleases me, and the 
music of drums is much like banging and that of cymbals 
like clashing of two covers, and that has pleased many. 

It is hard to tell the difference between music and 
noise, but we all know the difference just as we do be- 
tween shouting and singing. 

We can talk musically or we can shriek and roar. We 
can make different tones with our voice, too, some high 
and shrill and others deep and low and all the way be- 
tween. 

Out of doors, all about us, there are sounds; some that 
tire us and some that make us love the whole world; 
some that we call noise and some that are sweetest music. 

Just what do you suppose made the first music in the 
world? The first, I mean, that was called music. Of 
course, it was a person who named it music, for nothing 
in the world but people name things. 

Was it the wind whistling through the grass or reeds 
and playing in tune to the water singing as it hurried 
along.? 

Was it the call of a bird or a mother singing her babe 
to sleep and swaying to the rhythm of her song.? 

418 



THE FIRST INSTRUMENTS 

I believe people sang before they played any instru- 
ment. 

The oldest music we can find written is a chant which 
the Egyptians and Greeks sang. It is a little wail be- 
cause people grow old and ugly instead of always stay- 
ing young and beautiful. The Egyptians called it the 
"Mineros" and the Greeks the "Linos." 

If we should read of India we should find all sorts 
of tales about music. Their music is very wonderful, 
and makes one think of gypsies and tambourines and 
wild things of the woods and fields, whirling leaves, 
swaying trees, and laughing brooks. They tell stories 
of a god of music sitting by his instrument. As he 
dreamed, gentle breezes played upon the strings and 
drew forth such sounds that ever after men and animals 
danced, the sun shone or was darkened, and the rain 
fell as the player willed. The " vina " is the name of 
the instrument which is the national instrument of 
India. It is made of gourds and a pipe with metal 
strings. Gourds grow on a vine like pumpkins. When 
they are dry they are hollow and are used for water 
jugs and such things in the countries where they 
grow. In some places now people raise goiu-ds and 
put them out for birds to nest in. 

Every baby loves a rattle. You remember some of 
those that you had. 

Every boy loves a horn and a drum. What would 
Christmas be if Santa Glaus forgot the horns and drums? 
Every Boy Scout wants a bugle, and as soon as a boy is 
big enough to use a jackknife he usually carries a whistle. 

I remember the first whistle you ever had. We were 
4(19 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

out for a walk and in your pocket was your first jack- 
knife. We thought it would be nice to follow a little 
brook, and on the bank we found some willows growing. 
Did a boy ever pass the willows by a brook without cut- 
ting a switch? You did n't, anyway, perhaps because 
you had a new jackknife. Daddy did n't either, perhaps 
because he had a jackknife. His was n't a new one, 
though. Perhaps that is why he made a whistle instead 
of a switch of his branch of willow. He cut between two 
joints. Then he cut a notch in the little stick he had 
made. Then carefully he cut around and slipped the 
bark from just below the notch off the stick. Then he 
fitted it back on, and there was a whistle. He made more 
than one, but they were not all so good as the first one. 
The bark must be taken off with great care if the whistle 
is to work well. 

The instruments that people who lived before history 
used have been found from time to time, and many of 
these may be seen in cases in museums. [In the Metro- 
politan Museum in New York there are splendid collec- 
tions.] It is interesting to find that even the rudest sav- 
ages loved what every child loves, — rattles, drums, 
horns, and whistles. They used bones of animals to 
make some of these. I have seen boys to-day use 
bones for clappers, and lines of children march to 
the clapping, while another boy played on a drum 
made of pigskin stretched tight across the top. Other 
rattles were made by stringing seeds or shaking gourds 
in which the dry seeds rattled. 

In the "National Geographic Magazine" I have 
seen pictures of people in different lands dancing to 

420 



THE FIRST INSTRUMENTS 

music made by queer-looking drums and rattles. When 
we go to the Library we will look at some of these. 

Once Daddy and I went to a Chinese theater and 
heard the Chinese make music. They seemed to like 
just a noise which did n*t change very much. They 
love bells and chimes and clappers, gongs and drums. 
By pounding on a drum they think they can drive 
evil spirits away. We know that there are no evil spirits 
but selfishness and sin, and we drive them out of our- 
selves by trying very hard to do good and be good; but 
the Chinese -have a great drum in their temples and be- 
lieve that the booming of this will keep them safe and 
kappy. 

In the Chinese shops we find wonderful dinner 
gongs which are rung by playing upon them with 
little mallets. They make chimes of stones as well as 
of metal, getting different tones with stones of differ- 
ent thickness. 

The Chinese learned to make wind instruments, too. 
Little bells hung by silken threads outside the door are 
played by the wind. We once had one that came from a 
Chinese store, outside the playhouse. From a brass ring 
were hung bits of glass and bells, and as the wind played 
in these they swung and played a tune. This was not the 
first kind they made. 

Bamboo grows in China. This is light and hollow and 
can be cut in pieces of all sizes, some big around and 
some small as a lead pencil. They learned to make holes 
in a reed of this, and to play a tune by blowing in at 
one end and opening and closing the holes by putting 
their fingers over different ones as they blew; this was 

421 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

a flute. These are wound with silk ending in a tassel 
and look quite gay. 

As the bamboo grows up thick it makes great forests, 
just as we have pine forests or forests of other kinds of 
trees, and these in time fall and break as other trees do. 
You can imagine how a forest of bamboo looks by think- 
ing of the bamboo fishing pole, with leaves like grass; 
or, better still, think of a cornfield when the corn grows 
tallest and thickest. 

As the wind whistles through these broken reeds it 
makes musical tones of varying pitch. Chinese fathers 
cut and bound these together for their children to blow 
upon just as Daddy cut the willow branch and made a 
whistle for you. If you should blow into one of these 
reeds you would find that the shorter the reed, the 
higher the tone that you would hear, and the longer the 
reed, the lower the tone. So on this pipe could be played 
a tune. Before you can sing or play an instrument you 
learn what is called a scale. We sing C, D, E, F, Gr 
A, B, C, or do, ra, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do. Probably that 
pipe of bamboo, making one note for each length as it 
was blown upon, was the beginning of a scale of musical 
notes. 

With this scale one person can think out a tune and 
write it. Other persons, who have never heard or seen 
the first one, can read what is written if they know the 
scale, just as you can read a story if you know your let- 
ters, and then they, too, can learn to play or sing it. In 
this way many people can enjoy the beautiful tunes 
which only a few people are able to compose. 

The Chinese had trumpets, too. For these they used 
422 



THE FIRST INSTRUMENTS 

the horns of animals. Later they learned, as did people 
in other countries, to make them of metal. You see 
horns to-day made of brass and even of gold and 
silver. 

You have seen Daddy play his banjo and Brother 
his violin. Do they pound these or blow upon them? 
What makes the music, then? 

Strings. How or when men first learned that strings 
drawn tight if rubbed or pulled would give a different 
sound than would strings drawn loose, or that long 
strings and short strings did not sound alike, I do not 
know. Men hunted a.nd used bows and arrows to get 
their food. Perhaps they learned this from the string on 
their bow as they twanged it in shooting or in fastening 
it. At any rate, among these early instruments is one 
with a number of strings and metal bells. 

When we look at the instruments used in Egypt and 
read of them in the Bible, we find a great instrument 
with strings, more than twenty of them, made of animal 
skin, called "gut," and stretched over a massive frame. 
Some of these frames are of gold and inlaid with pearl or 
shell or ivory : some are made of the finest wood, pol- 
ished and carved and adorned. This is the harp, and 
just as a grand piano to-day is found in the finest 
houses, the harp, centuries ago, was found in the palaces 
of kings and in the temples of Egypt. 

Every Simday in our churches we read in the Bible 
what are known as the Psalms of David. From them 
we learn of the music of the Hebrew people. In the 
one hundred and fiftieth Psalm, beginning with the 
third verse, we read of many of the musical instruments 

423 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

which these people used, and that their chief use was to 
praise God. 

"Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise 
Him with the psaltery and harp. 

" Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him 
with stringed instruments and organs. 

"Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him 
upon the high sounding cymbals. 

*' Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." 

[Talk about what each of these instruments is and try 
to find pictures of them or real ones.] 

The stories of Greek music are full of wonder tales of 
gods and goddesses. Myths of water sprites and wood 
nymphs, sirens of the sea, golden lyres, lutes and laiu'el 
wreaths, songs and dances by wondrous beings of great 
beauty, full of poise and rhythm, hold us spellbound. 

Do you know what all this means .'^ I can tell you what 
each big word means, but none of us will ever live long 
enough to find all the meaning in these wonderful sto- 
ries. When you get older I '11 tell you the stories of the 
Iliad and the Odyssey and of how Sappho played the 
six-stringed lyre. Of all the people of history I believe 
you will love the stories of the Greeks the best. 

Do you know about the pipes of Pan.^ They were 
called the "syrinx," and the Greek syrinx, made of 
reeds that grew by the river, is very like the arrange- 
ment of bamboo reeds which the Chinese made, and to 
which we trace the beginning of our musical scale. 

Pan was a god of the woods and fields and especially 
watched over the shepherds. He was fond of playing 
pranks and dancing, and was the idol of the Greeks, who 

424 



THE FIRST INSTRUMENTS 

sang of him as "Ever holy, ever honored, ever young." 
He desperately loved a nymph named Syrinx who ran 
from him. In order to be saved, just as he was about to 
catch her, she was changed into a bundle of river reeds. 
These Pan cut down, bound together, and made the 
shepherd's pipes, known now as the " syrinx " or the 
" Pipes of Pan." The story goes on that with his pipes 
Pan made such wonderful music that he challenged the 
great god Apollo to play with him. Midas was judge 
and decided that Pan was the winner. To punish Pan 
Apollo made his ears grow like those of an ass. To this 
day Pan is pictured with legs of a goat, long ears and 
horns, and playing a syrinx, that is, a shepherd's pipe 
of seven reeds. 

The Greeks thought of him as slipping about, not al- 
ways to be seen by mortals, and playing mischievous 
pranks. When a person was very lonely, or afraid when 
no one was about, they said that it was the spirit of Pan 
that bothered him. We speak of a " panic, ' ' which means 
that the spirit of Pan upsets us so that we lose our self- 
control. There are stories of music in every country. We 
must read the sweet story of the lovely Saint Cecilia. 

Each of the great composers was once a little boy like 
Brother, and we will read about them and how they 
learned to play and write such music as they did. 

Now when you hear the pipe organ played in church 
think how much has been added to the bundle of pipes 
made from the river and bamboo reeds so long ago. 

And when you listen to or play the guitar, violin, and 
piano, so truly tuned, think gratefully of the first man 
who twanged a string and of how much has been added 

425 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

to that first stringed instrument to make such pianos as 
we use to-day. 

Remember, too, that if we cannot all have an expen- 
sive instrument on which to make music we can try to 
sing and to talk musically. 

Men have learned to write scales and to print music 
so that we do not have to make up our own tunes, but 
we can try to learn the finest that have been written. 
How wonderful it would be to give to the world some 
new music so fine and beautiful that it would make 
people forget their troubles! 

We must read the story of Stradivarius and how he 
lived to be over muety years old, making violins to the 
very last. He strove to make the best violins that ever 
were made, and we are told that none better than his 
ever have been made. The older they grow, the better 
they are. 

<Treorge Eliot, in a poem, makes Stradivarius say: 

" When any master holds 
'Twixt chin and hand a violin of mine. 
He will be glad that Stradivari lived. 
Made violins, and made them of the best. 
The masters only know whose work is good: 
They will choose mine, and while God gives them skill 
I give them instruments to play upon, 
God choosing me to help Him." 

In the "Tales of a Wayside Inn," Longfellow has a 
poem about Ole Bull and how he played upon a violin 
made by Stradivarius. 

Some time we will read James Whitcomb Riley's poem 
called "My Fiddle." 

Music has been used by people in many lands to drive 
426 



THE FIRST INSTRUMENTS 

away evil spirits, and I am sure it will always do this if 
we remember the song that the shepherds heard the 
angels sing on the plains of Bethlehem, "Glory to God 
in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward 
men." For we believe now that the only evil spirits 
are those in our own selves such as selfishness and 
spite. 

[Read "Young People's Story of Music," by Ida 
Prentice Whitcomb. It is illustrated and deals with the 
music of different ages and countries in a simple, illumi- 
nating way, beginning with the early instruments and 
ending with the important composers and modern mu- 
sic. Much of it can be read to very small children. 

For little ones starting to read there are the Art Music 
Readers beginning with a primer written by Frederick 
H. Ripley and Elizabeth Schneider, illustrated with 
song and picture. These stories tell of instruments, 
players, and composers in language simple enough for 
children learning to read. 

" Instruments of the Orchestra and Precursors of the 
Violin" describes in detail all the modern instruments 
and how the keyboard of the piano was added to the 
early stringed instruments. 

"A History of Music," by Stanford and Forsyth, is 
good for reference.] 



Lxm 

THE PIPE ORGAN AND THE PIANO 

WE have a lovely picture of Saint Cecilia, seated 
at an organ. Angels drop roses as she plays. It 
reminds me of the verse of Tennyson's, 

"There in a clear-walled city by the sea. 
Near gilded organ pipes, her hair 
Bound with white roses, slept Saint Cecily, 
An angel looked at her." 

To this lovely Roman maiden, a devout Christian, 
legend tells us we owe the organ. She was very beautiful 
and cared nothing for dress and jewels, but always car- 
ried the Bible. When she sang angels came down from 
heaven to listen. She made many instruments before 
she made the one to please her, which we are told was 
the pipe organ, such as we hear in churches to-day. 

The blowing of the organ is necessary to get the 
sound just as in the pipes of olden days. To-day the 
blowing of the organs is done by bellows. These bellows 
act as the bellows in the blacksmith's shop where he 
blows them to make the fire burn brightly. Sometimes a 
boy blows the bellows that sends the air into the organ 
pipes and sometimes they are fastened to the electric 
light wire and electricity blows the bellows. 

Over the different pipes are little sliding covers. 
When the cover is pushed over the end of the pipe, that 
pipe does not sound and so by pushing these little covers 
off or over the pipes the player can get whatever sounds 
he wishes to make a tune. 

428 



THE PIPE ORGAN AND THE PIANO 

These little covers are worked by pushing up and 
down the white keys like those which we play on the 
piano. To play the organ the organist sits at this key- 
board, and when the bellows at the back push air into 
the pipes, and the keys going up and down open the lit- 
tle covers on the pipes that give the right tone, the 
organ rolls out a glorious sound. 

In the Psalms we read of praising God with the psal- 
tery and the dulcimer. The psaltery was a wooden 
board or shallow box over which were stretched strings. 
These were plucked as you would pick a violin string. 

The dulcimer was played by striking the wires with a 
little hammer. If you look inside a piano to-day you 
will find a board with strings stretched across it and 
little felt-covered wooden hammers resting against the 
strings. These are connected with the keys on which we 
play. As we press a key the hammer to which it is fas- 
tened hits the string beside which it has been resting. 
We will leave the top of the piano open, and you may 
watch these little hammers hitting against the strings 
and notice the difference in the sounds of the strings. 

When a man comes to tune the piano he sees to it 
that these little hammers are in good condition, for some- 
times the little felt part comes unglued and falls off. It 
may get under one of the strings and that string will not 
sound as it should, or perhaps not at all. He tightens or 
loosens the wires, just as Brother tunes his violin by 
tightening the strings. 

We have square, upright, and grand pianos to-day. 
You know them by the shape of the case, but they work 
all in the same way by the little hammers pressed by the 

4£9 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

keys against the wires stretched across a board. The 
wires lie down in the square piano, but stand in the up- 
rights. 

There are many makers of pianos. The sweetness of 
tone in the piano depends upon the wood that is used 
and the care with which each part is fashioned and put 
together, just as in the case of the vioHn. 

It is called the pianoforte from two Italian words 
piano, which means soft, and forte, which means loud. 
The pedals at the base gave it this name, for by pressing 
one the tone becomes soft, and by pressing the other, 
loud. 

Before the pianoforte, people played on the clavi- 
chord and harpsichord, virginal and spinet, all of which 
were much like the piano, except for the pedals which 
changed the tone from loud to soft. 

Much of the world's best music was composed on 
these instruments which were used before the piano of 
our day was made. Improvements are being made 
all the time on this, and I sometimes wonder what sort 
of instrument will make music a few centuries 
ahead of us. 




MOZART AND HIS SISTER 



LXIV 
THE VIGTROLA 

IF we knew a few good songs and sang them often, I 
believe it would do a good deal toward keeping us 
sweet and happy. But when we get tired of singing or 
playing, or want to hear some great artist sing one of 
the finest songs that has been written, or a great violin- 
ist play, or hear an orchestra, is n't it wonderful that we 
can wind the victrola and as the record whirls around 
listen to the splendid music? 

When you first heard the victrola you talked back to 
the voice that came from it and insisted that there was a 
man in there. 

The Greeks thought the syrinx was the spirit of the 
nymph, Syrinx, singing in the pipes. They looked at the 
groups of stars in the heavens and imagined that the 
Pleiades sisters, and Orpheus with his lyre, beside many 
another of the gods and goddesses, had been transported 
there and beamed upon them from the stars. We have 
learned that when the wind whistles through a hollow 
tube, whether it be a reed or a piece of bamboo or one 
made of metal, a sound may be heard, and that the 
longer or shorter the tube, the higher or lower the sound, 
and that whether it be the wind or a man's breath that 
blows upon the tube, the blowing makes the sound. 

Men have learned many things about the stars since 
the days when the Greeks told their fancies, and you 
have learned since the day when you first listened to it 
that there is no man shut up in the victrola, 

431 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Less than a hundred years ago — that is longer than 
you can think of, but not long when you think of all the 
years since the world began — a man learned to make a 
machine that would catch each sound that was made into 
a large horn which was fastened to it. I cannot explain 
all about this machine so that you will understand, but I 
can tell you something about it. Each sound which was 
made in the mouthpiece pressed a steel needle down into 
little grooves in a cylinder which, covered with tinfoil, 
was turned over and over as the sounds were made. Can 
you believe that if the voice was loud the needle would 
press deeper into the tinfoil on the cylinder than when 
the voice was low, and so the holes were not all alike, 
but how deep they were showed how loud or soft the 
tones of the voice had been.? 

This was how a record was made. 

Then the needle could be again started in the groove, 
and as the cylinder turned, the same sounds would come 
back from the record that the voice had just made in the 
horn. 

This first machine was clumsy; the records sounded 
harsh, and the machine made a good deal of noise in 
turning. The cylinder was turned by hand. New and 
easy ways have been found to make the records now. 
You know what the records look like that we use to-day 
and that they are made of celluloid or hard rubber iu' 
stead of tinfoil. You can see that they are round and 
flat like a disc instead of like a cylinder. The grooves in 
the first ones became worn away after being played a 
few times, but we play ours over and over, and some of 
them are so perfect that it is like hearing the real voice 

432 



THE VICTROLA 

of the person who talked or sang or whistled to make the 
sound grooves on the record. The needles which run 
over the records have been made better, too, for just as a 
violin made by Stradivarius makes better music than a 
less fine violin, so the music of the phonograph or vic- 
trola varies with the machines, and the record. 

When we buy the records for our victrola it would be 
well to choose them as carefully as our books, our pic- 
tures, or our friends, for they talk to us and what they 
tell us makes a lot of difference in our lives. 



ART 



LXV 
THE LITTLE ARTIST 

' Oh, come, dear child, and we will draw. 
Watch carefully and you shall see 
A nest which birds build in the tree 
High in the branches it must be. 
Now here's a house for you and me 
With doors and windows, chimney, too, 
And steps. How many.? Just a few, 
One, two, three, four; we can't have morep 
For these reach just to our front door. 

' Now here 's a mirror on the wall. 
When through the windows sunbeams fall 
The Lightbird dances at its call. 

* Let 's open wide the window now 
And see the farmer with his plough. 
His harrow, too, and wagon gay. 
To load with grain, or fruit, or hay. 
To take to market, harvest day. 
Four wheels it has, but two are shown. 
And now we'll show just one alone 
Where hub and tire and spokes are drawn. 

' But lift your eyes up to the sky. 
Behold the dazzling sun on high, 
A glorious wheel with brilliant rays. 
Send changing seasons, months and days. 
A rippling brook we next will make, 
A mill wheel for the miller's sake, 
To grind the sweet and ripened grain 
Which grew in sunshine and in rain. 

' The bridge we '11 cross and as we go. 
We'll watch the fishes down below. 

437 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Then on we 'II go with a hippety-hop 
Until we reach the baker's shop. 
* Oh, Baker, is your oven hot? 
Then bake my bread but burn it not.' 

" We now must close the barnyard gate 
And feed the chickens where they wait 
For us to fill their round, deep plate. 
When we bring grass a rabbit peers 
From out a hole. Oh, what long ears! 
We '11 draw them standing right up straight 
And hurry, for it 's getting late. 

** And now before we say Good-night, 
A ladder we '11 draw to the moon so bright. 
A long, long ladder, I 'm sure 't will take 
And so, one long as this we '11 make. 
We'll draw the moon, too, first a bow, 
And then a big round sphere, so, — 

" And last above the closed church door 
A brilliant star. The wise men saw this star before 
And followed till it led them on 
To where a baby boy was born." 

CHILDREN are fond of simple line drawing to tell a 
story. As you tell this story draw these things 
either in the air with your finger or in simple outline 
on the blackboard.] 

Do you remember when you used to tease me to tell 
you little rhymes and with my finger draw pictures in 
the air, and then with your finger you would try to do 
the same thing? 

All little children try to draw, and it is a good thing 
to do. 

Whatever you try to draw you learn more about than 
in almost any other way. You know when Baby tries to 

438 



THE LITTLE ARTIST 

draw a cow, his fingers at first never go where he wants 
them to. You have seen him try and try until he can do 
better and better. If you try to draw anything, you keep 
learning more and more about it, for you think more 
about it. The first cow you drew had almost nothing 
but horns. The first house you made had no door nor 
chimney. You never thought of steps. The first man 
you drew had just a round head and two straight lines 
for legs. 

I have seen you draw with a stick in the sand or in the 
snow. Probably that is the way drawing started in the 
very first place. Men drew pictures to tell a story. Al- 
most the only way we have now of telling what people 
did in the days before history is by the pictures that 
they left. We find these carved into rocks or on their 
tools or woven into the things which they made. 

Far within deep, dark, damp caves, which were the 
homes of men who lived so long ago that all we know 
about them is what is found sometimes, men, who lived 
in the age when their tools w^ere made of stone, carved 
pictures of animals with flint upon the limestone walls. 
Flint is a very hard stone. Strange shapes these were of 
animals such as we shall never see and whose names are 
almost forgotten now, such as we are told lived and 
fought with men in those prehistoric days. 

Animals have left no pictures; they have never tried 
to make anything beautiful, or to make again the beau- 
tiful things of nature. 

Even in those first days of the world these things that 
we find show us that men have always tried to make 
again the things which they have seen. 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

We will go into our Art Museum, and there have been 
gathered these things that have been made by men in all 
the ages as they tried to make again, in picture, the 
things which were all about them. 

As they tried to make these pictures of what they saw, 
they learned to make things to do this with. 

At first man had nothing but the sharp point of a 
stone, and with this he scratched upon the wall of his 
home. Perhaps that is why I have to watch Baby or he 
will make marks upon our walls. Of course, you have a 
blackboard and paper and know better than to spoil our 
pretty wall-paper. 

In the Museum you can see what other things he 
found and how well man learned to make pictures of all 
the things about him until we have to-day wonderful 
statuary and paintings. 

From this we have gone on, to the camera with which 
we make an exact picture of whatever we wish, and 
now to the motion-picture machine with which pic- 
tm-es may be taken and shown of anything as it 
moves about. 

Think of the baby's attempt to show what a cow 
looks like. Then think how men have learned, with the 
victrola and the camera, to reproduce for us a cow 
mooing and moving. I have seen pictures of animals 
with the breath floating from their nostrils and it seemed 
as if they were really alive. 

Or think of the man that you drew with a head and 
two straight lines for legs, and then the pictures you 
have seen at the movies of men walking. If you should 
catch these men's voices, as could be done in the victrola, 

440 



THE LITTLE ARTIST 

and set that going as the picture reeled off, you could 
hear them talking as they walked. 

More than this has been done. The first pictures in 
those caves, scratched by the men of the Stone Age> 
were of animals, not men. They were queer, grotesque 
monsters. 

Now look at some of the Old Masters. Instead of 
monsters we find pictured men and women and angels. 

To-day even you children have pencils, paints and 
brushes, paper, canvas, sand, and modeling clay. These 
are tools for you to work with to make beautiful things. 
These tools are better than professional artists had 
once, and every school child is given lessons in using 
them. Before an artist can paint or draw or model 
anything he has to see in his mind just what he is 
trying to make. 

Suppose you want to make a picture of a cow. You 
must know first how many heads she has, where her 
eyes belong, and must be sure and not put her tail on the 
wrong end. Once a drawing teacher came into the room 
when Daddy was a little boy and said, "How many legs 
has a hen?" One little girl piped up, "Four." The 
teacher smiled and said, "Are you sure.'^" "Oh, yes," 
she said, "I've seen them over at Mr. Bright's." Do 
you know how many legs a hen has? Before you try to 
draw a picture of a hen, be sure. 

If artists wanted to make pictures of real things, they 
had to look at the real things first and then try to make 
a picture of the things as they really were. 

The finest pictures are not always of real things. 
It is good for us to look often at beautiful pic- 

441 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

tures so that we may dream of beautiful and noble 
things. 

At the movies there are very often horrible pictures. 
Pictures of shooting and wickedness, ugly, vulgar pic- 
tures. Would you like to have such pictures in your 
room.? If you look at these often there will be no room 
in your mind for beautiful ones. Which are you going to 
choose to dream about? 

I 'd rather wander down by the brook and watch the 
meadow rue grow silvery as it dips under the ripples at 
the edge, or watch the water turn to gold as it winds 
over the shining, yellow sand in the golden sunlight and 
dream of King Midas, and how much more of worth was 
his little daughter's loving smile than all the gold that 
ever came from mines. 

When I was three years old I used to do this with my 
mother. We walked through a great pine grove and 
picked the partridge berries and made pine-needle 
chains on the way. Then we would sit by the brook and 
dream, as I have told you. Do you know the meadow 
rue? We must go where it grows for our next picnic and 
see how it looks in the water. I know a little boy who 
saw too many pictures of ugly things, and he was afraid 
to go to sleep, for he knew he should dream of monsters 
and of burglars. How unhappy he was, and he wanted 
some one always with him in the dark. 

I know a little girl who could hardly wait to get un- 
dressed, for she said perhaps she should have a lovely 
dream. It began one night, but she woke up too soon, 
and she hoped every night it would come back and finish 
itself. 

442 



THE LITTLE ARTIST 

So when you draw, please try to make pictures of 
things that are beautiful and good to dream about, and 
when you look at pictures choose that kind. Then I 
know that your night dreams will be as pleasant as your 
day dreams. And now good-night to you, dear Boy, and 
happy dreams. 



LXVI 

HOW MEN LEARNED TO READ AND 
WRITE 

RUDYARD KIPLING has written a book called 
"The Just-So Stories," and if I forget to read 
these to you I hope you will ask me often so that I shall 
remember to get them and do it. 

One of them tells *' How the First Letter was Written " 
and one "How the Alphabet was Made," and if we 
should talk about these things all night we could n't do 
it so well as it is done in these two stories. 

The first letter was probably written by one of those 
men, of whom we have often talked, who lived in a cave. 
No one had ever written anything and no one knew his 
A, B, C's, for no letter had ever been made. 

Now suppose you and I went down in the woods and I 
forgot to take a knife. There I found some beautiful 
pussy wallows, but I could n't get the ones I wanted 
without a knife. Suppose Daddy was at home and you 
could run back and get it, but he would not let you have 
it unless he knew for sure that I sent you after it. What 
could I do? I could write him a little note and tell him 
to give it to you. 

But suppose I had no pencil or paper, then how could 
I write it? I could take a flat, soft rock and scratch on it 
with a hard, sharp one. What else? I could peel o& a 
piece of birch bark, squeeze out the juice of a berry, and 
dip the end of a stick into it and write with that. But 

444 



HOW MEN LEARNED TO READ AND WHITE 

suppose there were flowers, but no berries. At pussy- 
willow time we do not often see berries. Yes, we could 
burn some wood and write with the charcoal. But we 
are thinking of a time when Daddy cannot read, and I do 
not know how to make letters because letters have never 
been made. What could I do then to tell Daddy that I 
wanted the knife and where it was.^ 

Make pictures; sure enough. And men did just that. 
Long before they learned to write with letters they 
made pictures. 

It was a lot of work to write with pictures and hard to 
tell the story just right. 

To-morrow you must write me a picture letter and I 
will answer it. Picture stories have been found from 
time to time carved on ivory and on many things which 
people in olden times used. There are whole stories 
carved on their tools and weapons and musical instru- 
ments. 

Pictures took too long, as you see, also they were too 
easily misunderstood, so men learned to make marks. 
They got together and agreed that a certain kind of 
mark should mean one thing and another mark some- 
thing else. Then these marks were all written down and 
saved, and those that learned them could write mes- 
sages and read them. This was the very first of read- 
ing and writing and having an alphabet. Probably the 
first ones were marked out on the sand or maybe on 
snow. I have seen you try to print letters and draw 
pictures on both. 

The Ten Commandments were first carved on tablets 
of stone. 

445 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

To-day people in each country make different marks 
for letters. You have our English alphabet on your 
blocks and in your books, and we put these letters to- 
gether to make words. 

Here is a German book, and a piece of paper with 
Japanese letters which came around the package from 
the Japanese store. Here is Daddy's laundry check with 
Chinese letters. Here is a Yiddish newspaper with the 
letters which the Jewish people use. The old Egyptians 
called their letters hieroglyphics, and men have found 
many things in Egypt on which these letters have been 
carved. None of them look like the letters of oiu- alpha- 
bet, you see. 

We cannot begin too soon to learn our letters, so that 
we can say them and sound them and put them together 
and make words, and then write them, so that we can 
send messages to people who go away or to the people at 
home when we go away, for ours is not the only alpha- 
bet to learn. 

Think of all the others in the world! Perhaps some 
time, if you learn a little lesson every day now, you can 
learn to read French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, 
Latin, Spanish, Yiddish. But remember that English 
comes first of all, and that that begins with A, B, C. 

There are boys too lazy to try to do this unless they 
are scolded and punished, but I am glad my little boy 
is n't one of those, for I could n't let him grow up and 
not be able to read any stories of knights and fairies to 
his little boys when he is old enough to be a nice, big 
Daddy, could I? 

For what would my little grandchildren think of a 
446 



HOW MEN LEARNED TO READ AND WRITE 

Daddy like that or of a grandmother who would let her 
little boy grow up in such a horrid way? People will 
read to you now that you are little, but what will they 
think of a big boy who cannot read or write his own let- 
ters? 

And I hope my little boy will some time see all the 
countries in the world. I hope he can learn more than 
English, so that when he goes to see other countries and 
how the people live in each, he will know what the people 
say and write there. 

Now bring me your alphabet blocks and we will see 
how many of the letters you can tell. 

Here is plenty of room and a nice, smooth place on the 
floor. See if you can bring me the right one as I call each 
letter. 

Let us build a house with blocks. 

First we '11 take the letter A — 

This our Architect will be 

To plan a house for you and me. 

Letter B comes next in line: 

He will bring the Bricks so fine. 

Then C for Carpenter; just in time 

To follow the mason with his lime. 

Above the foundation, firm and strong, 

The Carpenter will nail boards short and long. 

D for the Doors through which we go, 

E, Electrician, whom we all know 

Wires the house where 't will not show. 

F for the Fire with cheery blaze, 

G for the Glass through which we gaze. 

H is the House which we build with care : 

'T will be a Home when the family's there; 

Large or small, well-furnished or bare. 

If they love one another and all play fair. 

447 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

I for the Ice-box and what we put in it; 

J for the Joy we'll have every minute; 

K for Kitchen, and L for the Lumber, 

To make all the boards. 'T will take quite a number. 

M for the Matches, the Miner, the Mason; 

N for the Nails, and O for the Oven. 

P for the Paper, the Painter, the Plumber; 

Please hurry the next block, for Q stands for Quick. 

Now bring aU the rest, R, S, T, U, and V; 

We'll need more than that, W, X, Y, and Z. 

We'll pile these with care for the chimney, you see, • 

And there's a fine house, I know you'll agree. 

[Any jingle will do. Make it up as you go along, a 
rhyme for each letter as the child brings it when you 
name it.] 

When Cousin Carl was a little boy he had blocks with 
letters on them. On each block was a picture of an ani- 
mal, and the name of the animal was written under it 
like this : On the block would be E on one side. On the 
other side the picture of an elephant and under it the 
word "Elephant" spelled. On another block there 
would be a " B " and on the other side the picture of a 
Bear with the word "Bear" under it. 

One day he came to see us and saw a box of salt. On 
the box was the picture of an elephant and under it 
was written " Salt." He spelled it out — it was before 
he could talk very plainly — so he said, " S-a-l-t, 
Ephelant." 

That is why I want you to learn the names of the 
letters and then the sounds. Then sound your words 
instead of learning them by pictures, and you can 
find out any word for yourself and won't say, "S-a-l-t, 

448 



HOW MEN LEARNED TO READ AND WRITE 

Ephelant," because there is a picture of an elephant 
near it. 

[If you can get a Pollard Manual and tell your child 
the Johnny story in it, drilling on the sounds, he will 
learn to read happily and easily. Almost any normal 
child taught in this way can read any word found in the 
newspaper at the age of six. I have tried it with many 
children.] 



TOYS 



LXVII 
THE TOY SHOP 

IN Volume V of this series are words and music for 
games. Children like to go to a shop full of toys, 
but they like just as well to play that they go.] 

One of the games that Brother loved best was one 
that we called the " Toyman's Shop." We just took 
hold of hands and walked about the room or the garden 
and finally chose a toy. This choosing, although it was 
all make-believe, was very carefully done. We knew that 
toys cost money and took up room. We knew that if we 
spent too much money for toys there would not be so 
much for other things. There were so many toys in the 
shop that if we took them all home there would not be 
room for them. We should have to sleep out of doors to 
make a place for them. That would not be very wise or 
pleasant. 

There were so many toys that would break easily, and 
we knew how badly we felt when any one gave us some- 
thing which broke almost as soon as we began to play 
with it because it had not been made strongly enough to 
use. We learned never to choose that kind. 

There were plenty of toys which we wanted because 
they were so bright and pretty, but we soon learned 
that these became just clutter in our room at home and 
were "no fun." 

I was pleased to see that almost always Brother, and 
whoever played with us more than once, chose trains 

453 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

and things that are used along the railroad to go witli 
them. Almost never did they choose the ready-made 
station or signals, but they bought blocks. Almost 
every time we played they bought a box of blocks, for 
with these they could make almost anything they 
needed. 

Brother liked balls, too. When he bought a ball for 
Baby Brother one day I was especially pleased, for he 
chose a pretty, soft one, and what could a baby have any 
better than a nice, soft ball to play with.^ Sometimes the 
children would buy rattles to take hpme to their baby 
brother or sister. Almost always, though, each child 
thought only of himself and chose the toy that he liked 
best. 

When one of them did think of some one else and 
what he would like, the game seemed even jollier. 
When Roger was playing one day he bought a doll for 
Gene, who was a baby then. It was dressed like a clown, 
with bells jingling from its cap and toes. There were 
buttons all down the front of its jacket and something, 
I've forgotten what, pinned on somewhere. Such a 
howl of laughter went up from the children that had 
played the game with us before and knew how to choose 
a toy for a baby! 

Why did they laugh? Of course, a baby's mother 
would never let it have a toy with buttons on it, for a 
baby always tries to put things in its mouth, and it 
would surely tug at those buttons until they came off. 
If they did n't get into his mouth they might go up his 
nose. Those bells and buttons and the pin would never 
do for a baby. Next time he chose a little rubber doll 



THE TOY SHOP 

which squeaked when he squeezed it. This was much 
better for a baby. 

After we had carefully chosen our toys, we took them 
home and played with them. 

We had as much fun, all in make-believe, as if our 
toys were really the ones in the store, and had cost hun- 
dreds of real dollars. 

We each showed, by making motions, what we had 
bought; tossing balls, and beating drums, skating, and 
rocking our dolls to sleep. 

At other times we made a store in one end of the 
room and put in it all the toys we had. Sometimes we 
cut out pictures of toys from magazines and made a 
store of those. Then we took our box of toy money — 
shells, stones, and beads for money, as people used to do 
before men learned to make the kind of money which 
we use — and bought these toys. 

Sometimes we played that Santa Claus was there and 
told us to look about and each choose one toy to please 
ourselves. How carefully we searched each shelf and 
corner to get the toy that would last the longest and be 
the most fun ! 

Spijff used to buy picture books, and David loved 
animals so much that he almost always bought a Noah's 
Ark. He taught Baby many words with these. He 
would say, ''Run and get the cow for Brother," and she 
would toddle away and come back with the dog. Then 
he would say, "No, no. Baby. Brother wants a cow. 
This is a dog." One day I watched them, and found that 
there was hardly an animal in David's Noah's Ark that 
she had not learned to name in this way. 

4d5 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

Just before Christmas we always went to the real toy 
shop. There is almost nothing that Daddy or Mother 
uses to-day which we did not find there for you boys and 
girls to play with. These are smaller, of course, than 
those which grown-up people use, but very like them in 
other ways. 

Even motors were there, so that you can run your 
trains by electricity. There are sets of wood and steel 
and tools to work with, so that you can build trestles and 
bridges and elevators. There are chemical sets, so that 
you can learn to put acids and powders together and 
make gas and dyes and even gunpowder. 

There are pencils, crayons, paints and brushes, black- 
boards and paper, clay for modeling, all sorts of things 
with which to learn to make beautiful pictures and stat- 
ues, useful things and toys, such as great artists never 
had to work with once upon a time. 

How much people think of you children now! How 
they plan to make you happy and to give you things to 
play with so that hard lessons may be learned and seem 
like play. 

I am thinking of a time when people used to say 
"Children should be seen and not heard." Quietly they 
had to sit while grown-up people talked. Instead of 
pretty picture books they had to sit still for hours and 
learn word for word long pages in the Bible. They very 
seldom knew what the words meant, either, which made 
it yet harder to learn them. A great stick waited for the 
child whose thoughts wandered away to the birds or 
dreams of playtime and who could not say his verses to 
suit the grown-ups. 

456 



THE TOY SHOP 

I am thinking, too, of a lonely little boy in Germany. 
His name was Frederick Froebel. His father was a 
minister. He seemed to be always busy reading and 
thinking, and had no time for games and stories with 
little Frederick who could not remember his mother. 

Frederick had no blocks to build with, but one day he 
found some that the carpenters had left behind when 
they were building near his home. 

With these he made houses, just as all little boys like 
to do. When he grew up he remembered how lonely he 
was when a little boy, and the rest of his life he spent 
trying to make people see that little boys and girls need 
toys so made that they can handle them easily and make 
and do the things with these which they see being made 
and done all about them. He tried to make people un- 
derstand that no child is too little to want to learn to do 
things. So he spent his time watching little children 
play, trying to find out what kind of toys, stories, songs, 
and games pleased them most, and best helped them to 
learn, as they played, the things which men and women 
must know before they can be of use to the world. 

That is why to-day we have these wonderful toy 
shops where you can go and buy balls and marbles, jump- 
ropes and dolls, furniture for the doll's house, animals, 
building blocks of all kinds, picture books, stories, and 
games. What more can a child need to keep him busy 
and happy! 

Then came the kindergarten where children are 
shown how to use these things, and instead of long, 
lonely hours of wondering what to do, or sitting still and 
being afraid of a big stick if they moved, came happy 

457 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

times when they learned to count and do their number 
lessons with pretty beads and colored sticks and build- 
ing blocks and piles of sand. 

You are too little now to know what all this means, 
but my grandmother used to tell me how long she had to 
sit and say her number lessons over and over. Her only 
doll was kept shut up in the closet, and she could hold it 
only once in a while when she was very good, and then it 
must go up on the high shelf for fear it would get dirty 
or be broken. 

Every afternoon she must be dressed up clean and go 
to walk, and her picture books and stories were great, 
heavy books with pictures of men in the Bible. How 
would you like that? 

Now cuddle up close a minute and give me a hug, and 
for your niunber lesson get out your blocks and make a 
bench eight inches long and four inches high and two 
inches wide, and tell me how many blocks it will take. 
Brother learned all his numbers that way and never sat 
down for hours, and said one and one are two, two and 
two are four, as my grandmother hated to do. He could 
not have done this before blocks were made just right 
for him to learn to use in this way. 

When you put your blocks away neatly in your closet, 
see if there is a toy there that you can spare to send 
away to the little boy I saw this morning who did n't 
have any nice ones like yours. 



LXVIII 
WHERE TOYS ARE MADE 

AT first, like everything else, toys were made by 
hand at home. Before there were any toy shops 
this could easily be done. 

Almost anything would do for a rattle for the baby. 

Fruit or stones or nuts would roll, and Baby had a 
ball. A rag doll was not hard to make, and dolls could 
be made from corn-husks, strings, or even a potato dolly 
is better than none. 

Children still like to make pies out of sand and mud 
and bake them in shells in the sun. 

But when people got the idea of making things for 
children to play with, they kept thinking of ways to 
make better ones and easier ways of doing this. No 
animal we can think of ever made a plaything for its 
baby, did it? I have seen a dog play with a stick or a 
ball for hours, but I never heard of a dog making a ball 
for its puppy to play with. Monkeys are very playful, 
but they never make toys to play with. Men and 
women do this. They think about what they have and 
then work and make something a little better. 

Look at a rag doll which you can make by rolling up 
your handkerchief, then look at the dolls in the toy shop. 
What a difference ! Some can even open and shut their 
eyes and talk a bit, and the mechanical dolls can walk 
when they are wound up. Look at your little shell dishes 
and then at the kitchenware and china that are made 
for dolls to-day. 

459 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

For many years all our finest toys were made in 
Germany and Switzerland. Whole families worked on 
these, even the little children. They worked hard all 
day long, carefully making each little part, and putting 
them together with infinite pains. Lovely toys have 
come from Japan, too. 

Now great quantities of toys are made here in Amer- 
ica. Great factories have been built. These noisy, whirl- 
ing machines make toys by the thousands. In Winchen- 
don, Massachusetts, and South Paris, Maine, and I do 
not know in how many other places, there are toy 
factories. You would be surprised if you should go 
into one of them to see how your doll's furniture is 
painted. 

One machine has a long rod on which are slipped more 
dolFs tables or beds or chairs than you can count. It 
takes only an instant to dip this rodful of furniture into 
a great tub of paint and out again. These are swished 
off, rod and all, to another place to be dried and another 
rodful dipped into the paint. 

I never dreamed that a whole set of doll's furniture 
could be painted so easily and quickly. 

So with the making of all the toys. Great machines 
cut out each part by the hundred. Then all the parts 
are put together by machines that work as quickly as 
they were dipped in paint, and they are ready to be 
carefully packed and shipped away to be sold. 

In South Paris thousands of trees are cut each year 
and made into boards to be used in making these wooden 
toys. 

For the metal toys — show me a metal toy — thou- 
460 



WHERE TOYS ARE MADE 

sands of tons of iron and other ores must be taken from 
the ground. 

Men are always trying to think of some new toy to 
make and sell, and planning ways to make them quickly 
and to save hard work. I want you to go into a toy 
factory some day. 

Think of all the stockings which will hang beside the 
chimneys next Christmas Eve. Did you ever think of 
the millions of toys that must be made every year to fill 
these besides a lot more for the Christmas-trees? Then 
each of these children has a birthday, and some of 
them tease for toys in between, not to mention the 
Easter Bunny who, of course, tucks in a few toys along 
with the eggs which he brings. 

Oh, of course, Santa Claus helps. It's lucky that, 
although Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa Claus are getting 
very old now, they never get tired of working for chil- 
dren. They love children, that's why. The world 
could n't get along without Santa Claus, but I know 
he 's glad to have the toy factories help him out. With 
all the toy factories running double time there would be 
a lot of unhappy children if Santa Claus did n't keep 
busy and get around every time on Christmas Eve; but 
the world is big and children ask for more than they 
used to. I 've seen him just before Christmas wandering 
around in the toy stores, or sometimes resting there, 
and trying to find out just what each child wants, so as 
to please him if he possibly can. 

Yes, I remember you saw him last year and told him 
that you wanted a bicycle. Do you remember what he 
told you.^ That there was a strike in the coal mines and 

461 



TALKS TO CHILDREN 

on account of that tlie factories where they were made 
had not been able to work all the time, and so you might, 
have to wait awhile! Do you remember that he told 
you that if you did have to wait he'd see the Easter 
Bunny and ask him if he could n't help out? And Easter 
morning there was a bicycle with a note from Santa 
Claus in care of the Easter Bimny, saying that he was 
glad the factories were working again and that he could 
send the bicycle now. 

So you see that Santa Claus does depend a great deal 
upon the toy factories and that they cannot work unless 
the men in the mines work first. 



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