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Full text of "Talks to mothers"

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THE THOUGHTFUL MOTHER 




HOUGHTON MIFFLIN C02VIPANV f 
B05TON tf 



B05TON 
NKWYORK 




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 hst 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." 

"Thinking and Answering," and "The City Beauti- 
ful" (from "The Child's Day," by Dr. Woods Hutch- 
inson) ; published by Houghton Mifflin Company. 

"The Garden of Bluebells," and "The Secret" (from 
"With the Little Folks," by Isa L. Wright); pubHshed 
by Houghton Mifflin Company. 

"A Child's Right to Noisy Play," "A Child's Right 
to a Happy Home," and "A Child's Right to Work," 
by G. W. Tuttle; "Toys Made in America," by Mrs. 
Martha Gallaudet Waring; "Teaching Children True 
Values," by Emma Gary W^allace; "How I Made my 
Home Attractive for the Young People," by F. G. B., 
and "The Bad Child," by Henriette E. Delamare (from 
"The Child Welfare Magazine"); pubhshed by the 
National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher 
Associations. 



NOTE 

"Child Nature and Child Nurture," by Edward 
St. John; published by The Pilgrim Press. 

"Reading Aloud to the Child," by Hamhn Garland; 
published by Bureau of Education and National 
Kindergarten Association. 

"A Dream," by Annie E. Allen (from "St. Nich- 
olas"); pubHshed by the Century Company. 

"Social Education," by Dr. Colin A. Scott; pub- 
lished by Ginn & Company. 

"Little Lights" (from "Fables from Afar," by 
Catherine T. Bryce) ; published by Newson & Company. 

"The Search for a Good Child," by Maud Lindsay; 
published by Milton Bradley Company. 

"My Neighbors," by Miss Mary E. Laing; pub- 
lished by Benjamin H. Sanborn & Company. 

"The Story of a Child," by Pierre Loti (translation); 
published by C. C. Birchard & Company. 

"Mottoes and Commentaries of Froebel's Mother 
Play," translated and edited by Susan E. Blow; pub- 
lished by D. Appleton & Company. 

"Education of Henry Adams"; pubhshed by Hough- 
ton Mifflin Company. 

Selections from "Noble Lives and Noble Deeds," by 
E. A. Horton; pubhshed by the Unitarian Sunday 
School Association. 



PREFATORY NOTE 

THE chapters, ''The Helpful Child," "The Sing- 
ing ChUd," '*The Questioning Child" (in part), 
"The Social Child," and "The Evening Prayer," were 
written by Miss Elizabeth Colson, whose cooperation 
and interest have been of value in the preparation of 
this book. 

Lucy Wheelock 



CONTENTS 

I. The Thoughtful Mother 1 

n. Whose Child Is It? 7 

in. The Soul of a Child 13 

IV. The Healthy Child 19 

V. The Five Senses 30 

VI. Child Play 39 

Vn. Playthings 49 

Vm. The Little Workman 59 

IX. Thrift 67 

X. The Helpful Child 77 

XI. How Children Learn 88 

Xn. The Listening Child 99 

Xm. The Story 108 

XIV. The Dreamer 114 

XV. The Child and His Book 129 

XVI. The Little Actor 135 

XVn. The Little Artist 143 

XVni. The Singing Child 149 

XIX. The Little Musician 160 

XX. The Questioning Child 171 

XXI. The Light-Bird 186 

XXn. The Social Child 193 

XXni. Habits 201 

XXIV. The Obedient Child 209 

XXV. The Honest Child 216 

ix 



CONTENTS 

XXVI. The Angry Child 228 

XXVn. The Careless Child 235 

XXVin. The Truthful Child 245 

XXIX. The Good Child 278 

XXX. The Bad Child 293 

XXXI. The Evening Prayer 305 

XXXn. The Little Citizen 313 

XXXin. Brothers and Sisters 326 

XXXIV. The Home 333 

XXXV. Home Festivals 341 

XXXVI. The Mother and the Teacher . . . 355 
Appendix 

Methods and Means of Studying Children 365 

Thinking and Answering 372 

The City Beautiful 377 

Reference Lists 385 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

The Thoughtful Mother 

From a drawing by Katharine R. Wireman. Colored Frontispiece 

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

Supper From a painting by Ernest Fosbery 22 

Out for a Drive From a photograph 40 

The Little Builders (in color) 

From a dramng by Alice B. Preston 50 

The Boyhood of Raleigh 

From the painting by Sir John Everett Millais 100 

The First Inspirations of Columbus 

From the statue by Giulio Monteverde 118 

The Boy Michelangelo carving the Head of the Faun 

From the statue by Emilio Zoccki 144 

The First Music Lesson . From a painting by Francis Day 162 

The Questioning Child (in color) 

From a dramng by Alice Barber Stephens 178 

The Little Samuel From the painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds 308 

Brothers and Sisters (in color) 

From a drawing by Alice Barber Stephens 328 



THE BIU\^ST BATTLE 

The bravest battle that ever was fought; 

Shall I tell you where and when ? 
On the maps of the world you will find it not; 

It was fought by the mothers of men. 

Nay, not with cannon or battle shot. 

With sword or braver pen; 
Nay, not unth eloquent word oi- thought, 

From mouths of wonderful men. 

But deep in a woman's walled-up heart — 

Of woman that would not yield. 
But patiently, silently bore her part — 

Loi there is that battlefield. 

No marshaling troop, no bivouac song; 

No banners to gleam and wave; 
And oh! these battles they last so long — 

From babyhood to the gravel 

Yet, faithfid still as a bridge of stars. 
She fights in her walled-up toum — 

Fights on and on in the endless wars. 
Then silent, unseen — goes down. 

Joaquin Miller 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 
I 

THE THOUGHTFUL MOTHER 

**In praise of little children, I will say, 
God first made man then found a better way 
For woman, and his third way was the best 
Of all created things the loveliest 
And most divine are children." 

William Canton 

MARY kept all these things and pondered them in 
her heart." All women like to talk. Mothers like 
best to talk about their children. They like to tell of 
their children's ways and of their sayings. There is 
nothing more interesting to tell and nothing more im- 
portant to discuss. So these talks to mothers are to be 
about children. By talking together we may learn some- 
thing more about them and become more wise in caring 
for them. At this present time, when we are making a 
"new world" and facing a "new order," the education 
and training of children take on a new value. We must 
wait, perhaps, for the coming generation to grow up 
before we see the old order change for the better. You 
hope that your boy may grow so loyal and true and fine 
that he will be a leader in the new world. You train your 
little girl to be helpful and brave and self-reliant, that 
she may take her part in securing better conditions in 
the world to be. You know that your part in the world's 

1 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

work is to send out from your home good men and 
women. So you long to know all you can about your 
children. 

Child study is a new study. It belongs to our age. 
There are many ways of studying children. There is the 
scientific way of the university. There is the way of the 
teacher who tests and measures the growth of her 
pupils. And there is the way of the mother who keeps 
all these things and ponders them in her heart. You do 
not need any scientific training for this method of study. 
You need only the loving, watchful observation of one 
who wishes to know the meaning of all that she sees. 
This method of observation does not need any special 
time, for it goes on all the time. Nothing which concerns 
the care and welfare of your children is unimportant. 

It is well for a mother to keep a journal or record of 
her baby's growth and development. On what day did 
the baby first smile? When did the first tooth come? 
When did it notice sounds and lift its head? When did 
it begin to prattle? What was its first word? WTien did it 
notice movement? When did it begin to imitate? When 
did your child say, "I want a drink of water," instead 
of "Mary wants a drink of water"? Record some of the 
bright sayings which you may later like to remember. 
Such records may be valuable to other mothers. They 
are interesting later to the children who may read the 
beginnings of their fife history in the mother's book. 
They help us to fix the normal periods of growth and 
progress. We all need the inspiration and guidance of 
other observers in any field we have chosen for study. 

There are many books for mothers. One of the first, 
2 



THE THOUGHTFUL MOTHER 

and the most discerning and helpful of all, is Froebel's 
book of Mother Plays. When the book was published 
in 1843, it was a novel venture. Friedrich Froebel was a 
pioneer in child study. He had no children of his own, 
but he played with all the children of his neighborhood 
and talked with mothers. He says he learned his secret 
from them. His secret was a loving interest in all chil- 
dren and a gift for divining what was in a child's heart. 
He lived in a quiet country province away from the bus- 
tle of great cities. He had time to learn about trees and 
flowers and to watch the ways of children. He devoted 
his life, his strength, and all his worldly goods, which 
were few, to the study of children and to the discovery 
of the best means of education. He gave to mothers the 
record of his many years of loving observation in his 
Mothers' Book. He gave to the world the kindergarten 
system which is to-day one of the great means of rebuild- 
ing a shattered world. He discovered the "deep meaning 
which oft lies hid in childish play." He was not content 
with finding the meaning and value of play. He made 
songs and plays for mothers to use. He made for the 
kindergarten and home use building blocks and balls 
and many other play materials which have an educa- 
tional value. In his "Mother Play Book" he shows us 
by a series of pictures and songs the common, ordinary 
events in a child's life which may be clothed in a gar- 
ment of play. The children, pictured in this book, do 
just what your children do. The baby kicks and plays 
in his crib. Boys climb trees, and watch for birds and fly 
kites and wade in brooks. The little girl plays with her 
doll and runs to the fields and sometimes knits with her 

S 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

mother. In other books in this series you will find some 
of the plays and songs of the kindergarten, and hints 
and helps for hand-work. In our talks in this book, let 
us try to find some of the lessons which we may learn 
from Froebel's mother — the mother who lives with 
her children. 

First, the mother must have the "understanding 
heart." The man, called the wisest of men, asked for 
this gift when the choice of all the world's goods was 
offered to him. Solomon became wise, because he had an 
understanding heart. Do you find your child hard to 
understand?, Do you say, "Whatever shall I do with 
him?" "What makes him do that?" "John never did 
that and Mary was so different." The person who can 
most surely follow the thread of life back to his own 
childhood is the best guide for children, says Froebel. 
May be you will guide yourj child better if you recall 
your childhood days. Do you remember the day when 
you were unjustly reproved for something you had not 
done? Do you remember when you were disgraced be- 
fore your playmates? Do you remember when you were 
ignored and forgotten in some pleasant plan? Do you 
remember broken promises? Do you remember the 
nights you wet your pillow with tears for grief over 
something you could not tell? When you burned with 
anger for some injustice? Were you ever afraid? May 
be you were the child who was thrilled to sadness by 
the sighing of the wind or certain strains of music. 

Do these recollections help you to understand? Do 
they make you more careful, less hasty, more just? 

Modem psychology is teaching us what we have not 
4 



THE THOUGHTFUL MOTHER 

known fully before. The moods and feelings of cliildhood 
become influences for good or ill in later life. Forgotten 
fears and terrors of cbildren cause nervous troubles and 
strains years after. A harsh father may so terrify a timid 
child as to cause serious results ail through life. Many 
tragedies of life could be averted if children were better 
understood. There would be fewer misfits in life if all 
mothers pondered in their hearts the things which con- 
cern their children. 

Look at the first picture of Froebel's "Mother Play." 
See the mother sitting by the brook with her four chil- 
dren! She has snatched the hour from her busy day to 
be with them as they play. As she watches them she 
thinks, "What will each become? What must I do to 
guide each one in the best way?" 

The four children represent four familiar types. There 
is the active, inventive boy, who has rigged up a water- 
wheel and placed it in the rapid stream, where it turns 
merrily. 

Have you such a boy? Do you give him tools and a 
chance to use boards and nails? Do you give him a space 
on your kitchen floor to run his railroad tracks? Or if 
you have it to spare, do you give him a bay-window 
for his work-bench, or a work-room? 

The other boy is the thinker. He sits quietly by and 
watches the play. What will he become? Does he need 
books? Do you answer his questions patiently? 

There are two Httle girls in this scene. One is bold and 
energetic, wading out to try the force of the water. The 
other is timid, and sits holding on to the mother's skirts. 
What do these two different natures need? 

5 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

The one must be restrained and guided: the other 
must be encouraged and pushed out into active play and 
work. 

What problems are more important than these? What 
task more diflScult? The mother's day is not an eight- 
hour day. It is a twenty-four-hour day. She is never free. 
No wonder she is tired and impatient sometimes. 

What keeps her tender and happy and cheerful? The 
understanding heart which sees the promise of the oak 
in the acorn, which recognizes the child as father to the 
man. Thoughtful mothers, like Mary, ponder their chil- 
dren's ways that they may understand them. 

Raphael's Sistine Madonna shows us a mother with 
the deep look in her eyes which scans the future. In her 
gaze we see the hopes and fears of all mankind. In the 
child's face is the same long look toward things yet hid- 
den and unknown. The artists of the Renaissance loved 
to paint pictures of the Madonna and child because they 
told of the new hope and faith coming into the world. 
They painted one aspect only of mother love. To-day 
we would show the beauty of all the little daily services 
a mother renders her children. 



II 

TVTHOSE CHILD IS IT? 

"Good Christian people, here lies for you an invaluable Loan; 
take all heed thereof, in all carefulness employ it : with high recom- 
pense, or else with heavy penalty, will it one day be requu-ed back." 

Cablyle, Sartor Resartus 

A WOMAN was walking through a city park drag- 
ing along with her a tearful boy. The woman was 
tall and could take long strides. The boy was short and 
small and took little steps. The little boy was crying 
from exhaustion and pain, but the woman paid no atten- 
tion. A policeman, believing her to be the child's nurse, 
went up to her and said, "What is your name, and the 
boy's name.f^ I shall report you to your employer. You 
are abusing the child." 

"It does n't concern you what my name is," was the 
reply. "The boy's my otvti and I shall do what I Hke 
with him." 

At another time I saw a woman dining in a railroad 
car with her little boy. The child was tired and fretful. 
He had made various requests which were unheeded and 
finally began to cry. The mother then rose angrily and 
gave the boy a smart box on the ear. This brought loud 
cries. All the passengers in the car were aroused to in- 
dignation. A fellow traveler sitting across the way 
said, "That mother does not know that she may injure 
the child for life by such a blow. Some one ought to 
tell her. I am going to do it." 

7 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Better mind your own business," said her husband, 
" * BuUers-in' never get any thanks — " 

"It is my business," said the woman — "injustice to 
a child is everybody's business." 

So, as the mother and weeping boy hastily passed out, 
the friendly observer detained her to say, " Do you know 
that your child may be made deaf by such a blow? You 
do not wish to injure him. I thought I ought to tell you 
of the serious consequences of striking a child about the 
head." 

And this mother replied, "The child's mine — it's 
nobody's business what I do to him." 

Is this true? Whose child is it? To whom is the mother 
responsible? In a chapter in "Sartor Resartus," Carlyle 
pictures the gift of a child to a humble man, Andreas, 
and Gretchen, his wife. A mysterious stranger brings the 
sleeping baby in a silken-covered basket into the room 
where the simple, friendly man and wife are sitting. As 
he deposits the basket, he says, "Good Christian people, 
here lies for you an invaluable Loan: take all heed 
thereof, in all carefulness employ it: with high recom- 
pense, or else with heavy penalty, will it one day be 
required back." 

Andreas and Gretchen accept the child as a sacred 
trust. The story goes on to tell us how they surrounded 
the little one with every good influence. The little boy 
ate his supper on the orchard wall where he could spell 
out the letters of the story Mother Nature was telling 
him. He looked with wonder at the winding Entepfuhl 
road, at the starry heavens, and the beauties of field and 
meadow spread about him. 

8 



WHOSE CHILD IS IT? 

Mother Gretchen taught him of the good God who 
rules in heaven and on earth. Andreas told him stories 
of brave deeds in war and fostered the spirit of patriot- 
ism. The old men in the village square filled his imagina- 
tion with stories and legends, which made history real 
to him, and created for him a great world beyond the 
village scenes. So the boy grew, blessed by loving affec- 
tion, and the kindly atmosphere of a good home and 
the wholesome influence of a simple, happy, out-of-door 
life. 

Carlyle's story is a parable. Every child born in any 
home is a sacred trust, given to that family to rear, to 
cherish, to nurture. The child is not the mother's to do 
with as she pleases. She is responsible to the child, to the 
State, to God, for her guardianship of the life committed 
to her keeping. 

"With great recompense of reward," or with the pen- 
alty of neglect it w^ll one day be required of her. She is 
a trustee for the State. She must give the State a good, 
law-abiding citizen as her share in the universal good of 
the community which provides for the common welfare. 
To the child to whom she gives life, she owes the chance 
for the best life possible. The helpless child whom she 
brings into the world depends on her for the care and 
training which make the gift of life either a curse or a 
blessing. 

"To be or not to be?" is a question not decided by 
the individual. His parents decide for him and take the 
tremendous responsibility of his existence. 

Shall it be a healthy child? 

Shall it be a beautiful child? 
9 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Shall it be a loving child? 

Shall it be a happy child? 

Shall it be a good child? 

Shall it be a strong child? 

The mother largely decides the answer to these qucsK 
tions. 

The woman's highest responsibility is to the great 
source of all life, which so wonderfully makes her a part 
of the great process of creation. Every woman conse- 
crated to the great office is like Mary of old, "blessed 
among women." She receives the child as a trust from 
the hands of God. 

Do we have so many Dorothys, Dorotheas, and 
Theodores because so many parents believe their chil- 
dren to be "gifts of God"? That is what these names 
mean. 

John, Mary, Paul, and Elizabeth and other names are 
favorites because the associations of these names sug- 
gest what we wish our child to be. The family names are 
handed on with the hope that the good tradition of the 
name will be perpetuated. 

Whose child is it? The child of the family, the child 
of man, the child of God. 

This is what Theodore Roosevelt says about the 
training of children: 

the destiny of the wobld in 
mother's keeping 

"Into the woman's keeping is committed the destiny 
of the generations to come after us. In bringing up your 
children you mothers must remember that while it is 

10 



WHOSE CHILD IS IT? 

essential to be loving and tender it is no less essential 
to be wise and firm. Foolishness and affection must not 
be treated as interchangeable terms, and besides train- 
ing your sons and daughters in the softer and milder 
virtues you must seek to give them those stern and 
hardy qualities which in after life they will surely need. 

"The way to give a child a fair chance in life is not 
to bring it up in luxury, but to see that it has the kind 
of training that will give it strength of character. Even 
apart from the vital question of national life, and re- 
garding only the individual interest of the children 
themselves, happiness in the true sense is a hundred- 
fold more apt to come to any given member of a healthy 
family of healthy-minded children, well brought up, 
well educated, but taught that they must shift for them- 
selves, must win their own way, and by their o-rti exer- 
tions make their own positions of usefulness, than it is 
apt to come to those whose parents themselves have 
acted on, and have trained their children to action, the 
selfish and sordid theory that the whole end of life is 
*to taste a few good things.' 

"To sum up, then, the whole matter is simple enough. 
If either a race or an individual prefers the pleasures of 
mere effortless ease, of self-indulgence, to the infinitely 
deeper, the infinitely higher pleasures that come to those 
who know the toil and the weariness, but also the joy, 
of hard duty well done, why, that race or that individual 
must inevitably in the end pay the penalty of leading a 
life both vapid and ignoble. No man and no woman really 
worthy of the name can care for the life spent solely or 
ghiefly in the avoidance of risk and trouble and labor. 

11 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Save in exceptional cases the prizes worth having in life 
must be paid for, and the life worth living must be a 
life of work for a worthy end, and ordinarily of work 
more for others than for one's self." 



Ill 

THE SOUL OF A CHILD 

"Who is there among you, if his son 
ask bread, will he give him a stone?" 

DID you share in the Child-welfare campaign in 
1918? At the beginning of the year we were send- 
ing our sons and brothers and husbands to join in the 
Great War to make the world a safe place for little chil- 
dren to live in. The homes and the mothers must keep 
it a safe place. The strength of a nation is the health of 
a nation, and the health of a nation depends on good 
babies. During Children's Year babies in every city and 
town were weighed and measured. Mothers were told 
how to feed and clothe their children. They were told 
of the need of fresh air and open windows at night. They 
learned the need of pure milk. They learned the impor- 
tance of regular hours of feeding. They found out how 
dangerous it is to give solid food to a baby. We know 
now that we can measure a baby's good condition by its 
increase in weight, so we must watch for the proper gain 
in size and weight. You know that your first care is to 
secure a sound body for your child. Do not forget, how- 
ever, its other needs. Your child can love and think. 
You must give it, not only bread for its little body, but 
the bread of life. During Children's Year, a Children's 
Cottage was established on Boston Common. The house 
was open daily to mothers and other visitors. Nurses 
and teachers were in attendance to answer questions 

13 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

and give information. Charts and diagrams were hung 
on the walls to show food values, to show how to keep 
the milk and other foods safe and clean. A doll was 
used to teach mothers how to bathe and dress a baby. 
Nurses gave demonstrations of the best treatment of a 
sick child. 

All this was to secure good health and growth. 

One member of the Committee insisted that to this 
exhibit another should be added, which should show 
other needs of children. She thought of the playing 
child, of the busy child, of the singing child, of the 
artist child, and of the learning child. 

Another exhibit was installed. You could name some 
of the things in this exhibit. There were well-chosen 
story-books, picture-books, song-books, home-made 
toys, carefully selected playthings, seeds, garden-tools, 
sand and shovels. Pictures were hung on the wall to 
show the plays and occupations of children in a good 
home. 

It was difficult, however, to interest the average visitor 
in these things as much as in the food and clothing. 
Mothers can see when a child is hungry. He tells us his 
wants. But the starved soul makes no cry. Do you some- 
times stop to think of these other needs of your children? 
A weak, undeveloped body excites our sympathy; but 
what do we know of the dwarfed mind and the longing 
heart? 

In an early book, Froebel says: "It takes very little 
trouble for those around to supply what childhood 
needs. Rich is the inner life of a child, and we see it 
not; intense is its life, and we feel it not. Failing to nur 

14 



THE SOUL OF A CHILD 

ture and develop the inner germs of a child's life, we let 
it sink discouraged under the burden of its own endeavor 
and grow dull, for it breaks loose at some weak point, 
and then we see wrong inclinations and impulses in the 
child, like morbid outgrowths of a plant. We should be 
glad now to direct the growth otherwise, but it is too 
late. The infant life that y> e should have led on naturally 
to boyhood, we misunderstood and repressed.'* 

In "Richard Baldock," Archibald Marshall has drawn 
a pathetic sketch of a neglected child. Richard's mother 
died at his birth, and the boy was left in the charge of a 
harsh father and a stern nurse. "If he grazed his knees 
she did bind them up, although she allowed his lacerated 
spirit to heal of itself. . . . His everyday wants were 
attended to. In fact he was cared for, and if he was cared 
for, as has been said, without tenderness, not knowing 
what tenderness could be, he did not greatly miss it." 
Richard's father took little notice of him, and when he 
did, it was to correct him, "so that the child's dawning 
knowledge of his father, if he could have analyzed it, 
would have been of a man who existed chiefly for the 
purpose of saying, 'Thou shalt not.'" 

By way of contrast, Mr. Marshall gives a beautiful 
picture of a happy child. He says: "It is a pleasant thing 
to think of the first steps along the pathway of life taken 
by the child of good and happy parents. He is lapped 
round by love and knows nothing of any other char- 
acteristic of humanity. The world he has come to must 
be very like the world he has left. Neither of them con- 
tains for him selfishness, anger, cruelty, or any of the 
evil passions of humanity, for with all our faults on our 

15 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

heads, we show him nothing of our nature that is not 
godlike. He sets out upon his journey through a country 
empty of danger or darkness, its air warm and kindly, 
its meadows smiling with flowers, protected on every 
hand, but knowing not the need of protection, and so 
fearlessly drawing on the measureless stores of love 
around him." 

Would you like your child to live in such a happy, 
loving world.? You create it for him. You make sunshine 
for his path. 

He is like a plant, which needs sunshine and care for 
its right growth. Nurture is a finer art than training or 
instruction. Nurture means taking care. It means sup- 
plying the right atmosphere. All the world your child 
knows is his home. From that he forms his ideas of the 
great world. Shall it be a good world, full of love and 
beauty? You can create such a world in your home. 

Babies reared in an institution are well cared for 
physically. Their little bodies are kept warm. They are 
properly fed. They have good beds and sunny rooms. 
They are put on a regular schedule for feeding and sleep- 
ing. All bodily needs are supplied. But these babies do 
not, as a rule, thrive as well as babies in an ordinary 
home. They do not gain in intelligence as rapidly as 
babies cared for by loving mothers. 

What is the reason? They lack nurturing, loving care. 
No one sings to them. No one speaks mother talk to 
them. There is no lullaby and no mother play. Some- 
thing within the baby answers the mother's smile and 
the loving tone of the mother's voice. Mother talk and 
prattle arouse slumbering f eehngs and awaken dawning 

16 



THE SOUL OF A CHILD 

perceptions of self and the world around. It matters not 
whether the baby has the most up-to-date nursery, or 
lies in a cradle in a kitchen, he responds to the same call 
of life. Much handling and fondling of infants is harm- 
ful. Fond grandmothers and aunts should keep hands 
off, most of the time. But the "let-alone" treatment 
which dooms a child to constant solitude is most harm- 
ful. It denies the mothering which Nature ordains for 
all her young. The baby is a social being. He was not 
meant to be alone. 

A "mother's helper'* came to me once with a sad tale 
of two children recently placed in her charge. These 
children were in a wealthy home. They had been in the 
care of a trained nurse who was forced to follow the 
scientific method of treatment. The children were never 
touched. The cause of their cries was never sought. The 
nurse fled to the kitchen to escape them. As a conse- 
quence, the little ones did not thrive. They were peevish 
and cross. At last the mother discovered that something 
was wrong. She thought maybe they needed playthings. 
She sent to consult a teacher as to the child's real needs. 
Not playthings, so much as loving care, was what those 
children needed. A happy spirit helps to build a strong 
body. 

The busy mother must often leave her baby alone. 
It is well that it should be so. The child must learn to 
"command neither persons nor things by his cries." 
The normal, well baby should have long periods of rest, 
undisturbed and untouched. But there should be some 
one ready to give him companionship and love when the 
time comes. To these he responds with the trustful 

17 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

confidence and the answering smile which make the 
beginning of all human relationships. The bond between 
mother and child is the first link in the chain which binds 
together the whole human family. 



IV 

THE HEALTHY CHD^D 

"Early to bed and early to rise 
Makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise.'* 

IT was Christmas Eve, and Percy was allowed to sit 
up until eight o'clock to share in the Christmas 
party. Percy was "half -past four," and he confided to 
me the pleasant fact that it was his first party, and if 
he told me that there was to be ice-cream, he would be 
sent to bed. It was a gay party, and Percy enjoyed it 
all, especially the ice-cream. 

Eight o'clock came, and Mother came to take Percy 
to bed. 

He demurred. "Just a little longer," he begged. "I am 
not sleepy now." But Mother was firm. 

"Do you wear the pink pajamas you told me about?" 
I said. "I should Hke to see you in them." 

"I'll show them to you," he said. "But I'm not going 
to put them on yet." 

However, the gay scene was left and Percy mounted 
the stairs and soon stood by his crib in the pink pa- 
jamas. Then he climbed into the crib to show me that he 
was as long as the crib and must soon have a big bed. 
All the time he protested that he was not to stay; but 
when he stretched out in the cool, soft bed, he felt so 
comfortable and so tired that in a moment he was 
asleep. 

19 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Percy's first party had no ill results because his 
mother kept firmly to the reasonable hour Gxed for his 
departure. He knew all the time that no protests would 
be heeded. 

One summer night I attended a concert given in the 
Town Hall of a country village. It was a community 
event. Everybody came and brought all the children. 
Many babies were there in their mothers' arms. After 
the concert there was dancing. At ten o'clock the babies 
were all wide-awake. Some were crying, but no one was 
ready to leave. I am sure the mothers paid a high price 
for their pleasure. There must have been many fretful, 
crying children the next day. 

Regularity is one of the first laws of health. "Early 
to bed" helps to make a child healthy. We can sympa- 
thize with the child whose plaint Stevenson has voiced! 

"And does it not seem hard to you, 
When all the sky is clear and blue. 
And I should like so much to play. 
To have to go to bed by day .5*" 

It does seem hard. Sometimes too tender mothers 
yield to a child's plea and say, "Well, just ten minutes 
more." The ten minutes often grow to twenty. The child 
becomes overtired and excited. There are tears and cries 
when the final decree comes, and a nervous child is put 
to bed, to whom sleep will not immediately come. Con- 
tinuance of such indulgence results in a nervous, high- 
strung child, trying to his family and more trying to 
friends and relatives, who call him naughty and dis- 
agreeable. Regular and long hours of sleep are more im- 
portant than any other one factor in a child's growth. 

20 



THE HEALTHY CHH^D 

Experiments made on dogs and kittens have proved 
that loss of sleep is more fatal to a creature than lack 
of food. No late supper, no press of work, no engage- 
ment should interfere with putting a child to bed at the 
appointed time. Up to six years of age, six o'clock is a 
good bedtime hour. A seven-year-old child may sit up till 
seven and an eight-year-old till eight. If the mother is 
"constant as the northern star " and there is no varia- 
tion "nor shadow of turning " there will never be fric- 
tion nor complaints. A baby may be trained to look 
forward to his cool, quiet crib and to enjoy the restful 
feeling of the darkened room. 

If a child goes quietly to bed with maybe a quiet talk 
or a soothing lullaby there is peaceful, restful sleep. 
Such a child wakens at a regular time rested and re- 
freshed and ready for a happy day. Mothers should also 
arrange a regular time for a baby's nap. Every child up 
to the age of five or six should rest for an hour or two 
during the day. The older child may not sleep, but he 
can rest and relax upon his bed and so keep his temper 
calm and sweet. 

In the congested quarters of our great cities we often 
see boys and girls and little children playing on the 
streets until late in the evening. There is no one to call 
them home. No one to put them to bed. Often, alas, 
there is no real home to which to go. WTiat do these chil- 
dren lose? Health, strength, growth, and innocence. 
Excitable, nervous, lacking control, they become the 
victims of all kinds of evil influences. 

Have you ever noticed children at the "movies"? 
Their eyes are bright, their cheeks are flushed, they are 

21 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

living at a high tension during the hours they should be 
sleeping. What is the price paid for these evenings of 
entertainment? Lack of nerve-control, lack of nerve- 
force, an undermined constitution, and the need of more 
and more excitement. 

"Early to bed and early to rise 
Makes a man healthy — " 

It also makes him "wealthy and wise" because it en- 
ables him to safeguard his strength and to control his 
powers for the serious business of life. A child that is 
trained to early and regular hours is trained in the way 
he should go. When he is old he will not depart from it. 

"Every night my prayers I say. 
And get my dinner every day; 
And every day that I 've been good, 
I get an orange after food." 

Robert Louis Stevenson 

Regular hours for meals are important as well as regu- 
lar hours for sleep. A growing child needs simple food at 
meal-times with possibly a piece of bread and butter or 
a glass of milk at eleven o'clock when there has been 
a light breakfast. The habit of running to the cooky-jar 
at any time during the day for a cake or a cooky is very 
unwise. Lollipops or other sweets should be eaten only 
after meals and then with moderation. Dr. Woods 
Hutchinson^ gives some wise advice about choice of 
foods : 

"Some people like one thing, and some another. Do 
all of you like onions? I think not; but those who do, like 
them very much. The same thing is true of tomatoes and 

In A Child's Day. 





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From a Copleij i>rint, Comiright by Curtis 3f Cameron, I'ubtt.-'/ic 

SUPPER 



THE HEALTHY CHILD 

tweet potatoes and red raspberries and oysters and 
many other things. But there are some things that 
almost everybody Hkes; and our grandfathers and great- 
grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers ate them. 
One of them is called the * staff of life ' because we lean, 
or depend, on it so much; we have it for breakfast, din- 
ner, and supper. That is bread, of course. Meat and eggs 
and milk and butter, too, are among the foods that we 
all like. 

"These might be called our *main foods,' and we 
should eat one or two or even three of them at each 
meal. Meat and milk and eggs and butter, animals give 
us. But these are not enough; we need besides some of 
the foods that plants give us, because, we need different 
kinds of food at one time to keep the body fires going 
briskly. 

"What are some of the foods that plants give us? 
Bread is made from a plant — from wheat. Oatmeal 
comes from the oat plant; and hominy, from corn. Some 
of our plant foods, such as potatoes, turnips, onions, 
sweet potatoes, parsnips, and radishes, grow under 
ground. Some, such as peas and beans, grow on vines. 
Then there are lettuce and cabbage and celery. And 
there are fruits — cherries, apples, peaches, plums, 
pears, melons, tomatoes, berries. 

"Nature has given us all these foods, and many more; 
and she wants us to use them all. She wants us to use, 
every day and every meal, some foods that come from 
plants and some that come from animals. 

"A good dinner would be a slice of roast beef or mut- 
ton, a potato, a helping of some sort of vegetable like 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

peas or beans or onions or tomatoes or celery; and a dish 
of milk pudding or apple dumpling, or stewed fruit with 
bread and butter, or pie that has only an upper crust or 
its under crust very well baked. When you are eating 
bread, remember that the crusts are the very best part, 
because they are well cooked and really taste the best. 
They are good for your teeth, too. 

"Perhaps, while I am talking about a good meal, 
I ought to talk a httle about the way to eat and how to 
make mealtime pleasant. 

"Of course, to make our food soft, we must take little 
bites, eat slowly, and chew each mouthful a long time. 
Be sure to remember this. So many of the children I 
know eat so fast that you 'd think they had to catch a 
train ! Did you ever see any one try to talk and chew at 
the same time or forget to shut his mouth while he was 
chewing? Was n't it a very awkward, disagreeable sight. ^^ 
Think a moment, if you are tempted to talk with your 
mouth full, or put your knife into your mouth, or make 
a noise while you are eating, that these things are not 
pleasant for your neighbors. 

"Do you tell funny stories at the table and talk about 
happy tramps you have taken or games you have played, 
or about your pets or your books? If you do, your food 
will do you more good, and you will be helping the other 
people at the table, too. Mealtimes should be the happi- 
est times in the day." 

"Make the house, where gods may dwell. 
Beautiful, entire and clean." 

The poet Longfellow in these lines speaks of the body 
as a house. It should be kept beautiful and clean because 

U 



THE HEALTHY CHILD 

it is the place where the spirit lives. It should be fit for 
gods to dwell in. Saint Paul calls it the temple of God. 
One of the textbooks of physiology is called "The House 
Beautiful." Dr. Woods Hutchinson ^ writes of the body 
in this way : 

"Often we think of the body as a beautiful house. 
Now a house does not look very beautiful when it has 
dust and crumbs on the floor, buckets of greasy dish- 
water in the kitchen, and smoke from the furnace in the 
air! You could not live in such a place. No, the smoke 
must go out up the chimney, the dust and crumbs must 
be swept away, the dirty water must be drained off in 
pipes; the house must be not only cleaned, but kept 
clean all the time. This is true of your body, too. 

"Now Mother Nature sends the smoke from the body 
out through the lungs, and the crumbs and sohd dirt 
down and out by means of the food tube. But the waste 
water — how does she get rid of that.^ The waste water, 
you remember, is in the blood vessels, mixed with the 
blood. How does she get it out of the blood? She sends it 
through three magic cleaners, or strainers, — the skin, 
the liver, the kidneys. 

"That the skin is a strainer, you already know; for 
you know how the skin lets out the waste water in per- 
spiration, or sweat, and how important it is that we 
keep the little holes of the strainer open and clean. And 
you know, too, that most of the water that passes out of 
the body goes first to the kidneys. 

"The liver, however, is the largest cleaning machine 
of all and has to work very hard. The blood comes to it 
1 In A Child's Day. 
25 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

full of foods and poisons. This wonderful cleaner picks 
out the food it needs and takes up many of the poisons, 
too. *What does it do with the poisons?' you ask. Some 
of them it changes into good food, and others it makes 
harmless and sends away down the food tube in a fluid 
called bile. If we are strong and healthy, the liver has 
the power to kill many of the disease germs that get into 
the body. That is why sometimes, when you have had 
a chance to take mumps or grippe or some other * catch- 
ing' disease, you don't take it. Your liver kills the 
germs, or seeds. See how carefully Mother Nature has 
planned that we may be clean inside as well as out- 
side. 

"But you must not overwork your liver. If you do, it 
may become too tired to do anything at all. Then all 
these poisons will spread through the body; the skin and 
the whites of the eyes will grow yellow, and you will be 
what is called *biHous.' When this happens the poisons 
go to your brain, too, and make you feel sad; you/ 
tongue looks white instead of pink, and you have a dis- 
agreeable taste in your mouth. Your happiness depend? 
very much on your liver. 

" *How shall I keep my liver rested and in good work' 
ing order? ' By eating only sound, wholesome, pure food; 
and avoiding dirty milk; by going to the toilet regularly 
every morning after breakfast; by keeping your win- 
dows open and avoiding the poisons and disease germs 
in foul air. Then, if you run and play and work out of 
doors, so that the muscles move a great deal and you 
breathe in plenty of oxygen to keep the body fires burn- 
ing briskly, that will help a great deal. 



THE HEALTHY CHILD 

"K you eat proper food, you help not only your 
stomach but your Hver, too; for it has not so many 
poisons to get rid of. While you are helping your stom- 
ach and your liver, you are helping your heart and 
your brain, and so on. So what you do to help one 
helps all." 

"Cleanliness is next to godliness," so runs the old 
adage. We know more about cleanliness to-day than our 
grandmothers did. We know how much harm may come 
from impure water'or milk and from tainted food. We 
know that meats and vegetables should not be exposed 
in public markets without proper protection from flies 
and dust. We know that fruit bought from the open 
push-carts on the streets or from open markets should 
be carefully washed before using. *'Swat the fly!" has 
become a slogan in every household. 

We used to say a little rhyme to baby : 

"Baby-by, here's a fly. 
We will watch him, you and I." 

We watch him now. We admire his ready eyes, which 
give warning when anything approaches him. We wonder 
at the tiny feet with which he clings to the ceiling. But 
we know that those little feet are covered with disease 
germs. If the fly lights on our open sugar-bowl, or on our 
plate of cake, he may leave some dangerous germs 
which will cause typhoid or other sickness. The legs of 
the fly are covered with tiny hairs which carry the dis- 
ease germs until they are rubbed off on our food or some- 
times on our skin. So you see screens are necessary and 
covers for food in the pantry and when placed on the 
table. 

27 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Good-morning, glorious sun! 
How I love the light of the sun! 
God sends the bright spring sun 
To melt the ice and snow. 
To start the green leaf -buds 
And make the flowers grow." 

This is one of our kindergarten songs. Sunlight makes 
the flowers grow. It makes children grow too. A plant 
kept in a cellar or dark room grows yellow and sickly. 
It dies if it is not put in the light. Children, too, grow 
pale and weak if they are deprived of sunlight. The chil- 
dren who must live in basements and court-rooms in our 
crowded "slums" can never be strong and healthy. The 
more sunlight and the more fresh air, the safer and 
healthier the house. People who build high on hills, with 
plenty of windows, are wise builders. They know that 
sunlight is a purifier and a healer. The mother who keeps 
her blinds shut and her curtains down, in order not to 
fade her carpet and furniture, is making her furniture 
more important than the health of her family. Let us 
have faded carpets and rosy children rather than rosy 
carpets and faded children, and do not be afraid of fresh 
air by day or by night. 

Our grandmothers were sometimes afraid of the night 
air. But it is all the air there is, so let us take all we need 
of it. Cold fresh air is better than cold bad air. Let in 
God's sunlight and God's good air and let out the poison 
from our breaths and the dust from our rooms. Open 
windows, now and then, from top to bottom to air the 
room. And at night be sure the children have an open 
window and breathe fresh air during the long hours of 
sleep. 

28 



THE HEALTHY CHILD 

"Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber. 
Holy angels guard thy bed." 

This is the old lullaby. The child who has had a happy 
day with simple food, sunlight, and good air, and proper 
work and play, will slumber well. The angels of good- 
health and good- will guard his bed. 



V 
THE FIVE SENSES 

"What hears is mind: What sees is mind: 
The ear and eye are deaf and blind." 

AN Indian passing through a forest will find his way 
by marks or blazes on the trees which an ordinary 
man would not observe. The Indian will also tell of the 
recent passage of a deer or some other animal by a bent 
bough or a broken branch. A small band of Indians was 
sent to France in the Great War for scout purposes be- 
cause they were so keen of vision and so quick to hear. 
A sailor at sea will tell of the approach of another vessel 
by certain signs unnoticed by the passenger on the same 
ship. The conductor of an orchestra is able to follow the 
tones of all the many instruments. He knows when a 
violin falls below pitch or a flute fails to come in at the 
right second. His ear is trained to listen to tone and 
pitch. A tea-taster can tell you the brand of any kind of 
tea he sips and its price. The molasses dealer puts a drop 
of syrup on his tongue and tells its grade instantly. 

The eye of the Indian or of the sailor is like any other 
eye. They have trained themselves to attend to certain 
things in which they are interested and to interpret 
appearances. The musician has no different ear from 
yours and mine. He has only learned how to listen. The 
senses are trained by use. The clerk who sells ribbons 
learns to match shades by constant practice and careful 
attention to tints and tones of color. 

30 



THE FIVE SENSES 

Sense-training begins in the home when the baby 
learns to notice his sensations and to fix his attention on 
them. Taste is the most active sense in infancy. It is so 
strong that baby wishes to put everything in his mouth. 
A shoe, a handkerchief, a spoon or a rattle, all are tested 
in the same way — by the sense of taste. A mother may 
train her child to discriminate. She gives him sweet and 
sour. She says, "Good, good!" for the sweet, or she 
puckers her mouth over the acid. Baby does the same. 
She gives a taste of bitter, perhaps a bitter medicine, 
saying, "Good for baby. Try it." Discrimination is the 
first step in knowledge, because it means attention. 
Baby learns from what secures his attention. Because 
the sense of taste is so keen there is danger of over- 
indulgence. Children like sweet and like much of it. 
Self-control may be gained through limiting the desire 
for too much. This is the beginning of temperance. Too 
much food, too much sweet, too highly seasoned dishes, 
all of these are harmful and lead to ungoverned desires. 
I once knew a father who made a Welsh rarebit every 
Sunday night for supper. He gave a plateful of this rich 
dish to the children, four, six, and seven years old. 
When some one pointed out to him the harmful effects, 
he answered: "I like rarebit and I eat it. My children 
like it and they shall eat it." He might as well have 
argued: "I walk five miles a day and like it. My children 
like to walk. They shall walk five miles a day." 

Sauces and condiments unduly excite the sense of 
taste. They spoil the natural appetite and lead to later 
excess in food and drink. Tea and coffee are stimulants 
most injurious to children. Older persons whose tissues 

31 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

waste more rapidly than repairs can be made may need 
such stimulus; but growing children are over-stimulated 
and excited by them. Growth is arrested and nerve- 
force depleted. 

THE SENSE OF SMELL 

The sense of smell is also very active in babyhood. See 
how a baby buries his nose in the carnation, or in the 
rose or in sweet peas ! How he sniffs the sweet perfume ! 
Here again there is an opportunity for a lesson in con- 
trol. Lilacs make a pleasant odor in the room: but too 
many load the air with perfume and cause headache. 
A few lilies are agreeable in a parlor or in the church; but 
too many cause a heavy, sickening odor. Enough of the 
sweet and pleasant — not too much — is the lesson we 
learn. 

It is well for children to distinguish odors, and so to 
transfer interest from physical enjoyment to a real per- 
ception of the same. In the kindergarten we have a play 
for this purpose. We sing or say : 

"Oh, lovely, fragrant flower. 
Pray come and join our game. 
And to our little playmate 
Tell softly now your name." 

The child whose eyes are covered smells the flower, — 
violet, rose or lily and whispers its name. 

SENSE OF TOUCH 

The sense of touch is exercised in many ways in the or- 
dinary course of handling objects and materials. Chil- 
dren Uke to feel velvet, satin, and silk. They touch stems 



THE FIVE SENSES 

of plants and classify them as hairy, sticky, or smooth. 
They pass their hands over leaves and call them smooth 
or rough. I saw a little boy recently in a Montessori 
school pass his hand again and again over the strips of 
sand-paper pasted on a board; then he rubbed his hand 
on the smooth board. Apparently he was gaining pleas- 
ant sensations from the contrast of rough and smooth. 
In an ordinary home environment, children get ample 
opportunity for touching and handHng things. They play 
with sand and clay and dough. They feel the bark of 
trees, the smoothness of wood and the surface of shining 
plates and cups and the many objects handled during 
the day. A very slight suggestion on the part of the 
mother makes them attentive to the "feel" of different 
substances. 

SENSE OF HEARING 

Have you ever watched a baby as he listens to a sudden 
sound — a voice in an adjoining room, a note on the 
piano, or the song of a bird in the tree outside? The baby 
is alert and keen. He turns his head to try and locate the 
source of the sound. He is beginning to listen. Later we 
have various games for the sense of hearing. Do you re- 
member the game of "Magic Music" which you played 
in your childhood? You listened to the piano to help 
you to locate a hidden object. The music was soft when 
you were "cold" and loud when you were "warm." 
Another familiar play is "Dog and Bone." A child, who 
is blindfolded, sits in a chair behind which a clothes-pin 
or stick has been placed for a bone. Another child creeps 
up carefully to the chair to get the bone. The listening 

33 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

child calls "Bow-wow,'* as soon as he hears a sound. 
This is a very good way to secure attentive listening. 
" Who Calls Me? " is a play which trains the ear to listen 
for voices. One child is blinded and says, "Who calls 
me? " Other players call the name and the listening child 
must tell who calls. Blind persons are very expert in 
recognizing voices. They have trained themselves to 
listen from the need of repairing the loss of one sense by 
the added usefulness of another. A blind woman once 
told me that she could read the character of a stranger by 
listening to the voice. She said she was never deceived. 
Children like to make various experiments for testing 
the sense of hearing. They make "musical glasses" by 
filling tumblers with water at different heights. The 
finger moved around the edges of the glass produces 
musical tones, varying in pitch according to the amount 
of water in the tumbler. Spoons, suspended on strings of 
varying lengths, when struck against a hard substance, 
give musical tones. It is a good exercise to connect the 
tone with the length of the string. Is the string long or 
short? Is the tone high or low? Satisfactory drums may be 
made by putting brown paper ends on cardboard cylin- 
ders. The drums are of various sizes. How do they sound? 

"There's a merry brown thrush 
Sitting up in a tree; 

He is singing to you, he is singing to me. 
And what does he say. 
Little girl, little boy? 
Oh, the world's running over with joy. 
Don't you hear, don't you see? 
Hush, look here in my tree; 
Oh, I am as happy as happy can be." 
34 



THE FIVE SENSES 

The country child has a great advantage over the city 
child in the matter of sense-training. The sounds he 
hears are the song of the brook that chatters as it goes to 
join the brimming river, the song of the thrush, or the 
song that the bluebird is singing. He hears 

"The wind among the trees 
Playing celestial symphonies." 

He listens to the chorus of insects chirping the fare- 
well to dying summer. 

Do your children listen to all these songs? Can they 
distinguish the different bird notes? Do they try to imi- 
tate them? 

Is it not a great help to happiness to grow up, listening 
to a thrush who tells us that the world 's running over 
with joy? 

Are your children learning to listen to directions and 
commands? 

"What hears is mind." How often a person asks a 
direction and straightway forgets whether it is the first 
or second turn, or whether one goes right or left. The 
words have been heard; but the mind has not heard. 
The person has not really learned to listen. 

You can help your children to listen by making it a 
practice not to repeat a direction or command. If you 
say the same thing over two or three times a child will 
depend on getting a second chance to hear. You send a 
child up>stairs to bring your veil — he stops on the way 
to say — "Where did you say it was?" Why? He had 
not listened the first time. The Great Teacher con- 
demned certain persons because "having eyes, they see 
not, and having ears, they hear not." They hear words, 

35 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

but do not really listen. They do not think of the mean- 
ing of the words. Children should gain in the home the 
habit of listening as they hear. Dull ears lose much of 
the sound and melody of the world in which we live. 

THE SENSE OF SIGHT 

"The eye it cannot choose but see." Most of our first 
knowledge of the world comes from the sense of sight. 
Think of what baby learns in a day ! He is learning the 
forms and uses of various articles of furniture. He is 
learning color. He sees many things, bright and shining, 
dull and dark, big and little. He gradually attaches 
names to them and begins his mastery of the world. 
A Frenchman has written of "A Voyage Around my 
Room." He points out how much knowledge a child 
gains by looking about his one little room. Outside there 
is the great world of nature, trees, flowers, birds, stars 
and the sun! It is "a wonderful, beautiful world." 
Happy those who have eyes and see! But eyes are 
trained for seeing as ears are trained for hearing. There 
is an old story of "Eyes and No Eyes." Two men went 
out together to walk through a field and wood. When 
they returned their friends asked what had been seen. 
"Oh," said the first man in a dull tone, "I saw only 
trees and grass and moss and ferns and a brook." 
"What a dull time you had!" said his friends. "And 
what did you see?" they asked the second man. "Oh," 
he said in a joyful tone, "I saw waving grass and lovely 
ferns and soft green moss and splendid beech trees and 
oak trees, and a running brook." "How I wish we had 
gone with you!" said his friends. The difference was not 

36 



THE FIVE SENSES 

in the ferns and moss, nor in the eyes; but in the mind. 
One man only looked; the other saw. 

When your children have been out in the woods or 
have walked to town, do you ask them to tell you what 
they have seen? Do you play "Observation Games" in 
your house? A good one is to put corn, beans, peas, and 
other things on a tray and let the children look for a 
moment and then tell how many objects they have seen. 
In the kindergarten we place colored balls in a row, and, 
while a child's eyes are covered, remove one or two. The 
child is to tell which are gone. Another time sticks may 
be placed in groups of two or three or four. The game is 
to tell how many have been taken away. Matching col- 
ors is a fine game. What is red? What is blue? How many 
yellow things in the room? How many green things 
when you look out of the window? 

Children must also know form, in order to get an- 
other key to the world. What is square? W^hat is round? 
Cut square mats and round mats. Sort buttons accord- 
ing to shape, and arrange pieces from the rag-bag ac- 
cording to color. Notice the leaves of the maple, oak, 
and elm. Can your children name all the trees in your 
vicinity? By what marks do they tell them? 

"Oh, maple leaf, have you fingers?" 

And the maple leaf said in glee, 
"Yes, just as many as you have; 

Count them and you will see." 

Rhymes Hke this will help children in their observa- 
tion. 

"And sure, if eyes were made for seeing. 
Then beauty is its own excuse for being.** 
37 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

An artist's eye sees color in a country road where the 
ordinary eye sees only dust and dirt. An artist sees lovely 
purple shadows under the beeches where most of us see 
only darkness. The poet sees in a tree what Joyce Kilmer 
saw: 

"A tree that looks at God all day. 
And lifts her leafy arm to pray; 

"A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair." 

We make our own worlds largely by what we see and 
hear. "He hath made everything beautiful in his time.*' 
The seeing eye finds the beauty. The story of Creation 
tells us that God saw all that He had made, and "lo, 
it was very good." Can there be any better training than 
that which makes one see that the world is good, and 
that everything is beautiful to him, who sees? 



VI 

CHILD PLAY 

'* Happy hearts and happy faces, 
Happy play in grassy places — 
That was how, in ancient ages. 
Children grew to kings and sages." 

R. L. Stevenson 

THREE children in a country village were standing 
around a little express cart. The boy had his hand 
on the tongue of the cart, but he was not moving it. 

"Are you playing expressman.'^" I asked. 

"No/* he answered with a wondering look. 

"What are you playing?" 

"Playing nothing," was the true answer. 

Later I saw the children coast down the hill on the 
cart and then drag it wearily home. 

Near by was a brook and a waterfall. There were rocks 
near the stream, and a green wood beyond filled with 
ferns and moss. There was every incentiv^e to play. A 
toy wheel would turn merrily in the stream. A bridge 
could be made. The rocks invited housekeeping plays 
and the woods lured to hiding plays. But these country 
children went into the house on a summer's morning and 
the door was shut. They did not know how to play. They 
had no play interests because no one had ever played 
with them. 

The father, who was devoted to them, was a busy 
blacksmith, and the mother had died when the youngest 

39 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

was born. They were sent to the village school when it 
was in session for six hours a day. No one knew that 
they were missing the best part of their education to be 
gained in play. They had lost their true world — the 
world of play. The Congressman was wrong who voted 
against a playground for the children of Washington, 
for the reason that children did not need to be taught 
to play any more than a fish needs to be taught to swim. 

Every child has a right to a place to play and to some 
guidance and suggestion in his play. The mother cat 
plays with her kittens and the mother dog with her 
puppies. The natural mother, guided by instinct, plays 
with her child. The wise mother adds to her instinct all 
the knowledge she can gain of children's ways and makes 
herseK a true companion and playmate of her children. 

No special time is set apart for these plays of mother 
and child. They are the natural accompaniment of the 
mother's ordinary duties. The baby who has just been 
laid in his crib after his bath begins his "play of the 
limbs." He kicks and stretches and follows Nature's 
method of gaining muscular strength. 

The mother's hands and the mother's song add zest 
to the play — and more exercise is gained. Soon, how- 
ever, the baby makes the acquaintance of his hands and 
feet. This is the moment for "This little pig went to 
market," "Pat-a-Cake," and such rhymes as 

" Shoe the old horse. 
Shoe the old mare. 
Let the little colt go bare." 

"Baby, baby where are your toes? 
Hide them away where nobody knows." 
40 



CHILD PLAY 

For pointing out the features we have the time- 
honored : 

"Here sits the duke! Here sit his two men! 
Here sits the cock! Here sits the hen! 
Here is the door! Here they run in! 
Chin-chopper, chin-chopper, chin-chopper, chin!" 

There are many other baby plays such as the swing- 
ing of the hands to imitate the swinging pendulum; the 
turning of the hand to show how the weather-vane 
goes; or the waving hand for a waving flag. Singing or 
rhythmic words accompany the plays; as, 

"Tick-tack-too — 
"What may I do? 
Listen well, the clock will tell." 



Or, 
Or, 



'Tickety-tock! Tickety-tock! 

Romid and romid go the hands of the clock!' 

" To and fro, to and fro ! 
Swings the pendulum sure and slow." 



For the weather-vane we have a stock of rhymes. 

"The merry wind blows 
And the weather-cock goes." 

Or 

"Whichever way the wind may blow. 
Look at the vane, and you will know." 

For older children we have these verses : 

"Weather-vane, weather-vane, where do you go? 
I go wherever the wind doth blow. 

"Weather-vane, weather-vane, what do you do? 
I do my duty and so must you." 

41 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

No observer of children fails to note the special interest 
in moving things, especially when the source of movement 
is hidden as in the clock, or in the stirring of the leaves, 
or waving grain or grass when moved by the wind. To the 
joy of motion is added the sense of mystery and wonder. 

Sense plays, as tasting sweet and sour, smelling sweet 
flowers and spicy evergreens, are Nature's method of 
preparing children to learn qualities of objects and to 
use judgment in their use. Observation of wind and 
weather, of flowers and trees, of birds and bees, of sun, 
moon, and stars, is the method of learning which Nature 
prescribes for all children. Such observation is guided 
and fostered by imitative plays. The watching of moving 
things is the baby's first training in observation. For this 
reason the swinging ball is a good plaything. 

Madame Bertinot, a delightful French woman, who 
interests herself in the education of her grandchildren 
and all other children, has devised a play table which 
may be placed over a baby's crib. It has bright-colored 
balls suspended on strings hanging from it. These are 
hung so that the waking child may easily see them and 
find something to fix his gaze and interest. Instead of 
staring into vacancy, he discovers something bright and 
pretty to look at. He finds that he can touch the balls 
with his feet and that they move merrily. He does not 
cry, because he has something to do. When strong 
enough he may pull himself up by grasping the balls, or 
a little swinging rod suspended from the same narrow 
table. The back is strengthened by this exercise. 

Finger plays come very early in the child's interest. 
We have the old favorites : 

42 



CHILD PLAY 

"This is the church! This is the steeple! 
Here is the door! Here are the people!" 

"Pat-a-cake," "Peek-a-boo," and "This little Pig," and 
many counting plays. 

The great success of Dr. Montessori's method of 
teaching WTiting is due to the preliminary movements 
in outlining the letters, which give the muscular move- 
ments necessary for writing. We may surely claim that 
the play movements of the fingers render them more 
flexible, strengthen the hand and make it a better in- 
strument of skill. 

At the creeping and walking stage, many plays are 
discovered, crawUng under and over things, climbing 
on sofa arms, and up and down stairs, walking around 
the room on a voyage of discovery. The ceaseless mo- 
tion of the active child is tiring to its elders. The father, 
taking his Sunday walk, cannot understand why the 
little boy circles round him every two or three steps in- 
stead of walking straight ahead. Every tree must have a 
ring around it. Ten steps are taken where one would 
suffice, because the muscles of the child need all this use 
to grow strong. The impatient father may say, "Why 
can't you walk like other people and keep out of the 
way .5^" But father is wrong. The little boy is not meant 
to walk like grown-ups. Sometimes he tries the charming 
experiment of walking with one foot on the curb and 
one in the gutter. This is very satisfying for a time until 
an alluring wall is seen with just room for little feet to 
walk on top of it. If a helping hand is ready, a new walk- 
ing play is gained. 

Do not worry if your child is perpetual motion. He 
43 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

ought to be. Occasional periods of quiet are necessary 
for rest and for gaining the habit of self-control through 
self-restraint. But the law of life is activity. All living 
things move, and all growing things develop through 
movement. Children must move and run and play in 
order to grow. Sitting still a long time is a torture and 
contrary to Nature's laws of growth. 

Do you remember the patchwork squares you did? 
Do you recall the tediousness of the long hour which you 
measured by the weary ticking of the clock .^ Do you see 
again the bloodstains on the tiny squares and the tears 
which often fell upon the work? May not^ some of the 
nerves of the present generation be traced back to the 
nerve strain of children? 

Now recall some of the loved plays of your childhood. 
Do you remember the thrill when you played in the 
winter twilight? — 

"How far from here to Barbaree? " 
"Six miles and three." 
"Shall I get there by candle-light? " 
" Yes, if the old bear does n't bite!" 

What a fascination in the peering into the dark passage 
to see where the old bear was hiding ! What joy in the 
escape with the swift running feet ! 

And the shadow plays — when one runs about in a 
nightgown trying to touch the elusive shadow on the 
wall ! Happy the home with an attic or a big kitchen or 
a long entry to play Hide and Seek, I Spy, and Blind 
Man's Buff. 

Do not complain because the house is cluttered up 
with play materials. 

44 



CHILD PLAY 

Be glad that your children have enterprise and inven- 
tion to collect them. Do not say, "You must keep still. 
I can't bear so much noise. Can't you ever be quiet.?*" 
Rejoice that your children are alive and well and normal. 
Find in their play the heart leaves of the future. 

VALUE OF PLAY 

Aristotle, one of the wisest of the Greeks, once said 
he had little hope for a boy who was not diligent at his 
play, because he did not promise to be diligent at any- 
thing. 

It was another Greek philosopher who discovered in 
the plays of children the secret of good citizenship. He 
saw the connection between law and order in the games 
of boys and law and order in the community. Capacity 
for organization, the spirit of cooperation, and a respect 
for the rules of the game are developed in the playground. 
City playgrounds with their play leaders foster these 
qualities of the growing citizen. The recess and noon 
period of the rural school should give opportunity for the 
same kind of cooperative plays. The best games are 
those in which the teacher joins. The best good is 
gained where the teacher has many suggestions for new 
plays. "King around a Rosy " and other ring games will 
always be played because they bring the players together. 
Folk-plays and dances with rhythmic and concerted ac- 
tion are bom in the hearts of a people because men were 
meant to play and to Hve together. 

Dr. Montessori rendered a real service to the cause of 
children when she made her plea for movable desks and 
seats in a schoolroom. She has not been the only one to 

45 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

call attention to the fact that mobile children need 
mobile furniture : but her voice has been heeded in many 
places. Stationary seats and desks give no space for 
plays and marches and gymnastic exercises which are 
absolutely essential during the long school hours. The 
freer activity of the modern school calls for space and 
a free grouping of children. 

A Parent-Teacher Association should be formed in 
every school district to cooperate with the teachers and 
the school boards in securing the best opportunities for 
their children and the best education. The desires and 
demands of the community determine what schools 
shall be. Parents may ask for their children the right to 
grow in stature as well as in wisdom, through the school 
training. 

The examinations of young men for the draft in 1917 
showed that a third of our youth had some physical dis- 
ability. The country districts made as poor a showing 
as the city showed. What is the reason? Country chil- 
dren have not been given the chance to breathe the 
good air about them because of closed windows and 
doors. They have not had the right physical exercise 
that comes through play. The health crusade conducted 
by the Anti-Tuberculosis Society in New York is an 
excellent movement for the schools of the country dis- 
tricts, as well as for city schools. 

Every boy and girl should learn and practice the laws 
of good hygiene. They should also have their place and 
time to play. Mothers, give it to them in the home and 
plead for it in the school. 

This is what Froebel says of play: 
46 



CHILD PLAY 

"The plays of childhood are the germinal leaves of 
all later hf e ; for the whole man is developed and shown 
in these, in his tenderest dispositions, in his innermost 
tendencies. The whole later life of man, even to the 
moment when he shall leave it again, has its source in 
the period of childhood — be this later life pure or im- 
pure, gentle or violent, quiet or impulsive, industrious 
or indolent, rich or poor in deeds, passed in dull stupor 
or in keen creativeness, in stupid wonder or intelligent 
insight, producing or destroying, the bringer of har- 
mony or discord, of war or peace." ^ 

G. W. Tuttle writes in the Child-Welfare Maga^ne 
of " A Child's Right to Noisy Play ": 

'* I have an idea that when my dear mother went to 
heaven the angels had a nice quiet corner for her where 
she could rest. Just think of seven children rushing up 
and down the old stairs of the hundred-year-old New 
England house, from kitchen to attic, playing *Hide 
and go seek,' on a rainy day. 

" It was strenuous for the dear mother, but the chil- 
dren had a glorious time in that old, old house. Hiding- 
places — there were hiding-places everywhere ! Possibly 
my dear, patient mother should have objected to so 
much noisy play upon a rainy day — for her sake, not 
ours — but she did not. She dearly loved to have her 
children have a good time. The dearest spot in the world 
to me to-day is that old house on a Connecticut hill, 
three thousand miles away. 

" But houses are built differently nowadays, and the 
dooryards are smaller, and unless Jennie and Edgar are 
1 The Education of Man. 
47 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

very quiet the sensitive neighbor who Hves next door 
will be ready to move to South America, or to some 
other distant locality. She will say: 'I never knew such 
noisy children; and their father such a quiet man.' 

" She did not Hve next door to the father when he was 
ten years of age; had she done so nervous prostration 
would still have her in its grip. 

" Fortunate the child who lives in the country, where 
he has all out-of-doors to make a noise in, to exercise 
his lungs, and feet, and hands, to run and jump, and 
play and shout, and no one to say: *0h, Johnnie, don't; 
you will disturb Mrs. Smith.' 

"Boys and girls need strenuous play and exercise. 
Lungs develop by use; muscles of arms and legs develop 
by use. Ill fare the children who are constantly repressed; 
who must not make a noise, who must sit up and look 
pleasant, who must not soil their clothes, who must not 
go barefoot — who must not do a hundred things that 
nature intended them to do." 



VII 
PLAYTHINGS 

"The playthings of a child should be like a distaff of flax, from 
which the fancy weaves the coat of many colors." 

Jkan Paul Richter 

A STORY is told of some Esquimaux who were 
taken to visit London. They were conducted 
through the busy streets. They visited Trafalgar Square, 
the Tower, and the British Museum. At the end of the 
day they were weary and gloomy. "Too much smoke! 
Too much noise! Too much everything!" they said. 
"We go no more to see the city. We go home." 

A little friend of mine had a similar feeling as he wearily 
surveyed a heap of Christmas gifts. "I think I have too 
much," he said with an accent of despair. The joy of 
Christmas was spoiled by the burden of many possessions. 
The pleasure which one or two toys might have given was 
clouded by the feeling of inability to comprehend all. 

The child showered with too many things is really 
an unfortunate child because the delight in simple things 
is denied him. Equally unfortunate is the possessor of 
many complicated and elaborate toys, too difficult to 
manage with his small skill. I read once of an only child, 
blessed with various uncles, who delighted to bestow 
gifts upon him. On a certain Christmas morning, toy 
trains and fire engines, auto carts, and other mechan- 
ical toys filled the space around the tree. The father and 
uncles began to set up the engines, to lay the tracks, and 

49 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

to run the trains. They were enjoying the play when the 
small boy was missed. He was discovered in the kitchen 
with the cook playing with the dough. He had found 
something he could manage. 

TOO MANY PLAYTHINGS 

The child who has few toys gets more pleasure and more 
benefit from them than the possessor of many. Too often 
a chest full of toys will be emptied. All will be scattered 
on the floor and none used. Then there are tears and 
complaints when so many things must be picked up 
and restored to their place. Flitting from toy to toy, 
without attention to any, breeds caprice and weariness. 
Attention to one thing at a time — a habit so important 
in life — is secured by concentrated interest and play 
with one toy which has many possibilities of use. It was 
a wise mother who gave her little boy only one or two 
toys at a time. The Christmas gifts were stored away to 
be produced one by one, on rainy days or days in bed, 
when each toy could be enjoyed to the full. The same 
mother refused to give complicated toys until the little 
boy could understand how to make them work. The boy 
was musical, and played the tunes he thought of on a chair 
or window-seat with great content, until a friend begged 
the privilege of giving him a toy piano. At that stage the 
piano was a great joy. At once he fingered out, "Lightly 
Row," and other songs within the compass of five keys. 

THE FUNCTION OF TOYS 

"The mechanical toy,'* says Froebel, "has in it an ele- 
raent like the viper in the rose." The viper in the rose 

50 




THE LITTLE BUILDERS 



PLAYTHINGS 

destroys the life of the flower. The complicated toy de- 
feats its own end. It destroys the very spirit of play. 
The function of a toy is to stir the child's inventive 
powers, to furnish materials for representation, and to 
appeal to the imagination. The highly finished product 
of the toy shop leaves nothing to the imagination. The 
coat of many colors is finished even to the pojckets and 
the fancy is untouched. This is why the rag doll is better 
than the finest creation of the doll factory. One can 
imagine eyes of any color and hair of any hue. The rag 
doll can be cuddled and loved, arrayed in a nightgown 
or silken robe. It can be taken to bed or hung over one's 
arm for a walk or visit. "The little girl provident of her 
domestic destiny takes by preference to a doll," but the 
doll must make an appeal to her mother love. Who could 
love a glassy-eyed, satin-gowned creature with painted 
cheeks and stiff knees! Clothes that come off and can 
be washed and ironed are essential to happiness. 

Tin dishes and china tea-sets are in the class of first 
choice for little girls: but nothing compares with the 
broken china, set out in order on the rock, in grand- 
mother's pasture lot. A whole series of housekeeping 
plays are carried on there. Apples and pears furnish 
royal feasts and spread the board with all manner of 
dainty dishes. Acorn cups and saucers complete the tea- 
set, and burr baskets furnish the sideboard. Leaf gar- 
lands hung from tree to tree decorate the parlor. Visits 
with birch-bark calling cards are paid at various trees 
where dwell highborn dames. 

Little boys may join in this play. If they are supplied 
with saw and hammer and nails and balls of string, they 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

add to the scene a hut or tent of boughs where shops 
are set up, where Indians encamp, or soldiers sleep. 

A box of blocks or a heap of sand in the yard give the 
opportunity for group plays which are often continued 
through a season. A village is begun and community life 
pictured. Day by day houses, shops, and schools are 
erected as new streets are laid out. Articles for sale in 
the shops are made, sold for pins or other forms of 
money. ^ 

The fitting-up of a doll house in a wooden soapbox 
or a cardboard hatbox is a project which boys and girls 
can carry on. Curtains must be made and hung and fur- 
niture manufactured for the various rooms. Such plays 
develop the power of construction, invention, and the 
ability to work together.^ 

Paper dolls are dear to the heart of the older girl and 
lead to a desirable interest in cutting and coloring and 
design. Fashion sheets, a box of paints, a pair of scissors, 
and a pencil are the tools needed. The reformation of 
Jane was accomplished by paper dolls. Jane had been a 
troublesome member of Settlement classes from the age 
of five to fourteen. She was disobedient and disorderly. 
She spoiled the order of the classes she attended, and 
threw stones through the windows with the obvious 
intention of breaking up other classes. Again and again 
the Board discussed the need of exiling Jane forever 
from the Settlement. Each time some tender-hearted 

» See G. Stanley Hall's " Story of a Sand-Pile," in Some Aspects 
of Child Education, for an account of such play continued over a 
long period of time. 

2 See Children's Occupations, vol. ii of this series. 

62 



PLAYTHINGS 

member proposed to give her one more chance. At last, 
one happy day for Jane, she was admitted to the paper- 
doll class. Dolls were drawn and cut out and costumes 
designed for them. Fashion plates were studied for color 
and style, and each doll furnished with a full wardrobe 
of street gowns, party gowns, and summer gowns. Jane 
came into her own. She loved color and straightway dis- 
played real talent for design. She was so busy cutting 
and pasting that she forgot to be bad. She was so con- 
stant at the Settlement that she was given charge of 
another class and became a trusted member. One of the 
Board members has become interested in her and will 
give her a course in dressmaking at some school. Jane 
will become a useful member of society. 

NECESSITY OF TOYS 

The toy is to a child what a tool is to a man. He needs to 
see the world in miniature. He is not yet ready for the 
realities of life. Play is his world and the plaything his 
means of knowing the world. The tendency in our scien- 
tific age is to hasten on to the real thing, to insist on use 
and reality. A hut big enough to live in, a chair big 
enough to sit on, are constructions for the older boy or 
girl. They do not belong to the first period of childhood. 
The small building blocks of the kindergarten have their 
reason for being in the fact that they supply material 
for representations in miniature and so belong to the 
small child's world. 

Let the little being have little things — let him live 
in the world where he belongs. The scientific teacher 
who would abolish dolls and other playthings and sub- 

53 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

stitute objects of practical use may understand the sci- 
ence of practical life : but she is miles away from under- 
standing child nature. 

An editor, criticizing the practical tendencies of a 
material age which repudiates "trifling toys," said: "It 
may be that the development of science and practical 
inventions may sacrifice the joys and dreams of children 
to its ends and make children into little men and women; 
but Heaven forbid that we shall live to see that day!" 
The world has had in the Great War a startling and hor- 
rifying demonstration of what industrial efficiency can 
accomplish when divorced from the imagination, which 
is the source of human sympathy and love of one's 
brother. 

CHOICE OF PLAYTHINGS 

Few playthings and the many play incentives offered 
in every home furnish to growing children the means 
of growth. The piece-bag, the button-bag, newspapers, 
picture papers, empty spools, and skewers are all desir- 
able play materials. Wise friends may add to this store, 
from time to time, tops, balls, reins, puzzles, picture- 
books, and other playthings which suggest not one but 
many uses. 

If special things are kept for Sunday that day is re- 
lieved of its tediousness. A dissected picture illustrating 
the miracles of the New Testament was a favorite Sun- 
day play in one family. That was the day, too, when the 
older children took imaginary journeys on the great 
map of the United States which hung in the dining-room. 
"Go from Worcester to San Francisco and tell what 

54 



PLAYTHINGS 

towns you pass through," might be one possible route. 
Again they would explore for rivers or climb mountains 
found all over the map. 

"Do you not know," H. G. Wells ^ makes his hero say, 
"that all education is cultivating the imagination?" 
This large kind of education begins in the home. Any 
mother may guide and direct it, if she will. She needs 
only to remember that she furnishes the distaff of flax. 
The child's fancy does the rest. 

Dickens has painted for us, in "Hard Times," the 
disastrous results of home and school training devoted 
solely to gaining facts. Facts are useful only when the 
imagination shows their use. Stevenson with a poet's 
eye sees the value of toys and play : 

"What are you able to build with your blocks? 
Temples and palaces, castles and docks; 
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam, 
But I can be happy and building at home.'* 

He pictures a child's kingdom thus : 

"I called the little pool a sea: 
The little hills were big to me: 

For I am very small. 
I made a boat, I made a town, 
I searched the caverns up and down. 

And named them one and all." 

Mrs. Martha Gallaudet Waring writes in Child-Wel- 
fare Magazine of " Toys Made in America ": 

" * Clear track, toot-toot, ding-a-ling, chu-chu, all 
aboard ! ' all of which means that my two-year-old is at 
his favorite play. 

* Joan and Peter. 
55 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"As I look out of my window I see him on his kiddy- 
car pushing along with his sturdy legs and pulling a 
train behind him consisting of an iron locomotive and 
three cars. His point of departure is the * station,* pro- 
claimed a center of traffic by a * wind-up auto-delivery 
wagon/ a small one-horse cart full of 'wocks,' and a 
two-mule cart in which sits Seraphina, his rag doll, hold- 
ing her baby. His objective is *Tybee' at the other end 
of the long, straight piazza, so called after the island of 
that name which we frequently visit in the summer. A 
gateway, built up of one-inch cubes and long brick- 
shaped pieces of wood, makes the entrance to the 
* island.' 

"Boy has been playing this way the better part of an 
afternoon, with an occasional bit of encouragement from 
elder sisters near by. He is playing with things that 
afford plenty of room for original work, manipulation, 
and imagination, the auto-toy being the nearest ap- 
proach to a mechanical one, and the one he cares least 
about. Everything he has is solid and substantial enough 
to be really used and enjoyed. 

"As I watch him racing up and down in his kiddy-car, 
I wonder at his control over it until I study its simple 
and excellent mechanism. Its front wheel can turn in 
any direction, its steering-gear is strong and easily man- 
aged and it is made entirely of wood. Both carts are also 
of wood, as well as the mule and horse, and all are well 
painted and strongly put together. The cars are painted 
red, white, and blue, so I know they are made in our own 
coimtry. The rag babies we made ourselves, and although 
they are *of a crudeness,' they are none the less be* 

56 



PLAYTHINGS 

loved. The blocks were made by measure at a wood- 
yard. Being large and easily handled, a child can build 
gates, bridges, and platforms with them big enough to 
walk under or upon, and strong enough to stand firm 
after they are built. 

"Our older children when they were small played prin- 
cipally with imported dolls dressed in native costumes. 
And I can remember that my brother and I had hand- 
some books brought from England, that my finest dolls 
were French, and his regiments of toy soldiers came 
mostly from the land of militarism. 

** But our boy baby, born during the World War and 
forced to rely on sturdy, home-made toys, is much bet- 
ter off. 

" There is a twofold lesson here for us mothers. One 
concerns the children themselves and the other goes far 
afield into the laws of economics, world production, and 
the like. 

"We have found that our own substantial, wooden, 
easily handled playthings are what our children need 
and want. Children's books we have a plenty, the most 
artistic, I suppose, in the world. And then we can de- 
mand well-made, pretty American dolls. It only remains 
for us to hold to all of these, and prove our patriotism 
by refusing to buy foreign manufactured toys even if 
they are put on the market again later on. 

" A far cry, is n't it, from Baby Boy with his * Toot- 
toot, ding-a-ling, chu-chu,' on the piazza, to the law of 
supply and demand and the regulation of one of the 
great industries of the world .^ But in just such way we 
are now finding out how great problems must be handled. 

57 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

We are going back to our earlier and simpler days, wheii 
we shall discard the non-essentials as so much waste and 
rubbish. Let us begin, then, at the beginning and stick 
to toys — *Made in America.' " 



VIII 
THE LITTLE WORKIVIAN 

**Why will a child desert his play 
The craftsman's work to see? 
Something within him, latent still. 
Stirs at each stroke of strength or skill. 
Whispering 'Work waits for me!'" 

ONE of the "Mother Play" pictures shows the 
wheelwright at work. In the center of the scene 
a man bends over his work with such absorption that 
we are sure he would not look up if we entered the room 
and accosted him. He is making a wheel. He wishes it to 
be a good one, therefore his whole attention must be 
given to it. Another part of the picture shows a man 
whose wheel is done. He is testing it to see if it is well 
made and runs true. A heavily laden van is moving 
along the road. Its wheels are strong and good and the 
cart goes safely to its destination. An artillery wagon is 
shown. Perhaps the fate of the battle depends on its 
good wheels. We remember the broken wheel in the 
chariot race described in "Ben Hur." Trucks and bar- 
rows and various other vehicles are shown in Froebel's 
picture. A child's small hand-cart lies overturned on the 
ground. We see that it, too, has wheels. There are wheels 
everywhere to show how necessary is the good honest 
work of the wheelwright. 

This picture is one of the many in Froebel's book in 
which the idea of work is emphasized. 

59 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

There are two reasons for these pictures which show 
how the world's work is done. 

First, they appeal to the interest of every normal 
child in the activities of men and women in the everyday 
life about him. 

Second, they stir the desire to share in the work. They 
make work seem interesting and noble. 

Shall we talk a little of these two motives? 

Think of the work which a country child sees going 
on about him! The farmer sows his field. The farmer 
reaps the corn! The farmer mows his field! The hay is 
piled upon the cart and carried to the barn. Sometimes, 
by glorious chance, a boy may ride on the load of hay 
to the barn. Sometimes, even more glorious, he may 
drive the horses. Possibly some happy day he may be 
allowed to walk by the plough-horse and keep the fur- 
row straight. The barefoot boy "with cheek of tan" 
gains his tan, and his health and joy, by such natural 
Uving in the outdoor life of the farm. 

Froebel has chosen the hayfield for his picture of the 
farmer. A little boy, too young to really work, has taken 
a branch of a tree for a scythe and plays he is mowing, 
too. This is the way work begins in playful imitation. 

Another picture shows the carpenter building a house. 
The forest is seen in the distance. It has given its wood. 
The lumber mill is also included in the scene. There the 
logs have been made into boards. Now we see the busy 
carpenter fitting and framing the parts together to make 
a house for some one. In this picture little children are 
building with blocks. They too are carpenters. 

The baker is another very interesting worker. He 
60 



THE LITTLE WORKMAN 

makes our bread, cookies, and cakes. A visit to a bakery 
is a favorite excursion for kindergarten children. Bakers 
are invariably good and friendly. They show us the big 
ovens. They let us see loaves of bread baking. If we are 
fortunate, we watch them take out the steaming loaves 
with their long shovels. We are sure to see somewhere 
barrels of flour, and great mixing- troughs. We know 
more about bread after this visit and we connect the 
bread with the flour — the flour takes us to the mill — 
and from the mill we travel the road to the farmer. So 
we see how the farmer and baker must work together. 
We say these lines : 

"Back of the loaf is the snowy flour; 
Back of the floiir is the mill; 
Back of the mill is the sun and the shower, 
The rain and the Father's will." 

The baby who plays "Pat-a-cake" gurgles with glee 
as he claps his little hands. He knows nothing of the 
meaning of his play. The movement is pleasing to him, 
as is the surprise at the end when we "throw it away to 
bake! " But one day the little mind connects the play 
with the baker's man who has brought the bread. The 
baby play takes a new meaning. 

*'I can do what the baker's man does. I can pat and 
make a cake. I can put it into the oven to bake." 

He is making his first links in the great chain of life 
and service. 

The charcoal-burner is another of Froebel's heroes. 
In our country we substitute the coal-miners. Christina 
G. Rossetti makes a lump of coal as interesting as a 
diamond in these lines: 

61 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"A diamond or a coal? 
A diamond, if you please. 
Who cares about a clumsy coal 
Beneath the summer trees? 

"A diamond or a coal? 
A coal, sir, if you please. 
One comes to care about the coal 
What time the waters freeze." 

A lump of coal from a coal-hod can tell us a fascinating 
tale of the past. Sometimes sharp eyes find on the bit 
of coal the fern picture or leaf pattern stamped there 
from the forests of long ago. 

WHAT THE COAL SAYS 

"I am as black as black can be. 

But yet I shine. 
My home was deep within the earth. 

In a dark mine. 
Ages ago I was buried there. 

And yet I hold 
The sunshine and the heat, which warmed 

That world of old. 
Though black and cold I seem to be. 

Yet I can glow. 
Just put me on a blazing fire. 

Then you will knov/." 

And what shall we say of the miner who brings us 
these black beauties from the mine? Is he our friend and 
helper? He gives us coal to heat our homes. He gives the 
"oal to run the railroad trains that they may bring us 
flour and meat and butter and eggs and other foods. He 
gives the coal to turn the wheels in the mills where the 
cloth for our dresses and coats are made. The wool for 
our mittens is spun in a mill. The miner must send coal 

m 



THE LITTLE WOROIAN 

or the wheels of the woolen mill are still. How much be 
does for us ! Is he a good helper in the world's work? 

A collection of pictures to show how the world's work 
is done is valuable in every home. You can find good 
pictures in the illustrated Sunday papers and in many 
periodicals. It is well as you talk of these things to let 
the children collect pictures and make their own picture 
books. You will think of many other workers and many 
interesting kinds of work.^ 

RESPECT FOR LABOR 

The second motive for Froebel's trade plays and pic- 
tures is to give children a just idea of the dignity of 
work. 

"As you teach your child to respect his own hand, 
teach him also to respect those who work with their 
hands. Waken his gratitude toward, and consideration 
for, those through whose labor he is blessed with food, 
clothing, and shelter. Teach him to honor each 'toil- 
worn craftsman,' however humble his calling, who wards 
off danger from individuals and communities, and whose 
labor directly furthers the welfare of mankind." ^ 

With Mrs. Browning, Froebel would say: "Get work! 
Get work ! Be sure 't is better than what you work to 
get." 

In his earliest book, "The Education of Man," he 
says: "The notion that man toils a ad w^orks solely to 

1 In Children s Occupations, vol. ii, of this Series, Mrs. Nash illus- 
trates the making of many common things. 

^ Mottoes and Commentaries of FroeheVs Mother Play. "The Chai'" 
coal Burner." See Student's Froebel, pp. 19 and 20. 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

support his body — his husk — to earn bread, house, and 
clothes — is an error, is lowering; to be put up with, 
perhaps, on no account to be spread: for it is not true. 
Originally and properly, man works to realize outside 
him the spiritual — the Divine — which dwells within 
him; that he may thus learn to know his own spiritual 
nature, and the nature of God. The bread, dwelling, 
clothes, which come to him thereby, are to boot!" 

The most important figure in the world to-day is the 
working-man. We depend on him for all the comforts 
and necessities of life. What he is — what his attitude 
to work is — is a fundamental concern of every family 
and of every individual. Can mothers do anything to 
train a new generation which shall not only honor work 
and the workman; but find it a noble and good thing to 
do work? May mothers help to the day, when work shall 
be, not a curse, but a blessing ! 

There was happy work in the Garden of Eden. "And 
the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Gar- 
den of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Adam had his 
work. His life was Eden. All was joy and happiness, 
with blooming flowers, growing trees, and singing birds. 
How did the curse come upon work? When Adam was 
driven forth from the garden to hard conditions with a 
wrong feeling in his heart. The man's attitude to his 
work had changed. He did not rejoice in the work of his 
hands. We read of a day when there shall be no more 
curse. That day will come when every one finds his right 
bit of work and rejoices in it. 

Mothers may help more than any statesmen or law- 
makers to create another Eden on earth. Every home 



THE LITTLE WORKMAN 

may show the beauty and glory of work. Every home 
may know work and the workers. Every mother may 
teach her children: "In the world's work each must help 
as he ought.'* 

HEROES OF LOWLY SERVICE 
A PRIMARY teacher once made a series of lessons and 
talks for her boys on the workers who were helping to 
keep the city safe and clean and supplied with the needs of 
life. She called these toilers "Heroes of Lowly Service." 

The children learned to look upon the workers as 
worthy of all honors. They were led to be grateful for 
their service. 

Do you see who some of these heroes are? 

The policeman who stands at his post and never 
deserts, in face of danger or threats, is a true hero. He 
protects life and property even when a mob gathers and 
threatens to destroy everything. Nothing makes him 
desert his post. Is not this a true hero for a boy to 
admire? 

A fireman who climbs a tall ladder to rescue a child 
at the top of a burning building is a hero. He risks his 
life to save another. 

The sailors on the Titanic, who stood in their places 
helping women and children into the lifeboats, and went 
down with the ship, were great heroes. 

My friend, the primary teacher, told her boys many 
such tales of toil and of faithfulness to duty. One day 
she said: "Boys, these men do real work. They do it just 
as well as they can, although their part is hidden and 
no one ever knows what they do." 

65 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

A boy raised his hand. "Miss W.," he said, "people 
do know. I saw a horse drawing a milk cart up this hill 
this morning. The street was very slippery, but the 
horse's shoes were spiked and they held in the ice so the 
horse did not slip. Every one would know if the black- 
smith had not shod the horse right." 

"Very good," said Miss W. "A man's work tells when 
it is tested. But suppose no one ever found out and no 
one ever could know, should he do his work just as well.? " 

The boys said, "Yes." 

Then they learned these Hnes: 

"In the ancient days of art 
Builders wrought with greatest care 
Each unseen and hidden part. 
For the gods see everywhere." 

Heroes of lowly service! 
They serve every home ! 
Shall our boys join their ranks may be? 
In any case shall they honor the service? 
Mr. Hagedorn glorifies such service in these lines 
which children should learn : 

"There are strange ways of serving God; 
You sweep a room or turn a sod. 
And suddenly, to your surprise. 

You hear the whirr of seraphim 
And find you're under God's owti eyes 

And building palaces for Him.'* 



IX 

THRIFT 

**A penny saved is a penny earned." 
"Many a little makes a mickle." 

THRIFT is providing for the future. It is looking 
ahead. During the Great War there was a national 
campaign for thrift. We were told that American homes 
were wasteful. We were told that a French family could 
live on what was wasted at an American table. Lessons 
in thrift were given in the schools. Children were urged 
to earn money and to save money for War Savings 
Stamps. No doubt in many homes there was real con- 
servation of food and of income. Shall we remember 
these lessons of the war.? Do your children still buy War 
Savings Stamps? Do they save food or waste it? Do you 
keep your war gardens? Do you have a bank where pen- 
nies are put to buy a birthday gift for Grandma or a 
Christmas present for the baby? Do you talk with your 
children about providing for the winter in storing vege- 
tables? Do they help you gather the corn and tomatoes 
for canning? Do they pick berries for canning? All of 
these activities furnish occasion for lessons in thrift. 

THE THRIFTY HOME 
The thrifty home is the home where nothing is wasted. 
Children see how the scraps of meat are set away to 
make a good dinner of "left-overs." They enjoy the 

67 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

vegetable salad made of various remnants of peas, beans, 
and spinach. They learn to eat the crusts of bread and 
to enjoy them. Perhaps they learn the old rhyme: 

"I must not throw upon the floor 
The crust I cannot eat. 
For many a hungry little one 
Would think it quite a treat." 

At this time we can tell them of the hungry children 
in Serbia, in France, and in Belgium. We can make 
them feel a desire to save as much as possible, that our 
brothers and sisters over the seas may be fed. Do you 
have a piece-bag and put away bits of cloth, which may 
be used for dressing dolls, for making holders, bags for 
marbles, and maybe for patchwork? 

SAVING MONEY 
Most children have a bank where the pennies which 
are given or earned are kept. Sometimes the saving habit 
may make the child miserly and selfish. He may begin 
to hoard for the sake of hoarding and keeping. To avoid 
this, talk with your child about the reasons for saving 
money. The first and most important reason for a child 
is to be able to make his own gifts. At Sunday School a 
child gains no real benefit of giving if he simply hands 
over a penny which some one has given him. If the 
money is earned and saved, it is his own. If -Tames has 
denied himself candy or a top, he has gained the joy of 
making a real gift. 

A second reason for training children to save money 
is that they may form the habit of looking ahead and 
providing for some future need. This leads to thrift. 

68 



THRIFT 

EARNING MONEY 
For what shall children be paid? Not for doing little 
acts of service called for in family life. James runs to 
get the evening paper for his father, not because he is 
paid for doing it, but because he loves to save his 
father's steps. Mary takes the baby out in the carriage 
because she wishes to help mother. She is not paid for 
doing it. 

In order, however, that children may learn the use 
and value of money, some means of earning must be 
provided. 

A certain family living in the country gave each boy a 
plot of ground in the garden. One boy raised tomatoes, 
the other potatoes. The mother paid for the vegetables 
at the market price. The older boy, who planted pota- 
toes, raised several barrels and earned a goodly sum to 
help in his college expenses. 

I knew another family where a bank was kept whose 
contents were to be spent on a trip to Europe. The chil- 
dren denied themselves cake and candy that they might 
look forward to a far-off pleasure. 

A boy on a farm began his business career by keeping 
hens and selling his eggs to the family. He read the 
daily paper to see the market quotations. He was careful 
to raise and lower his price according to the market. 

Thriftless families and thriftless individuals are a 
burden to the communities where they live. They live 
from "hand to mouth*' and often depend on the good- 
ness of their neighbors for help over hard places. 

Dickens paints such a happy-go-lucky character in 
69 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

his famous Micawber. Mr. Micawber was always look- 
ing for something to turn up, but he did not use the fore- 
sight and judgment necessary to turn anything. A will 
has recently been published in which the maker gives 
this advice to his heirs : 

"As I never speculated and never made any money 
by increase of investments in value, but have accumu- 
lated what I have by the hardest kind of work and by 
economy in expenses, I hope my children will be satisfied 
to so use what I leave them that they will make its 
enjoyment last, rather than try to enjoy it expeditiously, 
or seek to make more of it than common sense in invest- 
ment calls for; thus with industry added to thrift the 
*wet day,* *old age,' and infirmities will not be so much 
dreaded. Micawber's rule about income and expenses, 
which he never practiced, is a pretty good one to follow 
— or at least remember." 

Micawber's rule was: "Annual income twenty 
pounds; annual expenditure twenty pounds nought 
and six — result misery. Annual income twenty pounds; 
annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen, six, — resul* 
happiness." 

ALLOWANCES FOR CHILDREN 

In order that children may understand the value of 
money it is well to give each child an allowance as soon 
as he is able to reckon and to keep accounts. Nothing 
teaches a lesson of thrift like finding one's self without 
funds when there has been a careless expenditure. A 
penny spent to-day for a bun or a piece of candy cannot 
be spent again when a new need arises. The allowance 

70 



THRIFT 

for a young child should be small, perhaps a penny a 
week; but the training gained will be a good beginning 
for financial responsibility. 

In one family the allowance was withheld for acts of 
disobedience or certain other misdeeds. This put a pre- 
mium on good behavior. The father explained to the 
boy that if he could not be trusted to remember what he 
had been told, he could not be trusted with money. 

As a child grows older the allowance may be increased 
in proportion to the needs of the boy or girl. When the 
time comes to leave home and go to school or college, 
young people should be trusted to handle their own 
funds and to pay their own bills. The knowledge of the 
purchasing power of money can be gained in no other 
way. 

The child who spends his allowance too soon and re- 
grets it later has learned a valuable lesson in choice. The 
lesson is lost if parents supply the missing funds and 
say: "I will give it to you this time. But remember next 
time to think twice and see what you really wish most.'* 

The little one will not remember. His father or his 
mother has repaired his error in judgment and he will 
expect the same help again. 

THRIFT LESSONS 

The public schools are urged to continue the Thrift 
Campaigns begun during the war. The home should 
cooperate with the school in the effort to curb extrav- 
agance and waste. Mothers may encourage their boys 
to join the Corn Clubs and the Httle girls to join the 
Tomato Clubs. 

n 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Will your children be interested in the following 
facts? 

The saving of a dime a day, if set aside regularly, 
will yield great returns. If continued twenty years, 
with interest at five per cent, allowed to accumulate, 
the amount will happily surprise the saver. 

In one year, $36.50, with an interest of $1.82, will be 
effected. 

At the end of five years, $201.67, with an interest of 
$10.08 will be accumulated. 

In ten years, the saver will have $449.05, with an 
interest of $22.95. 

By the end of the fifteenth year, $787.54, with an 
interest of $39.38 will be saved. 

Saving a dime a day will yield, at the end of twenty 
years, $1206.81. 

Can you not give your children some of the problems 
made for the schools of Evanston, IlHnois, by Super- 
intendent A. N. Farmer.^ Maybe such problems will give 
a real enthusiasm to your home economics. 

* Children in France need sugar — 
Will you help to save it ? 

"Mary needs six tablespoonfuls of sugar a day. She 
eats two tablespoonfuls of sugar on her oatmeal, four 
tablespoonfuls of sugar in her cooked food, and two 
tablespoonfuls of sugar in her candy. In one day how 
many more tablespoonfuls of sugar does Mary eat than 
she really needs? 

"Each day Alice used two tablespoonfuls of syrup 
instead of two tablespoonfuls of sugar, in order to save 

72 



THRIFT 

two tablespoonfuls of sugar for a little child in France. 
How many tablespoonfuls of sugar did she save in seven 
days? 

" John puts two teaspoonfuls of sugar in his oatmeal. 
John's father puts three teaspoonfuls of sugar in his 
coffee. In one day how many teaspoonfuls of sugar could 
be saved for the little Belgian children if John used one 
teaspoonful of sugar in his oatmeal and his father used 
one teaspoonful of sugar in his coffee? 

"A soldier needs six tablespoonfuls of sugar a day, 
Edith saves two tablespoonfuls of sugar a day. In how 
many days will Edith save enough sugar to feed a soldier 
all the sugar he needs for one day? 

" People in Europe need flour for bread — 
Your waste means their hunger. 

"A woman used three cupfuls of wheat flour to make 
one loaf of bread. She wishes to save flour for our sol- 
diers, so she used two cupfuls of flour and one cupful of 
rye flour for each of her loaves. How many cupfuls of 
flour does she save in making eight loaves of bread? 

"John's family eats three pounds of meat each day. 
They plan to eat fish or eggs, instead of meat, two days 
of each week. How many pounds of meat will they save 
in one week? How many pounds of meat will they save 
in one month? 

"By leaving butter in their plates and throwing away 
buttered bread Alice and John each wasted one teaspoon- 
ful of butter a day. If they used only the butter they 
needed how many teaspoonfuls of butter did they save 
for the little children of Europe in one week? " 

73 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

THE LOW COST OF LIVING 

In tlie Toronto Health Bulletin we find the following 
facts: 

"We hear very much of the high cost of living, but 
we overlook the fact that many of the best things of 
life can be had for nothing. 

"It costs nothing to stand up and walk and breathe 
properly. 

'''Fresh air in the home is free. 

''No expense to taking a few simple exercises every 
morning. 

" It costs nothing to chew the food thoroughly. 

"It costs nothing to select the food best suited to the 
body. 

"It costs nothing to clean the teeth twice a day. 

"It costs nothing to stop using patent medicines. 

"It costs no more to read good books than trashy 
literature. 

"It costs nothing to have a cheerful, happy disposi- 
tion, and stop having grouches. 

"These things cost nothing, yet they will bring con- 
tent and reduce the doctor's bill to nothing a year.'* 

LOVE OF MONEY 

"The love of money is the root of all evil," says the wise 
man. A man's life does not consist in the abundance of 
things which he possesseth. This fundamental truth 
must be taught along with our lessons in thrift. Money 
is saved, money is earned, to be spent wisely, not to be 
counted and hoarded. We store and preserve in order 

74 



THRIFT 

that we may be able to cheer the winter days with sum- 
mer fruits. We desire also to be able to share our good 
cheer with family friends and guests, so we must provide. 

We work now in order that life may be comfortable 
and happy in the future. To refuse to do so would be 
short-sighted and foolish. But to amass and to pile up 
goods beyond our needs is also foolish. It makes material 
gains an end in themselves. 

From you, mothers, your children are learning lessons 
of thrift and of a wise provision for the future. From 
you also they must learn where to lay up their real 
treasures. 

THE MESSAGE OF THE THRIFT FLOWER 
The "Message of the Thrift Flower'* is a good message 
for every home. It has been sent out for the War Savings 
Campaign. 

"There is a little flower that adds a gay touch of color 
to many a stretch of barren country. Once it was called 
*Sea Pink' and long ago it was known among country 
people as * Ladies' Cushion,' but our Anglo-Saxon fore- 
fathers named it 'Thrift,' and that is the name by which 
it is commonly known in England to-day. 

"Right well does the courageous little plant deserve 
the name * Thrift,' It blossoms alike on mud flats and 
windy sand hills or spreads its rosy bloom up the rocky 
mountain-side. It is this power of living where any 
other plant would starve that has given it this name of 
'Thrift.' 

"Sometimes it grows where every tide washes over it 
and sometimes away from all moisture on a rocky hill. 

75 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

At the seaside it converts iodine and soda into plant food 
while from the mountain rocks it gathers potash.* Thrift' 
belongs to the small family of leadworts, but its repre- 
sentatives are found in most parts of the world. This is 
because the * Thrift' makes the most of its resources 
and always manages to capitalize available food-supplies 
into a refreshing growth of green and a wealth of bloom. 

"The * Thrift' puts forth pinpoint blossoms of pinkish 
purple that grow in clusters of from twenty to thirty and 
thus form a showy head. With the coming of summer 
the * Thrift' plant brings a flush like a rosy sunrise to the 
gray downs of old England and up the barren mountain- 
side. Along our own Pacific Coast the same meadows of 
color may be seen stretching away among the rocky 
headlands forming an enchanting harmony of purple 
bloom, gray rocks, and blue ocean. 

"This little plant not only manages to turn the bitter 
sea salt into blossom, but puts away in each dainty 
flower a tiny drop of honey. Even in its last act the 
* Thrift' flower gives up to its name. When the petals 
fall, the cuplike calyx remains intact and forms a dainty 
and serviceable parachute for each little seed, there 
being only one to a flower. On this it sails away on the 
first convenient wind, to begin its fortunes all over 
again in some other barren spot. 

"The ^Thrift' flower carries the message the Govern- 
ment is trying to send out to each boy and girl in 
America: *Look around hke the "Thrift" and discover 
the wealth in your corner, work your corner, make it 
produce more, and save to produce still more.' " 



X 

THE HELPFUL CHILD 

"If to a child's sole care is left 
Something which, of that care bereft. 
Would quickly pine and fade. 
The joy of nurture he will learn; 
A rich experience which will turn 
His inner life to aid." 

Froebel 

AFTER giving us this motto, Froebel asks, "Will 
you not give your children the courage and con- 
stancy which the ability to give nurture implies?" 
Courage and constancy ! What splendid things to give a 
child ! Indeed, yes. But how? For our minds immediately 
picture the lack of constancy we see in these careless, 
playful, thoughtless children. And the courage must be 
of the kind called fortitude, and more dijBScult to attain 
than mere courage. 

While a child is literally in a mother's hands to do 
with as she will, she can plan for the years to come. In 
Hardy's "The Woodlanders" he tells of a tree-planting, 
which is interesting in this connection: " Winterborn's 
fingers were endowed with a gentle conjuror's touch in 
spreading the roots of each little tree, resulting in a sort 
of caress under which the delicate fibers all laid them- 
selves out in their proper directions for growth. He put 
most of these roots towards the southwest; for, he said, 
in forty years' time, when some great gale is blowing 

77 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

from that quarter, the trees will require the strongest 
holdfast on that side to stand against it and not fall." 
Habits, ideas, desires, and impulses — these are the 
little rootlets that mothers must train in the direction 
from which the great gales of temptation will blow in 
the years to come. A mother can foresee storms, as well 
as can a planter of trees. She can train in such a way 
"that they may stand against it and not fall." 

**0h, where, oh, where are the merry little men, to help us in our 

play? 
And where, oh, where are the busy little men, to help us work 

to-day? " 

Emilie Poulsson 

Baby's ten "merry little men" are small, but they can 
do a great deal of mischief in the course of a day. By the 
time a child is two years old, some of his incessant 
activity can be turned to account. He can stand by his 
mother when she dresses the baby and hand her the 
towels and little garments as she asks for them. He will 
be very much in the way, but it is excellent training. 
He can put away his toys before he goes to bed. At night 
dolls should sit in a silent row against the wall. Precious 
treasures should be put into the toy box, blocks fitted 
into their own box. This is nurture, and the encourage- 
ment and insistence required are wearing, but very sure 
to pay in the end. A small boy, deprived of these early 
lessons, because his mother was "too busy to bother," 
grew to be lawless, careless, troublesome, and six years 
old, when one day something happened. As he listened 
in Sunday School to the story of a boy (bigger than him- 
self) who helped his mother, a little impulse to help his 

78 



THE HELPFUL CHILD 

mother was born in his heart. The boy in the stoi^^ was 
bigger and stronger than the boy with the impulse and 
that made helping mother seem to be a right and manly 
thing to do. This was just what the teacher intended, 
hoping for the cooperation of his mother. That night he 
offered to dry the supper dishes. "Oh, I can get on faster 
without you," said his capable mother. Later, he asked 
if he could help her put the babies to bed. "No," said 
his mother; "get your picture-book, and wait till I am 
ready for you." The boy looked at pictures until his 
mother called that his bath was ready. That night as 
the boy slept the little impulse died for lack of care and 
exercise. It had not been nurtured. "The plant that is 
not watered, dies." When he was older his overworked 
mother asked for his help, but the service was unwilling, 
and awkward — and she wondered with a sigh why boys 
were so clumsy and disagreeable. 

" Your gentle words he may not seem to hear. 
But they will live to serve him in his need." 

Froebel 

"Have you made your bed.^" "Did you water your 
plant?" "Don't forget to put away your rubbers." 
Is n't it a comforting thought that your gentle words 
will "live" and "serve"? It may help, to make out a 
schedule of daily duties, with checked-off space for 
markings as the work is done. If the schedules are talked 
over with the children and pronounced "fair" by them, 
the atmosphere will be clearer than if there is a feehng 
of being imposed upon. A child should be honored by 
being trusted to work his own card and a system of 

79 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

rewards can be devised to stimulate endeavor. The re- 
ward may be a small allowance, which in turn is very 
educational and saves many requests for money, expla- 
nations, and arguments. Or, the rewards may be help 
with whatever interests are uppermost, such as stamp 
collecting, reading, furnishing doll houses or tool chests. 
Many reasonable children enjoy knowing just what work 
lies before them, and also the feeling that they have a 
part in the making of their homes. In many cases there 
will be no mention of rewards. 

On the door of one boy's room the following list is 
firmly nailed: 

MY WORK 

Vi. Sat. 

X X 

X X 



Morning: Sun. Mon. 


Tues. Wed. Thurs. I 


Made my bed x x 


XXX 


Swept piazza x x 


XXX 


Filled woodbox 




Evening: 




Put away work 




Dried supper dishes 




A girl's Hst may read: 




Morning: 


Evening: 


Made my bed 


Set supper table 


Dried breakfast dishes 


Read stories to baby 


Emptied scrap baskets 





** Come forth into the light of things. 
Let natm^ be your teacher." 

Wordsworth 

In play, children use imagination, and the use of imagi- 
nation, while at work, brings work to the very borderland 
of play. Singing, question games, stories — fascinating 

80 



THE HELPFUL CHILD 

make-believe — can be enjoyed without interfering in 
the least with the shelling of peas, sewing, bed-making, 
dish-washing, and many other home industries. 

As an instance, think how uninteresting sweeping 
can be, and yet the little girl, who imagined that she 
was "driving out the hordes of sin" ^vith every vigorous 
stroke of the broom, called sweeping "play." There are 
little sweeping songs that lend swing to the motion of 
the broom. It is fun to trace the household gods back to 
their sources. The broom, even to the strings that hold 
the broom corn in place, grew out of doors. The handle 
was the strong branch of a straight pine. Broom corn 
growing is not a familiar sight everywhere, but we can 
find a picture of it in the dictionary. Sometimes little 
seeds cling to the brush, and they may grow if planted 
in the window-box. In caring for the broom we conclude, 
since every part of it grew out of doors, in rain and shine, 
that it can be washed and dried in the sun. So it is with 
dish-washing, bed-making, and the whole of home- 
making. Touch it with the magic of imagination and 
drudgery is forgotten. 

"Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 

The Bible 

Setting the table is good discipline. It involves the 
training of the eye, for things should be straight and 
neat. It teaches arithmetic, for the table must be set for 
the right number of people, and cups, spoons, and many 
other things need to be counted. The child who is tail 
enough to reach the center of the table is old enough to 
set it, for no special physical strength is required. 

81 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Appreciation and commendation are very encourag- 
ing. "I know that John must have set this table," said 
a father, "because he always gets things as shipshape as 
any sailor." "Mary thinks when she sets the table; she 
thought to put the bowl of apples in the center, and how 
pretty they look!" 

Even a small child can understand that it is her work 
to keep salt-cellars, sugar-bowls, or match-holder filled. 
Because she is small she will need to be reminded often; 
the times when she forgets may be passed over rather 
lightly; the times she remembers spoken of with praise. 

In one family a meal is now and then planned sim^ 
ply and given absolutely into the hands of three little 
daughters. The children love doing it, and the father 
confided that since this plan had been in operation he 
had gained in self-conLrol. 

" If for his pets, he learns a tender care 
He 'U learn ere long to cherish all he cares." 

Froebel 

The children who live in larger cities are deprived of the 
joy of owning certain animals as pets. But even city 
children may care for^kittens, canary birds, or goldfish; 
living, breathing creatures, dependent upon their owners 
for their lives. The child, who lives where there is space 
and food for larger animals, can care for dogs, ponies, 
rabbits, chickens, and any hurt or handicapped creatures 
that he may find. Only when children are willing to care 
faithfully for pets should they be allowed to own them, 
and all animals and birds, not domesticated, should be 
left to their own wild way of living. 

82 



THE HELPFUL CHILD 

A helpful child will enjoy attending to the needs of 
the wild birds when intense cold or severe drought causes 
them to be thirsty or hungry. The helpful child will also 
feed and clean cages, and do whatever captive pets may 
need without having to be reminded often. No abuse, 
either through neglect or indifference, should be al- 
lowed. An excess of love and undue fondling are equally 
bad. The death of a pet, because of a child's wrong treat- 
ment, is a good lesson, though a bitter one. A delightful 
boy in one of Kipling's poems, says to his Daddy: 

"Let's go up to the pig-sties and sit on the barnyard rail! 
Let's say things to the bunnies and watch them skitter their tails!" 

A child's care for animals surely means that a chance 
to sit on barnyard rails and watch pigs and bunnies, to 
fill seed-cups and close cages, should be a part of every 
child's education in helpfulness and thoughtfulness. 

** Yearnings, which, wisely trained, will grow at length 
To motive power, still strengthening with his strength." 

Froebel 

A WISE man said, "Play is God's method of teaching 
children to work." The kitten that plays with the dried 
leaf, as the wind stirs it, is preparing to pounce upon 
mice, some day. Kittens and children learn many things 
as they play out of doors. Children are learning to be 
helpful when they find their own toys. Play, with corn- 
cob dolls, shell tea-sets, sand pies, and "make-believe 
money," is developing ingenuity and imagination. In- 
doors a child loves to collect such materials as clothes- 
pins, kindling-wood, scraps of cloth and paper, for the 
manufacture of boats with sails, tents, and dolls. The 

83 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

corner behind the sofa or a window recess will appear 
to be the most convenient sort of little house, and the 
furnishings, although nearly all in imagination, are very- 
satisfactory. Froebel, in his play of the carpenter, sug- 
gests that children are impelled to furnish such play- 
houses, because of an unconscious ideal, the ideal home. 
They are happy at home, and home is the safest, happi- 
est place there is. They think of it in their play, building 
one home within another. Nothing helps a busy mother 
more than contented, playful children, and if she remem- 
bers that small children desire to make or to destroy she 
will provide material rather than finished toys. Beautiful 
dolls, watches, and mechanical toys of exquisite com- 
pleteness suffer destruction, sooner or later, and teach 
the child almost nothing. 

It is comparatively easy to supply little children with 
constructive material; but the demands of a tousled, 
discontented lad are problems. A father of boys found 
them difficult to understand, until he seriously thought 
over his own boyhood experience. He then rigged up a 
work-room, where no one was admitted except by invi- 
tation. Indeed, "Private, keep out," was written large 
on the door. A tool chest was built and furnished. A 
shoe-blacking outfit was instituted, and the shoes of the 
family blacked regularly. 

The small repairs about the house were made by the 
boys, and the shelves in the work-room contained collec- 
tions of many sorts, undisturbed by broom or duster. 
The friends of the boys came, and clubs were formed. 
The boy's sister cooperated finely in the matter of re- 
freshments, knocking respectfully upon the door of the 

84 



THE HELPFUL CHILD 

work-room with offerings of cakes and apples that never 
came amiss. In return, sister never lacked escorts, or 
trusty messengers, and the father was favored with 
many intimacies, being considered a very right-minded 
man by his own boys and their friends. 

The days of shell tea-sets and rag dolls fly by. Even 
the hours spent in arranging collections on the shelves 
of private work-rooms come to an end. The men and 
women that go out from our homes are helping the world 
to a new and better day. How much of this helpfulness 
did they learn, as children at home, do you think? 

THE child's right TO WORK 
In the Child Welfare Magazine G. W. Tuttle writes: 

" When the parents refuse to set tasks for a child the 
Devil gets busy. He sets the tasks, then leaves the par- 
ents to pay the bills. 

"An idle child is not a normal child. The healthy 
child simply must have something to do — that is the 
healthful, normal condition of childhood. 

" In addition to the active sports and games of child- 
hood, simple tasks, little responsibilities, should fall 
upon the child. If they are regular, daily tasks, so much 
the better and more useful. The boy who brings in a 
single armful of wood for his mother, regularly, every 
night, is learning to do reguiar, systematic work. And 
just teach the boy to do his own thinking; not remind 
him every night that it is time to bring in the wood. Do 
not follow a boy around too closely; just say, * Johnnie, 
it is up to you to remember to bring in that wood ! ' and 
then act as if it were all settled. 

85 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

" When Nellie wipes the knives and forks after every 
meal she is doing something immensely more valuable 
than simply wiping knives and forks; she is acquiring 
habits of industry that will help her to be a neat, faithful 
wife and housekeeper at some future day. 

" Pity the children who never have a chance to form 
habits of industry. Years ago our daily paper was deliv- 
ered by the son of a very wealthy man. 'There is the son 
of a rich man who will amoimt to something,' my wife 
remarked; *his father is not spoiling him.' 

"Sure enough, the industrious boy rose high; posi- 
tions opened to him which could never have been his 
but for the habits of industry that he had formed in 
early Hfe." 

LITTLE LIGHTS 
By Catherine T. Bryce 

One night, when the sun had disappeared and the birds 
had tucked their heads beneath their wings to rest, one 
of the night birds flew close to an electric light. 

"Of what use are you?" asked the bird. "You give so 
little light compared with the sun!" 

"I do the best I can," said the light. "Think how 
dark this corner would be if I were not here. People 
walking and driving might run into one another and 
some one might get hurt." 

"That's true," said the bird, and away he flew. Then 
he came near a gaslight standing apart from houses and 
busy streets. 

"Of what use are you?" asked the bird. "You do not 
give as much light as the electric light!" 



THE HELPFUL CHILD 

"I do the best I can," said the light. "Do you not see 
that steep bank just beyond? If I were not here, some 
one might fall." 

"That's true," said the bird, and away he flew. Soon 
his sharp eyes spied a lamp in a window. 

"Of what use are you?" asked the bird. "You do not 
give even as much light as the gaslight!" 

"I do the best I can. I am in the window to throw 
light down the path, that Farmer Brown may see the 
way when he comes home. I do the best I can." 

"That's true," said the bird, and away he flew. But 
iigain his sharp eyes spied a light — a tiny candle light 
in a nursery window. 

"Of what use are you? " asked the bird. "Your light is 
so small. You do not give even as much light as a 
lamp." 

"I do the best I can," said the candle, "and I can be 
easily carried from room to room. Nurse uses me when 
she gives the children a drink of water at night, or sees 
that they are snugly covered up in bed. I do the best I 
can." 

"That's true," said the bird, and away he flew, think- 
ing, as he saw the many lights here and there, little and 
great, *'All are helpers!" 



XI 

HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

"What man tries to represent, he begms to understand." 

Froebel 

WE learn by doing" is one of the slogans of mod- 
ern education. It is the method of Nature's 
school. This kind of schooling began when children first 
tried to do what father and mother were doing. It is 
the best method we know to-day. Froebel was the first 
among educators to call attention to the educational 
value of imitation. Many psychologists and teachers 
since his day have written on the significance of this 
instinct. Whether we class imitation as a fundamental 
instinct or a modification of some other, we cannot fail 
to recognize it as a child's instinctive method of making 
acquaintance with the world. Were it not for this tend- 
ency of children to learn by doing, the task of educa- 
tion would be much more difficult. "At the imitative 
stage," says Froebel, "you may accomplish by a touch 
light as a feather what later you cannot do with a hun- 
dred weight of words." 

A little girl learns how to hem a towel by seeing 
mother do it. She polishes the spoons or washes the 
glasses as mother does it. She learns good ways of doing, 
or slipshod ways, according to her model. 

The little boy uses the tools as father does. He learns 
a multitude of things by following and working with his 

88 



HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

elders in field, barn, and shop. What are some of the 
lessons acquired by this method of imitation? 

1. Knowledge of things. 

2. Knowledge of work. 

3. Courtesy. 

4. Standards of conduct. 

5. Making of personality. 

Country children and city children have different 
plays, because environment furnishes different stimuli 
for imitative play. Consequently they acquire knowledge 
of different things. Playing policeman, playing "drunk," 
and making arrests are forms of play often seen in city 
streets. The quarrels of the tenement house are repeated 
in the plays of the children. The slum stamps itself on 
the new generation through play imitation of its speech 
and ways of living. 

The country child, who has birds and squirrels and 
the activities of the farm as his play incentives, has a 
better chance of storing up desirable knowledge. 

I spent one summer at a seashore place where there 
was a considerable artist colony. Artists camped on the 
beach daily under large umbrellas. Soon small sunshades 
appeared and two little girls started on their art career, 
furnished with a large sheet of paper and a box of paints. 
They held up pencils to measure distance and worked 
in blue for sea and sky after the manner of their models. 

In a country village some city visitors introduced a 
tennis court for the first time. It was not long before a 
second court was seen in the village street. The village 
boys had marked off their court and made a net of twine 
and wooden racquets. Invention had been called into 

89 



TAXKS TO MOTHERS 

play and knowledge gained of materials and manu- 
facture. 

A little boy taken to the city for a visit was greatly 
interested in the construction of a subway. For a long 
time thereafter he converted the back stairs into a sub- 
way and played there for hours. He was constructor of 
the subway, motorman, and conductor in turn. 

The trade plays of the kindergarten illustrate Froe- 
bel's method of interesting children in work and proc- 
esses of work. To be a farmer, a baker, a blacksmith, a 
carpenter, is to understand what all these workmen are 
doing. Through the play comes a desire to know what 
materials they use^ where these materials are found, and 
what is done with them. Seeing work is a step toward 
doing work. As the imitation of work processes is pro- 
longed and worked out in play, it merges into real work 
and a joy in doing, which is the best training for in- 
dustry. 

The incentive for the play is gained from the environ- 
ment. The value of the play for young children is greatly 
increased by the interest of the mother and her sugges- 
tions. A song of the blacksmith and a rhyme for the 
carpenter, a see-saw for sawing wood, a rat-a-tap-tap 
for the cobbler, takes little of the mother's time and 
helps the process of a child's learning.^ 

Every mother desires her children to have good man- 
ners. She wishes them to be well-behaved. Does she 
reflect that she, herself, is giving the pattern? Loud 
voices, strident tones, and poor English are copied by 
listening and observant children. The schools may 
^ See vol. V of this series. Songs vnth Music. 
90 



HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

struggle in vain to teach grammatical speech to boys 
and girls who hear a double negative in their homes. 
Slang and strong adjectives are also copied. 

In some households there is a game of adding a new 
word to the vocabulary every day. At dinner-time each 
one tries to introduce his new word into the conversation. 
This puts a premium on reading and the use of the dic- 
tionary. The elder brothers and sisters give copy to the 
little ones. The family is not obliged to call every good 
thing "nice" and every poor thing "fierce." Other qual- 
ifying terms are discovered and used. 

Intonation and inflection are copied. 

The Enghsh people usually speak more pleasantly 
than Americans because more attention is given to 
speech in the English home. Children who hear pleasant 
voices and good diction naturally adopt the same. 

"Manners are not idle," says Tennyson, "but the 
fruit of loyal nature and noble minds." The seeds of 
courtesy lie in the loyal nature and noble mind : but the 
outward forms are a matter of imitation. If the parents 
treat their children with uniform courtesy, the children 
respond. I know a mother with four sons who are uni- 
formly polite. She never nags nor scolds them. She al- 
ways addresses them as politely as she does an older 
person. If an errand is to be done, she does not say, 
"Here, you run upstairs and get my thimble"; but, 
"Horace, will you be kind enough to get my thimble?" 
There is never any reluctance. Horace goes gladly. She 
never forgets to say " Good-morning " and " Good-night " 
to them as she would to an honored guest, and they do 
not forget the same gentle practice as they meet others. 

91 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Politeness is to do and say 
The kindest thing in the kindest way." 

This rhyme is a good one for children to learn. It is 
better to practice it. Its practice largely depends on the 
manners of the parents and older persons in the home. 
The kindest way is the finest expression of the kind 
feeling. 

The example of elders is important, not only in secur- 
ing courteous forms of behavior, but in forming right 
standards of conduct. What mother does makes more 
impression than what mother says. 

"Practice what you preach," "An ounce of example is 
worth a ton of precept," are old proverbs. They speak 
the wisdom of the ages and reinforce our belief in the 
influence of imitation. Children copy their elders and 
so come to understand their motives. Unconsciously 
they form codes of action and standards of conduct. 

"Why does she do this? If I do it I will know"; and 
so the little one learns. And all the time he is making 
himself. He is forming his personality. 

Professor Baldwin, in "Mental Development in the 
Child and the Race," says: "The point is this: the 
child's personality grows: growth is always by action: 
he clothes upon himself the scenes of his life and acts 
them out: so he grows in what he is, what he under- 
stands, and what he is able to perform." 

A narrow personality results where there is restricted 
copy. An only child should be allowed playmates to 
enlarge his range of observation and his patterns of con- 
duct. Exclusive friendships should be discouraged among 
boys and girls, lest there be narrowed personality. A 

92 



HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

large, full life in the home with fine examples of daily 
living gives growing boys and girls materials for making 
a fine personality. We grow into the likeness of what- 
ever we observe daily, with admiration and love. 

GUIDO AND HIS PUPIL ^ 

By Rev. Richard Metcalf 

I WANT to tell you about a painter who lived in Italy 
five hundred years ago. " Guido " was his name. At least 
his mother always called him Guido, and therefore I pre- 
fer to call him so, too. Yet if you should look at my copy 
of his picture of "Jesus on the Mount of Transfigura- 
tion," you would see on the back that it was painted by 
"Fra Angelico," which was the new name his country- 
men gave him when he grew up. 

But for my part I think he must have been better 
pleased with the name his mother called him by when 
he was a boy — don't you.'^ 

This Guido loved painting. No one who ever saw his 
pictures of Christ and the Holy Angels can doubt thaL 
But there was something he loved still more — and that 
was the Christ, saints, and angels whose portraits he 
painted. He was not like some artists who must paint 
something^ it matters little what, and who therefore are 
as willing to put holy men and holy scenes on the canvas 
as any other. On the contrary, you feel that he loved 
holy things so much that besides thinking and talking 
of them, he felt that he must paint them in order to 
express his reverence and admiration. 

1 From Every Other Sunday. The Unitarian Sunday School Society, 
publishers. 

93 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

So he always used his art for reHgious purposes and in 
the most religious spirit. He never touched pencil or 
brush without first offering a prayer; and as he laid the 
colors upon his pictures of some sacred scene, he turned 
all his thoughts and imaginations to what is holy and 
heavenly. It seemed a sacrilege to him that any save a 
pure-minded man should try to represent the heavenly 
beings; and if one of his pupils uttered an oath or a vul- 
gar jest, or showed any sign of coarseness or vulgarity, 
Guido banished him from the studio at once, or at least 
forbade his having anything to do with the portrait of 
a saint or angel. Over and over again he said to the young 
men: "Only holy hands must paint a holy face. When 
a wicked man draws a picture of the blessed Christ he 
crucifies the son of God afresh and puts him to an open 
shame." 

But there was one pupil with whose character Guido 
was not at all pleased, and yet he could not turn him 
away. This was young Lorenzo, who was connected with 
the ruling family of Florence; and the artist would have 
been instantly banished from the city had he dared 
banish this youth from the studio. So in spite of a vio- 
lent, reckless temper, which continually showed itself 
in angry words, quick blows, and fierce quarrels, Lorenzo 
kept coming to the artist's room; and Guido was forced 
to endure his presence and give him the instruction he 
demanded. But for all that, the rules of the studio were 
still enforced, and the young man was never allowed to 
draw the features of saint or angel, much less of the 
Holy Child Jesus. He could touch nothing but the trees, 
rocks, or clouds that were introduced into the pictures, 

94 



HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

or paint the likeness of some man or demon who fig- 
ured in the scene. Thus, in the "Temptation of Jesus," 
Lorenzo was allowed to draw only the hkeness of the 
Devil, and in the conflict which Saint Michael carried 
on with the Dragon, he was forbidden to paint anything 
except the hideous face of the fiend. In vain did he pro- 
test against the rules that condemned him to this most 
odious part of an artist's work. "It must be that or 
nothing," the master replied. "In this studio of mine, 
only holy hands shall touch the pencil to a holy face.'* 
So the master kept on painting angels and growing more 
angelic, and the pupil painted fiends till he began some- 
what to resemble them himself. 

But at last there came a change. While Guido was 
frescoing the walls of Saint Mark's Convent in Florence, 
he found a manuscript sermon of Tauler, the German 
preacher, entitled "Holy Magic," and was led by curi- 
osity about the name to read it through from beginning 
to end. It was very short — in fact only about half as 
long as this story — and therefore it was finished in a 
very few minutes, but it was not forgotten through all 
the remaining years of his life. For the "Holy Magic" 
of which it told was the divine attraction in the face of 
Jesus Christ. "Whoever looks at the Saviour, long and 
steadily, begins to wish that he was like him," said the 
preacher; "and if you look at him long and steadily 
enough, you will actually become somewhat like him in 
thoughts, feelings, and even in your very face." The ser- 
mon closed with the New Testament words about be- 
holding the glory of the Lord, and being changed by that 
act into his "image," that is, into his likeness; for this 

95 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

is what was meant by "Holy Magic," and the preacher 
asked everybody to practice it. "I'll try the virtues of 
it as soon as I get home," said the artist to himself. 
"I'll practice this magic on that pupil of mine, and put 
its power to the test." 

So on the morrow, as the pupils assembled in the 
studio, the artist called Lorenzo to his side and bade 
him give up the work on which he was engaged and paint 
a picture of the Christ as he appeared to his disciples 
on the mountain-top when he was transfigured before 
them, and the fashion of his countenance was altered, 
and his raiment was white and glistening. All who h^ard 
the request were amazed at it, and the young man most 
of all. He could not believe the master was in earnest. 
It was a violation of the one law which had never been 
broken in that room. He looked up to see if he could 
have understood the order aright. But Guido merely 
pointed to his own picture of the Transfiguration, and 
signified his wish that Lorenzo should begin his task at 
once. 

And he did begin at once, with a mingling of eager- 
ness, anxiety, and fear, such as he had never known 
before; but as day followed day, he seemed no nearer 
the end than he was at first. Seldom did artist ever make 
slower progress. He would sit for an hour as if entranced 
before the master's picture, and then would go off into 
a day-dream about the glorified Christ, till the light 
faded from the room, and the pupils went away, and he 
was there alone without having drawn a line. Or if he 
drew a little one day, he erased it the next, for he said, 
"The Holy One is more beautiful than that." 



HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

Said the master one evening. "Lorenzo, have you 
painted the Christ? " 

"No, my master," he repHed; "He is too far away 
from me." 

"Then you must search for Him all the more," said 
Guido. 

And the next time, it was, "Have you finished the 
Christ, Lorenzo.'^" 

"No, my master; He is too high above me." 

"Then you must climb all the higher," said Guido. 

And^et again the question was, "Is that face drawn, 
Lorenzo?" 

. v"^"o, my master, I am not worthy to touch even the 
hem of his garment." 

"All the more reason why you should touch it," said 
Guido. "She who touched that, you remember, was 
healed." 

So week followed week, with very few changes on the 
canvas, but a great many changes in Lorenzo's nature, 
till at last he seemed as if the countenance of Jesus had 
been photographed on his mind. Then he began in real 
earnestness to paint, and seldom ceased his labors from 
the earliest dawn of light till the darkness forced him to 
lay aside the brush. It was done at last; and a more 
beautiful, loving, inspiring face has not often looked out 
of canvas. No pupil in Florence had ever achieved so 
marked a success, and the studio was crowded with citi- 
zens who were loud in expressing their delight. Guido 
himself praised it the most warmly of any, and declared 
that few, if any, of the masters in that day could sur- 
pass it. 

97 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Yet, among the young man's friends, the change in 
his character seemed more marvelous than his new 
genius for painting. One after another tried to account 
for it, but in vain. Guido alone knew the secret, and he 
would not tell it to the world. "It is the *Holy Magic,' " 
he whispered to himself. "Lorenzo has beheld the Lord's 
glory till he is changed into the Lord's likeness." 



xn 

THE LISTENING CHILD 

" Good stories enrich the mind with concrete types of character which 
interpret human nature, and with concrete situations which interpret 
the problems of human life. The merit of a story is, that it wins by 
allurement. It announces no moral imperative, but appeals to admi- 
ration, hope, and love." 

Susan E. Blow 

A COLLECTION of children's poems has been 
given the happy title of "The Listening Child." 
Children love to listen to rhymes and poems, but they 
listen to many other things also. Froebel called the 
young child, with his eager desire to see everything 
about him, *' an eye." The child might also be called '*an 
ear." He is always looking out upon the new and won- 
derful world in which he finds himself. He is also listen- 
ing all the time. Do we always realize this when we dis- 
cuss all manner of topics in the presence of a child .^ Do 
we think that he is really forming his ideas of people and 
things from what his elders are saying? The old saying, 
"Little pitchers have big ears," is a warning to older 
people to avoid bitter comment, slander, and gossip in 
the presence of children. Mrs. X's quarrels with her 
husband or her treatment of her mother-in-law do not 
afford good material for furnishing a child's mind. Not 
only is there danger of innocent repetition, but of giving 
wrong views of the world. 

Wordsworth has written much of the influence on 
99 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

character of lovely scenes from meadow, field, and 
grove. He speaks of the mind as 

" A mansion for all lovely forms, — 
The soul a dwelling-place for all sweet sounds and harmonies." 

The seeing child is all the time painting scenes to 
hang on the walls of his mind mansion. He is painting 
them from all he sees. The garden of flowers, the meadow 
dotted with daisies, the purple mountains, and the 
glowing sunset make beautiful pictures. These abide and 
make the world seem a lovely place in which to live. Bill- 
boards and lurid pictures from illustrated papers also 
become a part of the child's being and are wrought into 
the fabric of his life. 

Walt Whitman writes of the seeing and Hstening child 
thus: 

"There was a child went forth every day 

And the first object he looked upon and received with wonder, pity, 

love, or dread, that object he became. 
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of 

the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years. 

"The early lilacs became part of this child. 

And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red 
clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird." 

Do you try to make the table talk worth while and 
to keep it on subjects suitable for children to hear .5^ 
Those are fortunate children who can recall the bits of 
news, the talks of famous men and events, the stories 
that father told at dinner or in a winter's evening. More 
fortunate are those who begin their history and geog- 
raphy with the fascinating "Tales of a Grandfather.'* 
Look at the picture of little Walter Raleigh lying on the 

100 



THE LISTENING CHILD 

sands, listening to the tales or the Jolly Tar! The boy's 
eager eyes seem to be looking upon the distant scenes 
described. His ears are open to hear all that is told. The 
tiny boat with which he plays deepens his love of the sea 
and his desire to sail over it to find out what is beyond. 
America was his dream. Did the stories of brave deeds 
help to form the gallant youth who spread his cloak to 
keep the feet of England's queen from the wet street? 
Did the tales of the sea foster the love of adventure of 
the great explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh? 

The person with a story is the person most loved by 
children. Thrice blessed is the mother who has many 
stories. 

Like Silas Wegg she should be able to drop into 
poetry and into stories. She need not be versed in liter- 
ature, nor does she need to take much time from her 
busy day. "A twice-told tale" is better than a new tale. 
"Tell it again" is the constant response of a listening 
child. A book of children's tales is a good handbook for 
a mother and better worth her while than a popular 
magazine. 

Mother Goose is the beginning of song and story for 
children. Her rhymes and jingles will always be a part 
of the mother's store. A small boy of unusually active 
mind began at the age of three to ask constantly for his 
"Mamma Goose book" and his "post-cardies." He 
loved to listen to Mother Goose rhymes and later en- 
joyed other rhymes and poems. Picture post-cards gave 
him an interest in buildings, bridges, parks, and streets 
in Boston, New York, Chicago, London, and Paris. 

A little girl who had been brought up on what she 
101 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

called "The Child's Poerty Book," was overjoyed one 

winter's morning to see the city covered by a mantle of 

snow. "Oh, mamma!" she cried. "Look at the posts! 

They make me think of my poerty book, where it says : 

" Last night they looked like hooded monks 
And now they look like ghosts!" 

This listening child had gained love of poetry from her 
mother's reading. 

Can we overestimate the value of such a life posses- 
sion? The outer surroundings may be bare and bleak: 
but within is a land of beauty. Sorrow can never lead to 
despair, if one can retreat into a City of Refuge peopled 
by fairies and good spirits, radiant with hope and filled 
with song. 

The world of fancy, is like the world of play, the 
child's own world. The child, like early man, sees the 
world as a place of wonder. He does not know what 
things are, nor what they will do, but he imagines. He 
makes myths or stories to explain what he sees. Do not 
fear that rhymes and fanciful tales will lead away from 
truth. Facts are acquired as facts. Imagination has its 
Dlace in childhood. 

A few years ago this editorial appeared in The Out- 
look, which I commend to all who deal with children: 

"The newspapers report that a good woman in Massa- 
chusetts, desirous of advancing the interests of the race, 
proposes to undertake a campaign for the abolition of 
* Mother Goose,' * Alice in Wonderland,' and other 
stories of a similar kind. She declares that these stories 
are lies, and ought not to be tolerated. The same peri- 
odicity which rules in all things brings around at inter* 



THE LISTENING CHILD 

vals some literal-minded person who is apparently 
utterly unable to understand how children are made, 
what the needs of the human soul are, and the difference 
between falsehood and fiction. This good woman, with 
the best heart in the world, proposes to close the win- 
dows through which children look out on the imaginary 
world. It would really be as rational to abolish play 
because it is not work as to abolish fiction because it is 
not fact. If there ever was a time in the history of this 
country when the creative faculty needed culture, it is 
surely to-day. It would be the greatest blessing if a 
group of creative men and women would appear at this 
time, dealing, not with facts as they appear to the 
literal-minded, but as they stand in the order revealed 
by the imagination. When Mr. Gradgrind appears, from 
time to time, the worst of him is not that he is deadly 
uninteresting, but that he makes men unhappy by clos- 
ing the windows and suffocating them; and the worst 
thing about Coketown is that there is no place for chil- 
dren in it. Everybody is dealing with facts from morning 
until night, the air is black over the town, there are no 
stars with those wonderful stories which make them 
dear to the young imagination, there are no adventures 
of the spirit; there is nothing but hard toil by hard hands 
directed by hard brains. * Mother Goose' stands for a 
great principle, a great faculty, a great service, and a 
great need. She is a symbol of the life of the imagination. 
Any attempt to abolish her is as futile as the historic 
effort of the good lady of the strong will and the tireless 
broom who proposed to keep out the Atlantic.'* 

Fairy tales belong to children by divine right. Ches- 
103 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

terton says that fairyland is tlie sunny land of common 
sense. He finds his philosophy of life in fairy tales. 
"*Jack the Giant-Killer * teaches us a truth much 
needed to-day, that giants should be killed because 
they are gigantic. * Cinderella' repeats the theme of the 
'Magnificat': *He hath exalted the humble.' * Beauty 
and the Beast' tells us that a thing must be loved be- 
fore it is lovable. * Sleeping Beauty' brings us the 
comforting assurance that death may be a sleep." 

In other chapters I shall speak of the moral value 
of the story and of the place of books. Here I would like 
to make you see the value of telling stories in your home. 

Fortunate the little being in whose family there is 
some story-teller able to give the bread which feeds! 
In "Sartor Resartus" — that excellent pedagogic trea- 
tise — Carlyle gives a vivid picture of such a fortunate 
childhood. The mysterious stranger who left the infant 
as an invaluable loan for the good Father Andreas and 
the Mother Gretchen selected a favorable environment 
for the growth and development of the child. The sun- 
set sky with hues of gold and azure, viewed from the 
orchard wall where the boy had his supper; the brave 
old linden towering up from the village agora like a 
sacred tree; the swallows which come with the month 
of May; the Harvest Home and other festivities, all 
supplied influences conducive to the culture of body 
and mind. But best of all were those "twice-told tales" 
which opened up the world of the past and the great 
world of the far-away. Carlyle says: "Doubtless as 
childish sports call forth intellect and activity, so the 
young creature's imagination was stirred, and a his- 

104 



THE LISTENING CHILD 

torical tendency awakened by the narrative habit of 
Father Andreas, who, with his battle reminiscences, 
and gray, austere, and yet hearty patriarchal aspect, 
could not but appear another Ulysses, a much-enduring 
man. Eagerly I hung upon his tales, when listening 
neighbors lingered near the hearth. From these travels, 
wide and far almost as Hades itself, a dim world of ad- 
venture expanded within me. Incalculable also was the 
knowledge I gained from the old men under the linden 
tree. The whole of immensity was new to me, and had 
not these reverend seniors, talkative enough, been em- 
ployed in partial surveys for fourscore years? With 
amazement I began to discover that Entepfuhl stood 
in the middle of a country and of a world; that there 
was such a thing as history and geography to which I 
might one day by word and tongue contribute." \Miat 
an illustration of the natural method of gaining one's 
knowledge of the world and of life ! It is a method hon- 
ored by long usage, and dates back to those early days 
when fathers instructed their children through legends, 
and bards and minstrels wandered from place to place 
narrating the exploits of heroes, stirring the souls of 
their listeners to deeds of love and war. The interest in 
such tales will never wane. 

The culture of the imagination is especially necessary 
in a land where we boast the biggest buildings, the 
longest railroads, the most complete subways, and the 
richest men in the world. \Mien the practical invades 
at every point even into the toy world, where the latest 
events are chronicled in the shape of aeroplanes. Cook's 
sledges, Vanderbilt dolls and Kermit lions, special 

105 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

effort is needed to keep children in the realm of fancy 
which is theirs by right of eminent domain. The pathetic 
lines of Charles Kingsley could be revised to-day: 

"I lost my poor little doll, dears. 
As I went to the shops one day. 
For I found she was all out of date, dears. 
So I had to put her away: 
For kangaroos, lions, and bears, dears. 
Are now quite the thing, they say. 
But for old time's sake, just once, dears, 
I should like to have dolly and play." 

If a boy is unable to manage these intricate mechan- 
isms, falsely classed as toys, he can have cowboys and 
cavalrymen mounted on horses, with heads that come 
off in case any of them are slain. Shades of the prison- 
house! One cannot even imagine a dead soldier: but 
press or turn a peg and the head comes off. All the more 
need of a continuous course in fairy tales, myths, 
legends, fables, and nonsense rhymes, beginning with 
Mother Goose, that depository of the wisdom of the 
ages touched with the magic gold of childhood. 

We may be able to supplant the repartee of Kidville 
and the rhymes of Foxy Grandpa, by other equally 
rhythmic verses; as, for instance: 

"Peterkin Paul was so very polite 
That he said to the stones on the street, 
'Excuse me, I pray, for stepping on you. 
But there's no other place for my feet.'" 

Wonder rhymes and tales are desirable in an age 

which attempts to explain everything even to babes 

and sucklings. Let us still believe and say that it is a 

** Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful world." 

106 



THE LISTENING CHILD 

The stories should be true in that deep sense in which 
Hans Andersen says of his tales, "And this is a true 
story." They should conform to that truth which abides 
when so-called facts change and vanish, like certain 
phenomena of the North Pole. The ideals of the story 
should be those which furnish helps over the hard places 
of everyday life. They should make compelling the in- 
ward injimction, "Go, and do thou, likewise." 



xm 

THE STORY 

"A story, when used at the proper time, is a mirror for the mind.'* 

Froebel 

WE do not need to create a story interest among 
children. It is forever there. The land of fancy 
is the land in which they mostly dwell. To the child 
of to-day, as of yore, the thunder is the voice of Jove, 
and the lightning the arrows of his wrath; the sky is 
the floor of heaven, and the stars the lamps hung out 
to light the traveler in the dark. The floating cloud, 
moving from hill to hill and lighting on each one, is 
the winged horse which bears some noble hero on his 
quest. The sea is full of mermaidens, who rock them- 
selves to sleep among the billows and dance in the 
twilight on the shore behind the curtain of the mist. 
Every tree has its dr^^ad, and every fountain its nymph. 
The fairies dance under the spreading tree, and the 
rivers run on golden feet shod with the wealth of Midas. 
It is a "great, wide, beautiful, wonderful world," and 
the story is forever the natural form of its interpreta- 
tion. As an agency of the school there is danger that 
it may be sacrificed sometimes to the teacher's zeal to 
impart information of the useful order or to teach scieg^ 
tific facts, or it may be subjected to the analytic m^^hod 
destructive of the life and interest of any subJ6i^.,The 
story is not a means of didactic instruction, nor a me- 

108 



THE STORY 

dium of conveying knowledge to unwilling minds, but 
rather, as Froebel says, "it is a strengthening bath for 
the mind," a means of self -disco very, self-expression, 
and self -expansion. There is less temptation to pervert 
the story in the home than in the schoolroom. The in- 
trusion of the didactic and scientific is less possible. 
The mother should be "the person with the story." 
All depends upon her choice of a story. In content and 
form it must be suitable to the age of her hearers. It 
must be simple, dramatic, and full of fancy. 

Animal life possesses an absorbing interest for young 
children. For generations the popular vote has favored 
such tales as "Chicken Little," "The Little Red Hen," 
"Three Pigs," and many others. Such modern tales as 
"The Kitten Who Forgot to Mew," "Little Black 
Sambo," and the Br'er Rabbit series have secured the 
stamp of approval from many groups of children. Let 
us not fail to add "Jungle" stories, and "Just So 
Stories," and even some of those more advanced tales 
such as "Lobo and the Wolf." 

The picture story has always been a favorite since 
the time the cave dwellers scratched on their rocky 
walls outlines of the animals they hunted, and the 
strange things they had seen, and rehearsed their ad- 
ventures to their children. "Little Black Sambo" is 
an excellent type of this kind of story where the in- 
terest is sustained by suspended narration, and by 
fteljuent pictures. A sharp stick, and the sand of the 
se^sEb^, OP the playground sand-heap, when smoothed 
andT)repared by the children, offer a good opportunity 
for crude illustration, and may beget some sand artists 

lOd 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

among the children. A piece of colored crayon and a 
sheet of rough paper may occasionally be used also. 
The argument for the Sunday colored supplement 
rests on the delight of the children in adventure, and it 
is assumed that the rude and disgraceful deeds of 
Buster Brown and his colleagues, and the sad plight 
of their venerable victims, are the kinds of adventure 
demanded. The flaunting colors are added to satisfy 
the barbaric taste which is supposed to survive in the 
young of every generation. The sanity of this argument 
is only rivaled by that which responds to an American 
boy's delight in noise and to his stage of racial develop- 
ment by furnishing him w^ith cannon crackers and air 
guns to celebrate the birth of our National Independ- 
ence, while most of his neighbors lament, for that day 
at least, that they were not born in any other country 
where independence is not confounded with license and 
patriotism is not expressed by explosives. 

The schools teach harmony of color and design. The 
taxpayer furnishes such teaching to educate his chil- 
dren in art, and then vainly hopes that such knowledge 
will be more effective in awakening the color sense and 
appreciation of art than the constant appeal to the eye 
made by the barbaric colors and the monstrous draw- 
ings sti'etched out on the porch and in every room 
where a Sunday paper is taken, "to please the children." 
That children delight in color and adventure is true. 
It is equally true that both must be supplied, and the 
story is a right medium. Would that the skill that 
artists now employ in devising tricky and vulgar situ- 
ations could be turned in the direction of illustrating 

110 



THE STORY 

some of the old fairy and hero tales which are full of 
interesting and delightful scenes ! Would there be a dim- 
inution of revenue for the Sunday supplement if it 
gave a course of sketches from "Cinderella," "Jack 
and the Bean Stalk," "Sleeping Beauty," "Jason and 
the Golden Fleece," tales of Theseus and Perseus, and 
made a serial story of the adventures of Siegfried, The 
Cid, Achilles, and King Arthur? For the very little 
ones, the old picture-books with rhyme stories, or the 
scrap-book made by the mother herself with picture 
stories, are a perennial delight. Mother Goose, the 
"Sing-Song" of Christina G. Rossetti, and other jingles 
are often desirable, as steps to the real story, and a 
means of gaining power of attention. A kindergartner 
in one of the centers of foreign population, where the 
children knew little English and had few ideas with 
which to interpret tales, found herself obliged to begin 
with such a simple story as, 

"I had a little doggie once. 
Who used to sit and beg. 
My little doggie fell downstairs. 
And broke his little leg." 

The mental pictures suggested were familiar, and the 
'children understood and listened with delight and called 
for the story again and again. Gradually they listened to 
longer rhymes, and eventually to a simple story. If the 
children do not enjoy a story, it is the fault of the 
narrator. She has not chosen the right story. Maybe 
the story goes "over the heads" of her hearers, as we 
say. Maybe its theme is not one to interest young 
children. 

Ill 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Much depends on the manner of teUing. The story- 
teller should know her story so well that she does not 
hesitate for a phrase nor stumble over a situation. She 
should use simple language, avoiding words the mean- 
ing of which would be unknown to her hearers. She 
should be dramatic. That sounds like a difficult de- 
mand. It is not. Any one who really sees a situation 
can describe it in a vivid way. He can picture it so well 
that another person can see it too. That is dramatic art. 
K you have ever heard a person who has been in a rail- 
way accident tell what happened, you have had a 
dramatic story. If you have heard the account from 
some one who has it second-hand, you have probably 
missed much of the dramatic interest. 

Pause in the telling of the story just before some im- 
portant happening and you will arrest attention. A 
question often helps too; as, "Where could he go then?" 
or, "What do you think he did?" After children have 
become familiar with a story, they like to supply a 
missing word; as, "The Duck family lived in the . . ."; 
"Mother Duck said to her baby ducks: *My children, 
now you must . . .' " Good phrasing and inflection add 
to the interest and value of the story. 

Little David loved to hear stories told or read. A new 
helper came into the family who was not a fluent reader. 
David asked for a story, but said, "I don't want her 
to read to me." 

Do not hesitate to tell the same old stories over and 
over. Children love twice-told tales. They love them 
better as they grow more familiar with the scenes and 
the personages. They love the oft-repeated form of 

lis 



THE STORY 

words. For this reason a story with much repetition is 
desirable, as "The Little Red Hen," "The House that 
Jack Built," "The Pig and the StHe" and "The Tree 
and the Nest." 

Mothers should know many stories. They should 
love their stories and live with them. 

Would that all mothers were like Barrie's mother, 
who made him see the towm in which he lived through 
her eyes by the charming stories she told him of its 
past and the people who used to live there! Your best 
story begins: "WTien I was a little girl." 

Stories are the beginning of literature. Mothers who 
tell stories are the first teachers of literature. They give 
their children the key to the great realm where dwell 
the great and mighty of all times. 



XIV 
THE DREAMER 

"Why William on that old gray stone. 
Thus for the length of half a day. 
Why William sit you thus alone. 
And dream your time away?" 

Wordsworth 

ONCE there were two boys who hved in the same 
home. One was quick, alert, and ready to help. 
He had "gumption." He knew what to do with his 
hands. He helped his father in the barn and in the shed, 
and did his work well. He was never in the way of his 
mother. He did his task and then ran out to play. He 
could run fast. He could make high jumps. He could hit 
a mark with an arrow or a ball. "A fine lad," said his 
father. "He will make a man." And he did. He became a 
good business man, energetic in his work, prosperous 
and respected by his fellow townsmen. 

And the other boy.^ The other boy was a dreamer. 
He worried his mother because he "sat around" so 
much. He did not care to run and jump and climb trees. 
He could not do any of these things well. He was clumsy 
when he tried to do jobs, and did not see things to do. 
He was sometimes found in the attic, lying on the floor, 
leaning on his elbow reading an old book. Sometimes 
he fled to the deep woods to lie on the ground and watch 
the clouds sailing in the sky. He loved flowers and birds 
and spent hours watching them. Sometimes he scribbled 

114 



THE DREAMER 

something on odd sheets of paper which he would hide 
away when any one looked. 

He was slow at school and the teacher thought he 
would never "get on." "A dull lad," said his father. 
"What will become of him?" 

But the mother loved this dull lad. She bought him 
books and gave him a desk and a quiet corner to keep by 
himself. 

This lad became a singer of sweet songs and his words 
were sung around the world. 

The Bible story of Joseph tells us of such a dreamer. 
His brothers were good workmen, who bound their 
sheaves and did not trouble themselves about dreams. 
"But Joseph dreamed a dream and he told it to his 
brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he 
dreamed yet another dream, and he told it to his father 
and his brethren. And his brethren envied him; but his 
father observed the saying." 

The father loved the dreamer more than all his chil- 
dren; but his hard-working brethren scorned him. "Be- 
hold the dreamer cometh," they said in derision, and 
they cast him into a pit, thinking to be rid of him and 
his troublesome dreams forever. 

But Joseph's dreams became the means of saving 
his own life and the lives of all his brethren. Because he 
dreamed dreams and thought upon them, he was able 
to interpret the dreams of the chief butler and of King 
Pharaoh himself. 

The boy who dreamed and who learned to interpret 
dreams found that they all came true. He became ruler 
of Egypt. He remembered his dreams and stored food 

115 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

against the time of famine. When his brethren came 
to him for food, he remembered the dreams which he 
dreamed of them. They bowed to him even as he 
dreamed and the dreamer had the power to rule over 
them and to help them. 

The dreaming child is often difficult to understand 
and difficult to manage. 

"I don't wish to go to kindergarten to-day," said 
little Paul one morning. 

"Why not?" asked his mother. "You have always 
liked to go." 

"Oh, she disturbs me," said Paul. "She says, *Paul, 
Paul, why don't you attend to me?' I don't wish to 
attend to her. I am making plans." 

All Pauls are trying, no doubt. Is it wise sometimes to 
try to find out what their plans are rather than to force 
ours upon them? 

REMEMBERING OUR CHILDHOOD 

If we recall our own childish feelings of wonder and 
deUght over many things we saw and heard, it will 
help us to understand the wondering child. Agnes 
Edwards writes sympathetically of the feelings of the 
child who is sensitive to the world of w^onders. She 
says: 

"It is curious that grown people foi^et so soon the 
delights and griefs of childhood. They forget the vague 
feeling of bewilderment that creeps up from all sides 
when one is beginning to get acquainted with the 
world. They forget the utter bHss of swinging in an 
old hammock under the trees, and gazing up into the 

116 



THE DREAMER 

sky and crooning some song with a long monotonous 
refrain. 

*'They forget the feeHng of isolation and self -com- 
pleteness of living with one's fancies — during that 
mystical time when the real things are the things that 
grown-up people never see, and when common events, 
like washing one's face and coming in on time to meals, 
are quite unimportant and uninteresting. And they for- 
get that sense of complete trust and faith with which a 
child puts her sleepy arms around her mother's neck and 
is carried upstairs and slipped into bed in a dozy haze of 
comfort. 

"Surely grown people must forget all these things or 
they would never break so rudely in upon the reveries 
of their children, suggesting the moving-picture show 
to replace the visions that float by the eyes of every 
child — offering fancy creams and college ices to one 
who is quite content with the sprinkle of sugar on a 
rose leaf. 

"I saw a child the other evening who is everything 
we mean when we say *a lovely child.' She has lived all 
of her five years in the country with her mother as a 
companion and gentle guide. This little girl has for toys 
her flower-bed and her own watering-pot; she knows 
every tree for acres around, and each soft baby leaf is 
welcomed with a ripple of delight, or with the gentlest 
touch of tiny fingers. The soft grass is caressingly loved, 
and each wee green thing that pushes its head up 
through the earth is anxiously waited for and tenderly 
guarded. 

"Can you think of anything more exquisite than a 
117 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

little child who feels a kinship with everything in 
Nature? Can you think of a better school in gentle- 
ness than the garden, or a wiser teacher of observation 
than Nature herself in pasture or in wood?" 

WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE 

We should be less impatient with the dreaming child 
if we realized to what his dreaming may lead. 

Thomas x\quinas was called a cow by his teachers 
because he seemed so dull and far away. He was really 
thinking the long thoughts which led to his later med- 
itations. These have become a world possession. 

I suppose Watt's grandmother was a good deal dis- 
turbed when the boy fussed around the kitchen stove 
with her tea-kettle. 

Was any one disturbed by the dreams of little 
Christopher as he sat on the sands looking far across 
the sea, dreaming of the lands beyond? 

Annie E. Allen, in "St. Nicholas," has pictured him 
thus: 

"O little lad of Genoa, 

Did you not dream when still a child 

Of ships that onward sailed and sailed — 

Of gleaming pearls — of forests wild? 

"Did splendid lands no eye had seen, 
As fair as morning, bless your view? 
Did you not often dream and dream 
Until it seemed your dream came true? 

"O little lad of Genoa, 

Of what avail skill, compass, chart? 
Steadfast, could you have found your goal 
Without the dream that filled your heart?" 

118 



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THE FIRST INSPIRATIONS OF COLUMBUS 



THE DREAMER 

Hans Andersen was a dreamy, awkward boy. His 
sufferings are hinted in "The Ugly Duckling": 

"And the Duckling sat in a corner and was mel- 
ancholy; then the fresh air and the sunshine streamed 
in; and it was seized with such a strange longing to 
swim on the water, that it could not help telling the 
Hen of it. 

"*What are you thinking of?' cried the Hen. 'You 
have nothing to do, that 's why you have these fancies. 
Purr or lay eggs, and they will pass over.' 

"*But it is so charming to swim on the water!" 
said the Duckling; *so refreshing to let it close above 
one's head, and to dive down to the bottom.' 

"*Yes, that must be a mighty pleasure truly,' quoth 
the Hen. 'I fancy you must have gone crazy. Ask the 
Cat about it — he 's the cleverest animal I know — 
ask him if he likes to swim on the water, or to dive 
down: I won't speak about myself. Ask our mistress, 
the old woman; no one in the world is cleverer than she. 
Do you think she has any desire to swim, and to let 
the water close above her head.-^' 

"*You don't understand me,' said the Duckling. 

"*We don't understand you? Then pray who is to 
understand you? You surely don't pretend to be cleverer 
than the Tom Gat and the old woman — I won't say 
anything of myself. Don't be conceited, child, and be 
grateful for all the kindness that you have received. 
Did you not get into a warm room, and have you not 
fallen into company from which you may learn some- 
thing? But you are a chatterer, and it is not pleasant to 
associate with you. You may believe me, I speak for 

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TALKS TO MOTHERS 

your good. I tell you disagreeable things, and by that 
one may always know one's friends. Only take care 
that you learn to lay eggs, or to purr and give out 
sparks ! ' 

"*I think I will go out into the wide world,' said the 
Duckling. 

"'Yes, do go,' replied the Hen." 

THE CHILD WHO WONDERS 

In Dickens's "Child's Dream of a Star" he describes 
the child who dreams of what is beyond the world of 
sense : 

"There was once a child, and he strolled about a 
good deal, and thought of a number of things. He had a 
sister, who was a child too, and his constant companion. 
These two used to wonder all day long. They wondered 
at the beauty of the flowers; they wondered at the 
height and blueness of the sky; they wondered at the 
depth of the bright water; they wondered at the good- 
ness and the power of God who made the lovely 
world. 

"They used to say to one another, sometimes. Sup- 
posing all the children upon earth were to die, would 
the flowers, and the water, and the sky be sorry .^ For, 
said they, the buds are the children of the flowers, and 
the httle playful streams that gambol down the hill- 
sides are the children of the water; and the smallest 
bright specks, playing at hide and seek in the sky all 
night, must surely be the children of the stars; and they 
would all be grieved to see their playmates, the children 
of men, no more." 

120 



THE DREAMER 

The child who wonders and questions has started 
on the road that leads to a vision of the divine. 

Beware lest we hinder this quest by neglect or by 
foolish answers to the wonder questions ! 

"Twinkle, twinkle, little star. 
How I wonder what you are! 
Up above the world so high 
Like a diamond in the sky." 

Froebel says: "As the child looks out into the new and 
strange world he seeks explanations of all he sees. He 
accepts what is told him whether true or false. It is im- 
portant for his understanding that the truth should be 
told him. It makes a difference whether he looks for the 
man in the moon, or whether he looks upon the moon 
as a beautiful, swimming ball of hght, whether the stars 
are golden pins or lamps, or whether they are distant, 
glowing suns. The first explanation is dead, although 
it seems to connect with life; the latter has within it 
the seed of truth and further development. Truth never 
does harm, but error does even if later it leads to truth. 
As far as they can comprehend, children should have 
the truth." 

THE GARDEN OF BLUEBELLS 

By Isa L. Wright 

Once in the days of Long Ago, there lived a wee man 
in a wee house. The house was old and the wee man 
was old, but his heart was as young as the springtime, 
and as glad as the bluebells growing in his garden. 
Such wonderful bluebells they were, deeply blue, like 
the springtime skies, and a touch of gold at their 

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TALKS TO MOTHERS 

hearts like the sunbeams that shone upon them. From 
far and wide people flocked to see them, and whenever 
they entered the garden, the bluebells seemed to ring 
a welcome as they swayed in the morning breeze, and 
folks did declare they could hear them sing, "Come, 
joy with us, for it is springtime ! It is springtime ! " 

And springtime it seemed to be for them always. Sum- 
mer and winter alike they blossomed on. Although snow 
covered the ground elsewhere, it always melted on the 
garden plot where the bluebells were growing. All the 
year round they looked up at the blue sky or nodded to 
the merry country folks who came to walk among them. 
"They are bewitched!*' said one and all; "but it is a 
sweet witchery that keeps us all glad." 

And now it chanced one morning that a certain rich 
man passed by and heard the happy voices of those who 
made merry among the flowers. He stamped the snow 
from his feet as he came up the garden path and it 
melted into wee drops of water that glistened in the 
sun. 

"Bluebells! and growing in the winter-time.'*" he 
asked; "and how is that?" 

"I know not how it be," smiled the wee man, "but it 
seems to be their way to bloom always and to sing." 

And from every little bluebell cup a wee voice sang to 
the rich man, "Come, joy \vith us, for it is spring! It is 
spring ! " 

"Hear them!" said the wee man, and his face was 
covered with the sunniest of smiles. 

"I hear nothing," said the rich man, "but the soil 
must be wonderful to grow flowers summer and winter. 

122 



THE DREAMER 

A pity it be not planted to some more useful thing than 
bluebells." 

"Nay!" said the wee man, "but they keep all the 
country folk glad with their blooming." 

"And what matters that. 5^" The rich man frowned. 
"Let the country folk seek elsewhere for their gladness. 
I shall speak to the King about it. Magic ground should 
be planted to better advantage. A wonderful crop of use- 
ful things could this ground yield, summer and winter." 

"An it please you," smiled the wee man again, "what 
better could a garden yield than happiness.^" 

"Many things," asserted the rich man as he turned 
to go. 

And it came to pass just as the rich man had said, for 
when he returned, days afterward, he carried with him 
huge bags of money. "The King sends you much gold in 
exchange for your garden plot," he cried. "You can have 
now all that heart could desire, and the garden will grow 
useful crops for the King." 

So the gardeners went to work with plough and spade 
and they uprooted all the bluebells, and in their place 
they planted cabbages and beets and turnips. And the 
wee man stayed in the house and lighted his little stove 
and sat down beside it. And when the country folks 
came to walk again in the garden, they were sad, "Ah, 
me!" they cried, "'tis spring no more, but winter." 
And they shivered and went home. 

And the next morning the snow fell thicker and faster. 
It covered the beets and cabbages and the turnips with 
a white mantle and it froze them stiff. And the rich man 
came running quickly when he heard of it. 

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TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"There is a bluebell somewhere in the garden," he 
told the wee man. "And it has bewitched the ground. 
We must search for it." 

And over the garden plot went the rich man and his 
workers. They dug up the frozen cabbages and beets and 
turnips and they spaded the hard ground, and just as 
they were about to give up, a small voice sang out, 
"Come, joy with me, for it is springtime! It is spring- 
time!" 

"Ah! My little bluebell!" cried the wee man, as he 
bent down to it. But the rich man pulled it up and tore 
the blossom from the stem and threw it out into the 
street. 

"Now the garden will grow useful things!" he said. 

That night, when none were looking, the wee man 
crept out to the street and picked up the bluebell root 
and planted it in a little box. And it grew and blossomed 
for him in the little wee house. 

And once again in the garden plot they planted the 
cabbages and beets and turnips. And no sooner were 
they planted than there came a swarm of locusts. No 
other garden did the locusts touch, but they ate all the 
cabbages and the beets and the turnips, leaf and stem 
and stalk, and left the ground bare and brown. 

"Now, by my word!" vowed the rich man when he 
heard of it, "'tis the wee man himself who has be- 
witched the ground. He must be taken away that the 
garden may grow its wonderful crop of useful things for 
the King." 

So again he came to the wee man with bags of money. 
"The King sends you more gold," he said, "and he asks 

124 



THE DREAMER 

that you journey to the castle court and there abide that 
the garden may the better grow and yield wonderful 
crops of useful things.*' 

"An it please the King," answered the wee man, "I 
will go." And underneath his coat he slipped the bluebell 
plant. 

And again they planted the garden with cabbages and 
beets and turnips, but no sooner were they planted than 
a fierce and blazing sun scorched the leaves and with- 
ered them. It crackled the stems till they snapped, and 
once again the ground was bare and brown. 

"Somewhere there still lives one of the bluebells!" 
shouted the rich man ; " an it take the half of my fortune, 
I will find it. Who knows but what the wee man himself 
is keeping it alive. I, myself, will journey to the King's 
castle, and see the last bluebell torn root from flower." 

Even as he spoke, he prepared to journey forth. 

And while he journeyed, strange things were happen- 
ing in the King's castle. In a wee hut in the outer court- 
yard dwelt the wee man, and though no one knew it, 
there dwelt with him the little bluebell. Every morning 
it sang to him, and the wee man laughed as he joyed 
with it. And as it sang one morning, the King's little 
lame daughter passed by on her crutches, and, hearing 
it, the little Princess came up the step and pushed the 
door open, saying, "Please sing the song again, wee 
man." 

And the wee man helped her in as he said, "Nay,. 
Princess, 't is not I who sing, but the bluebell." And he« 
put it in her hand. 

"Sing to me, little flower! " cried the King's daughter; 
125 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

and the bluebell sang again, " Come, joy with me, for it 
is springtime! It is springtime!" 

And the little Princess laughed and clapped her hands 
and, forgetting all about her crutch, she danced around 
the room as a happy little girl should do. And the wee 
man danced with her. And when they were tired of danc- 
ing, they sat down by the bluebell and the wee man told 
her wonderful stories of the spring. And those without, 
of the King's household, were searching for the little 
Princess in every place where a King's daughter was 
ever known to go, but they found her not. 

And while they searched, the rich man came to the 
King from out of his journeying, and many a complaint 
had he to make of the bluebells and the wee man. 

''Bother me not with your foolish bluebells!" cried 
the King. "Mine own Httle daughter is lost and none can 
find her." 

Then the rich man came closer to the King. "If the 
wee man," he said, "can bewitch a garden, may it not 
be that he has bewitched the Princess as well? Let us 
seek him." 

So the King hastened to the hut where dwelt the wee 
man, and boldly he pushed open the door. It was his 
little daughter who danced to meet him. "Come, joy 
with me!" she sang, "for it is springtime! It is spring- 
time!" 

"Your crutch, my child ! " cried the King. 

But the Princess laughed. "I had forgotten it. Fa- 
ther," she said as she ran to the bluebell. "See the wee 
man's flower ! And it sings of the spring ! " 

"Ah!" spoke the rich man, "said I not so? The wee 
126 



THE DREAMER 

man's bluebell has bewitched the garden and now would 
bewitch the Princess, too. Let us rend it bloom from 
stem!" 

But the Princess stood up straight and tall and her 
eyes flashed. "You shall not touch the wee man's blue- 
bell!" she said. 

Then the King spoke. "Tell us, wee man, how can a 
flower work such strange miracles?" 

"That I know not, O King," answered the wee man. 
" It is but a flower from my garden, with leaf and stem 
and root like any other. Must it be destroyed because it 
sings only of the springtime.'^" 

But the King's little daughter shook her head. "It 
shall live, wee man," she said, "and you and I together 
will plant a garden full of bluebells. And they will sing 
to us, and the King, my father, will walk among them 
and they will sing to him. Where shall we plant it, wee 
man?" 

The wee man smiled. "An it please the King to grant 
it, I should like mine own garden back. Though all lands 
are fair, yet is there no place so dear as home." 

"And you shall have your own back again," quoth 
the King, "and a shame on me that I ever made you 
sell it." 

And so it all came to pass as the Princess and the King 
had said. Bluebells once more filled the wee man's gar- 
den and the country folk from near and far came back 
with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. Sum- 
mer and winter they blossom and sing to all who enter 
the garden, "Come, joy with us, for it is springtime! 
It is springtime!" 

127 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

And the King and the little Princess walk often with 
the wee man among the bluebells, for where better could 
a King and his royal little daughter walk than with those 
who sing ever of the springtime? 



XV 

THE CHILD AND HIS BOOK 

"My Book and Heart 
Shall never part." 

New England Primer 

THE listening child naturally becomes the reading 
child. Stories are the beginning of literature. 
The interest aroused by the fireside tale carries over 
into the enjoyment of books. Do you know that you 
hold the key to the kingdom of books .^^ The reading 
interest is not often acquired in the school if it has not 
been awakened in the home. My experience of a quarter 
of a century in dealing with young women has proved 
to me that the friendship with books must be formed in 
the family circle. The joy in books is a joy which cannot 
be taken away. The enrichment of life which comes from 
wide reading is better than any other wealth. The 
meager vocabulary of many young men and women is 
due to meager reading. Facility in expression and cor- 
rectness in language come from the assimilation of 
style and thought of good authors. 

"Reading maketh a full man, writing an exact man," 
says Lord Bacon. Both are necessary for a good edu- 
cation. Both should be acquired in the home circle. 
The early joy in a story becomes a permanent source 
of happiness when the child can read. A new door is 
opened to a realm wide as the world "peopled with the 
great and mighty of every realm and clime." The love 

129 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

of books is contagious. Father and mother communi- 
cate it to children. 

Professor Selah Howell, a teacher in the Boston 
Latin School, read with his children every evening for 
an hour. In his will is the following clause: "To my 
three children, Fred Bardwell, Fanny Edna, and Wil- 
liam Westcott, the following books as souvenirs of the 
happy days of their childhood when we read them to- 
gether — the books to be apportioned as they may 
agree: 'Volume of the Nursery,' 'Robinson Crusoe,' 
*The Swiss Family Robinson,' * Little Lord Fauntleroy,' 
'Little Women,' 'Little Men,' 'Joe's Boys,' 'Jack and 
Jill,' 'Tom Brown's School Days.' 'The RoUo Books' 
I give to the one of my children who has the most 
children. If none of them have children, which God 
forbid, the 'RoUo Books' are to be divided equally 
among the joys of my life, the said Fred, Fanny, and 
Will." Could any father leave any richer inheritance 
to his children? 

The home library may be small; perhaps better so, 
because the books will be read and re-read. Abraham 
Lincoln formed his thought and his style, which has 
never been surpassed, from much reading of these 
books: "The Bible," ".Esop," "Pilgrim's Progress," 
"Robinson Crusoe," a book of history, and Weems's 
"Life of Washington" — a limited list! But these 
books gave great thoughts to a boy's soul and made a 
great man. Another great American, Theodore Roose- 
velt, owed much to the companionship of books. Books 
accompanied him on his long exploring trip when bag- 
gage was reduced to a minimun. His "pigskin library" 

130 



THE CHILD AND HIS BOOK 

which he took on his African expedition has become 
famous. Many of the books are beyond the interest 
of the average boy or man. We are glad, however, to 
find some of our favorite titles, " AHce in Wonderland," 
"Through the Looking Glass," Shakespeare, Homer's 
"Ihad," "Odyssey," Longfellow, Tennyson, Mark 
Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Saw^^er," 
Scott's "Guy Mannering" and "Waverley," "Rob 
Roy" and "Antiquary," Dickens's "Mutual Friend'* 
and "Pickwick." Roosevelt says of his books: "They 
were for use, not for ornament. I almost always had 
some volume with me, either in my saddle-pocket or 
in the cartridge-bag which one of my gun-bearers 
carried to hold odds and ends. Often my reading would 
be done while resting under a tree at noon." Such a 
love of books was the result of a boyhood of reading. 
A settlement worker in a crowded quarter of a great 
city was so successful in his book-club that soap-boxes 
were in great request for home libraries. One little 
girl begged the club leader to come and see her library. 
With joy she showed a clean soap-box with one shelf 
inserted on which was one paper book. It was a good 
beginning of a library because the desire for collecting 
was there. The instinct for collecting should be utilized 
in acquiring picture-books and other books. A shelf 
in the sitting-room or a box made into a bookcase is 
the stimulus to the making of a library. The library- 
grows slowly by the addition of birthday books and 
Christmas books, but these books are prized more be- 
cause they are few and gradually acquired. Time is 
necessary for the assimilation of mental food as it is for 

131 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

bodily food. You mothers must aid in a wise selection. 
The appetite for tales must be fed. If neither home nor 
school does anything to satisfy this appetite, the boy 
f«€ds himself. He spends a dime on the "Adventures of 
Old Sleuth" or "Deadwood Dick." 

The home should begin the reading habit which the 
school fosters and develops into a love of literature and 
an appreciation of the best books. 

In November 1919, Children's Book Week was 
celebrated throughout the United States. A national 
campaign was undertaken to stimulate a love of read- 
ing among children and young people, and to direct 
the attention of parents to the importance of choosing 
the right books. Books were displayed in bookshops 
and in libraries to attract the attention of readers to 
the best books. 

READING ALOUD TO THE CHILD 

By Hamlin Garland 

The value of reading aloud to a child cannot be over- 
stated. In the first place, it establishes a delightful com- 
radeship between parent and child. It builds a lasting 
foundation of common interest and mutual under- 
standing. The child associates with the face and the 
voice of his sire much of the dignity and poetry of the 
book he has heard read. He infers that his father has 
something of the quality of the author, and he carries 
with him a grateful memory of the busy man who laid 
aside his large affairs in order to give pleasure to a small 
boy. 

A father's voice can vitalize the printed page to his 
132 



THE CHILD AND HIS BOOK 

son even before the son can comprehend the written 
words. I commenced reading aloud to my daughters 
before they could understand the spoken words for the 
reason that the very music of the ballad or the drift of 
the story enthralled them. It was good to see them 
strive to comprehend. It developed their imagination. 
They are growing toward womanhood now and they 
are able to tell me that they remember those nights 
when I read to them, with an emotion which they find 
hard fittingly to express. I gave them both, in this way, 
a feeling for glorious verse, and a love for choice words 
which has been of the highest value to them up to this 
time, and which will increase in value as the years pass. 

The father should remember that his child's mind is 
like a phonographic cylinder of most tenacious ad- 
hesiveness, and in this understanding he should exer- 
cise the greatest care in choosing the impressions which 
he is about to lay upon it. The younger the child the 
more lasting the record. To prove this the father has 
but to recall his own boyhood and the words which 
caused indelible scars or laid equally indelibly beauti- 
ful pictures upon his own mind. 

My father did not read to me, but he told me stories, 
and these stories were of the greatest value to me in my 
fictional work in after life. I am grateful for all his tales, 
and it is a special source of satisfaction to me that I 
have no recollection of ever hearing from his lips an 
unworthy or ribald jest. 

G. W. Tuttle in Child Welfare Magazine tells how 
unother parent directs the book interest in the kome; 

133 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Our little girl is now nearly two and a half years old, 
and she has never tired of her scrap-books. Through 
them she has become acquainted with the different ani- 
mals and the sound made by each, and is able to connect 
the animals and their calls. 

"The number of books of this kind which would be of 
great educational value to the child is almost limitless. 
Birds, flowers, vegetables, trades, farming, and history 
might all be presented to the child in this form. As our 
little girl grows older we have planned books of harvest- 
ing pictures showing the various stages in the growth of 
wheat from the preparation of the soil, planting of the 
seed, and so on, until it passes through the hands of the 
miller and baker and finally reaches the child in the form 
of her daily bread. 

"Another interesting process is the building of the 
home from the trees to the finished product. This book 
will contain pictures of the forest where the trees grow, 
the man felling the great trees, the horses and wagons 
which haul the trees to the sawmill, the cutting and 
planing of the boards, the train which transports them 
to the lumber-yard, the boards piled high in the lumber- 
yard, the carpenter at work putting the boards together, 
the house in the process of construction, and lastly the 
finished home and the family who lives in it. From these 
process books, the child can be led to realize that it takes 
rain, sunshine, and warmth to make the trees and the 
grains grow, and that there are many people to thank for 
providing our simplest food, and that above all, God is 
the great source of everything." 



XVI 

THE LITTLE ACTOR 

**A wedding or a festival, 
A mourning or a funeral : 

And this hath now his heart. 
And unto this he frames his song: 

Then will be fit his tongue 
To dialogues of business, love, or strife. 

But it will not be long 

Ere this be thrown aside. 

And with new joy and pride 
The little actor cons another part: 
Filling from time to time his 'humorous stage* 
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age, 
That Life brings with her in her Equipage: 

As if his whole vocation 

Were endless imitation." 

Wordsworth 

I AM a queen. These are my ladies in waiting." Jane 
swept past in truly regal style, attired in an old silk 
waist, a long kitchen apron for a court train, and a gold 
crown made of yellow tissue paper. The ladies in wait- 
ing were equally elegant with long apron trains. Jane 
walked as if every inch a queen. Did she possibly gain 
an added sense of power and dignity from her queenly 
role? 

Down the street a group of boys were playing soldier 
with General Pershing in command. Brown sticks were 
used for rifles and the flag-bearer marched in front while 
a band discoursed martial strains on a tin pan and a 
toy whistle. Did some feeling of a soldier's part in stand- 

135 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

ing firm and true and obeying orders come from this 
play? Another week these same boys were organizing a 
parade to welcome returning soldiers with bands play- 
ing and banners flying. 

I remember well a store kept in our front yard during 
a part of a summer. We made articles for the store, leaf- 
garlands, burr-baskets, pincushions stuffed with milk- 
weed, glasses of lemonade, dust-cloths, and many other 
articles, useful and otherwise. Pins w^ere currency at 
first, but later a box of toy money enabled us to make 
change and to gain daily lessons in arithmetic. 

A little boy was taken to church for the first time and 
was especially impressed by the minister's manner. In 
the afternoon he arranged the chairs of the sitting- 
room in rows. Mounting an armchair he announced that 
he would preach a sermon. *'Be good," he exhorted the 
empty chairs. "Do what your fathers tell you. Do what 
your mothers tell you. Be good ail the time. Amen." 

Instances such as these could be multiplied to show 
the tireless interest of children in "make-believe." 
From the time the small child begins to play milk-man, 
grocery-man, ice-man, or peddler, one role succeeds an- 
other without any break in interest. This is the natural 
method of beginning to share in the world's work. 

Housekeeping plays are continued over long periods 
of time with dramatic rendering of the home activities, 
cooking, sweeping, washing, ironing, calling, gossiping, 
and dealing with refractory children. 

"You naughty child — I must punish you! You 
must be undressed and go right to bed!" says the play 
mother to the incorrigible doll. The tender mother is re- 

136 



THE LITTLE ACTOR 

produced if examples of tenderness have been supplied. 
A mother may recognize her own tones, when she hears, 
"Now, darhng, it is bedtime. You must have your bath. 
Here is your nice white bed ready for you." "Yes, 
darhng, I will sing to you. You like mother's lullaby, 
my precious." 

Playing school is a favorite dramatization. Teachers 
might often be edified to see themselves as children see 
them. Mannerisms are copied; tones of voice imitated, 
and lessons read which might well make the real teacher 
covet the same zeal in learning for the real schoolroom. 
We are beginning to recognize the educational value of 
dramatic play. The dramatization of stories, playing of 
dramatic games, make a part of the curriculum of the 
modern school. Froebel was the first to give definite 
form and guidance to the dramatic instinct in his series 
of representative plays. He believed that to be a thing 
is not only to understand it, but to grow into its likeness. 
Therefore he chose for his plays desirable activities and 
representations. 

Acting out in play the life of the mother bird and the 
father bird, the building of a nest, feeding the young, 
teaching the young to fly, makes children watchful of 
birds' ways. It also creates the feeling which made 
Saint Francis call all living creatures brothers and 
friends. A boy newly received into a kindergarten circle 
was about to take an egg from a bird's nest hidden in 
the tall grass in the field near the school-building. He 
was stopped by the cry of protest from the group. "You 
must not touch an egg ! The mother bird would miss it. 
There's a little bird in it." 

137 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

The kindergarten games give a wide range of repre- 
sentation. We have flying birds, butterflies, prancing 
steeds, hopping frogs, jumping hares, and swift-running 
squirrels. Blacksmiths hammer, carpenters saw and 
plane, farmers plough and sow, millers grind, and bakers 
bake. In joyful reproduction the working world passes 
in panorama before the eyes of the little actors who take 
part in the drama. The "make-believe" tendency helps 
children to learn for themselves lessons prescribed in the 
great school of life. It helps to understanding of activi- 
ties and processes and releases powers of self-expression. 

Mrs. Alice Minnie Herts Heniger, in her book called 
"The Kingdom of the Child," declares that the child 
enters into his true kingdom through the imagination. 
The dramatic instinct is the means of entrance. She 
says, "The child and the adolescent can learn best 
how to know himself by being for a time some one else. 
This sounds like a paradox, and it is true, for any one 
who has studied the dramatic instinct and its relation 
to the life of childhood knows that this game of * make- 
believe' is youth's natural means of trying to gain ex- 
perience in life. Thus we see that the child who refuses 
to have his dramatic instinct constantly repressed does 
learn in spite of us: but the same child will learn far 
more surely, more quickly, and more genially if we 
cooperate with the instinct in him." 

Mrs. Heniger cites many instances of the effect on 
character of studying and enacting certain parts in a 
play or story. 

Especially suggestive is her chapter on the value of 
the dramatic method in inspiring immigrant children 

138 



THE LITTLE ACTOR 

with American ideals through plays and speeches which 
present our national heroes and preserve our national 
spirit. A Russian lad who knew no English grammar 
caught the spirit of Abraham Lincoln from reciting the 
"Gettysburg Speech." "I'll take off Abraham Lincoln 
and say the speech like as if I was him," he said — and 
so he did. WTien February 12th came, the lad was ready 
to declare to himself and his audience of foreign-bom 
that "Government of the people, by the people, and for 
the people shall not perish from the earth. " 

In the home circle, mothers have a constant op- 
portunity to utilize the dramatic instinct for good ends. 
The telling of a story is usually an incentive to play it. 
A very slight interest or participation on the part of 
elders fosters the desire to dramatize. 

A six-year-old boy had heard the thrilling story of 
David and Goliath. "Let's play it," he said. "I'll be 
David. I'll get a stone for my sling. What will you he? 
You can be Goliath. No, you're not big enough. We'll 
wait for Uncle Charles to come home. You can be the 
Philistines." I know a good grandmother who devotes 
Sunday afternoons to playing Bible stories with her 
grandchildren. Probably more knowledge of the Bible 
is secured in these hours than in the Sunday-School 
lessons. 

Dr. Colin Scott was among the first of educators 
in this country to advocate the value of dramatization. 
In a chapter in his "Social Education" he describes 
the natural way in which a family group granted only a 
room with opportunity will create a series of plays. I 
quote his description of one scene: 

139 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

**A number of children, from eight to ten years old, 
were accustomed to meet on Saturdays and rainy days 
in the attic of the house of one of their number. Here 
they continued from week to week a play based on their 
readings of Sunday-School books and other sources 
which had appealed to them. One of the tables in the 
attic represented Africa. Here were sand and palm 
trees made of grass and matches. Doors were cut out 
of paper and painted black. In another place were the 
South Sea Islands, with tattooed savages and canoes: 
in still another, China. The dolls here were ornately 
dressed, and tea and rice obtained from the mothers 
lent reality to the scene. London was represented, 
from which the missionaries, dressed in long black 
coats, started on their journey in paper ships. Sermons 
were delivered to the natives, but to no purpose: the 
missionaries were duly killed and eaten up. During the 
development of this play they * bothered the life' out 
of their parents to find out more about Africa and such 
places, but never thought of asking their teacher, who 
at this time was drilling them on the boundaries of the 
states and their capitals." 

A play of "Little Travelers" may be the means of 
gaining much information about the countries or cities 
visited. The textbook in history may be dull, but it is 
never dull to play the landing of the Pilgrims, or the 
storming of Quebec. Little girls like to play Mary, 
Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth. There may be a 
trunk in the attic which holds old-fashioned gowns. 
These make all the costumes necessary. 

I know a happy family where a special trunk is kept 
140 



THE LITTLE ACTOR 

for all properties which may be used for tableaux and 
home plays. The children in this family would rather 
stay at home and give a play than go to any party. 
These children do not need to go to a moving-picture 
show for entertainment. They find it in their own 
home. By speaking the words of a fine character they 
enter into the motives and spirit of that character. 
By playing many roles they begin to understand life 
better. 

The "movie" actor or actress has no opportunity to 
reveal motives, nor to interpret vital human experience. 
The quickly passing scenes of the "movie" stage give 
no time for thinking of what is seen. Too frequent at- 
tendance at the " movies" weakens power of attention 
and prevents appreciation of the best in dramatic art. 
The "movie" play can give only a temporary gratifica- 
tion. It is a passive enjoyment. Often it gives a wrong 
and painful view of life. 

Good educational films, on the other hand, show 
other worlds than ours, and add to the stock of a child's 
knowledge. Cities, mountains, rivers and seas, the won- 
ders of the starry heavens, fine cathedrals and grand 
palaces, delight the eye and cultivate a love of the 
beautiful in scenery and architecture. The events of the 
day may be shown upon the screen and children see 
history in the making. Such films are very desirable 
and make a valuable part of education. 

The spoken word, however, is necessary to truly in- 
terpret a character or a story. The eyes see and the ears 
hear and the mind begins to connect cause and effect 
and to understand life's experiences. The actor puts 

141 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

himself in another's place. The little actor widens his 
sympathies by the parts he plays. 

A child is truly a part of all that he has seen. He de- 
sires to act that part. He desires also to travel the path 
of the untried and unknown, led by the imagination 
which pictures forth the forms of the unknown. 



XVII 
THE LITTLE ARTIST 

"Even the little child may be an artist. ^Vhat the child makes 
may seem small and worthless, but out of the small beginning comes 
something great. . . . 

"All that you see about you, even the greatest things, arose from 
small beginnings. . . . 

"The stream whose song you hear came from a tiny source. Out 
of nothing God created all you see. . . . 

"Will you not see the possibilities in your child? It is your most 
important task to nurture all his latent powers." 

Proebel 

DAVID'S pocket always holds a bit of string, a 
piece of chalk, and stray pencils. David is an 
artist. He likes to have his tools handy. A smooth board 
on a fence may be chosen for his picture, or the wall of 
the house. More often he chooses the doorstep or the 
sidewalk, if it is made of stone or boards. We often find 
his pictures there. Sometimes, if it is a rainy day, and 
David cannot go out to play, he draws with his finger 
on the window-pane. We do not like that because it 
leaves bad marks on the window. Neither do we approve 
of the mirror as a drawing-board, nor the polished tea- 
tray. We rightly object to pencil scratches on the table- 
cloth or on the wall-paper or on book margins. What 
shall we do? Shall we empty David's pocket and take 
away the chalk and pencils? No, indeed; we should 
then despoil an artist of his means of representation. 
We should rejoice that David has the creative impulse. 

143 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

It may mean artistic taste and point to a special line of 
development. It may be only the desire of expression 
common to all children. In any case, it should not be 
checked or suppressed. It should be gratified and en- 
couraged. We should supply proper materials and say, 
"Draw all you wish. Show me your pretty pictures." 

What can we supply for our little artist? A small 
blackboard is best with plenty of broad crayons. If the 
blackboard cannot be secured, father can make a good 
substitute by tacking blackboard cloth over any common 
board. This cloth can be ordered from a kindergarten 
supply store. A large, old-fashioned slate with chalk 
for drawing is also a very good medium for picture-mak- 
ing. In addition to the blackboard we should furnish 
freely large sheets of brown paper, such as come around 
packages, to be used for drawing with brush and pencil. 

David's choicest Christmas gift was a box of colored 
crayons. With these he makes pictures for grandma and 
birthday cards for sisters and cousins. Flower and leaf 
patterns can be found to color, or he can draw his own. 
For large brush work on large sheets of paper nothing 
is better than the fresco paints used for tinting kitchen 
and pantry walls. These are easily secured from a house 
painter, and with them David can make charming 
scenes. Sometimes he makes a mountain with trees and 
a red farmhouse nestling at the foot of the mountain. 
At one time all his pictures were of trains and engines, 
and during the war he painted constantly warships and 
submarines. Houses and trees are easily sketched and 
call for bright colors. Gardens and orchards are also 
favorite subjects. 

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THE BOY MICHELANGELO CARVING THE HEAD OF 
THE FAUN 



THE LITTLE ARTIST 

For finer work liquid dyes and boxes of paints should 
be supplied the artist that he may improve in his work. 

The string in David's pocket is very useful for draw- 
ing purposes. He can wet it in a cup of water and use 
it for outlining forms, on any smooth, moist surface, 
such as a slate or a bread-board. He will make first, 
maybe, a moon, then a three-leaved clover, a four- 
leaved clover, and a rose of five petals. A burnt match 
serves to guide the phable string into place. 

Burnt matches are good material for picture-making. 

They stand in line for a row of soldiers marching. A 

change of position shows the soldiers asleep. Square 

yards for them to march in may be made, beds for thenf 

to sleep upon, and a row of tents for their camp. 

" It is his impulse to create 
Should gladden thee." 

The wish to draw grows out of the instinctive dc' 
sire for self-expression. A child wishes to tell what h^ 
sees. One language is not enough for him. He chooses 
drawing as another language. He tells by his drawings 
what he sees. He tries to tell all he sees. He will show 
in the same picture the inside as well as the outside of 
the house. He knows there are chairs and tables within. 
Why not show them? 

At the age of four or five or six he does not hesitate 
to draw anything. The child was perfectly honest who 
said to his teacher that he could draw a picture of God. 
"But we cannot see God," said the teacher. "You will," 
answered the boy, "when I show you the picture." 

The little artist represents what seems to him most 
important and interesting. He draws a front view of a 

145 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

man with large eyes and mouth, because those features 
impress him most. Hair is usually much in evidence 
and long rows of buttons down the front of a coat. 
Buttons are charming, shiny things, very ornamental. 
Of course we like to see them. Notice the time when 
David changes his method of drawing. Some day he 
will draw a face in profile. Why has he changed his plan? 
He has begun to observe more carefully and wishes to 
tell things as they really are. Now he is ready to cor- 
rect and criticize his own work. How can mother help? 

mother's part 
A CHILD grows by what he does. He clears his own ideas 
by trying to express them. He begins to think as he 
begins to express. He gains knowledge of things about 
him by his effort to show how they look. He holds in 
his hands, and in their ability to represent, one of the 
keys to the world of knowledge. The cave man who lived 
in the childhood of the world told his stories of the life 
about him in scribbles and pictures on the walls of his 
cave. We are finding those pictures to-day. 

Mrs. Wharton, in "French Ways and Their Mean- 
ing," tells of the discovery of painted caves in southern 
France. She says: 

"Proofs of the consummate skill of these men of the 
dawn have been found on the walls of caves and grot- 
toes all over central and southern France throughout 
the very region where our American soldiers have been 
camping.'* These pictures show us that thousands of 
years ago there were men in France who told of the 
fish they saw swimming in the river and of the stags 

i4>a 



THE LITTLE ARTIST 

they were hunting by the pictures they painted on their 
cave walls. 

The baby's scribbles show the same desire that the 
cave men had — the desire to represent. At first the 
scribbles mean nothing. You may call them a letter to 
father; but there is no likeness to anything on earth 
or under the earth. One day, however, the little one 
draws his Hne in a curve and lo, he has an apple or a 
moon. Then he keeps on making apples and moons. 
He changes into leaves and flowers and clouds and stars 
and he has become an artist. 

Your part is to preserve and cherish these scribbles. 
Put them away as a record of the baby's growth. If 
there is any really artistic tendency, foster it as a pre- 
cious possession. Your part is encouragement. You 
must furnish materials and a place to draw. 

A teacher in New York has protested against an ad- 
vertisement of a certain biscuit company. The ad- 
vertisement in question shows a boy on the way to 
school with his books and a package of the biscuit 
under his arm. He is writing on the sidewalk, "Eat 

biscuit." This teacher says that the schools 

have great diflficulty in keeping boys and girls from de- 
facing buildings and sidewalks. The schools recognize 
the desire of children to sketch and write on any avail- 
able surface. They see how strong a suggestion such a 
picture is. The picture should show the boy writing in 
some legitimate place. He should write. He should 
draw. He should paint. But give him the right means. 
Schools furnish blackboards and drawing-paper. Homes 
should supply the same need. 

14? 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

A child's interests 
David shows his interests by what he draws. His in- 
terests vary. Conversation, stories, pictures, moving 
things outside, suggest points of interest to him. The 
effect of a story may be tested by the child's desire to 
illustrate it. If the story has been dramatic and well 
told, several scenes will be pictured. You may discover 
the high points in interest by what the hearer draws. 

Professor Earl Barnes told a group of children the 
thrilling tale of "Johnny Look-in-the-air." Johnny 
failed to "watch his step" and fell into the river. He 
was fished out by a passer-by, however, and ran home 
in his wet clothes. Mr. Barnes wished to see what 
situation made the strongest appeal to the children. 
The drawings revealed the interest in Johnny's rescue. 

The impression of a story is deepened by giving the 
hearers a chance to illustrate it. A busy mother need 
not stop to retell the story. She may say, " Make some 
pictures for the little Eskimo sister, or for the Dutch 
Twins, or for Heidi who lived in the Swiss mountains." 

The son of a college professor became so absorbed 
in the pictures suggested by the Book of Revelation 
that he drew scene after scene on a roll of paper. He 
added to this roll from day to day till it grew so large 
he had to keep it under his bed. The white throne, the 
tree of life, the white horse, and the four and forty 
thousand of the redeemed were all pictured. Did he 
gain something of the beauty and poetry of the book 
from his drawings? "We are so made that we love things 
first when we see them painted." When we paint them 
ourselves, we love them better. 



XVIII 
THE SINGING CHILD 

"all their lives to music set" 

IT must have been a wonderful day when men first 
talked together! In the earliest days of creation 
there was no need for spoken words. Life was so simple 
that there was nothing to be said about it, or so they 
thought. Then, those wild men of old woke up to the 
fact that the world was interesting and that they must 
in some way make their neighbors know it. So they 
spoke; and then came song, for of course for a long time 
there were too few words for all occasions. They raised 
their voices in song when they were joyful, and also 
when they were filled with fear and trouble. The sing- 
ing voice carried the part of what they wished to say 
that their few words could not express. 

Babies begin their days in that same way. Before 
they can speak they cry and make little sounds with 
their voices. They add their noises to the noises of a 
noisy world. But many noises are soothing, or delightful, 
when we come to understand them. 

Not long ago I walked through a beautiful field with a 
friend who is also a friend of the birds. Suddenly she 
stopped and said, "There! did you hear that grass- 
hopper sparrow .f^" But alas! I was tuned to the jar and 
rattle of city noises. I was as confused as a little child 
in a new world of sounds. I heard the scraping and 

149 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

buzzing of insects, the wind in the tall grasses, and 
bird songs, but I could not separate the song of the 
grasshopper sparrow from the other sounds. My friend 
helped me to listen, and out of the confusion came the 
strange little song. 

"AH the music that we hear. 
Listening with the outward ear. 
Would be powerless to win us 
If there lived not deep within us 
Its innate idea." 

Many of the sounds that come in this confusing way 
to the baby he needs to have his mother help him to 
understand. There is rhythm and order in many of 
the noises that we hear. Froebel, the great, tender- 
hearted teacher, tells us this. He says: 

"Oh, teach your child that those who live 
By Order's kindly law 
Find all their lives to music set; 
While those who this same law forget 
Find only fret and jar." 

One of the sounds that Froebel has in mind, when 
he speaks of "Order's kindly law," is the tick of the 
clock. A baby loves to put a watch close to his ear and 
say, "Tick, tick!" He has found that the watch speaks 
to him in a little rhyme that he loves. It no longer adds 
its beat to the general noise and rumble of life. The 
train says to him, "Going home, going home," or some- 
thing he is equally glad to hear. The waves on the beach, 
the patter of the rain, the kitten's cry, even the pounding 
of his own fist and the bobbing of his little head, make 
rhymes. Many sounds come to him (if his mother sets 
him in tune to hear them) in a rhyming beat, one, two, 

150 



THE SINGING CHILD 

three, one, two, three, that rests him and sets his 
thoughts in order. 

"bye low, my baby" 
The baby loves to hear his mother sing. It does not 
matter that she has an untaught voice, if she sings to 
him his own songs. First among the baby's own songs 
are the lullabies. He soon begins to croon a little, as 
his mother sing^. Lullabies comfort and calm him, and 
the gentle measure repeated again and again, puts him 
to sleep. It is sad that so many babies are never sung 
to sleep! 

There are the little sleepy songs, composed as you 
sing; your very own songs. You hum them repeatedly: 
"Rock, rock, rock," goes the chair, "Tap, tap, tap," 
lightly goes the foot, "One, two, three, one, two, three. *' 
Any one who loves a baby will sing lullabies in that way. 
There are, of course, the wonderful lullabies, so beautiful 
that great singers sing them at concerts, and mothers 
everywhere know and love them. "Sweet and low," 
and "All through the night, " are of this sort. "Bye low, 
my baby, " comes to us out of the past. Songs that re- 
mind us of early love and teaching are very valuable. 
Our children must have such songs stored away in their 
minds, for a time may come when they will be needed. 
A mother once reaped a great reward for the songs she 
sang to her child. Here is her story, and it is true: 

A mother's song 
They were pioneers, taking up a claim in Pennsylvania 
in the early days of the eighteenth century. The mother 

151 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

and the little child spent many a long day and night 
together. Often they could not even hear the sound of 
the axe, so far did the man's work of clearing take him 
from the little cabin home. The woman often sang, to 
start the echoes, and for the sake of the child. One hymn 
she loved, and she sang it often : 

"Alone, yet not alone am I, 
Though round me spreads the wilderness, 
I know my Saviour 's ever by 
Ready to comfort and to bless." 

She sang it again and again. The little child joined her, 
and they sang together. 

One day Indians rushed upon them, and carried away 
the little girl, now three years old. For twelve years the 
child lived with the Indians. She spoke their language 
and forgot what she knew of her own. She grew tall and 
lean and brown, and her thoughts were Indian thoughts. 
She knew nothing else. Many other children were stolen 
in the same way. 

And then the Government raided the Indian settle- 
ments and took away the stolen children. The children 
were taken to a certain court-house, and the people 
whose children had been taken from them were asked to 
come for them. How the poor, sad mothers must have 
rejoiced! The singing mother went to the court-house, 
a long journey on horseback. When she saw the stolen 
children, her heart sank. How could she know which of 
these tall, brown Indian maidens was the little child 
who sang with her in those lonely days.?^ They did not 
understand when she spoke to them. They were afraid, 
and huddled miserably, not knowing why they were there. 

15^ 



THE SINGING CHILD 

The mother turned to go, discouraged, and then she 

remembered the song the child and she had loved. 

She turned back, when she reached the door, and 

sang, 

"Alone, yet not alone am I." 

One of the stolen children rushed into her arms. 

"so SHALL THEIR LIVES BRING PEACE AND JOY" 

Our minds are so fashioned that there is a place where 
many of the things we learn in childhood are stored. 
We seem to have forgotten these things, until, when 
they have been tucked away for a long time, some 
sight or sound sets them free. A man who seemed to 
have forgotten the things that came to him when he 
was a little child, playing in his mother's kitchen, was 
walking down a dirty, crowded street. He was desperate 
and on his way to commit a crime. Suddenly he stopped 
and listened. The children in a mission school were sing- 
ing, "Jesus loves me, this I know." It came to him 
through the open windows, and he went in. They said 
that he was suddenly converted, but he knew better. 
He blessed his mother for having taught him to sing the 
little hymn, and for putting the truth that it tells into 
his heart. The song that the child sang, playing at his 
mother's side, saved the man. Froebel had this thought 
in mind when he said, "Let us live with our children; 
so shall their lives bring peace and joy to us." 

"the PLANT THAT IS NOT WATERED, DIEs" 

The little baby loves his mother because she does so 
many delightful, comfortable things for him. Froebel 

15S 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

charges mothers to hold the love of their children 
through every means that can be devised. He likens 
love to a delicate plant, and reminds us that "the plant 
that is not watered, dies." When the apron string has 
been partly untied, and the child goes from his mother, 
to kindergarten or Sunday School, or out to play with 
other children, the need for music at home is greater 
than before. We must devise mutual interests that we 
may continue to be intimate with the children and hold 
their love and confidence. There is never a time when 
we do not need to water the plant of love. We will sing 
more than ever. We will learn of the child the kinder- 
garten songs or little street games that he likes. We will 
teach him little nature songs and soldier songs, full of 
the things that interest him the most. We will play as 
we sing, for now the play spirit is keenly alive in him, 
and we must meet its needs. Singing must be a natural 
way for him to express joy, worship, love, and enthusi- 
asm. If the child has heard the older members of the 
family sing ever since he can remember anything, and 
has himself sung all his life, singing will be as natural 
to him as speaking. Song and the play spirit work to- 
gether, and love of home, of family, and of God is 
strengthened. 



A MOTHER who believes in these things plays a little 
singing game with her children as they start for kinder- 
garten or play. She has often told them the story of the 
pigeons. "A family of pigeons once lived in a pigeon- 
house," she says. "Every morning when the sun began 

154 



THE SINGING CHILD 

to shine, the little pigeons opened their bright eyes and 
wanted to fly. Then the boy, whose pigeons these were, 
opened the door of the pigeon-house, and out they flew. 
How glad they were to go ! The little pigeons flew about 
in the sunshine all day, and saw a great many things with 
their bright little eyes. When the sun began to go down, 
their wings were tired, and the pigeons flew back to the 
pigeon-house. How glad they were to be home! How 
glad they were to see their mother ! They told her about 
the things they had seen. They told her about the things 
they had found to eat. 'Coo! Coo!' they said. That is 
pigeon talk, so of course the pigeon mother understood 
every word. Then they went to sleep and the boy closed 
the door of the pigeon-house. The pigeons were safe." 
That is the story, and you can see how it will make a 
lovely game. When the mother opens the door to let the 
children go, she sometimes says, "Good-bye, pigeons!" 
and then she sings: 

" I '11 open wide my pigeon-house. 
And set all my pigeons free 
To fly east and west on every side 
And light on the nearest tree." 

And lo, the children are pigeons! Immediately they 
flutter, with arms outspread, and away they go, with 
the mother's cheery, dear little song in their ears. 

When bedtime comes, they finish the game. "My 
pigeons have come back to the nest," the mother says; 
and then she sings: 

" And when they return from their merry, merry flight. 
We'll shut the door, and say good-night. 
Coo, Coo, Coo. 

155 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"I'm glad the mother pigeon understands pigeon talk. 
She must be so glad to hear about the things the little 
pigeons saw as they flew about all day. I understand 
my pigeons, too, and I want to hear about the things 
they saw, and what they played, all day." 

A little talk, with confidences, confessions, and glad 
announcements, follows. Sleep comes, and the game is 
finished. 

"With the years, the larger knowledge 
Of life's wholeness then will come. 
And its twilight hour will find them 
With themselves, and God, at home." 



"love, the melody of the heart" 
There are play songs and work songs that give joy. 
They lend, even to rainy days and housework, a charm 
that increases the love of home. In singing such songs, 
"love, the melody of the heart, is revealed in the mel- 
ody of the voice." We can sing festivity into the things 
we do. Can you imagine playing "Oats, peas, beans, and 
barley grows." without singing? To say the words, 
would spoil the game. 

To sing as you sweep, suiting the action of the broom 
to the time and tune of your song, takes away half the 
work. That is the meaning of such singing, as the 
"Heave-ho!" sung by the sons of toil who load and un- 
load the steamers. The swing of the music helps the 
men to work together, and they are so in tune that the 
work is forgotten and the pleasure of singing together 
remembered. Work songs that suggest the fairy side of 
life rouse the imagination and relieve the strain of work: 

156 



THE SINGING CHILD 

"Fairies of the dust, beware! 
We are searching everywhere. 
We will find you, though you hide. 
And will sweep you all, outside." 

"from sea to shining sea" 
How can we "crown" our country "with brocherhood, 
from sea to shining sea"? It is what we need most, in 
this great country of ours, everywhere, from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific. Love of country begins at home. It begins 
when Httle children find happiness and music and con- 
cord in their homes. It continues when they go out and 
wish that the rest of the world was more like home and 
desire to make it so. One love grows out of another. On 
national holidays let the flags be unfurled ! Let our coun- 
try's songs be sung. "Three cheers for the red, white, 
and blue!" That is a fine slogan, for fathers, mothers, 
and children. A parade around about the house, bearing 
the flag, and singing as you go, the making of paper 
soldier caps, tents, forts, and gardens (because father is 
home, and he knows how), make a splendid celebration, 
and the children make a discovery! Father is just as 
enthusiastic about these things as are the children. 
Another mutual interest to tie people together in sym- 
pathy and love ! 

"With smiles and with singing 
Our gifts we are bringing." 

Song has many a lovely mission. A mother, far from 
stores and with only money enough for necessary things, 
heard that her husband's mother was coming to pay 
them a visit. She longed to make the beloved guest feel 

157 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

the welcome that was hers, and yet there was no time, 
no money, and little strength with which to honor her. 
But the mother knew the value of song, and hers were 
singing children. When she led the way to the guest- 
room and threw open the door, there in the center of the 
room stocd three tiny children. As the door opened they 
held out gifts of wild flowers and sang: 

"We are glad to see you, a welcome to you, 
A welcome, dear Grandma, to you." 

That was all, but it was perfect. 

A song learned to surprise father on his birthday, and 
carols to sing around the Christmas tree; a grace to sing, 
together, on Thanksgiving Day, at dinner-time; these 
things are very simple, but they count tremendously. 
A woman claims that she cannot do these things. She 
says, ''I have no piano, no voice, and no desire to sing.*' 
There is no pity for her, only congratulations. She has 
the occasions for singing, and a mother's voice. Songs 
are plenty, and her children are full of the "desire to 
sing." 

" For 't is thus your love you '11 show 
To the God who loves you so." 

We all know that songs that are especially suited to 
Sunday singing are dear to many a grown-up heart. To 
hear little children sing "Little drops of water," "Jesus, 
tender shepherd," or "I think when I read," causes 
many of us to look back over the years with tearful 
pleasure. Many newer songs, as well as many of the 
grandest hymns, should be learned "by heart" on the 
Sundays at home, for children memorize easily. 

158 



THE SINGING CHILD 

A young giant in khaki, just returned from France, 
sat one Sunday evening in the old home holding his 
mother's hand. The brothers and sisters had gathered 
to welcome him, and they sang as they had when they 
were children and Sunday evening came.. These had been 
singing children^ so, although night was falling and they 
could not see to read, they sang every word of one grand 
old hymn after another. Then the young giant in khaki 
told of the camps and hospitals abroad. *'The boys 
wanted hymns," he said, "and when they found I knew 
all the words, they kept me singing most of the time. 
Lots of them knew, maybe the first verse, but they 
wanted the hymns, clear through." 

" We are the music-makers. 
We are the dreamers of dreams! " 

One of our dreams is of multiplying an hundredfold 
the joy in the lives of children. We do not always recog- 
nize joy, just as we do not understand the electricity 
that all about us goes to waste. We do not know how to 
lay hold of it and make it add to our happiness in light 
and warmth. But do let us capture all we can of joy, by 
tuning ourselves and the children to make and to hear 
music. 

"A song is but a little thing. 
And yet what joy it is to sing! 
In hours of toil it gives me zest. 
And when at eve I long for rest; 
When cows come home along the bars. 

And in the fold I hear the bell, 
As Night, the shepherd, herds his stars, 
I sing my song, and all is well," 

Paul Laurence Dunbar 



XIX 

THE LITTLE MUSICIAN 

"Let me go where'er I will, 
I hear a heaven-born music still." 

Emerson 

LITTLE girl loved to hear the sound of the wind 
among the trees. She lived in a deep valley en- 
circled by hills. At night she would lie awake to listen 
to the song of the wind as it swept over the hillside. 
Sometimes it was a loud, triumphant song. Sometimes 
it was soft and low like a lullaby. Sometimes it shrieked 
and called from hill to hill. Then little girl shivered with 
a thrill of fearful admiration. When autumn winds blew 
she thought the song was to comfort the trees for the 
lost leaves. And very splendid it was to listen to the 
crisp, rustling notes of the answering leaves as they 
were swept along the sidewalk. 

Little girl had not then read the lines of Longfellow 
in which he says : 

" I hear the wind among the trees 
Playing celestial symphonies; 
I see the branches downward bent. 
Like keys of some great instrument." 

She had the same kind of feeling, however, about the 
music. She loved also to listen to the whispering of the 
wind-swept field of wheat or to watch the rhythmic 
waves of motion. She fancied the field was rejoicing that 
so many loaves of bread were hidden away in the yellow, 

160 



THE LITTLE MUSICIAN 

nodding heads of wheat, for, of course, mother had told 
her how our bread comes from the kernels of wheat. 

There was a brook hidden in the woods near her home, 
and httle girl would sit for an hour at a time on the 
mossy bank listening to the song of the brook. 

She could hear it chattering as it went to join the 
shining river. She did not know what it chattered about, 
but sometimes she thought a little song about it. At 
twilight she would play these songs on the piano. Father 
listened in the next room. He liked them better than 
any other pieces she played, better than the " Shepherd 
Boy" or "Annie Laurie." So she made more of them 
and played more. They were not great songs, but they 
brought happiness to the player and other listeners. 
Maybe they helped her in later life to listen for the 
"heaven-born music" where'er she went, and to find it. 

Do you know a little musician in your home or in a 
neighbor's.'^ What can we do to satisfy the longings of 
such a child? We are not a musical people. We do not 
love song nor cultivate it, as do our friends who have 
come from sunny Italy. Italian children grow up loving 
music, because they are born with a musical environ- 
ment. We could have more songs in our homes. We 
should have more community singing. 

The sense of rhythm is one of the fundamental in- 
stincts. Any instrument which keeps time fosters the 
rhythmic feeling. A drum, a triangle, a flute, and a pipe 
will make a home band. 

Whistles and pipes are noisy, and the sound of the 
piano jars sometimes on tired nerves. Is it worth while, 
however, to give all children the chance for musical 

161 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

expression? It is well worth while to give the little musi- 
cian his opportunity for a possible musical career. 

It may be we have more musical talent in our homes 
than we ever discover. In the ''Boston Herald," Miss 
Mary Caldwell Howard, a supervisor of music, says this 
regarding the musical ability of children: 

"There are various degrees of musical ability, but no 
child is wholly without musical appreciation. 

"One case in particular was passed on to me as a 
hopeless monotone, classified as such by some one fasci- 
nated by the term, or the ease of so shifting a burden 
met with in the day's work. It was delicious to see his 
joy during the music lesson, but a little exciting to hear 
the whole scale sung heartily on one pitch. I praised him 
for his one good quality — enthusiasm — and because I 
accepted it the children did. 

"My interest was quickened when I discovered him 
to be the drummer for the school marching. Music is 
twofold, time and tune, and this boy had a wonderful 
feeling for rhythm. Sometimes when his voice in singing 
was becoming a little strenuous, I would have him sing 
alone and ask the others to keep time. His songs were 
always in good time. Because his efforts were acceptable 
to me, and because he received praise rather than cen- 
sure, self-consciousness disappeared. He kept up his 
efforts, and in the third grade had achieved everything 
but tonality. He woke up to graduations of tone in 
the fourth and in the eighth grade was a dependable 
bass. 

"No one has the right to judge, tabulate, or condemn 
a child's ability. I have discovered no monotone, taken 

162 



From a Copley print. Copyright by Ciirtts !f Cameron, Fuhlishers, Boston 

THE FIRST MUSIC LESSON 



THE LITTLE MUSICLW 

in the first grade, who could not be brought out of it, 
if sensibly treated, by the fourth grade. 

"I met a Leland Stanford man recently who attended 
all the concerts he had time for on a Western tour. He 
could not express himself in any musical way, but I was 
amazed to learn that he was deep in the study of har- 
mony, because he hoped it would help him to understand 
the music he loved. There you are ! Suppressed as a child, 
I suppose, and at college age still trying to get hold of 
his musical self." 

Here are some stories of the childhood of great musi- 
cians which show us how early the musical feeling 
awakens. 

HANDEL. THE WONDER CHILD 

Told by Barbara Bingham 

When George Frederick Handel was a small lad his 
parents realized that he was passionately fond of music, 
for among his playthings those that made a noise were 
his favorites. His friends therefore gave him many drums 
and horns, and he also acquired the accomplishment of 
playing both the jew's-harp and the flute. His father 
ridiculed his son's early musical attempts, and finally, 
as he observed that the little fellow was wholly absorbed 
in that art, forbade him the privilege of playing in the 
house or visiting where he would hear music. George's 
father was very desirous that his son should become an 
eminent lawyer. These strenuous rules developed a 
greater love of music; the little boy listened more in- 
tently for sweet sounds; he heard the sacred church 
music several times a week, and the tower chimes glad- 

163 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

dened his childish heart. He was given a spinet, which, 
with a wire covering to deaden the sound, he could play 
undisturbed in the attic. It was here that he spent some 
of the time he should have been in Slumberland. Many 
nights, when all was still in the house, he crept up the 
stairs to practice. 

One bright, sunshiny morning the father planned a 
few days' visit to the castle to see the Duke, and 
when the coach made the first stop he observed his little 
boy. "My son, I thought I told you to remain at home. 
Why are you here?" he said. 

"Please, father, I want to see the castle; do let me go 
with you," Handel replied. As the child promised to be 
good, he climbed up beside the older man, and they soon 
arrived at their destination. The members of the Duke*s 
household became attached to the lovable child and 
often took him to church where they allowed him to 
play the organ. 

One Sunday afternoon when he was playing the Duke 
and his friends came into the chapel. The child continued 
and the Duke said, "Who is playing so sweetly?" He 
saw it was seven-year-old Handel. The Duke soon won 
the child's entire confidence, and talked with his father 
so that Herr Handel gave his consent for his son to have 
musical instruction. The boy always worked earnestly 
and faithfully, and when he was ten years old he could 
play, in addition to the organ, the violin and the harpsi- 
chord. He substituted at the organ for his teacher who 
soon told him that he could give him no further instruc- 
tion. Then Handel began his self-study by copying selec- 
tions from the old masters, and by compositions. 

164 



THE LITTLE MUSICL\N 

Eleven years later Handel went to Berlin where he 
was invited to play at court. Every one was surprised, 
delighted, but incredulous when they heard he had 
studied for only three years. The Prince offered to send 
him to Italy at his own expense, where he could work 
with the best teachers. Handel was loyal to his father, 
and devoted himself to the study of law at the university 
until he was seventeen years old. 

Afterwards in Hamburg he became a member of an 
orchestra. His salary vvas very meager and his mates 
were ignorant of his talent and ability. One day when the 
leader was absent, Handel was jokingly told to conduct 
in his stead. "Now we shall have some fun," the rude 
fellows said, one to the other. But Handel excelled even 
the leader, and his fellows were chagrined. While he was 
in this city he wrote four operas. 

From Hamburg he traveled to Italy where he did 
operatic work for three years. The Venetians called him 
the *'dear Saxon," because his home was in Saxony. 
One evening he was invited to a masquerade. He re- 
vealed his identity, because he sat down before the 
harpsichord and commenced to play. Some one ex- 
claimed, "No one but the noble Saxon could give us 
such music as that. It is Handel." Frequently when his 
operas were given, shouts were heard of "Long live the 
Good Saxon!" 

When he was twenty-five years old, Handel journeyed 
to England and played for King George at a concert 
which was given on the boats on the Thames River. 
The King appointed Handel as teacher for the princes 
and provided him with a salary of two hundred pounds 

165 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

sterling yearly, a sum of money which was very unusual 
for a poet or a musician to receive. 

George Handel is remembered as a composer, not of 
operas, but of oratorios. His masterpiece is "The Mes- 
siah," which was written at the age of fifty-six years. 
The later years of the noble musician's life were sad- 
dened by blindness, but Handel still remained happy, 
cheerful, and uncomplaining. In Westminster Abbey 
there is a statue of this great man. He is standing with 
his eyes lifted heavenward. Upon the table at his side is 
carved a sheet of music from "The Messiah," and one 
may read these words: 

"I know that my Redeemer liveth." 

MOZART 

Told by Myla Cavis 

Picture to yourself a city of the olden times when ladies 
and gentlemen rode about in sedan chairs attired in 
costly silks and velvets and adorned with jewels and 
laces. 

On a warm summer evening in the year 1766 such a 
company assembled in a concert hall in London to at- 
tend the performance of the famous child musicians who 
were announced as "Miss Mozart, aged thirteen, and 
Master Mozart, eight years of age, both prodigies of 
nature." Every one was eager to see these young enter- 
tainers who, though they were mere children, it was said 
had remarkable talent, and the boy particularly aroused 
great interest because of the fact that he had composed 
much of his own music. 

The large, well-lighted room was filled with people in 
166 



THE LITTLE MUSICUN 

costly dress, and there was the customary confusion and 
murmur of voices, when suddenly a silence fell upon the 
company. All turned toward the raised platform upon 
which stood several instruments and a harpsichord and 
where now appeared two children attired in the quaint 
costume of the day. 

The audience was enthusiastic, and when he had 
completed a performance which included the rendering 
of his own composition, the success of young Mozart 
was assured. 

From this time on he was feted and petted to an extent 
that would have turned the head of any child but one 
brought up under the careful training of "Papa Mozart," 
and he soon built up the foundation of a fame which 
has lasted to the present day. 

JENNY LIND 

Told by Mary N. Hyde 

Jenny Lind was a famous Swedish singer. When a little 
girl she sang most of the time about her work and about 
her play. She sang with every step she took and with 
every jump of her little feet. Often she would sit in the 
window and sing most beautiful music to her cat. She 
loved this pet very much and kept a pretty blue ribbon 
around its neck. 

One day it happened that a passer-by heard her sing- 
ing to her cat and thought it so wonderful that she called 
Jenny to the attention of Croelius, the singing-master 
of the Royal Opera. Though she was only nine years 
old, Jenny sang a selection from an opera by Winter to 
Croelius, and he was moved to tears. The director of th^ 

167 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

opera refused to hear her at first, because she was so 
young and unattractive; but when he finally did hear 
her he also was moved to tears. Friends at once took 
steps to arrange for her education and training which 
was broad and complete. When she was only ten years 
old she made her appearance on the boards and showed 
wonderful theatrical ability. 

As a little child she was said to have been small, ugly, 
broad-nosed, and shy, with apparently little hope for 
development into the charming, graceful, self-possessed, 
and intelligent woman which she became. She was al- 
ways fond of sewing and made her stitches so they would 
"never come out." This characterizes everything she 
did. Her aims were high and from her early childhood 
she was persevering and conscientious. 

Jenny had a gentle and true nature and was much 
beloved and admired by all. 

ETHELBERT NEVIN 
Told by Mabel C. Taggart 

Into the very texture, into the very fiber of the life of 
Ethelbert Nevin, music was woven. His namesake was 
his uncle, who had died on the battle-field a few months 
before the child was born — a death which was such a 
tragedy and shock to Mrs. Nevin that her only consola- 
tion as she lay in her chamber was to hear music played 
softly in an outer room. She herself was a trained musi- 
cian, so it was into a world of music the little son came, 
who was to give the world some beautiful compositions. 
The mother-love was always expressed in music and 
it is said that his was a happy boyhood, for there was 

168 



THE LITTLE MUSICIAN 

music in the river and in the trees, and music in the boy's 
heart ! It was his colored nurse who taught him his first 
songs and at a very early age she would push him into 
a room filled with guests and insist on his showing oflF 
his accomplishments. 

"Now, Moses, don't touch it: 
Now, Moses, you'll catch it; 
Now, Moses, don't you hear what I say?" 

This was the first song he rendered on such an occasion, 
and as he sang it in a very funny way, he was continu- 
ally called upon to sing it. At the age of three he sang 
very sweetly the Civil War songs, and when five would 
sit at the piano and play his own accompaniments. 
Seeing his cousins start off for their music lessons, he, 
too, would roll some music under his arm and pretend 
to go off for a lesson. 

Ethelbert did not care much for sports and games, 
and more than once he was known to drop the baseball 
bat at a most unexpected moment, when he really seemed 
most interested, and rush into the house to the piano, 
saying, when questioned, "Oh, I just thought of some- 
thing I wanted to play." His soul was filled with music. 

This musical knowledge, until he was eight, was 
merely absorbed from his parents, and when he began 
instruction he was still so small that he had to be helped 
onto the piano stool. In less than a year he was compos- 
ing little melodies, and at ten his first musical produc- 
tion, the "Lilian Polka," written for his sister, was pub- 
lished, the cover of which bore the words, "By Bertie 
Nevin, aged eleven." That same year he played the 
Wagner-Liszt "Tannhauser March" at a public concert. 

169 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

At fourteen, the family being in Dresden, he had the 
fortune to be able to take lessons from Boehm, and his 
mother says that many happy hours these two seemed 
to spend in each other's company, playing and talking 
together. 

Although given the opportunity to take a college 
course, and to become a business man with the prospect 
of possessing material wealth, it is little to be wondered 
at that a boy whose second language was music, to whom 
music was life and his whole life, should beg to be re- 
leased from such uncongenial work and should come to 
his father with the words, "Let me be poor all my life 
and be a musician." Is it to be wondered at that the 
father granted the plea? 



XX 

THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

"I know a person small — 
She keeps ten million serving men 
Who get no rest at all ! 
She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs 
From the second she opens her eyes — 
One million Hows, two million Wheres, 
And seven million Whys!" 

Kipling 

CURIOSITY is an instinct that shows itself long 
before a child can speak, and it seems to last 
through life. Calling it a spirit of investigation, which 
it really is, we see that it is a fine thing, rightly guided, 
and the curious child forges ahead, acquiring valuable 
knowledge every day. The baby wishes to know all 
about the things that he takes into his hands. After look- 
ing the article over very carefully, he puts it into his 
mouth for further study. In that way he learns its taste 
and consistency. The next step is to throw the subject 
of his interest down, that he may know how much noise 
it will make and whether or not it will break. 

We all know the "small person" of Kipling's lines. 

The reason for all of her "Whys," "Hows," and 
"Wheres" is quite plain; she is feeling about for the 
good things of heaven and earth. We can make her ques- 
tions, even the idle ones a means of education, by re- 
garding them as helps toward intimacy, and suggestions 
for topics of conversation. 

171 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"what does the crocodile have for dinner?" 
If you have not laughed with the "Elephant's Child," 
you must do so at once. The "Elephant's Child" is one 
of Kipling's "Just So Stories," and the little elephant, 
so full of insatiable curiosity, is a very acceptable com- 
panion for a leisure half-hour. The Elephant's Child 
questions all of his relations, and in reply he is soundly 
spanked: not with the trunk, however, as up to the 
time of the story elephant's trunks were unknown. Any 
patience his relations may have had with his questions 
gave way completely when he asked, "What does the 
crocodile have for dinner? " A fine new question that he 
had never asked before. His relations all fall to spanking 
him, and when it is over, he being "a little warm, but 
not at all astonished," starts out to find out about the 
crocodile's diet for himself. He has a great experience, for 
he not only finds the answer to his question, but returns 
from his expedition, having acquired a trunk. The story 
is the fanciful answer to the question, "How did the 
elephant get his trunk?" We learn many things as we 
read this story, and we have a good laugh as well. 

" In children a great curiousness is well 
Who have themselves to learn, and all the world " 

Tennyson 

Every question, no matter how thoughtless, can be 
answered in a way that will help the questioner to learn 
something about himself and his world. It is difficult to 
prepare for the task of answering, as one never knows 
the day or the hour when the next tax will be placed 
upon his fund of knowledge, nor does one know what in 

172 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

the world the nature of it will be. One or two suggestions 
may help. Pay serious attention to all questions if you 
wish to be loved by the *' seeker after truth." If the 
question is not a good one, your answer may improve 
the quality of future questions, by showing the lack of 
thought back of the question just asked. Then (and this 
is hard) learn to say, "I do not know." Here is a chance 
to develop the research method — if turning to the dic- 
tionary for help, can be called by such a name. "I do 
not know" — with "VvTiat do you think.?" added — ' 
shows a flattering deference to opinion, and this may 
help the "small person" to understand deferring to 
your opinion with ease and grace. 

Let us think of your child's education as a ladder 
which he slowly climbs roimd by round. The first round 
of this ladder is curiosity. The child asks questions be- 
cause he wishes to know. Some one has said that children 
and wise men ask questions. Sir Isaac Newton dis- 
covered the law of gravitation because he asked ques- 
tions. He saw an apple fall to the ground. Many other 
men had seen apples fall to the ground and nothing had 
happened. Sir Isaac Newton asked, "Why does the 
apple fall.?" He set himself to watch and study. He 
found the answer in the law which makes all falling 
bodies seek the center of the earth. 

Active, intelligent children ask why questions all day 
long — it is their means of gaining knowledge. Mothers 
can help or hinder children in their search for knowledge. 

A little boy taken by his mother to a store saw for 
the first time a cash ball sent along its channel to the 
cashier's window." Why does the ball roll there?" asked 

173 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

the little boy. "To make little boys ask questions, I 
suppose," said the mother impatiently. Will that child 
ask his mother many more questions? Will he stop ask- 
ing questions? Or will he ask some one else? If he should 
stop asking, it would hinder his gain in intelligence. 

Foolish, untruthful answers are very harmful. Many 
questions are beyond your power to answer. Many are 
foolish. Silence is a wise method of dealing with a fool- 
ish question. Silence is the best reproof and the best way 
to make the child think. Froebel advises parents to walk 
out with their children to see what there is in the world. 
He says,^ "Father, mother, be not afraid: do not say, 
*I myself know nothing; how can I teach my child?' 
That you know nothing may well be; that is not the 
greatest ill, if only you are willing to learn : if you know 
nothing, do as the child does: ... be a child with your 
child, a scholar with your scholar; and with him let 
yourself be taught by Mother Nature, and by the 
Father, God's spirit in Nature : God's Spirit and Nature 
herself will lead and teach you, if you will let yourself 
be taught. Say not, 'I have not studied; I have not 
learned.' Who taught the first man. Go like him to the 
fountain-head ! One great aim of the university, indeed, 
is to give sight, to open the inward eye, for what is 
within and without; but it would be sad for the race of 
man if none could see but those who have studied at 
the university! And if you, parents and teachers, train 
your children and pupils as early as possible to see and 
to think, then universities will become what they ought 
and aim to be — schools for learning the highest spirit 

^ Students' Froebd. 
174 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

ual truths* . . . Follow, then, quietly and thoughtfully, 
children's questions; these will teach you and them; for 
these questions come from the human spirit, still child- 
like, and what a child as a boy asks a parent, this a grown 
man will be able to answer. But you say : ' Children and 
boys ask more than parents, than grown men, can an- 
swer,' and it is so. When you cannot give the knowl- 
edge they ask for, you stand either at the frontier of 
the earthly, or the gate of the divine; if so, then speak 
out simply ('I do not know, for it cannot be known'), 
and the mind and heart of child and boy will be satis^ 
fied; or you stand only at the limit of your own knowh 
edge; then be not afraid to say so ('I know not; others 
may; you will, sometime')." 

A mother took her four-year-old boy to a kindergar- 
ten, saying to the teacher: *'I have brought Percy here 
because I can't answer any more why questions. Yes- 
terday I said, * Percy, I can't answer any more why 
questions,' and he said at once, * Why can't you answer 
any more why questions,'^' I hope you can help to an- 
swer some of his questions." "I will try," said the kin- 
dergartener, "to help him to answer his own questions." 
This was a wise response. 

"l WANT TO SEE THE WHEELS GO ROUND " 
You remember the famous story of "Helen's Babies," 
who always wanted to see the wheels go round. All ba- 
bies are like Helen's babies. The ticking watch, the 
swinging pendulum, the swaying branches of trees, the 
whirling leaves, the sailing kite, the noisy pile-driver, 
and the long train of cars — all of these moving objects 

175 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

arouse the interest of little children. The moving things 
seem to have life, their mov-ement is fascinating. The 
curious child must explore, he must see the inside of the 
watch to jBnd out the source of its life. The little girl 
punches out the eyes of her doll to see what makes 
them open and shut. The boy destroys his toy windmill 
to discover what makes it turn. Kind grandpa and 
sometimes a kind father will take baby on his knee and 
show him the inside of the watch or hold the watch 
close to baby's ear that he may better hear the ticking. 

Richard had been told that steam confined was a very 
strong force. He wanted to find out if this was true. He 
tied the lid on the tea-kettle and put it over a hot fire. 
The lid was blown off and Richard was burned. This 
was a dangerous experiment, because there was no older 
person to direct; but the desire to find out was a good 
one. Watt discovered how to make the steam engine 
by watching his grandmother's tea-kettle. 

Jacob Abbott, in his " Gentle Measures for the Young," 
^ives an incident which mothers may well ponder. Sev- 
eral children were playing in the back yard. They de- 
cided that they would like to dig a well. They went in 
to ask mother's permission. *'Yes," said the mother. 
"Put on long aprons so you will keep your clothes 
clean and dry, and go to work. How will you make it.?" 
*'We dig a deep hole with our shovels and then fill it 
with water." "Very well," said the mother, "try it." 
She might have said, "Nonsense, how foolish! Of 
course water will not stay in the well — it will soak into 
the soil." But this mother was wise; she let her children 
discover for themselves. They poured in many pails 

176 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

of water and found out that they could not make a 
well that way. They began to look and to inquire how 
wells are made. Every new discovery leads a child to 
try more and to seek farther. 

Garrets, back yards and deep woods are charming 
places for discovery and exploration. Give the children 
room and opportimity and materials and they will find 
the answers to many questions. 

Froebel named his kindergarten playthings "Gifts" ^ 
because they give something to a child that he needs. 
They give him material to explore and to use. 

There are many simple experiments which children 
can make in their own homes. They watch the little 
rills of water on a rainy day running down the window- 
panes and making streams of water in the sidewalks 
and in the gutters. They watch to see where the brooks 
run away. They begin to see how brooks are formed. 

They see the steps and walks grow wet and dripping. 
The sun comes out and the wet disappears. Where has it 
gone? Let your children fill a saucer with water, and 
place it where they can watch it, to see the gradual dis- 
appearance. You can tell them that the water is taken 
up by the air or evaporates. They will watch to see how 
slowly the clothes dry on a cloudy day and how quickly 
on a sunny or windy day. 

A group of children in a kindergarten had made a dye 
of cochineal to color some sticks for play use. The dye 
was kept in a tumbler on a shelf. The children noticed 
that the liquid grew less day by day. They saw the red 
rim on the tumbler where the dye had been. At last 

* S«e Nora Atwood's Kindergarten Theory and Practice, chap. iv. 

177 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

only the minute insect bodies were left in the bottom of 
the glass. " I suppose the bugs were too heavy to go into 
the air," was the explanation given by an intelligent boy. 

A wise man asks questions because he is wise and 
knows that he needs to learn many things. A child asks 
questions because he wishes to become wise. In "Talks 
to Children," in vol. iii of this series, you will find an- 
swers to many of the questions your children ask. Some 
day they will read it for themselves. Now it is your privi- 
lege to be the source of wisdom. It is a great tribute to 
a father or mother when a child says, *'I know it is so 
because my mother said so," or "My father said so." 

The origin of young animals, including himself, sooner 
or later interests the little questioner. But too often his 
simple questions are sternly, and with horror, set aside. 
Then, of course, he has to make a story, and legends 
have developed in this way, giving us the stork, and 
the babies that hide in pond-lilies, waiting for their 
mothers. Legends are all very well in their way, but we 
should see that all important questions are faithfully 
answered, and such are the wonderments about human 
creation. Edward Porter St. John in Child Nature and 
Child Nurture says: "The child's natural curiosity opens 
the opportunity to give such instruction in a healthful 
way. The invariable questions as to his own origin, and 
as to where his baby brother or sister came from, and his 
observation of pets, domestic animals, and wild crea- 
tures about the home, introduce the subject in the ideal 
way. Thus the essential facts about the origin of life can 
be clearly given at a time and in a way that cannot pos- 
sibly offer any suggestion of impurity. A child who is 

178 




THE QUESTIONING CHILD 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

so taught feels as he grows older that he has always 
known these things; Nature's ways seem natural to him. 
There is no shock of revelation at a time when it is unfor- 
tunate that his thought should be strongly directed to 
these things. If the information has been wisely given, 
his ideas have been pure from the first and they are not 
easily perverted. 

Curiosity sometimes takes a bad form. "Paul Pry" is 
often held up to children as a warning against looking 
into things which are forbidden and interfering with 
the property of others. Curiosity like every other in- 
stinct must be curbed and directed. If a child is allowed 
to ask about other people's affairs and to pry into things 
which do not concern him, he becomes a nuisance. He 
may develop into the adult who always "wants to 
know" about all the neighbors, and who rejoices in 
scandal and gossip. 

There are two old myths which warn us against mis- 
directed curiosity. It is well to tell those to children who 
are over-curious. Do you know the story of "Pandora's 
Box" and "Odysseus and the Bag of Winds"? Both 
teach a good lesson.^ 

THE SECRET 

By Isa L. Wright 

Pattie was very fond of fairy stories. If she had n't 
been, the lovely thing that came to her could never 
have come in the delightfully happy way it did. And 
this is the way it all began: 

^ See appendix for " Thinking and Answering," by Dr. Woods 
Hutchinson. 

179 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Mother was reading a story about the fairy wishing 
gate, and the story said, "A wishing gate, as every one 
knows, is made of two straight sticks. Just cross your 
fingers and you will see what a wishing gate looks like." 

So, of course, Pattie crossed her finger. "Here's my 
wishing gate," she laughed. 

Mother read on. "And to find the wishing gate, you 
must walk and walk till you come to it. Then if you 
climb upon it, and wish your wish, in the fairies' own 
good time it will come true. But if you never find the 
wishing gate, you will know that wishing wishes on a 
fairy wishing gate is not for you." 

Then the story went on to tell of a little girl who 
did find it, wished her wish, and in the fairies' own good 
time found it coming true. 

"I am so glad she got her wish," Pattie said. "Only 
I should have wished for something much nicer than 
a doll." 

"What?" asked mother. 

Pattie thought a minute. "There are so many 
things, mother," she began. "If I could only have one 
wish, it would have to be something for daddy and 
you and me all together. I should have to think a long 
time before I decided." 

And right that very mmute, mother leaned over 
and whispered something — something that made 
Pattie dance up and down. "That is exactly what I 
should wish for, mother!" she cried. 

And, of course, the next morning, she walked and 
walked. Mother knew why she was walking and walk- 
ing, and Bobs, the dog, was with her. Pattie crossed 

180 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

her fingers. "That is the way it will look," she said to 
herself. And she walked and walked and walked some 
more. Then Bobs gave a funny httle bark. I do not 
know what he was barking at, but Pattie said she knew, 
for just when she looked up, she saw something that 
made her catch her breath and run fast. Folks called 
it a stile, but Pattie smiled and she climbed right up 
and wished her wish. It was a delightful wish, the hap- 
piest one you could imagine. If you know something 
that would make your mother and father and you the 
happiest people imaginable, then maybe you have 
guessed Pattie*s wish. I can't tell you now what it 
was, but I can tell you that Pattie was too happy for 
words all the way home, and Bobs wagged his tail and 
barked as though he understood, too. Pattie ran into 
the house and told mother all about it, and they de- 
cided, then and there, that it was a secret and must 
be told to no one. 

"We will tell daddy everything except the wish," 
smiled Pattie. And mother agreed. 

Daddy looked very much surprised when he heard 
about it. "H-m-m," he said, smoothing Pattie 's hair, 
"so it is something nice for mother and father and 
little Pattie. Well, I hope it will hurry up and come 
true." 

"Of course we all do," laughed Pattie, "but it is lots 
of fun thinking about it, too." 

Now the little, cuddly, yellow chickens down by 
the barn began to notice how very, very happy Pattie 
was. "She dances all the time," they told their mother, 
"£.nd slie keeps singing to herself." 

181 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Bobs, the dog, smiled. "She has a secret," he told 
them all. "It is a wish that is coming true." 

"How does she know that it is coming true.^" asked 
the chicks. 

"She wished it on the wishing gate. I was there 
when she did it," said Bobs, very proudly. 

"Oh, then you know what she wished." All ne 
little chickens pattered close to him. "Tell us!" 

"Indeed, I do not know the wish." Bobs held his 
head up high. "Pattie is a girl who can keep a secret. 
She has n't even told her daddy." 

"Why, what can it be.^" All the baby chicks twisted 
their little heads curiously. "Maybe she wished for a 
new doll buggy. We heard her say the old one was 
broken." 

"Indeed she did not. She wished for something for 
her mother and father and herself all together," Bobs 
told them. 

"What can it be?" the baby chicks said again. "Can 
you imagine, mother.^" 

Mrs. Hen opened her eyes wide. "I am not going to 
try," she answered. "It is Pattie's secret." And she 
shut her bill tight. 

" I wonder — " said one yellow chick to himself 
again. 

And he was not the only one that was wondering. 
The roly-poly kittens in the barn noticed Pattie the 
first day they opened their eyes. "She is a very happy 
little child, mother," they all said. 

"She has reason to be," their mother told them. "She 
has a very happy secret that is coming true." 

182 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

"Does she know that it is coming true?" they asked. 

"Of course!" Mrs. Pussy was quite positive. "She 
wished it on the fairies' wishing gate, and in the fairies* 
own good time, it will come true." 

"Did she wish for a new tea-set or a box of paints? 
She was playing with broken ones this morning." 

"Indeed not! She wished for something that her 
mother and father and herself could enjoy all together," 
Mrs. Pussy told them, as she washed their faces. 

"What do you suppose it is, mother?" they asked. 

"I don't suppose at all," said Mother Cat. "It is 
Pattie's secret." 

But the little kittens kept on wondering. 

Something else was wondering, too. The little wad- 
dling ducklings by the pond were talking about Pattie. 
"Her eyes grow brighter every day," they said one 
morning. 

"No wonder," quacked Mrs. Duck. "Her secret is 
coming true." 

All the Httle bills opened wide. "WTien?" they asked. 

"In the fairies' own good time," said Mother Duck. 

"Maybe she wished for a story-book," they ventured. 
"She likes fairy stories." 

"No, children," smiled Mrs. Duck. "She wished for 
something that her mother and father and she could 
enjoy together, but I do not know what the wish 
was." 

"Can't you guess?" they inquired. 

"I shall not try," she told them. "It is Pattie's secret. 
Come on now and have your swim." 

It was while they were paddling around in the pond 
183 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

that Pattie came out wearing her httle blue coat and 
her little blue hat and her very happiest smile. 

"Good-bye, little ducks! Good-bye, little chicks! 
Good-bye, little kittens!" she called. "I am going to 
the city to visit Aunt Mary and my wish is coming true." 
And off she danced. 

"Now we know! Now we know the wish!" cheeped 
all the little swimmers in the pond. 

"Do you?" asked Mrs. Duck, with a smile, and she 
shook her wise head. 

"Mother, did you hear?" peeped the baby chicks. 
"We have found out the secret." 

"Have you?" inquired their mother, smiling. And 
she, too, shook her head. 

Even Mrs. Pussy was smiling when her children called 
to her, "Mother, Pattie told us her secret!" 

"Did she?" Mother Pussy asked it in a very funny 
way. Then she laughed. 

"Well, if that is n't the secret, then what is it?" asked 
all the little chicks and all the little ducks and all the 
little kittens of their mothers. 

"You will find out," smiled the three mothers. 

It was three days after that when Pattie came back, 
wearing the same little blue hat and the same little blue 
coat and the same happy smile. She ran right into the 
house as fast as she could go. 

"Oh! oh! oh!" tiiey heard her say, and then they 
heard her laugh and then they heard her sing. And last 
of all, they heard her say, "I am so happy!" 

"The wish has come true," said everybody. "What 
can it be?" 

184 



THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

"I know," Bobs told them. "They let me in the house 
this morning. But it is Pattie's secret so I will let her 
tell it." 

"I know what it is," said a little chick; "it's a doll 
buggy!" 

Bobs just stretched himself. 

"I think it is a new dress," guessed a httle black 
kitten. 

"She wanted one," added a baby duckling. 

"Be still, children!" the three mothers said. "You 
can't guess it. You will have to wait and Pat tie will tell 
you." 

And of course she did. In fact Pat tie brought it out 
to show them, with the help of daddy, for it was too 
heavy for a little girl to carry. And when it was right 
there before their very eyes, Pattie said, "Look, Mother 
Hen and Mother Pussy and Mother Duck! We have a 
baby of our own, mother and daddy and I." 

And you may very well believe that all the three 
mothers and all their many children did look at the 
wee-est little baby with eyes as blue as the sky and 
cheeks as soft as a rose petal. 

"What a lovely secret!" said all the little ducks and 
all the little chicks and all the little kittens. 

"The happiest secret in all the world!" said their 
mothers. 



XXI 

THE LIGHT-BIRD 

"We most do own what we own not. 
But what is free to all : 
A sunset light upon the sea, 
A passing strain of melody 
Are ours beyond recall!" 

Mother Play 

LITTLE EDWIN is just a year old. He crawls all 
over the floor, picking up anything he sees. He 
tries to pick up the spot of sunlight which lies upon the 
floor where the sun shines through the windows. Yester- 
day he was charmed by a picture on a magazine cover. 
He patted the child in the picture repeatedly. Then he 
tried to pick up the stick and ball the child was carrying. 

His older brother delights in shining bits of tin, or 
pieces of a broken mirror. With these he flashes spots of 
light upon the floor or wall. He loves to watch their 
dancing motion. In the kindergarten, we make this into 
a play and call it the "Light-Bird." The children run 
and spring to catch the flitting sun spots. They also love 
to watch the rainbow made on the table or floor by the 
prism hung in the window where it may catch the sun's 
rays. 

Why is it that children wish to hold in their hands 
whatever attracts them.? They know no other form of 
possession. Their little hands reach out for all they 
desire. The bright and beautiful they wish to keep and 

186 



THE LIGHT-BIRD 

hold, and they know no other way than by grasping. 
Sometimes the desire to touch and to hold in the hands 
persists into more advanced years, as witness the signs 
in museums and picture galleries: "Don't touch." We 
do not see a fine vase or a painted dish any better for 
holding it. But many persons do not know this truth, 
else we should not see "Hands off" on tables in china 
shops. 

There are some things which children should not 
handle. A butterfly loses its beauty when it is caught. 
A fish dies if it is taken out of water. A wild bird dies 
when caged. Flowers perish with handling. A field of 
buttercups and daisies is a sight to gladden the eyes. 
It is not necessary to pull them up nor to gather them 
by handfuls to enjoy them. Can we not take memory- 
pictures of them? "Look well at them," we may say; 
"then shut your eyes and think how pretty they are." 

I was once driving with a friend along the shore of a 
lovely lake set in a circle of hills. It was a summer after- 
noon. The sun was low and the hills were clothed in gray 
and amethyst. "I am going to shut my eyes," said my 
friend, "and get this picture in my mind, then some dark 
winter's day I can see it again." 

At the end of a summer vacation I wrote to a friend : 
**I am returning to the city. I am leaving behind the 
green fields, the road winding by the shining river, and 
the sunset glow upon the hills." My friend replied: "You 
cannot leave behind anything which you have once 
enjoyed. All the sunsets you have ever seen, you carry 
with you forever. On any cold and dreary day you can 
escape to the green fields and shining river. You can 

187 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

never lose the pictures hung in the mansions of the 
mind." 

The wife of a country minister with a poor and scat- 
tered parish had much work to do for her seven children. 
There was washing and baking and cleaning and dressing 
the children, and making their clothes and getting them 
ready for school and church. 

"Often when I am very tired," she said, "I just sit 
down a minute by myself and listen to hear the larks 
sing in Ireland, as they sang in my childhood." 

MAKING MIND PICTURES 

Kindergarten children play a quiet game sometimes. 
They close their eyes and think lovely pictures. They 
see again the fish in the brook as their eyes saw them in 
the last walk. Or they see mother or baby at home. 

An Italian mother came to a kindergartner and asked : 
"What is it you do to Niccolini that she does such queer 
things.'* Sometimes she just sits quiet and shuts her 
eyes. I say, 'What are you doing, Niccolini.?' and she 
say: *I am making Light-Bird and I see Miss Blandy's 
smile.'" 

Little Eddie Foster said to this same teacher, "I 
wanted to bring an Easter card for you; but I could n't 
bring it." 

"Never mind," said Miss Blandy; "I shall be happy 
to think that you wished to bring it." 

" I knew you 'd make a Light-Bird out of it, and here 's 
your Light-Bird," said Eddie, as he took a bit of broken 
glass out of his pocket. 

The "Mother Play" book has a picture for the Light- 
188 



THE LIGHT-BIRD 

Bird. A mother and several children are shown. They 
are all trying to catch something. One brother has a 
little looking-glass in his hand. He is flashing a bright 
spot on the wall to amuse the baby. This is a part of the 
conversation about the picture: 

"* Mother what are the children doing?' 

"*They wish to catch butterflies.' 

"Two little girls have a net, one tries with her hand 
and another with her handkerchief. 

"*What is the little girl doing who stands so still by 
the wall? Look, she is trying to get over the wall to help 
the others catch the butterflies, but the wall is too high.' 

***But the little boy can get over the wall. I could do 
it. Why does n't he try? He is looking at his brother who 
is trying to get the swallows under the roof, but the 
swallows fly away.' 

** 'But those two children sitting so still on the hilltop. 
They are not trying to catch anything.' 

"*Yes, my child, they are trying to get something. 
Guess what?' 

***! do not know.' 

"* Yonder over the sea the sun is setting. They would 
like to hold its golden rays. Do you think they can?' 

" 'How can you think so, mother? The sun is far away 
behind the hills and the rays are only shine.' 

"'And yet the children can hold them.' 

"'No, mother, that cannot be true.' 

"'Yes, my child, they catch them through their eyea 
and hold them in their hearts. 

"'Do you remember father's loving eyes when he said 
good-bye to you as he went away, and have you not 

189 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

just told me that you thought of it when you asked, 

"Will not dear father soon come?" * 

"*Yes, mother, I see him all the time, dear father.* 
"*You see you can keep father's love even when you 

cannot see him.' 

"*Yes, indeed, I can, mother.'" 

TRUE OWNERSHIP 

"All lovely things belong to me. 
The sun is shining on the sea. 
The wind is whispering to the tree. 
The lark is singing in the sky. 
The fleecy clouds are sailing by; 
I am as rich as I can be. 
For all these things belong to me. 
No one can take these joys away. 
For in my heart they ever stay." 

Is it not worth while to give children this idea of true 
possession? Will it not give them a source of wealth 
which cannot be destroyed? In "Prue and I," George 
William Curtis describes the Sunday walk of an old 
bookkeeper, who is confined to his desk all the week. 
Old Titbottom says to his friend: 

"*I am glad I own this landscape.' 

"*You?' returned I. 

"* Certainly,' said he. 

"*Why,' I answered, *I thought this was part of 
Bourne's property?' 

"Titbottom smiled. 

"'Does Bourne own the sun and sky? Does Bourne 
own that sailing cloud, yonder? Does Bourne own the 
golden luster of the grain, or the motion of the wood, 

190 



THE LIGHT-BIRD 

or those ghosts of hills that glide pallid along the hori- 
zon? Bourne owns the dirt and fences; I own the beauty 
that makes the landscape, or otherwise how could I own 
castles in Spain?' 

"That was very true. I respected Titbottom more 
than ever." 

Jenny Wren, Dickens's dolls' dressmaker, has a supply 
of treasures not known to all. She says to her friend, 
Lizzie : 

"* Talking of ideas, my Lizzie' (they were sitting side 
by side as they had sat at first), *I wonder how it hap- 
pens that when I am work, work, working here, all 
alone in the summer-time, I smell flowers.' 

" * As a commonplace individual, I should say,' Eugene 
suggested languidly, — for he was growing weary of the 
person of the house, — ' that you smell flowers because 
you do smell flowers.' 

"*No, I don't,' said the little creature, resting one 
arm upon the elbow of her chair, resting her chin upon 
that hand, and looking vacantly before her; 'this is not 
a flowery neighborhood. It's anything but that. And 
yet, as I sit at work, I smell miles of flowers. I smell 
roses till I think I see the rose-leaves lying in heaps, 
bushels, on the floor. I smell fallen leaves till I put down 
my hand, so, and expect to make them rustle. I smeU 
the white and the pink May in the hedges, and all sorts 
of flowers that I never was among. For I have seen very 
few flowers, indeed, in my life.' 

"'Pleasant fancies to have, Jenny, dear!' said her 
friend: with a glance toward Eugene as if she would 

191 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

have asked him whether they were given the child in 
compensation for her losses. 

*'*So I think, Lizzie, when they come to me. And the 
birds I hear — Oh ! ' cried the little creature, holding out 
her hand and looking upward, *How they sing!"* 

So much misery in life comes from broken hopes and 
vain desires, from lost wealth and disappointed struggles, 
that I cannot conceive of any better lesson that children 
may learn than this of the Light-Bird. In its highest 
form it points us to the treasures which endure, when 
moth and rust corrupt earthly treasures and thieves 
break through and steal. 

King Midas thought that gold would make him happy. 
He longed for the touch which would turn everything 
to gold. He found that his golden touch destroyed his 
happiness. It turned his loved daughter to a golden 
image and deprived him of all the joy of loving affection. 
The gold was not worth that price, and King Midas was 
glad to lose the golden touch in order to regain his child 
and his flowers and singing birds and the true joys of life. 
Goods and gold may be lost; but what w^e hold in our 
hearts is ours forever. So let our children sing: 

"But eyes may catch 
And hearts may hold 
The Light-Bird on the wall." 



xxn 

THE SOCIAL CHILD 

**Up and down, and in and out. 
Toss the little limbs about. 
By and by in work and play. 
They'll be busy all the day." 

Froebel 

FROEBEL tells us that if little babies are to gro^ 
properly, in mind and body, they must have play 
and companionship. He arranged for the baby's play- 
time, and the mothers who follow his play suggestions 
have happy babies, and so are happy themselves. The 
first simple little plays are not more than gentle exer- 
cise, as the verse just quoted implies. But the baby is 
interested if his mother plays with him. Babies need 
mothering. We are told that hundreds of babies, cared 
for well and scientifically in large institutions, die for 
lack of it. Play and companionship are worth living to 
enjoy. A deHcate baby, with no joy in life, which is 
nothing more than the right amount of cuddhng, often 
slips away to Heaven where perhaps his mother is. The 
matrons of large institutions tell us that this is true. 

Too much rocking, too much jumping and singing 
are bad for a baby, of course. Why should it be assumed 
that unless a child is being shaken violently every min- 
ute, he will cry.? The years of life that lie before the baby 
depend largely, for their peace and calm, upon the way 
in which his first years are spent. 

193 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"More closely bound. 
By love, than if by iron girded round." 

Froebel 

The home — and Froebel thought it more important 
than the school or the church — holds all of the social 
side of life needed by the little child. His mother is his 
first best playmate, and when he comes to play with 
toys he still lacks interest in other children. He will 
take his favorite plaything and indifferently leave a 
little guest, retiring to a corner to play alone. Later he 
longs for a playmate, and if he has no brothers and sis. 
ters, he will imagine a companion. These imaginary ones 
are very real. A little child was going into the house, and 
the screen door closed with a slam behind her. She 
looked out and said politely, "Excuse me, for slamming 
the door in your face." She once talked of this invisible 
playmate with her aunt, but as a rule she was very 
sensitive about her. "You need somebody little to 
play with when you live with aunts," she said; and then 
in a lower tone, "but she's very queer-looking." The 
aunts had been told to watch any playmates the child 
might have with great care. This invisible intruder 
presented diflSculties, but "the queer-looking," imag- 
inary one taught them of the child's social need, and al- 
though she came and went for several years the invisible 
playfellow was no longer the child's only companion. 

Character forms as children play together. The fric- 
tion resulting from the fact that two or three are inter- 
ested in the same play and the same toys is very refining 
if lawlessness and ill-feeling are not allowed to enter in. 
Certain qualities, such as justice, stability, and self- 

194 



THE SOCIAL CHILD 

control, come through group play, as children need to 
"give up" and consider the interests of others. At play- 
time they learn the meaning of the Golden Rule, and it 
serves them through life. It is true that mothers need to 
know their children's friends. If she can survive being 
the mother at whose house it is the most fun to play, she 
will have every advantage. To sew or read within sound, 
and perhaps sight, of the children as they play, will give 
many an opportunity for training. A mother's merry 
laugh or friendly comment will often turn an affair with 
a serious aspect into a joke. A little sympathetic help in 
the matter of costumes, and "dressing up" or readiness 
in the providing of refreshments, will wnn for her many 
a laurel. It is an honor to be told a secret, and of course 
as many good times are surprises, secrets are plenty. 
The beauty of being told such secrets is that one con- 
fidence paves the way for another, and they grow more 
and more important as times goes on. 

When happy brothers and sisters play together there 
is not such great need for inviting the neighbor's chil- 
dren. But, obviously, except in the case of twins, broth- 
ers and sisters play with those older or younger than 
themselves. Think of the joy there is in the presence 
of a chosen, intimate friend exactly one's own age ! 

" And he who gives a child a home 
Builds palaces in Kingdom come." 

John Masefield 

In a real home meal-time is happy. Our grandmothers 
believed that children should be seen and not heard at 
table. Yet there is no time so favorable for training in 

195 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

courtesy as dinner-time, and children do not look with 
disfavor upon lessons happily learned as they rejoice 
the inner man. It is true that the seen-and-not-heard 
children of long ago were less rude than are the children 
of to-day. Are the mothers too tired to bother? Are 
the fathers absorbed in the workaday aspect of life, for- 
getting all else? 

A story is told of a New England farmer, hailed by 
a stranger who asked him to be set on the right road. 
The stranger observed the stones and other signs of 
poor crops, and with a note of scorn in his voice, he 
asked, "And what, may I ask, do you raise in a place 
like this?" The farmer replied without hesitation, 
"Men." Lack of material comforts is a great advantage 
many times in the raising of men. 

No matter how simple the meal, life lessons can be 
learned, and there is not the feeling that lessons have 
been left around in a child's way, as fly-paper is placed 
to catch flies. At table nobody should be laughed at, but 
every one should laugh toith everybody. In one large 
family the members take turns at playing that they are 
company. The company child is restrained and well- 
mannered as beseems a guest, and they all wear their 
company manners so much, while being, or entertaining, 
a guest, that they become everyday wear. This is good 
training and great fun. So is the asking of riddles, and 
the telling of good stories. In such ways the standard 
of table talk is placed high, but it takes watchful care. 

A little family, where the table talk was carefully 
guided, entertained a stranger one day at dinner. The 
guest was a business acquaintance of the father, and 

196 



THE SOCIAL CHILD 

pride and hospitality prompted the invitation. Before 
many minutes had passed, the family was horrified by 
the guest's profanity. Even the little ones felt that some- 
thing was wrong, and the baby, who was nearing his 
fourth birthday, finally said, looking sternly at the of- 
fender, ''We talk about pretty things here." There are 
enough pretty things to last a lifetime, too. 

"He who gives a child a treat 
Makes joy bells ring in Heaven's street." 

John Masefield 

There are many real treats, to be enjoyed without 
preparation and among the members of a family. 
Reading aloud and story-telling are among the number. 
It is a wise plan to lay aside a good story suited to the 
ages and interests of the children, to be brought out and 
enjoyed on a stormy evening or a Sunday afternoon. 
Children love to act and to give little plays or charades 
inviting a neighbor or two to increase the size of the 
audience. 

Parties and picnics are good experiences and the right 
sort of moving pictures are also, especially when enjoyed 
because father wants everybody to have a good time. 

The atmosphere that surrounds the preparation for 
the "good time" has a great deal to do with the amount 
of pleasure one finds when the good time comes. An 
exasperated mother hurried aboard an excursion boat, 
one morning, just at sailing time, piloting five small 
children. She seated them side by side, and standing 
before them she gazed upon their scared little faces, 
shining with soap and rubbing. "Now enjoy yourselves!" 

197 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

she commanded fiercely. But it is not easy to begin to 
enjoy one's self at once after a season of terrible prep- 
aration. The fun should begin when some one suggests, 
"Suppose you get out our best hats and choose a book 
to take with us, while I make the sandwiches." Yes, 
the fun begins then and there, and never ends so long 
as memory lasts. 

Little girls adore real parties, and boys, made to at- 
tend them, adjust things to taste by turning them into 
groups. Simple parties are good for both boys and girls 
now and then if plenty of activity is planned. Formality 
seems to lead to affectation, and to the discussion of 
party clothes. One little girl was heard to say scornfully 
to another about a third, "She's home-made, through 
and through." We have so many grown people of that 
turn of mind at present that they clog the wheels of 
progress. This is a needy world, and the children of to- 
day must grow up able to help and not to clog. 

"Merry have we met, merry have we been; 
Merry let us part, and merry meet again." 

For little children parties should always be in the after- 
noon, and out of doors when the weather permits. Even 
when children are old enough to feel that evening is 
the most festive time, let everything be simple and the 
hours early. The children at whose house the party is to 
be given should have some part of the preparation as- 
signed them. E the duty is not properly performed, the 
child's idea for the party will suffer, and the need for 
greater effort in future will be evident. 

If the affair takes the form of a picnic, of course the 
198 



THE SOCIAL CHILD 

boys will carry the baskets. Then give them the fun of 
cooking potatoes and bacon over a camp-fire. Of po- 
tatoes, Mr. E. V. Lucas says quite truly, from the hoy 
point of view: 

"But if you wish to taste them. 
As Nature meant you should. 
Why, cook them at a rubbish fire. 
And eat them in a wood." 

It is good training to insist upon leaving the spot 
chosen for the picnic in good order. A few dainties, as 
a treat for birds and squirrels, may be left, but nothing 
else. 

In the minds of some children ice-cream is indispen- 
sable at a real party. There are so many pretty ways of 
serving junkets, jellies, cakes and candies, that where 
it is difficult to serve ice-cream there are delightful sub- 
stitutes. Flowers, crepe paper, and processions of ani- 
mal crackers make very good table decorations. The 
animal crackers can be made to stand on oblong wafers 
or crackers by dipping their feet in icing and holding 
them for a few seconds in an upright position. But mem- 
ory and ingenuity, together with current magazines and 
books on the subject, are all one needs, where there is a 
will. 

"In all earth's happy ways, through peaceful nights and happy days. 
His life may forecast Heaven." 

Fhoebel 

The mission of all forms of happy play is to provide the 
right social intercourse, and a wholesome amount of 
work and training. Wrong thoughts and wrong activi- 

199 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

ties can be prevented, or completely routed, by filling 
a child's pup of pleasure to the brim. It is a wonderful 
privilege to arrange a home in such a way that it will 
"forecast Heaven." 

"Let me but find it in my heart to say 
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray — 
*This is my work; my blessing, not my doom; 
Of all who live, I am the one by whom 
This work can best be done, in the best way.'" 

Henry van Dyke 



XXIII 
HABITS 

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old 
he will not depart from it." 

A MAN going to his office one morning discovered 
a low-hanging branch of a tree over his path. He 
lifted his cane and hit the branch as he passed. The 
next morning he noticed the branch and again hit it 
with his cane. The third morning he did the same, also 
the fourth and the fifth. Finally he could not pass the 
spot without repeating the act of hitting the branch. He 
resolved not to do it; but the impulse was too strong 
for him, and each day the branch was struck. He became 
alarmed over this propensity and consulted a physician. 
The physician promised to cure him. The next day he 
found that the branch had been cut oS. How did the 
physician reason in the matter? The man had formed 
a habit by repeated acts. The habit had become so 
firmly fixed that the sight of the tree prompted the same 
physical movement. The only treatment was to remove 
the suggestion to the action. The habit was broken by 
cutting off the stimulus to the action. 

A sailor who comes ashore rolls along the sidewalk 
with the same gait necessary on shipboard. He has be- 
come so used to the rolling deck that his way of walk- 
ing is fixed in his muscles. He cannot walk in any other 
way. 

201 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Boys who were drilled in our army camps came home 
with an erect posture and a military bearing gained 
by long weeks of setting-up exercises. The boy who 
slouched lost his bad posture and learned to stand up 
straight and tall like a soldier. 

The great benefit of physical or gymnastic training is 
to give good habits of standing, sitting, and walking. 
These make for health as well as for good poise and 
movement. The muscular habit is fixed in the right way. 

The stooping shoulders of the minister or the teacher 
are due to long hours of desk work in a wrong position. 
The bent back of the woman may be the result of bend- 
ing over sewing or over a low table as she cooks or 
washes dishes. The muscles get a certain set by repeated 
movements and by continued posture. It is hard to 
change them when they are once fixed. 

All our ways of doing are established by repetition. We 
hold our knives and forks as we held them in childhood 
unless we make a great effort to change. We sit erect at 
table or we slouch as we were trained to sit in childhood. 

We enter a room easily and gracefully or awkwardly 
according to our early training. Our habits of speech be- 
come fixed very early. We modulate our voices or we pitch 
them high as we were accustomed to do in childhood. 

MIND HABITS 

There are habits of mind as well as of body. We dispute 
and argue if we were formed along that line. We are vio- 
lent and irritable or calm and reasonable as our early 
influences determined. 
Habits have much to do with the learning process. 
202 



HABITS 

Children may form habits of quick and careful obser- 
vation which are of great help in learning to read and 
write and in gaining knowledge of what is about them. 
It is well to train children to observe when and how the 
buds form on the trees, to watch the birds, to learn of 

"The wild wasp's cunning way. 
Mason of his wall of clay." 

The child in the country has a chance to observe the 
signs of the winds and the weather, the planting and 
growth of the crops, and the habits of the creatures of 
the farm and the woods. All this gives him valuable in- 
formation, fosters the habit of looking carefully and of 
basing judgments on what has been seen. 

The habit of attention should be acquired early in 
the home. Children should be trained to listen to what 
is said and to hear the first time. They should put their 
whole attention on what they are doing at the time. 
Listless and divided attention forms a very bad habit 
and one difficult to break. The habit of attention makes 
easy the work of the school. How many of us wish we 
had formed it when we listen to a lecture or a sermon! 

HEALTH 

Habits have much to do with health. I have already 
spoken of posture and of physical training. Our habits 
of eating and sleeping and working are all important in 
keeping a good health standard. We "get in the way" 
of late hours at night. We do not feel like going to bed, 
so we sit up later and later. By and by we find we can- 
not sleep until a late hour. Why? We have formed a habit. 
We rise betimes if we form that habit and it is no hard- 

203 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

ship. What we eat and how we eat are regulated by our 
custom which soon becomes hard to vary. Habits make 
us slaves. When we cannot do otherwise, when we must 
eat or drink this or that, then we are no longer free. 
Alcohol enslaves, because the man yields again and 
again to his desire to drink until he is the victim of his 
habit. Alcohol is especially dangerous in its habit-form- 
ing power because it affects the will-power of its slaves. 

Professor James says this of habit: 

"Could the young but realize how soon they will 
become mere walking bundles of habits, they would 
give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state. 
We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never 
to be undone. . . . The drunken Rip Van Winkle in 
Jefferson's play excuses himself for every fresh derehc- 
tion by saying, * I won't count this time ! ' Well ! he may 
not count it, and a kind Heaven may not count it; but 
it is being counted none the less. Down among his 
nerve-cells and fibers the molecules are counting it, 
registering and storing it up to be used against him 
when the next temptation comes. Nothing we ever do is, 
in strict scientific literalness, wiped out. Of course this 
has its good side as well as its bad one. As we become 
permanent drunkards by so many separate drinks, so 
we become saints in the moral, and authorities and 
experts in the practical and scientific, spheres, by so 
many separate acts and hours of work." 

EARLY HABITS 

I HAVE spoken of habit in general. We may form new 
habits and break old ones at any period of life; but 

204 



HABITS 

childhood is the time when habits are most easily formed. 
It is the important time to fix right habits and so dis- 
courage bad ones. Two of my students have written 
helpful discussions of habit which I share with you. 

Rhoda Case writes: 

"The habits of a child are of the utmost importance. 
There are two main reasons for this. The first is because 
one's habits really determine or express one's character. 
A very large part of life is habit. Each individual eats, 
thinks, talks, dresses, and acts as he is in the habit of 
doing. A child who is habitually careless alwaj^s has di- 
sheveled hair, unbuttoned blouse, untied ribbons and 
shoestrings, and is continually losing his handkerchiefs 
and mittens. In contrast, the child with particular habits, 
looks neatly and carefully dressed and does not lose his 
articles of clothing. We see the same children when they 
come to their meals, the one hastily gobbling his food, 
spilling it and getting it all over his face and hands; the 
other eating quietly and politely. Thus each act in the 
daily routine of life becomes subject to our habits. 

"Should we begin with the very little child to form 
his life habits.'^ By all means; it is the only time to begin. 
Those habits formed and practiced in childhood remain 
all through life, and it is therefore most important that 
great care be taken in guiding the tendencies of the child 
into good and useful habits. If a child seems averse to 
cleanliness, just so much more particular we must be to 
supervise and encourage his daily attempts at washing 
himself. And in training these habits it is of vital im- 
portance that we do not make any exceptions, We might 
think, perhaps, * To-night he is so tired, I '11 let him jimip 

205 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

into bed without a bath.' But very certainly the next 
night he will be even more tired, and so it will go until 
the exception becomes the habit, which is a bad one. 
Another habit is that of placing clothes neatly on a chair 
for the night. Perhaps you think it hard for a small 
child and too much to expect of him. But a little later, 
even though he is older, it is going to be a great deal 
harder to begin hanging them up nicely instead of 
throwing them on the floor. To break a habit and es- 
tablish a new one is twice as hard for the child as to form 
a good one originally. 

" So we must all give the greatest care and thought to 
the forming of our children's habits because our habits 
are so much a part of our lives and also because child- 
hood is the time for forming good habits." 

Elizabeth Fitch says: 

"The thousand things that you do during a single 
day, from the time you dress yourself to the time you 
brush your teeth at night, are mostly acts of habit. 
If each act were not habitual, just think of the thought 
and attention they would require. Habits enable us to 
do the necessary, everyday things without conscious 
effort, thus leaving the mind free to do the new things, 
to attend to the really interesting things, to solve the 
new problems that constantly arise. 

"The importance of habit is so very great that we 
cannot afford to neglect the habits that children are 
acquiring, both at home and at school. If mothers could 
realize how the habits of their children depend upon 
themselves, they would be saved from much future 
trouble. 

206 



HABITS 

"Most of the habits that have to do with everyday 
things are fixed in childhood. It is therefore the first 
duty of a mother to see that her child acquires the 
fundamental habits that are necessary for his welfare. 
A child forms new habits much more easily than an 
older person, and there is the greatest danger of the 
formation of undesirable habits. On the other hand, the 
child is for the same reason all the more teachable and 
can more easily learn good habits. 

"It is possible to begin the training of the child's 
habits much earlier than most people believe. Wlien a 
few days old children can be trained in regular hours of 
feeding. Far too many mothers are unaware of the 
importance of forming good habits. For instance, as 
babies sleep most of the time at first, the habit of going 
to sleep does not concern the mother. But in a few weeks 
it may be observed that the child's going to sleep at 
fixed hours can be controlled by putting him in the right 
position and darkening the room. 

"Every habit is the result of repetition. If we wish a 
child to acquire any particular habit, we must make 
sure that he repeats the desired act a sufficient number 
of times, and the habit will be there. The problem which 
now confronts the mother is, 'How shall I provide suit- 
able inducements for repeating the act.^ ' Well, there are 
various ways. This does not mean that one must offer 
children some reward for practicing or for doing things 
in the right way. For example, let us take the child who 
mispronounces words. He needs only to hear a word 
pronounced properly, and through imitation he will 
repeat the correct sounds until they become habitual. 

207 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"When we are trying to fix habits in a young child 
we should introduce the desired actions into the child's 
routine, and insist upon their performance on every 
occasion. Until the habit is absolutely fixed, allow no 
exceptions to occur. Every exception has its dangers, 
because it may introduce new interests, new satisfac- 
tions, tempting or leading to a repetition of the excep- 
tion and thus making this the new habit. The same 
principle applies to the breaking of rules or habits. 
Whatever it is that must be stopped, must be stopped 
the instant the action is noticed. *Just this once' is the 
greatest possible enemy to the development of good 
habits, and mothers should learn this and keep it ever 
in mind." 

There is an old saying, "Let a child run until he is six 
and you will never catch him!" Do you see what this 
means .^^ Does it not mean the same as the proverb of the 
wise Solomon.^ — 

"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when 
he is old, he will not depart from it." 



XXIV 
THE OBEDIENT CHILD 

"Who has more obedience than I masters me, though he should not 
.'aise his finger." 

"Next to this quite priceless gift of Peace, I had received the per- 
fect understanding of the natures of Obedience and Faith. I obeyed 
word, or lifted finger, of father or mother, simply as a ship her helm: 
not only without idea of resistance, but receiving the direction as a 
part of my own life and force, a helpful law, as necessary to me in 
every moral action as the law of gravity in leaping. And my practice 
in Faith was soon complete : nothing was ever promised me that was 
not given: nothing ever threatened me that was not inflicted, and 
nothing ever told me that was not true." 

RUSKIN 

WHAT shall I do with my child? He won't do 
anything I say! How shall I make my boy 
mind? He never pays any attention to my desires.'* 
These are frequent questions of mothers. Such mothers 
do not know that obedience is a habit and must be 
formed early. As soon as a baby understands the mean- 
ing of "No! No!" then is the time to begin the habit. 
A young woman who belonged to a Mothers' Club once 
asked advice of the others regarding her five-year-old 
boy. He dehghted in dropping china and glass in order 
to enjoy the crash of the breaking. She told him not to 
touch things : but her commands were of no avail. That 
morning he had climbed to the mantel-shelf and thrown 
down an expensive vase, one of her wedding presents. 
What should she do? An older woman explained to her 

209 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

the difficulty of beginning too late in forming a habit. 
She advised her to do certain things now. 

First. Never give a needless command, nor an idle 
request. 

Second. Never forget a command once given. 

"You forgot once," said a small boy, when his mother 
said to him, "John go wash your hands. Haven't I 
always told you never to come to meals without wash- 
ing your hands.?'* 

It is easy to say, "Don't do this," "You mustn't 
touch that," and then forget about it or ignore a viola- 
tion of the command even when it is remembered. Many 
needless orders are given to children which only irritate 
them and invite disobedience. The oft-repeated tale of 
the boy who thought his name was "Willy Don't" is a 
warning to all mothers. Do is always better than dont — 
too many donHs prevent a habit of obedience, for no 
child can remember them all. 

Third. Be constant as the northern star. Capricious 
mothers make disobedient children. X mother who is 
tender and indulgent one hour, and stern and impatient 
the next, will never control her child. She lacks self- 
control, and her example contradicts her words. Nag- 
ging, scolding mothers lose all influence with their chil- 
dren. Angry words and angry commands will be evaded, 
as far as possible, and the atmosphere of friendly, loving 
relationship, where obedience is a joy, is lost. 

Fourth. Authority must not be arbitrary. Obedience 
is a prime virtue of childhood, as obedience to a moral 
law is a fundamental virtue in later life. The Garden of 
Edeu is pictured to us as a place of happy delight. It was 

210 



THE OBEDIENT CHILD 

spoiled by disobedience. Law is necessary to protect us 
in the State and in the community; law must reign in the 
household if there is to be a happy family and good 
training. 

"A child rarely fails to see whether what parent and 
teacher order or forbid comes from themselves, person- 
ally, arbitrarily, or is the expression of universal and 
necessary truth speaking through them." 

Where such an atmosphere pervades a home, children 
readily obey, because all commands are reasonable and 
rooted in the nature of things. "The family," says 
Froebel, "is more than church or school or state, for he 
who is reared in a family unhallowed by the presence 
of justice and law tends to become a scoffer of one and 
a rebel against the other." 

Fifth. Do not use threats or bribes. "Say good-night 
to all the ladies," said a mother to her little girl. The 
child ran away behind the stairs and said nothing. 
"Come," said the mother, "there's a good little girl! 
Say good-night like a lady." Still the child hid. "Let 
me tell you something," said the mother. This call suc- 
ceeded. The mother whispered, "Say good-night and 
I'll give you some candy upstairs." The little girl said, 
"Good-night," and ran upstairs to receive her reward. 
\Miere was the harm in this.?^ Would that little girl wait 
the next time to be offered some inducement before obey- 
ing? The habit formed was delay and disobedience. 
Dr. Montessori is wise in offering no reward for good 
conduct. Children should learn to do the right thing 
because it is right and get their satisfaction in the doing. 
Little pleasures and treats should come as a part of the 

211 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

happy home life, not as rewards for doing what ought 
to be done. A special pleasure like a picnic or an excur- 
sion may sometimes come as the legitimate end of a 
well-performed duty where special effort has been re- 
quired. We may go nutting when the leaves have been 
raked in the dooryard or the potatoes sorted. 

A bully uses a threat. It is an unworthy means of ap- 
peal to children. '*If j^ou do that again, I'll tell father"; 
"Just you try that again and see what happens": these 
are some of the threats one sometimes hears. What is 
the result.^ If the child obeys, it is through fear of conse- 
quences. No real element of obedience exists. The obe- 
dience is seeming, not real. The appeal to fear weakens 
the child's moral sense; gradually he becomes either 
timid and cringing or hardened and impertinent. If the 
child does not obey and the mother forgets to tell the 
father, and nothing happens, a premium is put on dis- 
obedience. Threats mean nothing and authority is dis- 
counted. 

Sixth. Obedience should be happy and willing. When 
we are in a good home where peace reigns and children 
are good all the time, it seems the normal atmosphere 
and easily attained. The secret hes in making obedience 
and a cheerful response to the parents the constant 
practice of the family. The baby is taught that "No, 
No!" "Don't touch," mean something. The habit of 
obedience becomes fixed. 

I was once privileged to be a guest in a home where 
four Hvely, active, happy children had the blessing of 
wise and good parents and constant training in law and 
order. "Ruth, go and get me to-day's paper from the 

212 



THE OBEDIENT CHILD 

sitting-room," said the father one night at the supper 
table. Ruth hesitated an instant. The table was bright, 
the company pleasant, the food inviting. It was hard 
to leave the cheerful scene even for a moment. *'Ruth!" 
said the father firmly. That was all, but Ruth went. 
There was no scene of discipline, no friction, no unhappi- 
ness. The paper was brought, the item found and read, 
and every one was happy. Such a home atmosphere is 
created by the sympathetic cooperation of father and 
mother and the constant and early practice of the habit 
of obedience. 

Seventh. Obedience leads to self-control. Little Louise 
was at a child's party where candy was passed several 
times, but Louise took none. "She is on a diet," the older 
sister explained, "and candy is forbidden." Through 
obedience Louise was learning to master her desires. 

How many wrecked hves might be saved if all chil- 
dren learned early to say, "No!" Do not think you 
make your children happy by indulging them and letting 
them have all they desire. Happiness is won by content. 
Contentment comes only when one learns to subdue 
desire. 

The obedient child can be trusted away from home. 
He does the right thing because he has learned to con- 
trol himself. 

It is the custom in many kindergartens to require a 
short period of quiet after some active exercise. The rest 
is desirable, and gives opportunity for quiet self-control. 
No matter what Mary wishes to say or do, she must 
wait until the signal is given to "wake up." Then all 
"wake up" together and work or play reigns again. The 

213 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

noisy home where loud commands are given and shrill, 
high tones prevail affords no chance for children to think 
and decide for themselves and use training in self- 
determination. 

TEACHING DISOBEDIENCE 
"I'll teach you to strike your little sister!" says an 
angry mother as she gives a blow to the offending child. 
And she does. She does not really mean to teach her 
child to strike: but she is doing so. "I'll teach you to 
disobey me again!" says another mother when a child 
has neglected some duty. And she does. The child is 
made sullen and obstinate by such harshness and has no 
desire to conform to the mother's desires. 

Do not repeat a command if you wish obedience. 
Too much repetition weakens the effect of the words. 

"How many times must I tell you?" says a mother in 
despair. The trouble is she has told too many times. 
When children know a direction is likely to be repeated, 
they do not take the trouble to attend the first time. 
Many directions given at the same time confuse a child 
and make obedience diflScult. If you say, "Mary, stop- 
playing a minute and run upstairs and get my handker- 
chief from the right-hand corner of the top drawer of 
my bureau, and mind you don't touch anything on the 
bureau," you are suggesting too much for a child to fol- 
low. Mary will probably stop on the stairs and ask, 
"What did you want.?" or, "Where is it.?" Do not be 
impatient with her. She could not possibly have grasped 
all your directions. 

A weak or doubtful tone of voice is another fruitful 
2U 



THE OBEDIENT CHILD 

source of disobedience. "The reason why men do not 
obey us,'* says Emerson, "is because they see the mud 
at the bottom of our eye.'* Children do not obey us be- 
cause they see that we have no firm behef that the de- 
sired deed will be done. 

HOW TO GAIN OBEDIENCE 

Expect your children to do as you desire. Believe that 
they will do so. Show this in your eyes and in the tones 
of your voice. A teacher in a school or a mother in a 
home who hesitates or speaks with a doubtful or plead- 
ing tone, is lost. No control is possible if one doubts 
herself. Speak in a low voice and firmly. One is not heard 
anywhere for much speaking nor for loud speaking. 

And most of all gain the confidence of your children, 
so that what you desire wall be their desire also. \Miat 
you ask will always seem good and right. "Perfect trust 
casts out fear." It casts out disobedience also. 



XXV 
THE HONEST CHLLD 

"See-saw, Marjory Daw! 
Johnnie shall have a new master! 
He shall have but a penny a day. 
Because he can't work any faster!" 

Mother Goose 

MOTHER GOOSE is a wise old mother. She puts 
her lessons in the form of nonsense rhymes. She 
does not preach nor teach; but she gives us many whole- 
some truths. Johnnie must seek a new master. He can- 
not earn what the old master pays, because he cannot 
work any faster. He is worth only a penny a day. I sup- 
pose this rhyme was made to fit the case of a slow child 
who dawdled at his tasks. It also fits the case of the 
child who expects to be paid for errands and little jobs, 
regardless of the value of the service. Honesty is shown 
in work as well as in money matters. Perhaps children 
gain the best idea of honesty through honest, exact 
work. An honest man is an exact man. He is true to his 
contracts. He renders due value in his work. You are 
helping your child to be honest and true when you insist 
on good, thorough work and well-finished work. 

A seam sewn up with a loose edge, here and there, is a 
dishonest seam. 

A box made with a cover which does not fit is a dis- 
honest box. 

A boy who scants his task and runs off to play before 
216 



THE HONEST CHILD 

the job is finished is doing dishonest work. One reason 
for the manual training of our schools is the practice it 
gives in doing exact and careful work. Any imperfection 
is seen at once. A stool with four uneven legs refuses to 
stand. The error in making is evident at once. 

A sleeve which does not fit is a poor sleeve. No con- 
cealment is possible. Words may sometimes gloss over 
bad deeds; but poor hand-work cannot be explained 
away. The work is good or it is bad. 

The use of tools is a good means of teaching boys to 
be careful and exact and honest. 

In England there is a school for boys who have been 
taken up in court for stealing and various other offenses. 
At this school boys are put to work at once. Each day 
is so filled that there is no time for idleness. Satan gets 
no chance at idle hands. The boys do all the farm work 
and all the dairy work. They raise grain and vegetables 
and make hay to fill the barns. ^Vhen a boy first comes 
to this school, he naturally desires to run away. He finds 
that the only walls are green hedges, and he decides to 
stay until he finds out why boj^s are left free to go as 
they please. He discovers that the work and life are so 
interesting that no boy wishes to leave. 

TINY TOWN 

Some years ago the boys undertook the construction of 
a miniature village in an old gravel pit on the farm. 
A writer in The Outlook gave this account of the little 
town: 

"The boys set to work with a will to build Tiny 
Town. 

217 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"And wonderfully well they did their work. This is 
no cardboard and paper affair, but a collection of solid 
iron and wood buildings, carefully designed, well and 
truly put together, weather-resisting, enduring. The 
church is the pride of the place. It is an exact model of 
a church, built scrupulously to scale, as are all the 
houses. The roof lifts off, so that, when a giant comes 
along in the shape of a human boy, woman, girl, or man, 
he or she may conveniently peer within. Inside are bells, 
clocks, seats, and choir-stalls. There will be seen an 
organ, a font, an altar, a pulpit, and stained-glass win- 
dows. Creepers climb over the white outer walls. In the 
churchyard are neat gravel paths, gravestones, and trees 
that reach to one's knees. 

"The farm is a model farm in every sense, with cattle- 
shed, brickyard, and all that a model farm should have. 
Then the village boasts a fine recreation ground, with a 
band-stand, but the music must be imagined. There is a 
squire's mansion, with a fine billiard-room and a bil- 
Hard-table. A river flows through the town, w^th locks 
for control — real little locks that actually work. As 
you stand in the station — or over the station — you 
see trains, a tunnel, a signal-box, platforms, cranes, a 
ticket office, a water-tank, and a number of ornamental 
trees. The temptation is strong to ask for a ticket to 
some haunts of Gulliver's, say, Blefuscu. The vicarage 
is an exact model of Canon Vine's own residence. On 
the hill is a fine mansion. Away in the distance you see 
the ruins of Fountains Abbey, in exact miniature." 

The building of this town taught many lessons. The 
boys learned to construct. They learned how to find and 

218 



THE HONEST CHILD 

to use material ; but best of all tbey learned the need of 
good, honest, exact work. 

Paper-folding is one of the occupations of the kinder- 
garten. Boats, windmills, stars, frames, and countless 
other things are made from the little squares of paper. 
The best result of the work, however, is not what is 
made; but what is gained by the making. A wrong or 
crooked crease makes a one-sided boat, or a crooked 
frame. TJiere is no way to conceal this bad bit of work. 
Is it the best Mary can do.^^ 

At any rate, the poor lop-sided boat is an object lesson. 
It shows the need of a straight fold from the very start. 

HOME LESSONS 

One path to honesty is by honest work. 

Every home may teach this lesson. 

How do your children do their daily work.? 

Does Jane leave dust under the rugs or a little heap 

in the corner? 

Are the glasses made to shine when they are wiped .'^ 

George Herbert says : 

"Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws. 
Makes that and the action fine." 

Are the boys anxious to finish their jobs to the last 
stroke? Or do they hurry the work in order to run off to 
play? Would they like to hear what Adam Bede says 
about good work? — 

" *Look there, now! I can't abide to see men throw 
away their tools that way the minute the clock begins 
to strike, as if they took no pleasure in their work, and 
were afraid of doing a stroke too much.' 

219 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Seth looked a little conscious, and began to be slower 
in his preparations for going, but Mum Taft broke 
silence, and said: 

"*Ay, ay, Adam lad, ye talk like a young un. When 
y* are six-an'-forty like me, istid o' six-an'-twenty, ye 
wonna be so flush o' workin' for nought.' 

"* Nonsense,' said Adam, still wrathful; * what's age 
got to do with it, I wonder? Ye arena getting stiff yet I 
reckon. I hate to see a man's arms drop down as if he 
was shot, before the clock 's fairly struck, just as if he 'd 
never a bit o' pride and delight in 's work. The very 
grinds ton 'uU go on turning a bit after you loose it.'" 

JUST PAY 

Just pay for good work is a law of the world of trade. 
In one of Froebel's plays a child wishes to buy a toy. 

"^Vhat costs it?" he asks. 

"Three pennies," is the answer. 

"Oh that is much too dear, 
For only two pennies have I here." 



"Three pennies is just enough. 
One for the work and two for the stuff. 
Three pennies the buyer must pay; 
Who cannot pay it, must run away," 

Such a play and dialogue between buyer and seller 
will make a more lasting impression than many maxims. 

It is well for children to see not only that they are not 
cheated; but that they do not cheat any one. 

How would it affect our industrial conditions if every 
home all over the land should zealously teach and prac- 
tice the principle of just pay for good work, and the 

220 



THE HONEST CHILD 

corresponding principle of good work rendered for the 
wage received? 

Does this kind of teaching begin in your home? 
Christina G. Rossetti has put this principle in a child's 
form in her rhyme : 

PAY A PENNY 

"Ferry me across the water. 

Do, boatman do." 
"If you've a penny in your purse 

I'll ferry you." 
"I have a penny in my purse. 

And my eyes are blue. 
So ferry me across the waves. 

Do, boatman, do." 

"Step into my ferry-boat, 
Be they black or blue. 
And for the penny in your purse, 
I'll ferry you." 

HONEST ABE 

Among the many good qualities of our great President 
Abraham Lincoln was honesty. It is well for all growing 
boys to know some of the anecdotes of Lincoln. Here 
are three incidents taken from "Noble Lives and Noble 
Deeds," by E. A. Horton: 

"While tending store, Lincoln once sold to a woman 
goods to the amount of two dollars, six and a quarter 
cents. He discovered later that a mistake had been made, 
and that the store owed the customer the six and a 
quarter cents. He closed the store, and walked several 
miles that night to return the amount. 

"At another time a woman bought half a pound of 
221 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

tea. Lincoln discovered the next morning that a four- 
ounce weight was on the scales. He at once weighed out 
the remainder, and walked some distance before break- 
fast to return it. 

"He was once a postmaster in New Salem; but the 
office was finally discontinued. Several years after the 
agent called at his law office, and presented a claim of 
about seventeen dollars in the settlement of the New 
Salem aflFairs. Mr. Lincoln took out a little trunk, and 
produced the exact sum, wrapped in a hnen rag. It had 
Iain there untouched through years of the greatest hard- 
ship and self-denial. As he said, *I never use any one's 
money but my own.' " 

Can you point out to your child some of the ways in 
which dishonest work is detected .^^ 

"A man builds of stone that has a fair outside, but is 
full of inward flaws. Sooner or later his structure must 
give way. An architect makes a slight error of calcula- 
tion. No one would notice it, but a great building falls 
and lives are lost. A merchant is deceitful at a trade 
— mixes sand with his sugar. A milkman waters his 
milk. Sooner or later both are known as sharpers before 
the world." 

"Square" and "fair" are words which boys often use. 
They admire the teacher who is fair, and the man who is 
square. "A square deal" is an admirable thing. Can we 
help to carry over this natural admiration for what is 
fair and square into daily life and practice? A good man 
once said that the only tribute he desired on his tomb- 
stone was: "Here Hes a white man, who gave every one 
a square deal." Is this not a good ideal for any boy.^ 



THE HONEST CHILD 

TEACHING CHILDREN TRUE VALUES 

By Emma Gary Wallace 

It is not to be expected that children will be especially 
discriminating in their tastes, nor that they will under- 
stand true and proportionate values. Why should they? 
They live so much in the present that it is not to be 
expected they will appreciate anything which cannot be 
eaten, or worn, or enjoyed right now, nor revel in the 
beneficial influences of discipline and the results of self- 
denial and thrift. 

Many a mother has been disappointed because her 
child does not seem to distinguish between the useful 
and the useless, the durable and the perishable, the 
tawdry and the genuine, and yet it is little to be won- 
dered at. Children come into the world without any 
experience. The brain is often described as ''virgin soil." 
This is expressive but trite. If we will stop to remember 
that the brain of the little child is smooth and absolutely 
without convolutions, the "virgin soil" illustration will 
become more striking. The convolutions gradually ap- 
pear as experiences cause mental development. Why 
should a child understand values when it has little 
experience in selection, usefulness, or durability.'' Is it 
not reasonable to take the ground that children should 
have a reasonable training in material and ethical values? 

When the very little one begins to realize the differ- 
ence in weight and texture of cotton, silk, and wool, it 
does not require much time or knowledge on the part 
of the mother to say: 

"Cotton grows in great fields in the warm South. 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

A piece of land the size of our garden or the park across 
the way will grow a great many baskets of cotton. It is 
picked, spun into thread, and made into cloth, and I 
was able to get this for ten cents a yard. 

"But this piece of silk costs a whole dollar a yard, 
and it is narrower, too, because the silkworms work 
more slowly and it is expensive to raise and feed them. 
Then, all the people who handle the silk have to be paid 
— the ones who color it, and the ones who ship it and 
bring it to us, and much of it is raised much farther away 
than the cotton. 

" The wool in your winter coat costs two dollars a 
yard, because it is heavy and thick and warm, but after 
all, the cotton and the wool will last longer than the 
silk, although one is dearer and one is cheaper, because 
the fibers are so strong." 

This information may be supplemented by talks and 
bedtime stories on the good sheep that gave the wool, 
and the busy little silkworms, and the pickaninnies who 
play in the cotton fields down South. In the course of 
time, the child can be brought face to face with the 
natural deduction that an imitation product is cheaper 
than the real one and not worth as much, and that only 
worthwhile things are imitated. 

One httle boy had this brought home to him by no- 
ticing that one suit case was much lighter than another. 
When it was explained to him that the pressed paper one 
was cheaper because it was made of cheap material, and 
that leather costs more because it takes years to grow 
the animals to produce the leather, he saw the point at 
once. 

224 



THE HONEST CHILD 

This same little lad was driving through the country 
before he was five years old, and looking at the farm- 
houses, he said thoughtfully: 

"How do these people make their money to live on?" 

His father carefully explained about the raising of 
the grain, the selling of milk and raising of sheep and 
chickens and other things. 

"Why," he returned promptly, "they don't have to 
go to the grocery store as often as we do, do they, be- 
cause they have so much right at home?" 

His sense of proportionate values had been steadily 
developed. 

In the same way, this little boy's parents were excep- 
tionally careful to always give each person of whom they 
spoke credit for some worthy motive, so that he devel- 
oped into a child who steadily emulated the good, and 
recognized it wherever he met it. 

When a little cousin came to visit him from a near-by 
city, he looked at the little fellow's rather showy outfit 
with surprised eyes. The long streamers of red ribbon 
which hung behind his hat seemed to him to be super- 
fluous, and the ruffle about his collar, girHsh. He was 
even more astonished when he heard the little fellow 
talking of "getting even" with a neighbor child at 
home, of "swiping an apple from a push-cart man," and 
"getting an occasional ride on the swan boat in the park 
free." 

That evening when the Httle-boy-who-was-at-home 
went to bed, he said to his mother: 

"I like my Httle cousin Johnny, but he does n't dress 
like a man, does he? Men don't wear showy things hke 

225 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

that. And, mamma, is it right to take things which do 
not belong to us? Even if it is a ride, it costs somebody 
money, does n't it?" 

"Yes, dear," his mother said gravely. "You are right. 
I am afraid Johnny does n*t understand. One always 
pays for everything. I would rather my Kttle boy would 
pay money for what he has than to pay in loss of his 
own seK-respect. You see, Johnny's mother is away at 
work all day when they are home, and she has not time 
to train him very carefully. We must be particular not 
to hurt his or her feelings, but perhaps we can show him 
gently that we look at things differently." 

If the child is to learn that the genuine is of greater 
worth than the imitation, that self-respect is more 
important than show, and that the gratification of the 
moment may defeat a greater pleasure a little later, our 
children must be trained in a knowledge of true and 
accurate values, so that they can make wise and dis- 
criminating choice in the expenditure of their time, 
effort and money. 

Two little boys were standing beside a counter of 
exceedingly cheap, showy toys prepared to sell for a 
dime. 

"I'd like this, and this, and this," pointed out the 
first child. 

The second one picked up the toys indicated and 
looked at the way they were made. 

"None of them will last very long," he said. "They're 
only glued, and the least little bang will knock them 
apart. I'd rather take the thirty cents and get some 
wood and make a little wagon that would last. After 



THE HONEST CHILD 

you spend your money for those things, you would n't 
have anything in two or three days!" 

The on-looker smiled, reflecting that one of the chil- 
dren had certainly received definite training in true 
values. 

It is not infrequent to discover grown-ups whose 
houses are filled with an assortment of articles which 
are not worthy of respect. Usually such people wear 
clothing of cheap material, much trimmed with inferior 
ornamentation, and they fail to realize that the neighbor 
across the street, whose home is designed for comfort, 
and whose furnishings are chosen with a view to beauty 
of lines and quality, and whose garments are of good 
material but plainly made, is exercising better taste and 
saving money at the same time. 

In cultivating an idea of true and proportionate val- 
ues, care should be taken that the amount of income is 
always kept in mind. If the little child has an allowance 
of ten cents a week, it will be excellent training to help 
him to get the greatest value for this, even if it means 
sacrifice. A training in a knowledge of true values pre- 
supposes the cultivation of a discriminating taste, the 
exercise of the will, and the development of poise and 
discernment. Worth-while surely! 



XXVI 
THE ANGRY CHILD 

"Govern the lips 
As they were palace doors, the king within; 
Tranquil and fair and courteous be all words 
Which from that presence win." 

Edwin Arnold 

A WOMAN of my acquaintance recalls various fits 
of gusty anger in her childhood. She thinks she 
remembers what caused these outbursts. A rankling 
sense of injustice drove her to hasty and passionate re- 
monstrance. A jeer or a taunt from her sister brought an 
angry retort. An undeserved reproof drove her to furious 
words. 

A quiet talk by grandmother at another time, when 
the waves of anger had subsided, made her see how fool- 
ish she had been. Grandmother told her of tigers and 
wolves and other fierce creatures who snarl and growl 
and scratch and even kill other creatures. Grandmother 
had a picture of a wolf in the deep woods crouching over 
the skeleton of another wild creature. The wolf did not 
seem at all attractive. "Wild creatures know no better,'' 
said grandmother. "They have no one to tell them what 
to do. They have no sense of right. They kill and destroy 
because they are wild creatures. Children, and men and 
women, know better. They know what is right. They 
must learn to do it. When you say cross words, it is like 
the tiger's growl. You don't wish to be like a tiger." No, 
little girl did not. She decided to try not to be a wild 



THE ANGRY CHILD 

creature. Grandma did not say, "Let the ape and tiger 
die," because she did not know that Tennyson had said 
it so well for her. But somehow she had said the right 
thing. 

Frances Weld Danielson in "The Pilgrim Elementary 
Teacher" writes sympathetically of 

THE CHILD WITH A TEMPER » 

"The Child with a Temper does not need anybody to 
diagnose her case, but she sadly needs treatment. 

" We all know the symptoms — red face, flashing 
eyes, frowns and clenched fists. Furthermore, we all 
know the cause — lack of self-control. But the cure we 
are not so certain of. The world at large seems to regard 
the Person with a Temper as belonging to a special spe- 
cies, which must be endured, but can by no possibility 
be cured. Outbursts that would not be tolerated in most 
people are winked at because, *He has a temper, you 
know.' Shall we save the Child with a Temper from such 
a fate? For it is not an enviable position to be made al- 
lowance for, which means that one is also dreaded and 
usually disliked. 

"Now, as the antidote for temper is self-control, our 
problem is to get self-control in the saddle before tem- 
per has the reins in hand. Temper is quick, mounts hast- 
ily and dashes off, while self-control usually arrives only 
by the time temper is disastrously thrown. 

"Child with a Temper, we intend to give you some- 
thing quicker than your temper. Your mother began well 

^ From The Pilgrim Elementary Teacher. Used by permission of 
The Pilgrim Press. 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

with you, during your first tantrums. She either shut 
you in a room by yourself or put you to bed. She never 
whipped you then, or scolded you till the outburst was 
over. Then she explained how unhappy it had made 
everybody. Then she meted out your punishment. For 
every outburst of temper was as certain to be followed 
by punishment as day by night. Your mother believed 
that the more remote natural punishment — lack of 
popularity, slavery to anger — must be anticipated by 
other punishments imposed by herself. Sometimes you 
went without a favorite dessert. Sometimes you were 
denied a pleasure. If your fit of temper had made any 
particular person unhappy, you did what you could to 
make it up to him. 

"Your mother made these tasks rather arduous. It 
was not enjoyable to stick together the bits of glass of 
the vase you broke in anger. Your fingers got sticky 
and the pieces were hard to fit. When you had done 
it, the vase would not hold water, and you were obliged 
to save up your pennies to buy your aunt a new one. You 
did not want to part with your doll's new hat, but you 
had torn your playmate's doll's hat, in a fit of temper, 
and of course you had to replace it. There was no real 
way of making up to your grandmother for spoiling her 
visit by a tantrum, but you did give her joy by the scrap- 
book it took you many hours to make. 

"So gradually you have become imbued with the idea 
that temper brings unpleasant results, and you desire 
to master it. Your chief reason, frankly, is because these 
results affect you unpleasantly, but you are beginning 
to have a feeling that people will hate you if you 

230 



THE ANGRY CHILD 

show temper, and there is dawning a wish not to hurt 
others. 

"Your mother has also helped you to ward off ap- 
proaching ill-temper. She speaks your name when she 
sees the red flag of danger flying in your cheeks. * Count 
ten before you speak,' she cautions, and by ten counts 
self-control is in the saddle. * Sing first, quick! ' she cries, 
and the song makes you forget your anger. You are 
learning to employ some of these devices by yourself. 
Self-control is growing quicker. Temper is less rapid. 

"Ah! my dear, we who teach you and love you rejoice 
in all this. It means the saving of a great many people's 
feelings. It means the saving of yourself from slavery 
and dislike. We will join in the effort to give self-con- 
trol the start over temper, but we shall hope never to 
tame you down to such an extent that your temper 
will not rise at injustice or unkindness to others!" 

One of the great lessons which we all have to learn is 
self-control. This lesson must be learned in childhood, 
if it is ever gained. 

You can do nothing better for your children than to 
make them know that "He who ruleth his spirit is 
greater than he that taketh a city." How many human 
lives are wrecked on the rocks of ungoverned impulse! 

Some one has said that there would be fewer mur- 
ders if every child in the land were obliged to sit quietly 
and meditate for ten minutes a day. What is gained by 
a period of quiet daily .'^ What would your child gain if, 
after an outburst of passion, you said: "Mary, you are 
not yourself now. Sit in this quiet room for five minutes 

231 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

and think about it. Look out of the window and find 
something pleasant to think about." 

An adult with a bad temper makes every one uncom- 
fortable. Those who work for and with him dread his 
outbursts. 

"Oh, I am used to it,'* said a clerk of such an em- 
ployer. " When it rains, I go and sit under my umbrella." 
Every one who could fled from the room when a fit of 
rage was coming on. 

This man and other men excuse themselves because 
they are made with a quick temper. Is this an excuse? 
Should any mother allow a boy to grow up without 
gaining self-control.^ 

Tattycoram is one of the characters in Dickens's 
"Little Dorrit." She has a terrible temper. She says of 
herself: "Go away from me, go away from me! When 
my temper comes upon me I am mad. I know I might 
keep it off if I only tried hard enough, and sometimes I 
do try hard enough, and at other times I don't and 
won't. What have I said ! I knew when I said it, it was 
all Hes." 

Good Mr. Meagles has a prescription for her case: 
"Count five and twenty, Tattycoram." This usually 
succeeded in warding off the ugly display of temper. 

If one stops long enough to count five and twenty, 
one's'^anger has had time to cool off. 

George Eliot pictures a passionate child in Maggie 
Tulhver. Maggie wisely goes to the attic alone to work 
off her evil moods on her fetish. The fetish is an old, 
headless doll upon which Maggie vents her rage. Poor 
Maggie is not helped or guided by her mother. 



THE ANGRY CHILD 

Passionate cliildren need calm control. They gain 
self-control through the strong, steady, quiet control of 
parents. In "The Education of Henry Adams," we have 
a fine instance of such control: "Henry Adams never 
knew a boy of his generation to like a master, and the 
task of remaining on friendly terms with one's own fam- 
ily, in such relation, was never easy. All the more singu- 
lar it seemed afterwards to him that his first serious con- 
tact with the President should have been a struggle of 
will in which the old man almost necessarily defeated 
the boy; but instead of leaving, as usual in such defeats, 
a lifelong sting, left rather an impression of as fair 
treatment as could be expected of a natural enemy. The 
boy met seldom with such restraint. He could not have 
been much more than six years old at the time — seven 
at the utmost — and his mother had taken him to 
Quincy for a long stay with the President during the 
summer. What became of the rest of the family he quite 
forgot; but he distinctly remembered standing at the 
house door one summer morning in a passionate out- 
burst of rebellion against going to school. Naturally 
his mother was the immediate victim of his rage; that 
is what mothers are for and boys also; but in this case 
the boy had his mother at an unfair advantage, for she 
was a guest and had no means of enforcing obedience. 
Henry showed a certain tactical ability by refusing to 
start, and he met all efforts at compulsion by success- 
ful, though too vehement, protest. He was in a fair 
way to win and was holding his own with sufficient 
energy at the bottom of a long staircase, which led up 
to the door of the President's library, when the door 

233 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

opened and the old man slowly came down. Putting on 
his hat he took the boy's hand without a word, and 
walked with him, paralyzed by awe, up the road to the 
town. After the first moments of consternation, the boy 
reflected that an old gentleman close on eighty would 
never trouble himself to walk near a mile on a hot sum- 
mer morning over a shadeless road to take a boy to 
school, and that it would be strange if a lad, imbued with 
a passion for freedom, could not find a corner to dodge 
around somewhere before reaching the schoolroom door. 
Then and always the boy insisted this reasoning justi- 
fied his apparent submission: but the boy saw all his 
strategical points turned one after another until he 
found himself seated in the school. Not till then did the 
President release his hand and depart. He had shown 
no temper, no irritation, and had made no display of 
personal force. Above all he had held his tongue. During 
the long walk he had said nothing; he had uttered no 
syllable of revolting cant about the wickedness of re- 
sistance to law and the duty of obedience." 




XXVII 
THE CARELESS CHILD 

"The greatest achievement of the human is the ability to assmne 
a responsibility." 

Henry Ryan 

IN one of his pictures Froebel shows the results of 
carelessness. A little girl has opened the door of her 
bird cage to put in water. She has often been told not 
to leave the door open. She forgets and the bird flies 
away. She loses the bird. Another little girl has a slice 
of bread and butter in her hand. Her brother holds up 
an empty cup before her and turns it upside down to 
show that there is no more in it. The girl is so absorbed 
in the cup that she forgets the bread in her hand. The 
cat steals up behind her and takes the bread. Some 
careless child has overturned the salt-cellar on the table. 
The salt is wasted. Somebody has knocked off the plas- 
ter from the wall, leaving an unsightly spot. Little 
brother is so sorry for the loss of his sister's bird that he 
climbs a tree to get a bird from the nest. He does not 
know that he has no right to take the baby bird from 
the mother. He does not know how the mother bird will 
mourn. Another boy has left his hat on the ground while 
he runs off to get some raspberries. He forgets that the 
wind may blow his hat away. 

Are these children to be scolded and blamed? Do 
you reprove your children for carelessness? How are 
they to be taught to be careful? Childhood is the time 

235 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

for freedom from care. A child should be care-free. He 
lacks experience and does not foresee consequences. 
But he must learn how to avoid losses and errors that 
come from carelessness. How may he learn this? You 
can help him by talks, pictures, and stories which show 
the results of carelessness. You can also help in the 
gaining of the wisdom that comes by experience. You 
can require certain duties and acts which demand at- 
tention and care. 

For instance, the garden gate must be shut or the 
cows will come in and trample down the flowers. John 
leaves the gate open. You say, "John, why did you 
leave the gate open?" "Open! Oh, I forgot," is the 
answer. What can be done? John must work in the gar- 
den to tie up the plants and repair the damage as far 
as he is able. Heedless Harry and Johnny Look-in-the- 
Air are familiar figures. Heedless Harry forgets to 
say "Thank you," and "K you please." He forgot his 
bicycle and left it out of doors all night. A rainstorm 
came and the bicycle had to be taken to the repair shop 
before it could be used again. Harry had to use his own 
pocket money to pay for it and he lost his rides for three 
days. Harry forgot his knife and left it in the grass for a 
week. When he found it, the blade was too rusty to use. 

Johnny Look-in-the-Air was sent on an errand by 
his mother. He watched the clouds sailing in the sky. 
He watched a bird in a tree; but he did not watch his 
step. He did not see that he was approaching a river. 
Still looking in the air, Johnny walked over the edge of 
the bank. He fell into the water. Some passers-by 
fished him out. He ran home to get dry clothes. Maybe 

236 



THE CARELESS CHILD 

he said to himself that next time he would take care and 
keep in the straight path. 

Do you think it will help your children to point out to 
them through such stories what happens when boys and 
girls forget? 

The story of the three little kittens who lost their 
mittens was probably written to fit the case of some 
child who had a bad habit of losing things. 

"i DID n't think'* 
"Wipe your feet on the mat." "Close the door after 
you." "Come home at five o'clock." "Start for school 
at eight." These are among the many things children 
must remember. How can we help them.^* By insisting 
that they repair as far as possible the results of their 
f orgetfulness and by holding them responsible for keep- 
ing track of time. Faults due to inexperience should be 
treated with sympathy. Froebel says, "Gray heads do 
not grow on green shoulders." Do you see what he 
means.? He says fiu-ther: " Another source of boyish 
faults is carelessness — in one word, thoughtlessness. 
This often means acting from an impulse, in itself harm- 
less, even praiseworthy, which captures all the boy's ac- 
tivity of senses and body. Then experience has not yet 
provided him with a knowledge of consequences in the 
particular case; and it never enters his head to consider 
what these may be. Thus a boy, by no means a bad one, 
powdered the wig of an uncle whom he was very fond of 
with plaster-of -Paris; taking the greatest dehght in his 
work, without the smallest idea of doing anything 
blameworthy. . . . Another boy found some deep round 

237 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

china basins in a large water- vessel, and observed that 
these basins when they fell open-side downwards in 
the smooth, still water made a sharp sound. This ex- 
periment gave him pleasure, and he tried it repeatedly, 
saying to himself that the basin would not get broken 
in deep, yielding water. . . . Once, however, he let the 
basin fall from so great a height, and so plumb upon the 
flat surface, that the air enclosed within the vessel 
could not escape, and the basin split into two almost 
exactly equal halves; and the young self -instructing 
natural philosopher stood astonished and pained by 
this unexpected catastrophe. In many other ways the 
boy seems incredibly short-sighted in following his life- 
impulse. A boy throws stones, perseveringly, at a small 
window in a neighboring house, meaning to hit it, yet 
never dreaming, still less saying to himself, that if 
the stone strikes the window the glass will be broken. 
The stone hits, the glass shatters, and the boy stands 
rooted to the spot." ^ 

I once saw a small boy in an agony of tears because 
he thought he had killed a bird. He threw a stone at 
the bird, to be sure, but he did not mean to hit it. He 
thought it would make the bird fly where he could see it. 
He did not know that a blow to a young creature may 
be fatal. When the bird fell at his feet he was filled with 
remorse. A motherly woman, living near, heard the boy's 
cries. She took the bird to her house and gave it water. 
The bird revived and great was the joy of the boy. He 
had learned through a bitter lesson the danger of throw- 
ing stones. 

1 Student's Froebd. 
238 



THE CARELESS CHILD 

"Look out!" "Take care!" "Look ahead!" 

"Look before you leap!" 

How often do you use these commands with your 
children! You expect them gradually to take care and 
to look out and to learn the lessons of experience. 

Your children become tender by tending something. 
Your children become careful by taking care of some- 
thing. 

The care of babies and young children is often given 
to the older brothers and sisters. This may be too grave 
a responsibility. There is a society in New York founded 
for the purpose of bringing proper recreation and little 
glimpses of joy into the Hves of the "little mothers." 
These little girls are often stunted in their growth and 
sometimes crippled by carrying babies too heavy for 
them. They do not get the right chance to play because 
family cares are thrust upon them. 

The great-hearted Dickens had special compassion 
for children too early burdened with the cares of the 
family. In "Little Dorrit " he draws a pathetic picture of 
a child grown into a little woman before her time. Little 
Dorrit bore the burden of inefficient parents and a way- 
ward sister. She is prematurely old because she has to 
think and act for the foolish father in a debtor's prison. 
"At thirteen she could read and keep accounts — that 
is, could put down in words and figures how much the 
bare necessaries that they wanted would cost, and how 
much less they had to buy them with. She had been, by 
snatches of a few weeks at a time, to an evening school 
outside, and got her sister and brothers sent to day- 
schools by desultory starts, during three or four years. 

239 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

There was no instruction for any of them at home; but 
she knew well — no one better — that a man so broken 
as to be the Father of Marshalsea, could be no father to 
his own children." 

Jenny Wren, the dolls' dressmaker, is another of 
Dickens's characters who has charge of a worthless 
father. She calls him her "bad child" and upbraids 
him when he has been drinking too much. "You see," 
says this strange little creatxu'e, "it is so hard to bring 
up a child well, when I work, work, work, all day. When 
he was out of employment, I could n't always keep 
him near me. He got fractious and nervous, and I was 
obliged to let him go into the streets. And he never did 
well in the streets, he never did well out of sight. How 
often it happens with children! " 

Both of these characters are beautiful in their lov- 
ing devotion. We are saddened by their story because 
they fail to enjoy the happy, care-free childhood which 
is the birthright of all children. 

" I don't care " 
The boy who takes risks in doing reckless deeds is in 
the way of danger. He says bravely, "I don't care," and 
off he goes. Maybe he skates on thin ice in spite of warn- 
ings. He says, "I'm all right I know how to take care 
of myself." But he does not. He has not looked beyond 
the edge of the pond to see the dark spaces in the center 
where there is no ice. He has not learned to take care, 
and an accident is the result. 

Another boy wishes to sHde down a steep hill. He may 
be told it is dangerous. He may hear the warning voice; 

240 



THE CARELESS CHILD 

"Look out for the tree." "Oh, I know how," he answers. 
But he does not look out. He does not watch his direc- 
tion, or he suddenly becomes afraid and loses control 
of his sled. He runs into a tree and is bruised and injured. 
Perhaps another time he will take care. Perhaps he needs 
many lessons in order to become careful. Every day 
in our towns and cities lives are lost and people maimed 
for life by automobile accidents due to reckless driving. 
Boys and men with insufficient experience try to drive 
cars. They do not care for the risk to human life. They 
have not gained the sense of responsibility which makes 
one look out for others. The mania for speeding is the 
cause of countless accidents. This mad desire for speed 
comes of a lack of thought, and a disregard for the 
rights of any one else. Do you realize that the training 
which prevents such disregard of law and such care- 
lessness begins in your home and in your neighbors? 
Do you ever think that day by day you are giving your 
children an opportunity to gain a sense of responsibility 
for the welfare of others or you are confirming in them 
a habit of "I don't care"? It is a wise plan to set every 
child some household task for which he is responsible. 
I know of one family in which a task is given each child; 
boys as well as girls. These tasks are changed from time 
to time so there is an opportunity to learn to do many 
things. The boys take turns in caring for the horse. They 
take pride in seeing which one will make Dobbin look 
best. One boy wheels the baby, for there is always a 
baby in that family. The Httle girls clean the silver, 
make the beds, and wash the dishes. What are they 
learning? They are learning how to do the household 

241 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

tasks; but more than all they are learning to take care 
of things. 

Every child should have his fair chance to play. He 
should also learn to take the little responsibilities 
which family life ■ requires of each member. The moth- 
er's part in this kind of education is to arrange and pre- 
scribe the duties which a child's strength and experience 
permit him to perform. 

A young woman told me that when she was four 
years old she wished to wash the dishes. She was not 
tall enough to reach the sink, so a stool was provided. 
Washing the cups and spoons became a kind of game. 
She enjoyed the feeling of the warm water and making 
of pretty foam with the soap. She loved to dry the china 
and make it shine and she learned to handle it care- 
fully. An adult friend once asked me to carry a valuable 
plate across the room for her. She said she did not trust 
her hands. She was afraid she would drop it. She was 
the victim of weak distrust of herself. She had not 
learned to take care. I know a three-year-old boy who 
gets endless amusement in cutting paper dolls, paper- 
houses, and various other things. He has blunt scissors 
which he uses with skill. He has learned to be careful by 
using the proper tools. 

Let us follow the careful child through an average day 
of his life and see how he contrasts with the careless child. 
He crawls out of bed, remembering to pull the covers 
back if he is well trained, while his careless brother will 
leave the bed exactly as he jumps out of it. In dressing 
he will hang up his night-clothes, whereas his careless 
brother throws his on the floor. At breakfast the care- 

242 



THE CARELESS CHILD 

less one knocks over a glass of water and spills milk on his 
blouse, while the careful one eats more daintily, not for- 
getting to wipe his lips. On the way to school the care- 
ful child looks where he is going and picks his way, while 
the careless one, rushing headlong, stumbles and falls. 
In school they build towers with blocks. The careless 
brother places his blocks hit or miss, and his unbalanced 
tower falls. The careful child places his blocks with 
exactness and precision and has a splendid tall tower. 
In the cutting lesson the careless child spoils his work 
with heedless cutting, while the other follows the lines 
with care. 

HOW TO DEAL WITH CARELESSNESS 

Carelessness in a child should not be regarded as a 
fault, to be scolded out of him, but as a bad tendency 
to be overcome as quickly as possible. 

Two great antidotes for carelessness are reverence and 
appreciation. They are two great fundamental kinder- 
garten principles. We teach reverence for the beautiful. 
The little child learns that flowers are to look at, and to 
smell, but how soon they fade if they are handled ! We 
teach him appreciation by being appreciative ourselves. 
We exclaim about and admire the picture he has pasted 
himself, and we show him how we appreciate the results 
of his first painting lesson. Every mother knows how 
her child treasures the things he makes. 

You know how futile it is after the child has upset his 
box of beads to say, "Oh, do be careful!" We must go 
deeper than that and instil the principles that underlie 
carefulness. 

243 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Self-control plays a large rdle in making a careful 
child. The careless child is uncontrolled. He does not co- 
ordinate properly. Practical aid is given by rhythms, 
prompt, precise, coordinated movement. Special sense- 
development aids to a certain extent. Responsibility 
and self-reliance make a child more careful. Let him 
do the thing for himself. Let him pas,<? the plates at the 
table and fill the glasses of water. Help him to self-con- 
trol in every way you know, seizing every opportunity. 
Let him do for himself and for others, so that he may 
learn carefulness, and always encourage him. This is the 
method that gets results. 

nature's lessons 
Nature is the great teacher of foresight and care. We 
plant a seed in the spring, but we must wait many days 
to see the orange nasturtium or the purple pansy. 

A bulb is hidden in the ground. No one can see it. Is it 
lost? In the spring we find it again in a red tulip, or in a 
golden daffodil. The farmer sows his seed in faith that in 
due season, he will reap a harvest. 

Can you help your children to read these lessons of 
watchful waiting, which old Mother Nature teaches? 
Maybe the story of the little acorn, which was hidden 
deep in the ground to rise again in the oak tree, will help 
to give the long look which provides for the future.' 

* See vol. I of this series. 



XXVIII 
THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

'*Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? 
Who shall stand in his holy place? 
He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; 
Who hath not hfted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.'' 

WHEN I was a child an old clergyman came to 
spend a few days in my home. He was on a mis- 
sionary tour and was collecting money for foreign mis- 
sions. One day he was counting the money taken in the 
afternoon collection. He had rolls of bills and heaps of 
silver spread out on the table. I stood by open-eyed, 
amazed to see so much wealth on one small table. The old 
man looked at me and said impressively :" It is a great 
deal of money; but I would rather lose all this money — 
I would rather cut off my right hand — than tell a lie." 
Then he solemnly repeated the words of the psalm: 
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who shall 
stand in his holy place?" His emphasis on the answer, 
"He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath 
not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceit- 
fully," made a deep impression on me. It seemed a truly 
awful thing to tell a He, and I drew a mind picture of a 
long line of white-robed persons climbing the hill of the 
Lord. I kept this picture of those who were climbing the 
hill of the Lord for a long time. I believe I really wished 
to join such a splendid procession. 

I fear there are not many visiting ministers left to- 
245 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

day, and those who do visit, do not feel called on to re- 
peat psalms or to instruct children. Parents are, how- 
ever, as anxious as of old that children should speak the 
truth and nothing but the truth. How shall we secure a 
truthful child? 

There are several important things for parents to re- 
member. 

MAKE IT EASY FOR A CHILD TO TELL THE TRUTH 

Children are often betrayed into denying what has 
been done for fear of the consequences. The little boy 
was right who said that anybody could be as truthful as 
George Washington, if he had that kind of a father. A 
little girl breaks a plate and hides the pieces. She does 
not tell, because she fears a blow or some punishment 
for her carelessness. 

A mother who says in a stern or angry tone, "Now, tell 
me exactly what you have done!" invites a falsehood. 
If, on the contrary, the mother says gently, "Now, 
tell mother all about it! Nothing will happen to you. 
Mother is your friend," a full confession may follow. 

"If I find out who did this, he'll be sorry," says an 
angry father who discovers a broken window or a nicked 
tool. He is not likely to find out, for no boy will volun- 
teer to tell under such a threat. 

DO NOT INVITE A DENIAL BY ASKING A CHILD TO 
CONVICT HIMSELF 

''Who did it?" is not a safe question for a mother nor 
for a teacher. "What have you been doing in my ab- 
sence?" is a question which puts a premium on deceit 

246 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

A teacher was once called out of the room and left the 
pupils to take care of themselves. When she returned 
she said, "Now, all of you do exactly what you were do- 
ing while I was gone." One child, a very honest girl, ran 
up and down the aisle, as she had done in the teacher's 
absence. All the others who had been equally active sat 
up properly in their seats. The honest child was pun- 
ished; the others escaped; but they had taken a lesson 
in concealment and deceit. No wise mother or teacher 
will ask a question which invites children to evasion. 
She understands too well the force of suggestion. 

DO NOT TREAT A CHILD 's FANCIFUL TALES AS LIES 
Some one has said that a child's life is like the map of 
the world. Fancy corresponds to the oceans on the map 
and facts to the land. Three fourths of a child's life is 
lived in the realm of imagination and one fourth in real- 
ity. The newcomer to earth knows little of the facts of 
life. He has slight information. He is not acquainted with 
this great " buzzing, booming confusion." It is difficult 
to tell what is real and what is not real. It is no more 
difficult to believe that a fairy godmother's wand could 
transform a pumpkin into a chariot than to believe that 
a tiny seed buried in the ground can become a vine that 
will bear several pumpkins. A child walks amid wonders. 
Everything is new to him. Everything is to be learned. 
Out of what he sees his imagination forms endless new 
combinations. It is not strange that sometimes he con- 
fuses what he has actually seen with what he has been 
thinking about. I heard of a man, who, until he was 
grown, had a recollection of the thrilling experience of 

247 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

falling into a pail of hot water when he was three years 
old. In later life his sister informed him that it was a 
younger brother who had fallen into the pail of water. 
The tale had made such a vivid impression on him that 
he believed the accident happened to him. 

"I met Mrs. Jones on the corner of Bay Street," a 
little girl once told her mother, "and she gave me a red 
rose." 

"How kind of Mrs. Jones," said the mother. 

"And on the corner of Orchard Street I met Mrs. 
Fish, and she gave me a rose, too." 

"Then," said the mother, "you must have two roses. 
Show them to me." 

"Oh, I just supposened it," was the little girl's quick 
response. 

Her lively imagination had created an agreeable situa- 
tion; which she easily acknowledged as imaginary v/hen 
asked a direct question. 

Was she not really truthful? 

A lie is told with an intent to deceive. When there is 
no desire to deceive and nothing to be gained by it, a 
child's tale should be received as a fairy story or a pleas- 
ant belief and not as a falsehood. If it is desirable to dis- 
tinguish between facts and fancy a few wise questions 
will bring a sense of reality. 

BUY THE TRUTH AND SELL IT NOT 

Doctor Holmes, in his "Autocrat of the Breakfast 
Table," compares truth to a cube and a lie to a sphere. 
A sphere rolls easily; but it does not stay. You cannot 
build with it, nor on it. The cube stands. It makes a 

248 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

good foundation. You can depend on it to keep its place. 
So a lie or a false excuse may go easily and tide over a 
situation; but it builds nothing for the future. The teller 
loses the confidence of others. No one depends on him. 
No one trusts him. Can you make your child see the 
need of laying good foundations of truth and honor for 
his life building? Happy is the mother who succeeds in 
making her children feel that truth is like a precious 
possession — to buy and sell not. 

How can she do this.^ 

By stories and tales she may help children to see the 
importance of being trusted. The old fable of the sad 
fate of the boy who cried "Wolf!" when no wolf was 
there, is a good one to show the folly of deceiving. No 
one believed the boy when the wolf really came, because 
his word could not be trusted. 

There is another famous old story of the magic neck- 
lace which began to choke the wearer whenever she 
enlarged upon the truth or varied her account of any 
happening. 

THE TRUTH ABOUT SANTA CLAUS 

Many years ago I heard a wise college professor relate a 
conversation he had with his little son, when an older 
brother told him that there was no Santa Claus. The 
little boy was grieved and went to his father with his 
trouble. 

"Do you believe in Santa Claus.?" asked the father. 

"Yes," was the answer. 

"Why?" 

"Because he is so good and brings such nice things." 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Very well," said the father. "If you have such a 
good reason, keep right on believing." 

There is an oft-told tale of a little girl who doubted 
whether anything her mother told her was true when 
she discovered that Santa Claus was a myth. I doubt if 
that child ever existed. E she did, she needed the treat- 
ment recommended by Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin for 
a too prosaic child. She says that such a child should be 
kept in a closet and fed exclusively on fairy tales until 
some sparks of imagination are discovered. I doubt if 
the treatment would work. 

Can you recall from your own childhood a thrill of 
delight at finding just before Christmas a bit of bright 
cloth in the fireplace? You knew Santa Claus had 
dropped it down the chimney. You treasured it among 
your hidden possessions until the gray dawn of Christ- 
mas brought you the apron or dress of the same bright 
color. 

Does your heart grow warm as you remember how 
you felt when you looked up the chimney to see if you 
could find any clue to the way Santa Claus came down? 
The joyful mystery of Santa*s night journeys will always 
remain as a reminiscence of the years when you were 
still trailing "clouds of glory." 

Will you not give your children the same happiness? 
Do not let shades of the prison house close too soon 
around them. 

Do you also remember how one day you awoke to the 
knowledge that Santa Claus was only the embodiment 
of the spirit of Christmas? Somehow as you grew older 
you knew the truth. There was no rude shock of dis- 

250 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

CO very; but as you grew in wisdom you placed Santa 
Claus naturally in the class of Jack Frost, the Brownies, 
and other good spirits who speed around the world on 
errands of good-will. 

The child of kindergarten age is in the period which 
corresponds to the myth-making stage of the race. He 
creates his own explanations of things as did early man. 
He cannot understand abstract virtues. Goodness, good- 
will, kindness, and mercy must be embodied in some deed 
or person. Santa Claus is the messenger of peace and 
good-will at Christmas time. He is true as fairy tales 
are true. Fairy tales are true in the sense that they 
teach eternal truths; those truths on which our lives 
do rest. 

It is forever true that kindness and love unlock doors 
to human hearts and set free prisoners bound by chains 
of evil habits. Santa Claus comes every year to give us 
the true meaning of the Christmas message. He will 
never grow old nor out of date. We cannot abolish him 
without losing much joy from childhood and much that 
is good for life. Children will cease to speak of him and 
to believe in him when they grow out of the stage in 
which they speak as a child and understand as a child. 
A school-teacher of my acquaintance once made a study 
of her children to see if there was any connection be- 
tween a love of fairy tales and untruthfulness. She found 
that the child who enjoyed fairy tales was as exact in 
dealings, as truthful as others, and as she said, "the 
most abominable liar in the class" was the boy who had 
no interest in any stories or in anything outside the 
actual facts of his daily life. 

251 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

A BROKEN PROMISE 

Children should be taught the sacredness of a promise. 
Every promise made to a child should be kept no matter 
at what sacrifice. A promise of a walk or picnic or visit 
must always be conditioned by the weather so that the 
mother need not break faith with her child. A child 
should be able to say, "I know I can have it, for my 
mother promised it to me.'* It is a triumph when he 
says, "No, I cannot go there; I promised my mother 
not to go." I have seen a five-year-old child deeply im- 
pressed with the story of Regulus. The noble Roman 
was a captive in Carthage. He was sent to Rome to 
advise his countrymen to make peace with their enemy 
in Carthage. He promised to return and he kept his word. 
He knew he returned to certain death, for he had ad- 
vised the Romans to continue the war, as Carthage was 
at the end of her resources. The splendor of such a deed 
even a young child may appreciate. 

TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE 

A MOTHER is a living epistle known and read of her chil- 
dren. K she would have truthful and truth-loving chil- 
dren, she must be true to herself and true in mind and 
deed. She cannot defraud the butcher and baker of a 
penny now and then, and hope to keep the trust of her 
observant children. She cannot alter the ages of the boy 
or girl on the street-cars to avoid paying a fare. She 
cannot say "Not at home" to callers whom she does 
not wish to see. She may say, "I cannot see any one to- 
day," or, "I am unable to see Mrs. S." Her child will 
know she speaks the truth. 

252 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

** One thing, dear mother, presses itself upon our at- 
tention. We may not overlook it. The great educational 
force in the life of your child is what you really are. 
What you prize and what you condenm : what you care 
for and what you dislike. This your child knows, even 
when he is so small that you think he pays no attention 
to what you are saying. The unconscious influence of 
your real self is the most potent force in his life. You are 
all in all to him, as he is to you. Think of what these 
words mean!" 

LISA'S LAMB 

The little village of Altkirch is situated among beautiful 
green, willow-covered hills, which encircle it completely, 
except on one side where one can look across to the 
green Rechberg on whose summit stands another village 
which, like the mountain, bears the name of Rechberg. 
Between the two heights rushes the wild Zillerbach. On 
all the green hills around, no human habitation is to be 
seen; but near the foot-path is a solitary chapel, which 
for many long years has looked down upon the rushing 
stream and the little foot-bridge, which has many a time 
fallen away and been renewed during these years. 

There are many poor people in Altkirch, for there is 
little work. Most of the men go as day-laborers to the 
farms in the vicinity. A few possess a Httle spot of land 
which they cultivate. 

At the time of our story one of the poorest households 
was that of Joseph of the Willow, who lived in a lonely 
old house on the way to the chapel, quite by itself. The 
little house was almost entirely covered by the long, 

253 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

overhanging boughs of an old willow-tree, which had 
given to the owner the name of Joseph of the Willow. 
He had always lived in the little house, which had be- 
longed to his father before him. 

Now Joseph was an old man and had only an aged 
invalid wife and two grandchildren in the old house with 
him. The grandfather made baskets, which the two 
grandchildren, Stanzeli and Seppli, took to the dairy- 
man to sell. 

One winter's day, they set out as usual with a pair of 
baskets on each arm. They knew well where they had 
to go, for every two weeks they were sent on such an 
errand to the dairyman. He lived quite a distance from 
the little village. The way led over the hill, past the 
chapel, up to the forest, where his cottage stood. 

The children started out together, and, since Stanzeli 
kept conscientiously on the way, Seppli had to do the 
same, although he would have preferred to stand still 
and look at this or that. 

When they came to the chapel, Stanzeli paused for 
the first time and said: "Lay the baskets here on the 
ground, Seppli; we must go into the chapel and say * Our 
Father:'' 

But Seppli was unwilling to go. ** I do not wish to go 
in; it is too warm," he said, and seated himself on the 
ground. 

"No, Seppli, come, we must do it," said Stanzeli. 
"Don't you remember that Father Clemens said that 
every time we pray God sends us something, only we 
cannot always see it immediately." 

At length Seppli suffered himself to be persuaded, and 
254 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

went into the chapel without further objection. When 
they came out again a few minutes later they heard the 
sound of voices coming from the foot-path which leads 
down to the Zillerbach. 

Three heads appeared, one after the other, and at last 
three children, two boys and a girl, came into full view, 
who stared at the other two in astonishment. 

The largest of these children, who appeared so unex- 
pectedly, was the girl, who might have been eleven year? 
old. One of her brothers was a year younger, perhaps, 
and the other was much younger and smaller, but very 
fat and firmly built. 

The little girl moved a few steps nearer Stanzeli and 
Seppli, and asked: 

" What are your names?" 

The children gave their names. 

"Where do you live.'^" was the next question. 

"In Altkirch, there; you can see the church tower 
from here,'* answered Stanzeli, pointing to the red 
tower between the hills. 

"So you have your church there. We have such a 
church, too; but it is closed, and we go into it only on 
Sunday. But we have no such chapels with us. There is 
another still higher above us; only look, Kurt, up by the 
forest." 

The little girl pointed with her finger, and her brother 
nodded to indicate that he saw the designated object. 
"I should like to know why you have so many chapels 
here on all the hills." 

"So that we can go in and pray when we are passing 
by," said Stanzeli quickly. 

255 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

" We can do that without them," responded the other 
girl, "we can pray everywhere, wherever we are. God 
hears everywhere; that I know." 

"Yes," said StanzeH gravely; "but though we are not 
commanded to go in and pray, we are permitted to do so. 
And then God always sends us something, even if we are 
not able to see it. Father Clemens has said so," 

"Yes; but I would rather have something we can see," 
interposed the listening Seppli. 

"Do you know Father Clemens, too?" asked Lisa, to 
whom he was well known. 

"He lives in Altkirch, up in the old convent, and he 
comes often to see us," exclaimed Stanzeli. "Yes, and he 
sometimes brings grandmother a whole loaf of bread," 
added Seppli, who remembered this good act most 
vividly. 

"I must go now," said StanzeH, as she took up her 
baskets. "We have still a long way to go." 

"Won't you come some time to Rechberg to see me? " 
asked Lisa, who wanted to continue the acquaintance. 

"I don't know the way. I have never been on the 
other side of the Zillerbach." 

"Oh, it is very easy to find. Just cross the foot-bridge 
then up and up until you come to the top. That is Rech- 
berg. The large house which stands highest of all is ours. 
Do come soon. Come early some afternoon, so that we 
can play till evening." 

So the children separated. Stanzeli and Seppli went 
on up the mountain, and Lisa looked about for hei 
brothers, who had disappeared. 

Kurt had climbed up an old pine tree near the chapel, 
^6 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

and was rocking on a bough, which cracked in a most 
ominous manner. Lisa watched to see him come down, 
considering that event more amusing than dangerous. 

Karl was lying on the ground near the pine tree, sound 
asleep. 

Something came running down the hill, which brought 
Kurt from his lofty perch, and woke Karl from his sleep 
at once. It was a flock of sheep, young and old, great and 
small, all skipping, running, and bleating, while the great 
dog barked continually. The shepherd was driving them 
towards Altkirch. The three children looked at the flock 
as it went by, in silent admiration. As far as they could 
see, they watched the young lambs skipping along by the 
sober mothers. When they had all passed, Karl said with 
a deep sigh, "E only we had a lamb like one of those!" 

That was exactly what Kurt and Lisa thought at the 
same moment, and for once the three agreed perfectly. 

Lisa immediately proposed that they should go home, 
and beg and beg for a lamb until they got it. She pic- 
tured to her brothers how they could take the lamb 
everywhere with them, and play with it in the pasture, 
until all three became so excited over the prospect, that 
they finally ran down the mountain and over the foot- 
bridge. Lisa went first, followed by Kurt, and they 
rushed so fast that the bridge swayed under their feet, 
and the loose boards moved up and down in such a 
manner that Karl, who was behind them, lost his foot- 
ing, and almost fell into the rushing Zillerbach. Kurt 
turned and helped him up, and they finally reached the 
other side in safety. 

It was a long way to Rechberg, and the lights had 
257 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

been brought into the sitting-room when the children 
came in sight of the house. Their mother had been 
anxiously watching for them for more than an hour. 
She had seen nothing of them since dinner, and they 
should have been at home for four-o'clock coffee. She 
had given them permission to spend their afternoon in 
the grove near by, of which they had availed themselves 
most joyfully. 

Now it was dark; and there was no sight or sound of 
them. How could they be so late? She conjured up all 
possible accidents, and ran from window to window, 
more and more anxious. 

But now — ah ! there were their voices ! They came 
nearer ! She ran out — yes — there they were coming up 
the mountain-side. As they saw their mother they ran 
faster, each trying to be the first to tell the story. Little 
Karl was left behind, but Kurt and Lisa came up breath- 
less, eager to begin their tale at once. 

At the same time a strong voice came from the oppo- 
site direction, "Supper! supper!" 

It was the baihff's, who had just returned from his 
business and wished to enforce the strict order of his 
household. When they were all seated at the supper- 
table, the children were permitted to give an account of 
their day's adventures. 

It seemed that Lisa had grown tired of the grove, and 
had proposed to climb up to the old linden, where there 
was a fine view of the chapel, and the Zillerbach with its 
narrow bridge. Lisa had had a previous experience of the 
trembling and swaying of the little bridge, and an irre- 
sistible desire had seized her to visit the vicinity again. 

258 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

Her brothers were very willing to join her, and the 
walk was begun which proved a much longer one than 
they had anticipated. They recounted the events of their 
expedition again and again, the meeting with the two 
children, seeing the flock of sheep, and crossing the 
shaky bridge. 

The consequence of this last account was that all 
expeditions to the Zillerbach were strictly forbidden for 
the future. 

In the meantime little Karl had fallen fast asleep in 
his chair. 

"See, Karl is resting after his day's work," said their 
father, "and it is high time for yours to be at an 
end." 

It was not easy to waken the little sleeper, so the 
bailiff took him, chair and all, and carried him into the 
chamber, while the other children followed, laughing 
and shouting at the funny sight. 

From that time, at every meal, morning, noon, and 
night, one after the other, the children would say: 

"Oh, if only we had a lamb!" 

One evening, when the mother and children were sit- 
ting around the table, and little Karl, who found the 
school-work of the others rather tiresome, had said for 
the sixth time, "Oh, if we only had a lamb!" the door 
opened suddenly and in sprang a real live lamb. The 
little creature was covered with snow-white curly wool 
and was prettier than any the children had ever seen. 

Such a cry of joy, such a noise arose, that nobody 
could hear a word. 

The lamb darted from one corner to another in fright, 
259 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

bleating pitifully, while the children rushed after him 
with shouts of joy. 

At last their father called: "Come, that's enough. 
We must take the lamb to his new quarters, and then I 
have something to say to you." 

The children went out to see where the lamb was put, 
full of wonder as to the place. A little addition had 
been made to the stable, and nice, clean straw lay on the 
floor for the lamb's bed. There was a little manger, too, 
in which to put grass and hay for him. 

When the pretty creature had been carefully placed 
on his straw bed and was quiet, the father closed the 
low door and motioned to the children to follow him. 
When they had returned to the sitting-room, he said 
seriously: "Now, listen to me, and give heed to what I 
say. I have taken the lamb away from his mother to give 
to you. You must take the mother's place and care for 
him, so he will not die of homesickness. You may take 
him out with you during your play-time wherever you 
wish; but you must never leave him alone, and whoever 
takes him out must take care of him and bring him back 
to his place. Do you understand, and are you willing to 
care for him in this way? If not, I will take him back to 
his mother." 

All three, Lisa, Kurt, and Karl, begged their father 
to leave the lamb with them, and promised faithfully to 
obey his commands in every respect, and were so full of 
joy at the prospect of having a real live lamb that they 
could not easily get to sleep that night. Even little Karl, 
usually so sleepy, sat up in bed and called out, again and 
again : 

260 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

"Papa shall see that the lamb will not die here. I 
will take care of that.'* 

The next day the great question was what the lamb's 
name would be. 

Lisa proposed calling it "Eulalia," for that was the 
name of her friend's cat, and it seemed to her an espe- 
cially fine name. But the boys did not like it. It was too 
long. Kurt proposed "Nero," as the big dog at the mill 
was called. But Lisa and Karl were not pleased with 
this name. 

In despair they went to their mother, who suggested 
he should be called "Curlyhead," and Curlyhead he was 
from that time forth. 

The little creature soon became a great pet for the 
children. They took him out for a frolic whenever they 
had a few spare moments. Sometimes they went to the 
pasture, and Kurt and Karl would search for rich, juicy 
clover-leaves to bring him, while Lisa sat on a bank 
with the Httle creature's head in her lap. 

Whenever a child was sent on an errand to the mill, 
or to the baker's, the lamb must go, and he listened so 
inteUigently to all the conversation his companion ad- 
dressed to him that it was evident he understood every 
word. He grew every day more trustful, and thrived so 
weU under this excellent care that he grew round as a 
ball, and his wool was as white and pretty as if he were 
always in his Sunday dress. 

The beautiful, sunny autumn was drawing to an end, 
and November came. Christmas was coming, and every 
child's mind was filled with expectations of that joyful 
event. Kurt and Karl disclosed all their cherished dreams 

2QI 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

to Curlyhead, and assured him he should have his share 
of hoHday presents. Curlyhead listened attentively and 
seemed to appreciate these confidences. 

Lisa had a particular friend, Marie, who lived in the 
great farmhouse on the way to the Zillerbach. Lisa was 
very anxious to visit this friend, for she could talk over 
her prospects for Christmas more fully with her than 
with her brothers. She had permission to go on her first 
free afternoon, and when the time came she was so impa- 
tient to start that she could hardly hold still long enough 
for her mother to tie on her warm scarf. Then she ran 
bounding off, while her mother watched her until she 
was halfway dowTi the hill; then she turned and went 
into the house again. 

At that moment it came into Lisa's mind that Curly- 
head would enliven the long way if her brothers had not 
already taken him. She quickly turned around, ran back 
to the barn, and took out Curlyhead. Together they ran 
down the hard path where the bright autumn leaves were 
dancing about in the wind. They soon reached the end 
of their journey, where Lisa and her friend were quickly 
lost in deep conversation, walking up and down on the 
sunny plot of ground in front of the house, while Curly- 
head nibbled contentedly at the hedge. 

The two friends refreshed themselves occasionally 
with pears, and juicy, red apples, which grew in great 
abundance on the farm. 

Marie's mother had brought out a great basketful, 
and Lisa was to carry home what were left. When it was 
time for Lisa to go home, Marie accompanied her a Httle 
way, and they still had so much to say, that they were 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

in sight of Lisa's home before they knew it. Marie 
quickly took leave of her, and Lisa hurried up the path. 
It was already dark. Just as she reached the house, the 
thought flashed through her mind like lightning, "Where 
is Curlyhead?'* 

She knew she had taken him with her. She had seen 
him nibbling the hedge, and then she had entirely for- 
gotten him. 

In a most dreadful fright she rushed back down the 
mountain again, calling: '*Curlyhead, Curlyhead, where 
are you.^^ Oh, come, come!" 

But all was still. Curlyhead was nowhere to be seen. 
Lisa ran back to the farmhouse. There was a light al- 
ready in the window of the sitting-room, and she could 
look in from the stone steps by the house. They were all 
at the supper-table; father, mother, Marie, and her 
brothers and the servants. The old cat lay on a bench by 
the stove; but nowhere was there a trace of Curlyhead 
to be seen, as Lisa peered into all the corners. Then she 
ran around the house into the garden around the hedge, 
again into the garden, and along the inside of the hedge, 
calling, "Curlyhead, come now, oh, come, come!" 

All in vain. There was no sight or sound of the lamb. 
Lisa grew more anxious. It grew darker and the wind 
howled louder and louder, and almost blew her from the 
ground. 

She must go home. What should she do? She did not 
dare to say she had lost Curlyhead. If she could see her 
mother alone, first ! 

She ran as fast as she could up the mountain. At home 
supper was ready, and her father was already there. She 

263 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

burst into the room in such a heated, disordered condi- 
tion, that her mother said: "You cannot come to the 
table so, child; go and make yourself ready first." And 
her father added: "You must not come home so late! 
Now go, and come soon in a neater condition, or you 
will have nothing to eat." 

Lisa obeyed quietly. As far as supper was concerned, 
it was all the same to her; she would much rather not 
come in at all; but that would not do. With a very sad 
face she returned to her place. She had a fearful anxiety 
in regard to the remarks and questions sure to follow. 
But before any one could say anything to her, a new 
occurrence claimed the attention of the whole family. 

Hans put his head in at the door and said: "Excuse 
me, sir, but Trina says the children are all at home and 
the lamb is not yet in the barn." 

"What?" cried the bailiff. "What can this mean? 
Who has taken him out? " 

"Not I!" "Not I! Certainly not I!" "Nor I," cried 
out Kurt and Karl so loudly that one could not hear 
whether Lisa spoke or not. 

"Not so fast," said their mother gently. "It certainly 
was not Lisa, she went alone this afternoon to visit 
Marie, and has only just come back." 

"Then it is one of you boys," cried their father hastily, 
looking sharply at the two brothers. 

A great cry came as answer, "Not I!" "Not I!" and 
both of them looked so honest that the bailiff said at 
once: "No! No! It is not you; Hans must have left the 
door open an instant, and the lamb took the opportunity 
of running out. I must look into it." 

264 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

He left the room hastily to make an examination of 
the barn. 

When the first excitement was over, another idea be- 
came uppermost. All at once Karl covered his eyes with 
his hands, and sobbed out: 

"Now Curlyhead is lost. We shall never see him any 
more. Perhaps he is already dead." 

And Kurt added, weeping aloud: "Yes, it grows 
colder, and he has nothing to eat and will surely freeze 
and die in misery." 

Lisa began to cry more violently than her brothers. 
She said nothing, but one could easily see how much 
deeper her grief was than theirs, and Lisa herself knew 
why. Long after Kurt and Karl were asleep, dreaming 
happy dreams of Curlyhead, Lisa lay tossing uneasily, 
and could not sleep. Besides her grief for the lamb left to 
wander alone in the cold night, she had to bear the tor- 
ture of the thought that she was the cause of this, and 
that she had concealed it when she ought to have con- 
fessed it. She had not, it is true, called out, "Not I, not 
I"; but she had been silent when her mother said, "It 
certainly cannot be Lisa," and she rightly felt that by 
her silence she had done the same wrong as if she had 
told an untruth. She could not rest until she determined 
to tell her mother the whole story in the morning. Per- 
haps he would be found. 

The next morning was bright and sunny, and at 
breakfast it was decided that, as soon as school was out, 
all three children should go out to look for Curlyhead. 
In the afternoon they would do the same. He must be 
somewhere, and they would find him. Their mother told 

2Q5 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

them, too, that their father had already, in the early 
morning, sent Hans out to search for the little creature 
everywhere; so there was every hope that he would 
be found. Lisa was most happy at this prospect, and 
thought she would not need to say anything now; every- 
thing would come right. The whole Rechberg was 
searched during the day, and inquires made in every 
house; but Curlyhead seemed to have disappeared from 
the face of the earth. Nobody had seen him, and no- 
where was there any trace of him. The search was con- 
tinued for several days; but in vain. Then the bailiff 
said it was of no use: either the poor animal was no 
longer alive, or it had wandered far away. 

A few days after, the first snow fell, and so thick and 
large were the flakes that in a short time the whole 
garden lay in deep snow, which came halfway up 
the hedge. Generally, the children rejoiced greatly in the 
first snow; and the more the flakes whirled about, the 
more they shouted and exulted. 

Now they were quiet, and one looked here, and one 
there, at the window, and each one thought in silence 
of Curlyhead, wondering if he lay under the cold snow 
or was trying to wade through it and could not, and was 
calling for help with his well-known voice, and no one 
was near to hear. When their father came home at 
night, he said: *'It is a bitterly cold night; the snow is 
already frozen hard. If the poor animal is not already 
dead, it will certainly perish to-night. Would that I 
had never brought the poor creature home!" Then 
Karl broke out in such bitter weeping, and Kurt and 
Lisa joined in such a heartrending manner, that their 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

father left the room, and their mother sought to com- 
fort them. 

From that time the baiHff never mentioned the lamb 
again, and when the children grieved for it, their mother 
talked to them about the Christmas celebration. She 
told them that the Christ-Child came to make all hearts 
glad, and that this festival, which would soon come, 
would make them happy again. And when tender- 
hearted Karl began, as the cold, dark evenings came on 
to say despondingly, "Oh, if only Curlyhead were not 
freezing in the cold outside!" then his mother comforted 
him, by saying: "See, Karl, the good God takes care of 
animals, too. It may be that he has prepared a warm bed 
for Curlyhead elsewhere, and it is well with him; and 
since we can care no more for him, let us be content and 
leave him with the good God." Kurt listened attentively 
as their mother comforted Karl, and so it happened that, 
gradually, the two brothers became happy again, and 
rejoiced more every day in the prospect of the pleasant 
Christmas time. But Lisa did not grow cheerful with 
them. A heavy burden lay upon her, which crushed her 
down and kept her always unhappy. At night she 
dreamed of seeing Curlyhead lying out in the snow, 
hungry and freezing, looking at her with reproachful 
eyes which said, "You have done it." Then she would 
wake up weeping, and afterwards, when she tried to be 
merry with her brothers, she could not, for she always 
kept thinking, if they knew what she had done, how 
they would reproach her! She dared not look straight 
in the eyes of her parents, for she had concealed 
from them what she ought to have revealed, and now 

267 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

she could not bring the words to her lips; she had let 
them believe so long that she knew nothing about the 
affair. 

So Lisa had no more happy minutes, and every da^ 
she appeared more mournful and full of grief; and when 
Kurt and Karl came to her and said, "Do be happy, 
Lisa; Christmas is coming, and only think of what may 
happen," then the tears came to her eyes, and, half 
weeping, she said, "I can never be happy, no, never, not 
even at Christmas." 

That grieved tender-hearted Karl, and he said com- 
fortingly: "Do you know, Lisa, when we can do nothing 
more, then we must leave all to God, and then we are 
happy again if we have done nothing wrong? Mamma 
said so." Lisa then began to cry in earnest, so that it 
alarmed Karl, and he ran away, as Kurt had already 
done. Lisa's altered demeanor had not escaped her 
mother's notice. She often watched the child in silence, 
but asked her no questions. 

November came to an end. The snow had become 
deeper, and every day the cold grew more bitter. 
Stanzeli's grandmother in Altkirch moved her thin 
coverlet here and there, and could hardly keep warm 
under it. The room was cold, too, for their supply of 
wood was very scanty, and with the deep snow there 
were no sticks to be found. 

It had snowed for so long, and the deep snow was so 
soft, that the old man had been obliged to take his 
baskets to the dairyman himself, for the children would 
have been buried. But at last the sky was clear, and the 
high fields of snow, far and wide, were frozen so hard 

£68 



THE TRUTHFUL CHH^D 

that one could go over them as over a firm street; the ice 
did not crack mider the heaviest man. 

Now the children could be sent out again. Stanzeli 
wound a shawl about her, Seppli put on his woolen cap, 
and they started out. When they came to the stream, 
Stanzeli laid her baskets down, and taking Seppli by 
the hand entered the quiet chapel. She was saying her 
prayer softly and thoughtfully, when all at once a pe- 
culiar cry sounded through the stillness. Stanzeli was 
a little frightened, and turned to SeppH, saying softly, 
** Don't do so in the chapel; you must be still." Seppli 
replied just as softly, but indignantly, **I don't do it; 
it is you." 

At that moment the cry sounded again, and louder. 
Seppli looked carefully at a place in the rear of the 
church, and suddenly touching Stanzeli's arm, drew her 
so forcibly from her seat towards the altar, that she 
could do nothing but follow. Here, at the foot of the 
altar, half covered by the altar cloth under which it 
crouched, lay a white lamb, trembling and shaking with 
the cold, and stretching out its thin legs as if it could 
move no more from weariness. 

"It is a Iamb; now we have something given to us that 
we can see!" cried Seppli in delight. 

StanzeU looked in great astonishment at the little 
animal. Father Clemens 's words had come into her mind 
also, and she believed nothing else than that God had 
sent the lamb to them. 

"We will take him home with us and give him a 
potato," said Seppli, who knew no other cause of misery 
than hunger. 

269 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"What are you thinking of, SeppK? We must go to 
the dairyman's," said faithful Stanzeli; "but we cannot 
leave the Kttle thing here alone." And the child looked 
thoughtfully at the poor creature with its troubled 
breathing. 

"I know, now," she continued, after some reflection. 
"You take care of the lamb, here, and I will run up 
with the baskets as fast as I can, and come back for 

you." 

Seppli was pleased with the proposition, and Stanzeli 
ran on immediately. She darted over the fields of snow 
as nimbly as a deer. Seppli seated himself on the floor 
and looked at his present. The lamb was covered with 
such beautiful thick wool, that he took great pleasure in 
burying his hand in it, and it became at once so beauti- 
fully warm that he quickly thrust in the other also. He 
drew very near to the little creature, and it was like a 
small stove for him; for although it trembled with the 
cold itself, yet its woolly covering afforded an excellent 
means of warmth to Seppli. In less than half an hour 
Stanzeli came back, and now they wished to take their 
gift home to their grandparents. But in vain did they 
try to place the lamb on its feet; it was so feeble that it 
fell down at once with a mournful cry, when they had 
raised it a little. 

"It must be carried," said Stanzeli; "but it is too 
heavy for me, you must help me." And she showed 
Seppli how he must take hold so as not to hurt the lamb, 
and they carried it away together. Their progress was a 
little slow, for it was quite inconvenient for the two to 
go far with their load; but they were so delighted that 

270 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

they did not give up until they reached their cottage, 
and could rush in with their new-found treasure. 

" We have a sheep ; a live sheep with very warm wool ! " 
cried Seppli, as he entered. And when they were inside 
the room, they laid the lamb on the seat near the stove, 
by their astonished grandfather. Then Stanzeli told how 
everything had happened, and how it had come exactly 
as Father Clemens had said : that God sends something 
whenever one prays; only it cannot always be seen at 
once. 

"But to-day we can see it," interposed Seppli joyfully. 

Joseph looked at his wife to see what she thought, 
and she looked at him, saying, "you must tell them, 
Joseph." 

After some reflection he said: "Somebody must go up 
to Father Clemens, and ask him how we are to under- 
stand that. I will go myself." With that he rose from his 
seat, put on his old fur cap, and went out. 

Father Clemens came back with him. 

When he had greeted the invalid, he sat down and 
looked carefully at the poor, exhausted lamb. Then he 
drew the children to him and said kindly: "This is how 
it is: when we pray, God gives us cheerful and cour- 
ageous hearts, and that is a beautiful gift on which 
many others depend. This lamb is lost; it must belong 
to the large flock which passed through late in the 
autumn, and the shepherd will certainly inquire for it. 
It must have been lost a long time, for it is nearly 
starved and almost dead; perhaps we cannot bring it 
back to life. First it must have a little warm milk, and 
then we can see what more it can take." 

271 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

With the last words the good Father had lifted the 
lamb a little and laid his hand tenderly under its 
head. 

Joseph said faintly: "We will do what we can. 
Stanzeli, go and see if there is a drop of milk." 

But Father Clemens prevented Stanzeli from going 
and said: "I do not mean that; if it is agreeable to 
you, I will take the lamb. I have room and can take 
care of it." 

That was a great relief to the old people, for they did 
not wish to leave the lamb to die of hunger, and where 
there was anything to feed it they did not know. 

So Father Clemens took the tired animal on his arm, 
and went with it to the old cloister. 

He shook Joseph's hand and went quickly away, for 
he had other sick ones to comfort who waited longingly 
for him; for in all Altkirch and far beyond. Father 
Clemens was the comforter for the poor and sick. 

The long-desired Christmas Day had come at last. 
Kurt and Karl had been in a fever of expectation all 
day, and wandered restlessly from one room to another, 
unable to keep still anywhere. They had the feeliug that 
they might bring the evening more quickly by constant 
motion. 

Lisa sat quietly in a corner, and gave no attention to 
what her brothers were saying. She had never known 
such a Christmas. A heavy burden lay upon her which 
stifled every feeling of joy. When she tried to force her- 
seK to throw off this weight and to be merry with her 
brothers, she found it impossible. She fancied all the 
time she heard some one coming who had found Curly- 

272 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

head dead, and who would tell her father that it was 
she who had forgotten and left him. 

Towards evening Kurt and Karl found a moment's 
rest, and sat together in a state of listening expectation, 
talking in subdued whispers. 

** What should you think of a croquet game with col- 
ored balls.'^" whispered Karl. *'Do you suppose the 
Christ-Child thinks of that?" 

"Perhaps," answered Kurt; '*but do you know, I 
would much rather have a new sled; for you see Kessler 
does not run well, and we have only Geiss besides. 
When Lisa feels like playing again, she will want to 
coast, and then she will have Geiss and there is not 
room for us both on Kessler." 

"Yes. But then there are the soldiers. Don't you know 
how many thousand times we have wished for a set of 
soldiers.^" said Karl. "I would almost rather go without 
the sled than the soldiers." 

"Perhaps," said Kurt slowly, for a new thought had 
already come to him. 

"But suppose the Christ-Child should bring a paint- 
box, then we could paint those pictures of soldiers, and 
make our own." 

"Oh! Oh!" ejaculated Karl, quite taken by the 
charming prospect. 

Just then their mother entered the room, and said: 
''Children, the candles are lit on the piano and we will 
go and sing. Where is Lisa?" 

In the twilight she had not noticed that Lisa was sit- 
ting in the corner of the room; neither had her brothers 
known she was there. She came out now and went to the 

273 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

piano with the others. Her mother seated herself and 
played for them to sing. Kurt and Karl sang lustily and 
Lisa joined in softly. 

When they came to the words in the song: *' Jesus is 
greater, Jesus is greater, He who rejoices our sad hearts," 
Karl sang them so joyfully and loudly that one could 
see he did not have a sad heart. But Lisa had known 
what it was to have a sad heart; she swallowed a lump 
in her throat, and could not sing any more. 

When the song was ended, their mother rose and said, 
**Now stay here quietly until I come again." 

But Lisa ran after her and said mournfully : " Mamma ! 
Mamma! May I ask you something?" 

The mother drew the child into her sleeping-room and 
asked her what she wanted. 

"Mamma, can Jesus make all sad hearts happy 
again?" asked Lisa anxiously. 

*' Yes, child, all," ansvvered the mother; *'all, whatever 
burdens them. Only one He cannot make happy, and 
that is one which holds a wrong and will not lay it 
aside." 

Lisa broke out into loud crying. "I will hold it no 
longer," she sobbed. *'I will tell it. I took Curlyhead 
away with me and forgot him, and lost him, and then I 
was silent, and I am the cause of his starving and freez- 
ing, and I cannot rejoice any more, not over anything." 

Her mother drew Lisa lovingly to her, and said com 
f ortingly : 

*'Now you have experienced, my child, how a wrong 
deed hidden in our hearts can make us terribly unhappy. 
You will think of it, and never wish to do it again. But 

£74 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

now you have confessed it repentantly; and the Holy 
Christ can and will come into your heart, and make it 
happy again, for to-day He wishes especially to make all 
hearts glad. Now dry your tears and go to your brothers. 
I will come soon." 

Such a weight had been taken from Lisa's heart, and 
she felt all at once so light and free, that she could almost 
have jumped over all the mountains. 

Suddenly the thought came to her — to-day is Christ- 
mas ! Anything may happen to-day ! Everything within 
her rejoiced. There was only one shadow — Curlyhead! 
Where was he now.'^ 

As she went skipping towards her brothers, Karl said 
gladly, ''I knew Lisa would be merry again at Christ- 
mas." 

While Lisa was talking very fast about what she 
expected and hoped for, the house-bell sounded, loud 
and long, and Karl, pale with excitement, cried, *'The 
Christ-Child!" 

At that moment their mother opened the door, and 
a flood of light streamed in from the next room. The 
children rushed in. There was such a blaze and sparkle 
and splendor that at first they could distinguish nothing. 

Ah! Yes; in the middle of the room was a great pine- 
tree, gleaming with candles from top to bottom, covered 
with beautiful angels, brilliant birds, red strawberries 
and cherries, and golden apples and pears. 

The children ran around the tree in speechless admir- 
ation. Suddenly, something came running in which 
almost knocked Lisa down. She uttered a shout of joy. 
Surely — it was — Curlyhead ! 

275 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Round as a ball, and pretty as ever, he came and 
rubbed his head good-naturedly against Lisa's dress, 
bleating for joy. Kurt and Karl could hardly believe 
their eyes. Not hungry, not cold — alive and well ! It 
was really Curlyhead. They almost smothered him in 
their joy. But Karl had seen something else. He made a 
dive towards the table. 

"Kurt! Kurt!" he cried, almost beside himself; "the 
soldiers! the soldiers!" 

But Kurt had already darted to the other side and 
called back: "Come here! Here is the new sled, a splen- 
did sled!" 

As Karl ran towards him he cried again: "Oh, here is 
the paint-box! Only see how many brushes." 

Lisa still hugged Curlyhead. He was her best present. 
Now she could be perfectly happy again. Everything 
was right. 

Suddenly she saw two great eyes staring in wonder 
at the splendid tree. They belonged to Seppli, and there 
was Stanzeli standing near him. 

Lisa went to the children. 

"So you have come at last to see me?" she said. 
"Isn't the tree beautiful? Did you know the Christ- 
Child would come to-day?" 

"Oh, no," said Stanzeli shyly. "Your mother brought 
us here. Father Clemens told us to-day that the lamb 
belonged to you, and that we might bring it over." 

"And you brought Curlyhead? Where from? Where 
did you find it? How can he look so fat and well?" 

"You will know all that some other time, Lisa," said 
ner mother, coming towards the children. "Now you 

276 



THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

must lead your little friends to their Christmas table by 
the window. The Christ-child has remembered them, 
too." 

Stanzeli and Seppli often go to play with Lisa, and 
her brothers, and Curlyhead. 

And Lisa, whenever she looks at Curlyhead, thinks: 
"How happy I am! I will never again conceal a wrong 
deed in my heart." 



XXIX 
THE GOOD CHILD 

"The sun is bright, the sky is blue; 

You love me and I love you. 
At morn and evening falls the dew; 

You love me and I love you. 
It rains, it rains and wets us through; 

You love me and I love you — 
It snowed and hard the tempest blew. 
But you love me and I love you. 
What care we what the weather be 
If I love you and you love me!" 

Susan Hale 

IN the days of our grandmotliers, children were told 
to "be good" and that was considered sufficient to 
lead them into the path of right. There were often vague 
and misleading ideas of goodness, to be sure, connected 
with such maxims as, "A child should be seen and not 
heard"; "Silence is golden"; "Keep still and behave 
yourself." Keeping still was connected with the idea of 
goodness, and goodness was consequently abhorrent. 
A little boy, whose father was an author and demanded 
complete silence when he was writing, burst into tears 
one day when he dropped something and said, "I did n't 
want to be naughty; but I had to be." No cruelty 
painted by Dickens could surpass the injury inflicted 
on a tender soul by such unnatural conditions. "If you 
make virtue desirable," says a wise man, "all is gained. 
If badness is attractive, all is lost." The real problem is 

278 



THE GOOD CHILD 

how to win children to desire the good. Goodness should 
be like the pearl of great price, worth anything which 
can be given for it. It is born of a real desire of the heart. 
No outward compulsion can make children good. You 
may compel obedience; you may force a child to say he 
is sorry for a wrong deed; but you cannot make him so. 

I was once in a kindergarten where there was a young 
and inexperienced teacher. A little girl accidentally 
broke a slender wooden slat by bending it in her fingers. 
"Oh, Katie!" said the teacher. "See what you have 
done. Are n't you sorry .^'* 

"No," said Katie. 

"But what will Miss A say. No one can play with it 
any more. Are n't you sorry for that?" 

"No," said Katie firmly. 

"I shall have to move you away from the table if you 
are not sorry. Do you wish to go away.^" 

"No," said Katie, bursting into tears. 

"Very well," said the young woman going toward her. 
"Say you are sorry." 

"Yes, I am," said the child in tears; and then reso- 
lutely, "No, I ain't." 

Katie was honest and could not perjure herself, al- 
though she was removed from the group. She had not 
meant to do any harm and could not convict herself. 

"even a child is known by his doings" 
Froebel's "Play of the Knights" deals with the period 
in a child's development when he becomes conscious 
that "even a child is known by his doings." He becomes 
aware of the fact that people are judging him by his 

279 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

actions and that he must meet this judgment. The time 
has come when he must say "I ought" and "I must" 
to himself. The whole secret of moral growth lies in this 
inner decision and desire to be right and to follow the 
right. Children are sensitive to the opinion of those 
about them. They respond readily to praise or blame. 
If we can lead them to desire the approval of those most 
to be admired, we are creating right standards. This is 
why Froebel chooses the knights to seek the good child. 
Their opinion is of worth. They embody all the qualities of 
courage, purity, friendliness, helpfulness which we admire. 
Froebel 's picture and play show them riding through 
the land in their search for the good child. Their horses 
prance gayly. Their plumes wave in the air. They are 
brave and gay. What a fine thing it must be they are 
seeking! What joy they show in finding the good child! 
How desirable is goodness ! Mother hkes the good child ! 
Father likes the good child ! The knights rejoice to find 
him. They offer to take him away for a little ride so 
excellent is his company. 

" Over the world we ride to find 
The child that is helpful and good and kind. " 

This Httle drama is carried out by the five fingers 
moving on the table to represent the knights riding up 
to the house and away again with the happy child. 
Knights are chosen as the judges of the good child, 
because they embody the ideals of goodness created by 
the traditions of long generations of men and women 
seeking to make life good and true and beautiful. They 
are the figures in the little play because they appeal to 

280 



THE GOOD CHILD 

what children love and admire — bravery, courage, and 
devotion. The dialogue between mother and knights has 
dramatic interest. Any mother may invent words to fit 
the scene. Any mother may find such a finger play useful 
when she wishes to fix in her child's heart the real im- 
pulse to good conduct. The knights say: 

" Over the world we ride to find 
The child that is helpful and good and kind." 

And the mother answers proudly: 

"This is the child so dear, 
Brave knights, you see him here." 

The impression of such a play which plants itself in the 
imagination lingers long after moral injunctions are 
forgotten. The moral injunction is often unheeded, but 
the warm glow of joy over the finding of a good child 
remains as a fond memory of childhood. 

The picture of the good child is completed by the song 
the knights sing. They tell what the good child does: 
He plays happily. He does not quarrel. He picks up his 
toys and keeps them in order. He runs to pick up things 
for his mother. He shares his pleasures with her. At the 
end of the day he sits on her lap and tells her of his play. 
He loves her and she sings to him as she puts him to 
bed and leaves him to sweet sleep, while angels guard 
the bed. 

Robert Louis Stevenson has sketched a similar pic- 
ture of a good boy: 

"I woke before the morning: I was happy all the day. 
I never spoke an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play. 
And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood. 
And I am very happy, for I know that I've been g«od." 
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TALKS TO MOTHERS 

IMPORTANCE OF EXAMPLE 

As children grow older the path of goodness lies in the 

pursuit of ideals which make the goal of conduct. Says 

Wordsworth : 

" We live by admiration, faith, and love. 
And e'en as these are well and wisely fixed 
Do we ascend in the scale of being." 

The first ideals of children are found in the home circle. 
These are enlarged by the tales of the lives and deeds of 
noble men and women. An artist mother has painted on 
the walls of a little boy's bedroom scenes from Peter 
Pan, so that when he awakens he may look upon some- 
thing good and beautiful. Mothers who are not artists 
may choose pictures which suggest good thoughts for 
the day, to be hung where the child's eyes first rest. 
The same artist mother planned once to paint the walls 
of a story-telling room for me. She wrote thus about it: 

"I was reading aloud to the children to-night about 
Perseus, and it seemed to me that after all there could 
be nothing better for the story-telling room than the 
meeting of Perseus and Pallas Athene, and under it, 
illumined, these words from Kingsley 's * Greek Heroes * : 
*I am Pallas Athene: and I know the thoughts of all 
men's hearts, and discern their manhood or their base- 
ness. And from the souls of clay I turn away: and they 
are blest, but not by me. They fatten at ease, Hke sheep 
in the pasture, and eat what they did not sow, hke oxen 
in the stall. They grow and spread, like the gourd along 
the ground : but like the gourd, they give no shade to the 
traveler: and when they are ripe, death gathers them . . , 

282 



THE GOOD CHILD 

and their name vanishes out of the land. But to the 
souls of fire I give more fire, and to those who are man- 
ful I give a might more than man's. These are the 
heroes, the sons of the Immortals, who are blest, but 
not like the souls of clay. For I drive them forth by- 
strange paths, Perseus, that they may fight the Titans 
and the monsters, the enemies of God and men. Through 
doubt and need, danger and battle, I drive them, and 
some of them are slain in the flower of youth, no man 
knows when or where: and some of them win noble 
names, and a fair and green old age: but what will be 
their latter end I know not, and none, save Zeus, the 
father of Gods and men. Tell me, now, Perseus, which of 
these two sorts of men seem to you more blest.?' 

"Then Perseus answered boldly: * Better to die in the 
flower of youth, on the chance of winning a noble name, 
than to live at ease like the sheep, and die unloved and 
unrenowned.'" 

Might we not hope that the frequent reading of these 
words under the picture of a brave youth would create 
the desire to win a noble name even at the cost of toil 
and sacrifice? Would it make a soul of fire seem better 
than a soul of clay with a life of ease? 

THE INSPIRATION OF STORIES AND PLAYS 

In a settlement a group of lawless boys were formed 
into a hero club. They studied various heroes, and at 
the end of the season voted that Father Damien was 
the finest of all, because he gave his life to care for lepers 
on a lonely and distant island. 

A girls' romance club succeeded in supplanting silly 
283 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

talk of dress and beaux by a real interest in Keats's 
"Eve of St. Agnes," Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel," 
Andrew Lang's version of "Cupid and Psyche," and 
Blackmore's "Lorna Doone." 

A librarian, writing of the library story-hour, says: 
"Besides guiding his reading, a carefully prepared, well- 
told story enriches a child's imagination, stores his mind 
with poetic imagery and literary allusions, develops his 
powers of concentration, helps in unfolding his ideas of 
right and wrong, and develops sympathy, all of which 
by-products have powerful influence in character." 

Froebel's "Play of the Knights " has for its motive the 
awakening of the love of the good in the hearts of little 
children. Through the interest in action and the appeal 
to the imagination, this love is fostered. The supreme 
motive of literature is to awaken and foster the same 
love of the good, the true, and the beautiful. 

Barrie said of his mother: "^Vhen you looked into my 
mother's eyes, you knew why God had sent her into the 
world. It was to make you think beautiful thoughts, 
and that is the beginning and end of literature." 

To inspire beautiful thoughts is the secret of a moth- 
er's influence toward goodness. 

THE SEARCH FOR A GOOD CHILD 

By Maud Lindsay 

Long, long ago there lived, in a kingdom far away, five 
knights who were so good and so wise that each one was 
known by a name that meant something beautiful. 

The first knight was called Sir Brian the Brave. He 
had killed the great lion that came out of the forest to 

284 



THE GOOD CHILD 

frighten the women and children, had slain a dragon, 
and had saved a princess from a burning castle; for he 
was afraid of nothing under the sun. 

The second knight was Gerald the Glad, who was so 
happy himself that he made everybody around him 
happy too; for his sweet smile and cheery words were so 
comforting that none could be sad or cross or angry 
when he was near. 

Sir Kenneth the Kind was the third knight, and he 
won his name by his tender heart. Even the creatures of 
the wood knew and loved him, for he never hurt any- 
thing that God had made. 

The fourth knight had a face as beautiful as his name, 
and he was called Percival the Pure. He thought beauti- 
ful thoughts, said beautiful words, and did beautiful 
deeds, for he kept his whole life as lovely as a garden 
full of flowers without a single weed. 

Tristram the True was the last knight, and he was 
leader of them all. 

The king of the country trusted these five knights; 
and one morning in the early spring-time he called them 
to him and said : 

"My trusty knights, I am growing old, and I long to 
see in my kingdom many knights like you to take care 
of my people; and so I will send you through all my 
kingdom to choose for me a little boy who may live at 
my court and learn from you those things which a 
knight must know. Only a good child can be chosen. A 
good child is worth more than a kingdom. And when 
you have found him, bring him, if he will come willingly, 
to me, and I shall be happy in my old age." 

285 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Now the knights were well pleased with the words of 
the king, and at the first peep of day they were ready for 
their journey, and rode down the king's highway with 
waving plumes and shining shields. 

No sooner had they started on their journey than the 
news spread abroad over the country, and many fathers 
and mothers who were anxious for the favor of the king 
sent messengers to invite the knights to visit them. 

The parents' messages were so full of praises of their 
children that the knights scarcely knew where to go. 
Some of the parents said that their sons were beautiful; 
some said theirs were. smart; but as the knights cared 
nothing for a child who was not good, they did not hurry 
to see these children. 

On the second day, however, as they rode along, they 
met a company of men in very fine clothes, who bowed 
down before them; and while the knights drew rein in 
astonishment, a Httle man stepped in front of the others 
to speak to them. 

He was a fat little man, with a fat little voice; and he 
told the knights that he had come to invite them to the 
castle of the Baron Borribald, whose son Florimond was 
the most wonderful child in the world. 

"Oh! there is nothing he cannot do," cried the fat lit- 
tle man whose name was PuflF. "You must hear him talk! 
You must see him walk!" 

So the knights followed him; and when they had 
reached the castle, Florimond ran to meet them. He was 
a merry little fellow, with long fair curls and rosy cheeks; 
and when he saw the fine horses he clapped his hands 
with delight. The baron and baroness, too, were well 

286 



THE GOOD CHILD 

pleased with their visitors, and made a feast in their 
honor; but early the next morning, the knights were 
startled by a most awful sound which seemed to come 
from the hall below. 

"Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" It sounded something like the 
howling of a dog; but as they listened, it grew louder 
and louder, until it sounded like the roaring of a lion. 

The knights seized their swords and rushed down to 
see what was the matter; and there, in the middle of the 
hall, stood Florimond, his cheeks puffed up and his eyes 
swollen, and right out of his open mouth came that terri- 
ble noise: " Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo ! " 

His mamma and papa were begging him to be quiet. 
The cook had run up with a pie, and the nurse with 
a toy, but Florimond only opened his mouth and 
screamed the louder, because the rain was coming down, 
when he wanted to play out of doors ! 

Then the knights saw that they were not wanted, and 
they hurried upstairs to prepare for their journey. The 
baron and baroness and fat little Puff all begged them 
to stay, and Florimond cried again when they left him; 
but the knights did not care to stay with a child who 
was not good. 

The knights began to think that their mission was a 
diflScult one; but they rode on, asking at every house, 
"Is there a good boy here?" only to be disappointed 
many times. 

North, south, east, and west, they searched; and at 
last, one afternoon, they halted under an oak tree, to 
talk, and they decided to part company. 

"Let each take his own way," said Tristram the True, 
287 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"and to-morrow we will meet, under this same tree, and 
tell what we have seen; for the time draws near when we 
must return to the king." 

Then they bade each other farewell, and each rode 
away, except Sir Tristram, who lingered long under the 
oak tree; for he was the leader, and had many things to 
think about. 

Just as the sun was red in the west, he saw a little 
boy coming towards him, with a bundle of sticks on 
his back. 

" Greeting to you, little boy," said he. 

"Greeting to you, fair sir," said the boy, looking up 
with eager eyes at the knight on his splendid horse, that 
stood so still when the knight bade it. 

"What is your name?" asked the knight. 

"My name is little Gauvain," replied the child. 

"And can you prove a trusty guide, little Gauvain, 
and lead me to a pleasant place where I may rest to- 
night?" asked the knight. 

"Ay, that I can," Gauvain answered gladly, his whole 
face lighting up with pleasure; but he added quickly, 
" I can, if you will wait until I carry my sticks to Granny 
Slowsteps, and bring her water from the spring; for I 
promised to be there before the setting of the sun." 

Now little Gauvain wanted to help the good knight so 
much that he was sorry to say this; but Sir Tristram 
told him to run, and promised to wait patiently until his 
return; and before many moments Gauvain was back, 
bounding like a fawn through the wood, to lead the way 
to his own home. 

When they came there the little dog ran out to meet 
288 



THE GOOD CHILD 

them, and the cat rubbed up against Gauvain, and the 
mother called from the kitchen: 

"Is that my sunbeam coming home to roost?" which 
made Gauvain and the knight both laugh. 

Then the mother came out in haste to welcome the 
stranger; and she treated him with honor, giving him 
the best place at the table and the hottest cakes. 

She and little Gauvain lived all alone, for the father 
had gone to the wars when Gauvain was a baby, and 
had died fighting for the king. 

She had cows, horses, and pigs, hens, chickens, and a 
dog and a cat, and one treasure greater than a kingdom, 
for she had a good child in her house. 

Sir Tristram found this out very soon, for little Gau- 
vain ran when he was called, remembered the cat and 
dog when he had eaten his own supper, and went to bed 
when he was told, without fretting, although the knight 
was telling of lions and bears and battles, and every- 
thing that little boys like to hear about. 

Sir Tristram was so glad of this that he could scarcely 
wait for the time to come when he should meet his com- 
rades under the oak tree. 

"I have found a child whom you must see," he said, 
as soon as they came together. 

"And so have I," cried Gerald the Glad. 

"And I," exclaimed Kenneth the Kind. 

"And I," said Brian the Brave. 

"And I," said Percival the Pure; and they looked at 
each other in astonishment. 

"I do not know the child's name," continued Gerald 
the Glad; "but as I was riding in the forest I heard some 

289 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

one singing the merriest song ! And when I looked through 
the trees I saw a little boy bending under a hea\'y bur- 
den. I hastened to help him, but when I reached the 
spot he was gone. I should like to hear him sing again.*' 

"I rode by the highway," said Sir Brian the Brave, 
"and I came suddenly upon a crowd of great, rough fel- 
lows who were trying to torment a small black dog; and 
just as I saw them, a little boy ran up, as brave as a 
knight, and took the dog in his arms, and covered it 
with his coat. The rest ran away when I rode up; but the 
child stayed, and told me his name — Gauvain." 

"Why!*' exclaimed Kenneth the Kind, "he is the boy 
who brings wood and water for Granny Slows teps. I 
tarried all night at her cottage, and she told me of his 
kindness." 

"I saw a lad at the spring near by," said Percival the 
Pure.. "He hurried to fill his bucket, and some rude 
clown muddied the water as the child reached down; but 
he spoke no angry words, and waited patiently till the 
water was clear again. I should like to find his home and 
see him there." 

Now Sir Tristram had waited to hear them all; but 
when Sir Percival had finished, he arose and cried : 

"Come, and I will carry you to the child!" And when 
the knights followed him, he led them to the home where 
little Gauvain was working with his mother, as happy as 
a lark and as gentle as a dove. 

It was noonday, and the sun was shining brightly on 
the shields of the knights, and their plumes were waving 
in the breeze; and when they reached the gate, Sir Tris- 
tram blew a loud blast on a silver trumpet. 

290 



THE GOOD CHILD 

Then all the hens began to cackle, and the dog began 
to bark, and the horse began to neigh, and the pigs be- 
gan to grunt; for they knew that it was a great day. And 
little Gauvain and his mother ran out to see what the 
matter was. 

When the knights saw Gauvain they looked at each 
other, and every one cried out: "He is the child!" And 
Tristram the True said to the mother: 

" Greeting to you ! The king, our wise ruler, has sent 
us here to see your good child ; for a good child is more 
precious than a kingdom. And the king offers him his 
love and favor if you will let him ride with us to live at 
the king's court and learn to be a knight." 

Little Gauvain and his mother were greatly aston- 
ished. They could scarcely believe that such a thing had 
happened; for it seemed very wonderful and beautiful 
that the king should send messengers to little Gauvain. 
After the knights had repeated it, though, they under- 
stood; and little Gauvain ran to his mother and put his 
arms around her; for he knew that if he went with the 
knights he must leave her, and the mother knew that if 
she let him go she must live without him. 

The rooster up on the fence crowed a very loud 
"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" to let everybody know he be- 
longed to Gauvain; and a little chick that had lost its 
mother cried, "Peep! peep!" And when the mother 
heard this, she answered the knights and said: 

"I cannot spare my good child from my home. The 
king's love is precious; but I love my child more than 
the whole world, and he is dearer to me than a thousand 
kingdoms." 

291 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

Little Gauvain was so glad when he heard her answer 
that he looked again at the knights with a smiling face, 
and waved his hand to them as they rode away. All 
day and all night they rode, and it was the peep of day 
when they came to the king's highway. Then they rode 
slowly, for they were sad because of their news; but 
the king rejoiced when he heard it, for he said: "Such 
a child, with such a mother, will grow into a knight at 
home." 

The king's words were true; for when the king was 
an old, old man, Gauvain rode to his court and was 
knighted. 

Gauvain had a beautiful name of his own then, for he 
was called "Gauvain the Good"; and he was brave, 
happy, kind, pure, and true. And he was beloved by all 
the people in the world, but most of all by his mother. 



XXX 

THE BAD CHILD 

"Oh, help your child to feel this in his heart: 
Evil repels, but goodness without art. 
Still, but resistless, like a magnet acts." 

IT is true that children are often made bad by our 
treatment of them. In his "Autobiography" Froebel 
sketches a pathetic picture of a child constantly re- 
proved for his restless activity and punished for minor 
faults. "I was so often called bad," he writes, "that I 
nearly became so." 

A wide-awake boy, transplanted from the genial at- 
mosphere of a kindergarten to a rigid primary school, 
was in constant disgrace. His eflForts to help his mates 
were misunderstood and his social spirit rebuked. 

"She blames everything on me," he confided to his 
mother, "and I might as well do it." 

How many an active boy has a bad name attached 
to him because he is passed on from grade to grade in 
school with that character ! Often all he needs is a legiti- 
mate outlet for his activity and some absorbing work. 

This incident is given in the "Child- Welfare Maga- 
zine" by Henriette E. Delamare: 

" * She's b-a-d,' said the mother in an impressive whis- 
per as she presented her child to the principal of the 
school. 

"*Bad!' explained the black-eyed little girl defiantly, 
^she says I 'm bad.' And for a time she certainly endeav-^ 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

ored to live up to her reputation, which was no wonder, 
considering the way in which she had been * brought up.' 
In point of fact the mother's remark had given me the 
key to the whole situation. The child felt that she was 
considered a hopeless case, so what was the good of 
trying to be anything but b-a-d? 

"My first and most urgent advice to parents or teach- 
ers of troublesome children is this: Never, no never y 
under any provocation whatever, allow a child to feel 
that you consider it a naughty or troublesome one. Of 
course it may need reproving or punishing at times, but 
never reprove until you can do it calmly, and, as soon 
as the punishment is over, make the child feel that the 
fault and consequent disgrace are a thing of the past, 
and that, so far from being discouraged by them, he 
must determine on making up by extra good behavior 
for the rest of the day. 

" What is it that makes the reformatory and peniten- 
tiary such a dire misfortune? It is not the actual punish- 
ment inflicted for a stated time, but the fact of being 
branded with perpetual disgrace in consequence of it. 
Many a man or woman who first sinned through sudden 
temptation and was arrested and imprisoned has become 
a hardened criminal later on because of the impossibility 
of finding work, receiving sympathy, or having a chance 
to retrieve the past and take an honorable place in the 
world once more. This is all wrong, and the same is true 
in the training of children." 

Constant nagging and scolding are almost certain to 
duU a child's desire to be good. Many a boy says to him- 
self: "It's no use to try any more. Mother finds fault, 

294 



THE BAD CHILD 

whatever I do. I don't care what I do and I don't care 
what she says." 

Children are often confused in their moral standards 
by the punishments given them. Minor faults are pun- 
ished in the same way as a serious fault. An angry 
mother gives a hasty blow for everything which dis- 
pleases her. She thinks the matter is settled and over. 
But things are not settled in this easy way. That blow 
may have embittered a child's soul. It does not end till 
the Day of Judgment, when that child's character is 
tested. We meet our days of judgment in this life, and 
mothers often see their own deeds condemned, when it 
is too late. 

A friend once told me of a family who lived near her 
in her childhood. She said the children all grew up bad, 
because they had no moral standards. They were whipped 
for all faults. It was as bad to tear a dress as to tell a lie. 
Both offenses were punished with equal severity. 

RIGHT THEORY OF PUNISHMENT 

The punishment should fit the deed. As far as possible 
it should be the natural consequence of the deed. Herbert 
Spencer gives the following illustrations of this kind of 
punishment: 

"In every family where there are young children 
there almost daily occur cases of what mothers and 
servants call 'making a litter.' A child has had out its 
box of toys, and leaves them scattered about the floor. 
Or a handful of flowers, brought in from a morning 
walk, is presently seen dispersed over tables and chairs. 
Or a little girl, making doll's clothes, disfigures the 

295 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

room with shreds. In most cases the trouble of rectifying 
this disorder falls anywhere but in the right place: if in 
the nursery, the nurse herself, with many grumblings 
about "tiresome little things," etc., undertakes the task; 
if below stairs, the task usually devolves either on one 
of the elder children or on the housemaid; the trans- 
gressor being visited with nothing more than a scolding. 
In this very simple case, however, there are many par- 
ents wise enough to follow out, more or less consistently, 
the normal course — that of making the child himself 
collect the toys or shreds. The labor of putting things 
in order is the true consequence of having put them in 
disorder. Every trader in his office, every wife in her 
household, has daily experience of this fact. And if 
education be preparation for the business life, then 
every child should also, from the beginning, have daily 
experience of this fact. If the natural penalty be met 
by any refractory behavior (which it may perhaps be 
where the general system of moral discipline previously 
pursued had been bad), then the proper course is to let 
the child feel the ulterior reaction consequent on its dis- 
obedience. Having refused or neglected to pick up and 
put away the things it has scattered about, and having 
thereby entailed the trouble of doing this on some one 
else, the child should, on subsequent occasions, be de- 
nied the means of giving this trouble. When next it peti- 
tions for its toy-box, the reply of its mamma should be: 
*The last time you had your toys you left them lying on 
the floor, and Jane had to pick them up. Jane is too busy 
to pick up every day the things you leave about; and I 
cannot do it myseK. So that, as you will not put away 

296 



THE BAD CHILD 

your toys when you have done with them, I cannot let 
you have them.' This is obviously a natural conse- 
quence, neither increased nor lessened; and must be so 
recognized by a child. The penalty comes, too, at the 
moment when it is most keenly felt. A new-born desire 
is balked at the moment of anticipated gratification; 
and the strong impression so produced can scarcely fail 
to have an effect on the future conduct; an effect which, 
by consistent repetition, will do whatever can be done 
in curing the fault. Add to which, that, by this world 
of ours, pleasures are rightly to be obtained only by 
labor. 

"Take another case. Not long since we had frequently 
to listen to the reprimands visited on a little girl who 
was scarcely ever ready in time for the daily walk. Of 
eager disposition, and apt to become thoroughly ab- 
sorbed in the occupation of the moment, Constance 
never thought of putting on her things until the rest 
were ready. The governess and the other children had 
almost invariably to wait; and from the mamma there 
almost invariably came the same scolding. Utterly as 
this system failed it never occurred to the mamma to 
let Constance experience the natural penalty. Nor, in- 
deed, would she try it when it was suggested to her. In 
the world the penalty of being behind time is the loss of 
some advantage that would else have been gained: the 
train is gone; or the steamboat is just leaving its moor- 
ings; or the best things in the market are sold; or all the 
good seats in the concert-room are filled. And every one, 
in cases perpetually occurring, may see that it is the pro- 
spective deprivations entailed by being too late which 

297 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

prevent people from being too late. Is not the inference 
obvious? Should not these prospective deprivations con- 
trol the child's conduct also? If Constance is not ready 
at the appointed time, the natural result is that of being 
left behind, and losing her walk. And no one can, we 
think, doubt that after having once or twice remained 
at home while the rest were enjoying themselves in the 
fields, and after having felt that this loss of a much- 
prized gratification was solely due to want of prompti- 
tude, some amendment would take place. At any rate, 
the measure would be more effective than that perpetual 
scolding which ends only in producing callousness. 

"Again, when children, with more than unusual care- 
lessness, break or lose the things given to them, the 
natural penalty — the penalty which makes grown-up 
persons more careful — is the consequent inconven- 
ience. The want of the lost or damaged article, and the 
cost of supplying its place, are the experiences by which 
men and women are disciplined in these matters; and the 
experience of children should be as much as possible as- 
similated to theirs. We do not refer to that early period 
at which toys are pulled to pieces in the process of learn- 
ing their physical properties, and at which the results of 
carelessness cannot be understood; but to a later periods 
when the meaning and advantages of property are per- 
ceived. When a boy, old enough to possess a penknife, 
uses it so roughly as to snap the blade, or leaves it in the 
grass by some hedge-side where he was cutting a stick, a 
thoughtless parent or some indulgent relative will com- 
monly forthwith buy him another; not seeing that, by 
doing this, a valuable lesson is lost. In such a case a 



THE BAD CHILD 

father may properly explain that penknives cost money, 
and that to get money requires labor; that he cannot 
afford to purchase new penknives for one who loses 
or breaks them; and that until he sees evidence of 
greater carefulness he must decline to make good the 
loss. 

"These few familiar instances, here chosen because of 
the simpHcity with which they illustrate our point, will 
make clear to every one the distinction between those 
natural penalties which we contend are the truly effi- 
cient ones, and those artificial penalties which parents 
commonly substitute for them. 

"Another great advantage of this natural system of 
discipline is, that it is a system of pure justice; and will 
be recognized by every child as such. Whoso suffers 
nothing more than the evil which obviously follows 
naturally from his own misbehavior, is much less likely 
to think himself wrongly treated than if he suffers an 
evil artificially inflicted on him; and this will be true of 
children as of men. Take the case of a boy who is habitu- 
ally recldess of his clothes — scrambles through hedges 
without caution, or is utterly regardless of mudrif he is 
beaten, or sent to bed, he is apt to regard himself as ill- 
used; and his mind is more likely to be occupied by 
thinking over his injuries than repenting of his trans- 
gressions. But suppose he is required to rectify as far as 
he can the harm he has done — to clean off the mud 
with which he has covered himself, or to mend the tear 
as well as he can. Will he not see that the evil is one of 
his own producing.? Will he not while paying this pen- 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

alty be continuously conscious of the connection be- 
tween it and its cause? And will he not, in spite of his 
irritation, recognize more or less clearly the justice of 
the arrangement? If several lessons of this kind fail to 
produce amendment — if suits of clothes are prema- 
turely spoiled — if, pursuing this same system of dis- 
cipline, a father declines to spend money for new ones 
until the ordinary time has elapsed — and if, mean- 
while, there occur occasions on which, having no decent 
clothes to go in, the boy is debarred from joining the rest 
of the family on holiday excursions and fete-days, it is 
manifest that, while he will keenly feel the punishment, 
he can scarcely fail to perceive that his own careless- 
ness is the origin of it; and seeing this, he v/ill not 
have that same sense of injustice as when there is no 
obvious connection between the transgression and its 
penalty." 

At FroebeFs first school in Keilhau it was the rule 
that every boy should repair as far as possible the re- 
sults of his own carelessness. If a window were broken, 
the boy must take it to the glazier, who lived three 
miles away. One of the "Mother Play" pictures shows 
us a boy w^alking under the trees with a window frame 
under his arm. He is crying; but that does not mend the 
window. He must learn that only with effort and de- 
termination do we right what is wrong. 

The aim of this school at Keilhau was to give boys 
self-control and seK-direction. A slice of dry bread 
placed at a boy's plate at supper was a reminder of 
some neglect of duty. It was a sufficient hint that the 
offender was to eat nothing but the bread. 

300 



THE BAD CHILD 

SUGGESTION OF THE WRONG 
I RECALL a Sunday-School lesson I read long ago. The 
lesson was written on the text: "That no man put a 
stumbhng-block or an occasion to fall in his brother's 
way." A picture was made to show a naughty boy who 
had stretched a string across the path of his innocent 
brother. The innocent brother was approaching vnth. a 
basket of eggs. The naughty boy was hidden in the 
bushes where he could see and enjoy the disaster. The 
text was cited and the warning given that one should 
not injure a confiding brother. But one could be sure the 
picture would be more vivid than the warning. The trick 
might be suggested for the first time to boys studying 
this lesson. Many comic pictures in Sunday supple- 
ments, and even in books, are bad from the standpoint 
of suggestion. The tricks of Buster Brown and Elmer 
and others of their kind are not desirable tricks to 
learn. Every time children see these pictures they are 
gaining suggestions to go and do likewise. 

Enjoyment of the misfortunes of others is a bad 
trait. Yet this is what is taught by pictures of grandpa 
falling over the pail of water on the stairs, or the apple 
woman lamenting the loss of her fruit when frolicsome 
boys upset her cart. 

Do is better than don't. Do suggests the good. DonH 
suggests the evil. Basil the Great insisted that no writ- 
ings which portrayed evil, such as stories of the revels 
and quarrels of the gods, should be allowed. "We 
should close our ears to them as Ulysses did against the 
seductions of the sirens." 

301 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

A lesson on a fish was recently given to a company of 
teachers in which the use of the fin was spoken of. To 
show its value as a propelling power, the effect of cutting 
it off was noted. A wise woman immediately entered a 
protest, saying that from her experience some child 
would be almost sure to try the experiment if it were 
suggested to him. 

I doubt if a boy was ever deterred from throwing a 
stone at a bird or robbing a nest by tales of bad boys 
who did such things. Is it not better to so interest a boy 
in bird life, in the building of the nests and the many 
curious trades of birds, in the tender care of the mother 
bird for her young and the wonderful way God has pro- 
vided these feathery creatures with the means for their 
own protection in the change of feathers at different 
seasons, that the life of the happy songster becomes 
sacred to him? Let the children repeat: 

"I am only a little sparrow, 
A bird of low degree; 
My life is of little value. 
But the dear Lord cares for me"; 

and then the words of our Lord to show the value of this 
life: "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one 
of them shall not fall on the ground without your 
Father." 

The antiquity of the famous fable of the frogs shows 
that the feud between the boy and the frog tribe is of 
long standing. A good minister in my hearing once un- 
dertook to show the dreadfulness of cruelty to frogs by 
such a vivid description of the ingenious tortures of a 
cruel boy, that one could only feel grateful that his 

S02 



THE BAD CHILD 

audience was cofaposed of city boys who would not pos- 
sibly find an opportunity to practice his suggestions un- 
til they had been forgotten. 

The thought is the first step in any act. Hence to sug- 
gest the thought of a wrong deed to a child is to sow the 
seed of the action. 

The child contrasted with the good child in Froebel's 
"Play of the Knights" is a cross child. In this choice 
Froebel is wase. An example held up for imitation or for 
warning should be of a universal type. Not every child is 
disobedient, nor untruthful, nor impertinent; but every 
child is cross and fretful at times. The "Play of the Bad 
Child" holds up a mirror to show how disagreeable a 
cross child is. The knights do not desire his company. 
Nobody wants him. 

Our grandmothers used to say : 

" Cross Patch, lift the latch, 
Sit in the corner and spin. 
Pleasant Face, dressed in lace. 
Let the visitor in." 

Cross Patch must sit in the corner by herself, because 
she is not good company. Pleasant Face is gowned ap- 
propriately and finely and may entertain the visitor be- 
cause she is agreeable company. 
Froebel's mother says : 

" * Ah, brave Knights, it will make you sad 
To know that my child is cross and bad; 
It grieves me much to say 
He cannot ride to-day.' " 

The knights reply : 

"'Only good children with us may go.* 
And away and away they ride so slow.'* 
803 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

I believe that the vivid impression of such a little 
drama as this, which shows the excellence of the good, 
may remain as a lasting desire for the good in a child's 
memory. To love the good, to hate evil — this is the 
very spring of goodness. It is the goal of our home train- 
ing. 

You must believe in your children and in their real 
desire for goodness, if you would have them good. 

You must believe that all children are made in the 
image of God, not in the image of evil. 

How can I help my children to the love of goodness? 
Is this your daily question? 

"No greater mistake can be made by parents than to 
fancy that a boy is naturally inclined to go wrong; and 
no mistake is so likely to make a boy go where he is ex- 
pected to go. The fact is that anything is natural to a 
boy. He can be bent crooked or kept straight like a grow- 
ing bough; and the chief reason why goodness does not 
appear to him more tempting than sin is that goodness 
is seldom made so interesting, picturesque, or heroic as 
sin. In the Oriental picture of the shepherd and the sheep 
in the Fourth Gospel, the shepherd goes before the sheep 
and the sheep hear his voice and follow him. That is the 
only way to be a shepherd of boys. They are hard cat- 
tle to drive, but easy to lead. There is nothing they like 
better than a consistent, single-minded, straight-going 
leader, and when they hear his voice they follow him." * 

* Religious Education of an American Citizen^ by Dr. Francis G. 
Peabody. 



XXXI 
THE EVENING PRAYER 

" Baby well may laugh at harm 
While beneath is mother's arm." 

Fkoebel 

THERE are many fearless babies in the world to 
day, each one hving in his own little world of flan- 
nel and milk, and the skies over those worlds are the 
faces of mothers. Babies throw themselves about quite 
recklessly, sure that an arm wall be put in the right 
place, just at the right time, to keep them from falling. 
Little babies cannot speak to their mothers and they do 
not need to, any more than we need to tell our ears to 
hear or our eyes to see. Perhaps, when they are very Jit- 
tie, babies are fearless because they have so lately been 
with God and know about "the everlasting arms" that 
are beneath them. 

**And the child grew," 

The Bible 

The babies grow so fast that their mothers soon begin 
to think of the great day on which they will go forth, 
ready in body and spirit for service. Clear sight, strong, 
obedient muscles, good digestion, are instruments that 
will serve the spirit, and the spirit must be of the most 
beautiful sort. A mother lovingly hopes all good things, 
both spiritual and physical, for her children. She feels 
the baby's interest and responds to his efforts to play 

305 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

with her, for she knows that play will teach the baby to 
know that his body is the servant of his spirit. The 
months fly, and the spirit? that live in the babies' bodies 
are more and more awake. 

*' And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit." 

The Bible 
As the mothers go about their work, they say to them- 
selves: "These babies certainly are all truth and good- 
ness. If the truth becomes untrue, and the goodness 
turns to badness, it will be because their bodies have not 
been trained to obey their spirits." Then the mothers 
think and plan, and they are not overcome by the task 
that is theirs, because the "Master of all good work- 
men" is ready to help, and all the mothers have to do is 
to ask for that help. 

" Be the sweet presence of a good diffused." 

George Eliot 

Once a little child was with his mother a great deal as 
she worked at home-making. He often wished to do as 
she did. If she swept, he ran for his little broom. He 
shelled peas at her side, and sewed, and ironed, and 
made grimy little pies from bits of dough that she gave 
him. He often said, "I want to do what you are doing, 
mother." "Very well, dear, you may," his mother 
would answer, and so they did interesting things to- 
gether. After the little boy was in his bed at night, his 
mother knelt beside him and held his restless little hands 
in her strong, calm hands. She closed her eyes, and her 
lips moved. She was saying: 

"O God, Thou hast laid upon us women the responsi- 
306 



THE EVENING PRAYER 

bility of teaching the little children the way of health 
and duty, and the sweet appeal of their baby faces 
makes our solemn duty dear to us. May we join knowl- 
edge and wisdom to our love for them. Grant us, we 
pray Thee, such breadth of sympathy that we may see 
our Master in every child that has need of us, and help 
us to discharge in full the love that was poured upon us 
in our own sweet childhood days. Give us special tender- 
ness for all children who suffer, and may we have a grow- 
ing sense of the divine mystery brooding in the soul of 
every child. For Jesus' sake. Amen." ^ 

The child lay there, watching his mother, and he 
felt that all was right, and safe, and good, but he did not 
know why. One night, as he watched her, he said, "I 
want to do what you are doing, mother,*' and his 
mother said, "You may." Then she taught him to fold 
his hands, and close his eyes, and say: 

"Jesus, tender shepherd, hear me; 
Bless thy little lamb to-night; 
Through the darkness be Thou near me. 
Keep me safe till morning light." 

After that he "said" his prayer every night. When he 
forgot, his mother reminded him of it, and so it became 
a habit. When he said his prayer he always felt that 
everything was right and safe and good, but he did not 
know why. 

" Like as a father pitieth his children." 

The Bible 

The child's father was big and strong and merry. Long 

after the child was able to walk his father sometimes 

* Walter Rauschenbusch. 

307 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

carried him, and the child loved to feel the strength of 
his father's arms. They looked at pictures together. They 
played ball, and often took long walks, hand in hand. 

One night when the child was ready for bed, his 
mother said, "Now we will speak to the Heavenly 
Father." She had often said this before, but to-night the 
boy noticed the familiar word for the first time. 

"Like father?" he asked. 

"Yes," said his mother; "only much, much more 
wonderful. The Heavenly Father can do a great many 
things that father cannot do." 

''What things.?" doubted the boy. 

"Well, the Heavenly Father makes the sunshine. He 
makes oranges and flowers and canary birds." 

"Oh!" said the boy. 

When the light was out, the boy lay thinking of the 
things he loved so much that his big, strong, able father 
could not make. After that he added true prayer, to the 
good habit of kneeling at the close of day and "saying," 

"Jesus, tender shepherd, hear me.'* 

He told the Heavenly Father of the day's happenings, 
and spoke his thought concerning the world about him. 
Professor Weigle sums up the beautiful truth of it all in 
this way: 

"The positive content of his religion comes from 
home. It is what father and mother make it. God enters 
his life, because he first dwells in theirs. God lets them, 
for a little while, stand in his place. His trust, and the 
child's alike, rest in them." ^ 

^ The Pupil and the Teacher, by Luther Weigle, p. 98. 
308 




THE LITTLE SAMUEL 



THE EVENING PRAYER 

"Nearer is he than breathing; nearer than hands and feet.** 

Tennyson 
Sometimes a new baby comes into a nursery already 
occupied. The first owner calls the new baby "Sister," 
and makes her very welcome. She goes to sleep at night 
before it is time for a big boy to go to bed, and so "Je- 
sus, tender shepherd," can no longer be loudly said or 
sung. But this condition brings another new and won- 
derful understanding. If we cannot say our prayer 
aloud, or sing it, we can whisper it, or think it, for the 
Heavenly Father can hear us even when we think! 

"Truly?" asked the boy. 

"Yes, because He is so near." And his mother spoke 
so thoughtfully and earnestly that the child never lost 
the impression that her words made. 

"How near .5^" tempted the questioner. 

"Put your hand on your chest, Hke thisy'' instructed 
his mother. "Now take a deep breath. Did your hand 
feel it? The Heavenly Father is as near as that." 

How wonderful! Of course, then. He can hear people 
when they think ! After a short pause the boy said con- 
fidently, "He is between my leg and my stocking." 

"Yes," said his mother with equal confidence. Later, 
from the next room she heard a breathy murmur, "Je- 
sus, tender shepherd, hear me." God heard it, too, and 
the baby sister was not disturbed. 

" No one to us need prove him. 
Yet who has seen His face.? " 

Mart Mapes Dodge 

"If God is so near, why do we not see Him?" Froebel 
helps us to answer this question, in a most instructive 

309 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

and final way. He tells us to direct the child's attentioh. 
to the wind. The child sees the clothes on the line blown 
about by the wind. His kite flies, and the pin-wheel 
whirls in his hand. The wind blows his hair about and 
ruffles the birds* feathers. "We see what God does; that 
is the way we see Him.*' 

In the Book of Deuteronomy parents are told to teach 
their children as they "walk together by the way." 
Surely that would be the time for noticing, among other 
things, the blowing of the wind. When spring sets you 
free to walk in the country and the parks, or by the sea, 
your path leads through nature to God. From the time 
when the "flowers appear on the earth'* until the last 
brown leaf falls, you are privileged to say many times 
each day, "Your Heavenly Father made it for you." 

When you are more or less shut in by winter storms, 
you are reminded that "He causeth his wind to blow." 
The child's food, a gift from God, has to come to him 
through the snow and the cold, for his enjoyment, in the 
shelter and warmth of home. Perhaps you are putting a 
pair of white cotton stockings on a child's feet. Does she 
know that these stockings were once white flowers 
growing in the sunshine? The Heavenly Father made the 
soft cotton flowers grew, so that this little girl might 
have stockings. Shall we speak to Him about the stock- 
ings, now, while we are putting them on.^^ 

"Dear Heavenly Father, my new stockings are very 
pretty. Thank you for making the cotton flowers grow. 
Amen." Sometimes a child needs help with his temper: 

"0 Heavenly Father! Help me quick! 
Help me quick, I pray. 
310 



THE EVENmG PRAYER 

For I am very angry. 

And I know that I may say 
Words that I '11 be sorry for, 

And the things that I may do 
Are the kind of things, O Father, 

That never could please You." ^ 

It is wonderful that prayer may be offered anywhere, 
at any time; and prayer is not always formal words, ex- 
pressing requests and ideas; it is often "transcendent 
wonder." The child who delights in the beauty of the 
sea, with his "How big it is! What lots of Httle waves! 
What heaps of sand!" is at prayer. And so, in many 
ways, and day by day, the child waxes strong in spirit. 

" Who is the happy warrior? Who is he 
That every man in arms should wish to be? " 

Wordsworth 

We learned a great deal about Christian soldiers during 
the war. We saw their power, and we know the world's 
great need of them. Christian soldiers are "happy war- 
riors" as Wordsworth describes the character in his 
poem. His mother is the happy warrior's first teacher, 
and it is indeed a high caUing. There is a story of a group 
of mountain cHmbers, who, led by a guide, approadied 
the summit of a snowy Alp. The climb became so diffi- 
cult that, dizzy, and in danger of falling, the climbers 
slipped back at every step. The guide, when he saw the 
danger, cried: "On your knees! On your knees!" Moth- 
ers and children, if they would reach the highest place, 
must climb together on their knees; they cannot stand 
alone. 

^ From My Prayers, " Noonday Meditatioa." 
311 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Does the road wind upliill all the way? 
Yes, to the very end. 
Will the day's journey take the whole long day? 
From mom to night, my friend." ^ 

PRAYERS 

"Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep. 
Thy love go with me all the night. 
And wake me with the morning Hght. Amen." 

A boy's prayer 

"God, who created me, 
Nimble and light of limb 
In three elements free. 
To run, to ride, to swim; 
Not when the sense is dim. 
But now, from the heart of joy, 
I would remember Him, 
Take the thanks of a boy." ^ 

"For my home and friends, I thank Thee: 
For my father, mother dear. 
For the hills, the trees, the flowers, 
And the sky so bright and clear. Amen." 

"Dear Heavenly Father, help us to obey, whether we 
wish to or not. Amen." 

"Dear Heavenly Father, we are glad that so many 
children have fathers and mothers. Amen." 

"Father in Heaven, we are thankful for our pets, and 
our gardens, and a great many other things. Amen." 
^ Rossetti. * Henry Charles Beeching. 



XXXII 
THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

"I am a man, therefore nothing which concerns man is foreign to 
me." Menaxder 

"A citizen of no mean city.'* 

Saint Paul 

A CITIZEN is a member of a community. It may- 
be a community in a city, a town, or village, or in 
a farming region, where neighbors are distant. WTierever 
he may live, the citizen has certain obligations and du- 
ties. He cannot separate himself from these obligations 
if he would. As he is a man, nothing which concerns his 
fellow-men is beyond his range of interests. 

He may neglect and ignore his duties of citizenship; 
then he is a poor citizen. He may widely extend his cir- 
cle of helpfulness and concern himself for the affairs of 
the next township, or the state or country as well as 
those of his own town. Then he is a public-spirited citi- 
zen, a good citizen. A good citizen desires the best wel- 
fare and prosperity of his community. He works to that 
end. This means that he wishes his neighbor to prosper 
as well as himself. It means that he desires to maintain 
order and law, that every one may be protected in his 
right to "life, liberty, and happiness." He works for the 
pubHc good. He is a public servant. He belongs to his 
city, to his state, and to his country. This kind of citi- 
zenship means that he is one hundred per cent Ameri- 
can, because America is the land in which he lives. A 

313 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

man may live in a community; but if he does not care 
for good roads, for clean streets, for sanitary conditions, 
for law and order, he is not a true citizen. 

Theodore Roosevelt is a notable example of a man 
who made the duties of citizenship the ruling motive of 
his life. He was a good neighbor, a good friend, a good 
oflScial, a good American. His neighbors at Oyster Bay 
loved him and mourned his loss. The barber and butcher 
and baker were his friends. The school-children wept 
for him, when he died, because they had lost a friend. 
One of the finest tributes paid to him at the time of his 
death was by his neighbors. A group of young men at 
Oyster Bay guarded the grave for the first day and 
night. This is what their heutenant said: "We, of Oyster 
Bay, cannot do too much to honor the memory of Colo- 
nel Roosevelt. He was a great man, honored all the 
world over, and the people of Nassau County, who loved 
him so well, particularly honor him.'* 

I wish all fathers and mothers throughout the country 
would talk over with their boys and girls the tribute to 
Colonel Roosevelt, published by the Roosevelt Memo- 
rial Association for the Boy Scouts of America. 

THE CHILD CITIZEN 

The same ideals which the grown citizen follows should 
be held up to children. 

The little citizen is born a member of the family. He 
is part of the home. He has certain duties and obhga- 
tions. Children may help to keep the house tidy and the 
back yard clean, just as their fathers work for clean 
streets in the town. When they go to school, the school 

314 



THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

grounds belong to them. They should see that no waste 
papers are thrown down to blow about the grounds, 
that no remnants of lunch are scattered on the walk, 
that no orange or banana peels are dropped, which may 
cause some one to fall. 

A cleaning brigade is a good institution for a home or 
school. That habit of care should extend beyond the 
home and the school. How many parks and wayside 
resting-places are made unsightly by the debris left by 
picnic parties. In summer camps boys and girls are trained 
to leave nothing behind when they take their tramps. 
All boxes and fragments of food must be carried back to 
the camp or buried safely from sight. If every home gave 
such training, no signs like "Leave no Rubbish,'* and 
"No Trespassing," would be necessary. The good citizen 
does not infringe on the rights or property of others. 

KEEPING THE LAW 

The good citizen upholds the law of his land. The child 
citizen must learn to obey the law. "Reds" is the name 
given to those adults who defy the law, and advocate 
violence and revolution. Have we any little "Reds" in 
our homes? I once went to visit a family to inquire for a 
boy who had been absent from Sunday School. When I 
was leaving, I expressed the polite wish that the boy 
might come the next Sunday. The mother assured me, 
with equal politeness, that he would be there. But Willie 
interrupted, "How do you know whether I'll be there 
or not.? I'll go, if I want to, and if I don't, I won't." 
What will become of Willie if he does not learn to recog- 
nize higher authority? 

^15 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

The home is the first school of citizenship. Next comes 
the school. Experiments in self-government have been 
made in some schools. "The School City" gives boys 
and girls the opportunity to make and enforce their own 
laws. They appoint their own officers. They decide on 
the penalties for broken law. The real good from such 
experiments comes from the opportunity given to make 
boys and girls understand the need of law in every social 
group. They see the danger of allowing a law-breaker to 
continue in his wrong course. They consider what laws 
are needed for the protection of the whole. 

The George Junior Republic has been successful in 
placing real responsibility for law and order on the boys 
themselves. And these are boys whose parents have 
failed in control, or who have no parents to guide them. 

ORGANIZED PLAY 
Through play children are learning the need of con- 
formity to law. The wise Athenian philosopher, Plato, 
advised that the plays of children be set to music that a 
love of harmony and rhythm might enter the deepest 
recesses of the soul and abide there. He saw a connection 
between keeping the laws of the game and keeping the 
laws of the state. He believed that the plays of children 
should be organized in order that the institutions of the 
state might be safe. 

The supervised playground is a necessity. Rioting 
and "rough-housing" and destruction of play materiak 
take place where there is no adult guidance. 

As boys advance, their sports become more highly 
organized. Baseball, football, basket-ball, and other 

316 



THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

games require each player to know his part and to abide 
by the laws of the game. Each must play his part at the 
right time. A refractory member is cast out at once. 

Every town needs a playground as a means of training 
for citizenship. 

Scattered communities should have some common 
meeting-place where boys and girls can come to play to- 
gether. In this way they learn better how to live to- 
gether. 

PLAY YOUR PART 
Are your children preparing to play their part in the 
world .f^ Could they learn what David Starr Jordan says 
about it? 

"To-day is your day and mine; 
The only day we have; 
The day in which we play our part. 
What our part may signify in the great world we 

may not understand. 
But we are here to play it, and now is our time. 

The part may be a small one. It may be a large one. 
The monuments in our towns and cities remind us of 
those who have played a noble part and honored the citi- 
zenship of the town. In the city of Boston is a monu- 
ment to Phillips Brooks. The monument stands near the 
church in which he served his generation. The inscrip- 
tion says: 

Phillips Brooks 

Preacher of the Word of God 

Lover of Mankind 



This monument is erected by his fellow citizens 
317 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

In Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord a tablet bears 
this inscription. 

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody 1804-1894 

A teacher of three generations of children 

and the founder of the Kindergarten in America 

Every human cause had her sympathy and many her active aid 

"The name of William Rugh, a crippled newsboy of 
Gary, Indiana, has come into nation-wide prominence 
by reason of an act of simple heroism. A young woman in 
that town had suffered extensive burns through the ex- 
plosion of gasoHne in a motor-cycle. It was only by the 
grafting of a large amount of cuticle upon the girl's 
limbs that her life could be saved. Rugh, hearing of this, 
offered to have his crippled leg amputated for the pur- 
pose. He was told that the process might be fatal, but 
said: * What's the odds if it will only save her life? The 
leg is no good to me, and I have no friends to worry if I 
die. Go ahead and cut it off.' The surgeons went ahead. 
The girl's life was saved; and Rugh died, saying, when 
he knew that the end was near: 'At least I've been of 
some use.' And all this for a girl whom he had never 
even seen. It is not surprising that the citizens of Gary 
are planning a monument to his memory." 

The monuments in any town preserve for the growing 
generation the finest traditions of the past. They remind 
us of noble deeds and of fine character. They inspire a 
deeper love for the place, because of what has been. 

When the children of Israel had passed safely over 
Jordan into the Promised Land they were commanded 
to take up twelve stones and set them up in the place 
where they lodged the first night. 

818 



THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

"That this may be a sign among you, that when your 
children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What 
mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them. 
That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of 
the covenant of the Lord; . . . and these stones shall be 
for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever." 

In most of our villages we have memorial halls, or 
tablets or monuments to commemorate the noble sacri- 
fice of those who have fought to defend home and native 
land. We shall have more of these tributes to the boys in 
khaki, who sailed across the sea to make the world a 
safe place to live in for generations yet unborn. 

All such memorials speak with eloquent voice to our 
boys and girls. They say: '* We died that you might Hve. 
Be worthy of our great sacrifice. Love your home and 
native land. Serve it. Be ready to die for it if need 
be." 

"From dying hands the torch we throw 
Take up our battle with the foe." 

Fathers and mothers, interpret and explain these 
voices of the past to your children that they may grow 
in patriotism! 

Ancient Athens was the most beautiful city the world 
has ever known. At every turn the Athenian boy saw a 
fine temple or a beautiful statue or monument. He grew 
up loving beauty and loving his city. 

In "Pericles and Aspasia," we find this advice about 
the education of a Greek boy : 

"Let him take an interest in the business and con- 
cerns of men, and let him as he goes along look stead- 
fastly at the images of those who have benefited his 

319 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

country and make himself a solemn compact to stand 
hereafter among them." 

NO MEAN CITY 

Saint Paul boasted that he was a citizen of no mean 
city. He was proud of his native city. In America we are 
beginning to see the need of fostering this feehng of 
pride in one's home town. Patriotism is love of country. 
It begins in love of home and one's native place. 

"Boosting" one's own city is not a bad thing. The 
residents of San Francisco had a campaign of *^ boost- 
ing" their city for a year or more before the Panama 
Exposition. The fine buildings for the Exposition were 
erected and the city itself beautified. Every one was 
proud of his city. The children caught the contagion of 
this feehng of local pride. A five-year-old boy was trav- 
eling on a railway train at that period. He was an alert 
little fellow and a stranger noticed him. He asked the 
usual questions: "WTiat is your name? Where do you 
live?" The little fellow drew himself up proudly, saying: 
"I live in San Francisco. It's the biggest and best city in 
the United States. I'm a * Booster' for San Francisco." 

I once heard ex-President Ehot say that in this coun- 
try we do not take enough pains to make our children 
see and appreciate our fine scenery and our fine city 
buildings. He said we should cultivate the personal feel- 
ing toward our national possessions. This is the way to 
foster patriotism. Children should be taught to say: 
"This is my State House. See how beautiful it is! What 
a splendid dome! What fine columns! This is where our 
laws are made." 

320 



THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

Parents as well as teachers should take children to see 
historic spots and historic buildings. They should foster 
love of country by recounting the great events which 
have made us a land of the free and the home of the 
brave. 

The Swiss people are famed for their love of country. 
We suppose their especial love is due to the majesty and 
splendor of their mountains, to the blue glory of their 
lakes, to their wealth of flowers, and the glory of their 
sunsets and the after-glow on the snow-clad peaks. The 
Swiss child lives amid beauty. He grows up in love of it, 
and so he loves his home. He loves the stories of WilHam 
Tell, Winkelried, and other heroes on which his mind is 
fed. 

Have we fine mountains and blue lakes in our vicin- 
ity.? Let us say to our children: "Watch and see the 
shadows on our mountain! See the clouds above its 
head ! See the sunlight upon it as they break away ! Is it 
not beautiful.'^" 

Say to them: "To-night we shall have a fine sunset. 
Look for the golden bars! How many colors can you 
see?" 

Pierre Loti's "Story of a Child" shows us how a love 
of home scenes is woven into the fabric of a child's life. 
A great-aunt Bertha often called him to see the sunsets 
from her room. He describes the impressions thus : 

"As this was our only glimpse of real country the 
windows in my Aunt Bertha's room had always a great 
attraction for me. Especially had they in the evening at 
sunset, for from them I could watch the sun sink mys- 
teriously behind the prairies. Oh! those sunsets that I 

321 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

saw from my Aunt Bertha's windows, what ecstasy- 
overcast with melancholy they awakened in me! The 
winter sunsets seen through the closed windows were a 
pale rose color. Those of summer-time, upon stormy 
evenings, after a hot, bright day, I contemplated from 
the open window, and as I did so I would breathe in the 
sweet odors given out by the jasmine blossoms growing 
on the wall: it seems to me that there are no such sun- 
sets now as there were then. When the sunsets were 
notably splendid and unusual, if I was not in the room. 
Aunt Bertha, who never missed one, would call out hast- 
ily: * Dearie! Dearie! Come quickly!' From any corner 
of that house I heard that call and understood it, and I 
went swift as a hurricane and mounted the stairs four 
steps at a time." 

If you live in the prairies your children may rejoice in 
the wide sweep of country and in the fields of moving 
grain. Will it add to their pride of ownership to know 
that in these fields the food of the country is raised? 

Nothing too much can be done in the way of creating 
this sense of ownership and its corresponding responsi- 
bility. 

We should often use the possessive pronoun: Our 
home. Our fields. Our villages. Our school. Our country. 

Extend this idea as far as we may and the world be- 
longs to us. Then we shall have a true League of Na- 
tions. 

PATRIOTIC SONGS 
The small boy was not far wrong when he thought a 
holiday was a day to ''holler.'* All right feeling needs ex- 

32^ 



THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

pression. The chance to "holler" on the Fourth of July 
and to make a noise generally is one way of celebrating. 
No doubt it endears the day to the small boy. Is it the 
best way to give the idea of what our Independence Day 
means? Some one proposed a few years ago in one of our 
magazines that at six o'clock every family in the land 
should go outside the house and standing by the door 
sing together "The Star-Spangled Banner." What a 
wave of patriotism would sweep the country if this be- 
came a universal custom. Can you think of anything 
more thrilling than to know that all your neighbors and 
all the dwellers in distant towns and cities were singing 
at the same time: 

" 'T is the Star-Spangled banner, oh, long may it wave 
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!" 

The little children could join with the grandfathers in 
singing. The flag would be waving from the doorway 
and the little children would shout: 

" Then give three cheers and cheer again. 
And then three loud hurrahs. 
For our beloved America and for the Stripes and Stars!" 

The children of France love their flag. A French child 
might have lost home and father during the "Great 
War," but he would not fail to stand at attention and 
cry " Vive la France'' as his flag passed by. 

Do your children love the flag? Do they know the 
meaning of its colors? Does blue mean truth to them? 
Does white mean clean hands and a pure heart; and 
red, love — the love that gives life itself to serve the 
flag? 

323 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 
Do your children know "A Creed"? 

" Lord, let me not in service lag. 
Let me be worthy of our flag; 
Let me remember, when I 'm tried. 
The sons heroic who have died 
In freedom's name, and in my way 
Teach me to be as brave as they. 

"In all I am, in all I do. 
Unto om* flag I would be true; 
For God and country let me stand. 
Unstained of soul and clean of hand. 
Teach me to serve and guard and love 
The Starry Flag which flies above." 

During the war camp songs were sung all over the 
land. Our children sang "Over There," "Keep the 
Home Fires Burning," "Tipperary," and many more. 

Shall we still keep the home fires burning.? Shall we 
keep the flame of patriotism burning on our hearths? 

The little citizen in your home is soon to be the big 
citizen. Will he serve his country well? 

Hermann Hagedorn has written for the Boy Scouts of 
America the following tribute to Theodore Roosevelt, 
one of America's best citizens. Theodore Roosevelt was 
always close to the Boy Scouts and they to him, and 
particularly appropriate is the dedication, which fol- 
lows: 

"He was found faithful over a few things and he was 
made ruler over many; he cut his own trail clean and 
straight and millions followed him toward the light. He 
was frail; he made himself a tower of strength. He was 
timid; he made himself a lion of courage. He was a 
dreamer; he became one of the great doers of all time. 



THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

Men put their trust in him; women found a champion in 
him; kings stood in awe of him; but children made him 
their playmate. He broke a nation*s slumber with his 
cry, and it rose up. He touched the eyes of blind men 
with a flame and gave them vision. Souls became swords 
through him; swords became servants of God. He was 
loyal to his country and he exacted loyalty; he loved 
many lands, but he loved his own land best. He was ter- 
rible in battle, but tender to the weak; joyous and tire- 
less, being free from self-pity; clean with a cleanness 
that cleansed the air like a gale. His courtesy knew no 
wealth, no class; his friendship no creed or color or race. 
His courage stood every onslaught of savage beast and 
ruthless man, of loneliness, of victory, of defeat. His 
mind was eager, his heart was true, his body and spirit, 
defiant of obstacles, ready to meet what might come. He 
fought injustice and tyranny; bore sorrow gallantly; 
loved all nature, bleak spaces and hardy companions, 
hazardous adventure and the zest of battle. Wherever 
he went he carried his own pack; and in the uttermost 
parts of the earth he kept his conscience for his guide." * 

* See Appendix for " The City Beautiful " by Dr. Woods 
Hutchinson. 



xxxin 

BROTHERS AND SISTERS 

" All are needed by each one; 
Naught is fair or good alone." 

Emerson 

AN only child is a lonely child. No matter how fond 
and loving parents, grandmothers, and uncles 
and aunts may be, none of them can make up for the 
companionship of brothers and sisters. 

In another chapter we have spoken of the way in 
which a child is making his personality. Every child is 
taking copy for what he does and his ways of doing from 
those around^ him. He is making himself by all that he 
does. Adults furnish him many life patterns; but chil- 
dren of his own age furnish more. 

"I must have some one to play with" is the frequent 
cry of a lonely child. It is a natural need. 

Arrest of development is the result if a child has 
few plays and no playmates. 

"Won't you come in and play with me?" said a poor, 
unhappy little girl, as she looked over a fence at the 
motherly face of a young woman passing by. "I have n't 
any one to play with me, and my mother won't let me 
go out of the yard." 

"Why don't you play with the children next door?" 
asked the passerby. 

"Ah, mother won't let me play with them. She says 
that they will spoil my manners." 

326 



BROTHERS AND SISTERS 

Is not that a short-sighted mother? ^Yhai can she 
give her child to make up the loss of companions? She is 
fostering, in the isolated child, selfishness and snob- 
bery. The child will lack understanding and sympathy. 
A dwarfed, narrow personality results from such a 
cramped environment. 

As a matter of fact children who are well trained do 
not acquire bad manners nor bad language from their 
playmates. The few striking ways or words picked up 
now and then, because they are new and striking, will 
soon be dropped, as the better usage of the child's own 
home is stamped on him. 

But it were better even to risk a lapse of manners 
than to doom a little one to starved affections and a 
cramped nature. Grown-ups need contact with the 
world and with many kinds of people in order to live a 
rich, broad life. For the same reason children need play- 
mates of their own age. 

The public school and the playground offer a boy or 
girl society of the right kind. If we could supply our 
children with private teachers and tutors, it would not 
be well for them ordinarily. Froebel was once asked to 
take as a private pupil the son of a duke. He declined. 
He said: "No boy can be well trained mentally, who is 
not sound morally. There cannot be sound moral devel- 
opment without contact with one's equals." The father 
was wise, and gave the boy into FroebeFs charge to 
place in a school with other boys. The wisdom of Froe- 
bel's course was soon demonstrated. The boy came 
home one day, roaring with rage, because another boy 
had beaten him. The father was angry and said he 

327 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

would go at once to settle with the offender. "No," said 
his son, "you must not punish him. I hit him first. He 
was right to hit me." 

I know a woman vv ho is awkward and ill at ease in 
any social group because her childhood was too se- 
cluded. She did not learn how to talk and play with 
others at the right time. 

We speak of a genial, social person as "a good mixer.'* 
Such a person is a welcome member of any group. A girl 
who can mix well is popular in her school and makes 
friends. A boy who has acquired this happy art is "a 
good fellow." The large families in the old New England 
homes gave part of the training which has made New 
England famous as the place which counts men and 
women as its finest product. 

If your home circle is small, it will pay you well to 
send often for your neighbor's child to spend the day. 
Your child learns how to give up, how to yield, how to 
play after such play days ! 

THE MEMBER — WHOLE 
Froebel uses a quaint phrase, " a member — whole," 
to express his theory of social relationship. He desired 
every child to be developed in an all-round way. He 
wished for each child a sound mind and a sound body. 
Each child should have a whole life. All needs should be 
supphed as far as the education of the home and school 
can meet them. 

But each individual is at the same time a member of a 
larger whole. He becomes complete in himself only as he 
fits into his place in the larger whole. 

328 




BROTHERS AND SISTERS 



BROTHERS AND SISTERS 

Saint Paul taught this great truth when he said: "We 
are all members one of another. No man liveth unto 
himself and no man dieth unto himself." 

How does this thought affect your training of your 
child? Will you extend the circle of your sympathy be- 
yond your home through the neighborhood? Will you 
reach beyond the neighborhood to those who are far 
away? Sympathy grows out of knowledge. Should your 
child know more of far-away lands and the children who 
live in them? Many schools now are interchanging let- 
ters with schools in other parts of America. In some 
places school boys and girls are asked to begin a corre- 
spondence with a child in France. Through such letters 
French life is made real and near. The child gains a new 
friend through the letters and a wider range of interests. 
A recent number of the Boston Herald gives this il- 
lustration of the good done by letters : 

"Little Tommy Fitzgerald in ward E at the Boston 
City Hospital is now a firm behever in the efficacy of 
prayer. For many months Tommy has been praying 
that when the supervisor came round in the morning 
with the mail for the ward there might be a letter for 
him. Yesterday morning Tommy received forty-three 
letters. 

"The whole ward is sharing Tommy's pleasure. He 
has been a great pet since he was brought to the hospital 
weeks ago with a fractured leg. The only blue time in 
Tommy's day has been when the supervisor went 
through the ward with the mail. Although his family 
came often to see him, he still longed for the excitement 
of a letter. 

329 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"Then one day the supervisor wrote to Miss Helen 
Marsden, a teacher in the 7th grade of the Jackson 
School, Portland, and asked her to tell her pupils about 
Tommy's desire for mail. That very day forty-three 
boys and girls wrote to him. 

"Tommy is especially pleased because the letters are 
all long and every one is written on 'real letter-paper.' 
He reads *his mail' over and over again and can hardly 
find time to eat or have his leg attended to." 

A favorite book for supplementary reading in our 
schools is Jane Andrew's "Seven Little Sisters." This 
book is loved because it makes real the life of our little 
sisters all over the world. Miss Colson's " Friends of 
Ours " is written with a similar purpose. These are 
good books for the home library. 

INTERDEPENDENCE 

Interdependence is a large word, too large for chil- 
dren, but the idea belongs to them. When you point out 
to your children how one bit of work depends on an- 
other you are illustrating this idea. To show how things 
come to us, how they are made, is a step toward this 
idea. Froebel says: 

"When your child, for instance, tells you he is hungry, 
you must often simply send him to the cook for a roll or 
to the baker for a bun. You should, however, show him 
as often as possible the work that is necessary before 
food can be secured. 

"You may easily lead your child to feel that for his 
bread and milk he owes thanks not only to his mother, 
the milkmaid, the cow, the mower, and the baker, but 

330 



BROTHERS AND SISTERS 

also and most of all to the Heavenly Father, who, 
through the instrumentalities of dew and rain, sunshine 
and darkness, winter and summer, causes the earth to 
bring forth grass and herbs to nourish the cattle whose 
milk and whose flesh nourish man.'* 

MY NEIGHBORS 
"Who is my neighbor?" was a question asked long ago 
of the Great Teacher. 

The answer given then, is the same to-day. 

Whoever needs me is my neighbor. 

He may live next door. He may live over the seas. 

I believe children should get early the right answer to 
this old question. They should begin to think about the 
wider brotherhood which takes in the whole earth. 

They will like to read and maybe to learn Miss 
Laing's lines: 

"Beneath my feet the floor so long. 
Beneath the floor the earth so strong, 
Earth holds my house, and earth holds me. 
It is my wide, wide home, you see. 

" Above my head the roof is high. 
Above the roof the bending sky. 
It covers house, it covers me — 
Sky is my wide, wide roof, you see. 

"Within this wide house lives my kin. 
In many lands, like rooms shut in. 
We are one family, don't you see — 
In this wide house, they live with me." 

This is what Senor Don Ignacio Calderon, Bolivian 
Minister to the United States, says of the League of 
Nations : 

331 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

"The true brotherhood of man will come only when 
we instill in every child's mind, in the heart and soul of 
every man and woman, the conviction that love, liberty, 
and justice are the highest ideals that make life worth 
living and represent the true conception of our mission 
on earth. It will then be easy to form a real league and a 
brotherhood of men and nations, all united in a league 
of hearts in the hope of seeing the dawn of that era of 
peace and good-will, of freedom and justice, for which 
many millions of brave soldiers have given their lives so 
gloriously.'* 



xxxrv 

THE HOME 

" '1 he home is the true basis of the education of humanity.'* 

Pestalozzi 

A CERTAIN paper once sent this question to all its 
subscribers: "WTiat is the most beautiful word in 
the language?" Of course there were various answers. 
The larger number, however, agreed that it was either 
"home" or "mother!" The word "home," and the 
special feehng for home seem to be peculiar possessions 
of the Anglo-Saxon. The French have a very intimate 
way of saying, "With myself" (chezmoi) or " with him- 
self " (chez lui). This phrase expresses the idea of the 
privacy of the home, the shutting out of the great world 
when one enters it. It corresponds to our old English 
proverb, "A man's house is his castle." A castle can be 
defended. It protects its occupants from all attacks of 
foes and from the intrusion of strangers. 

THE HOUSE AND THE HOME 

The house is not a home. It is only the structure which 
shelters the home. It is to the home what the skin is to 
the body, says Froebel. The house may be large and 
splendid; but the children within it may be as homeless 
as those turned upon the city streets to find a place to 
live. Home is where love is. Home is an atmosphere of 
nurture and care for those within its walls. Home is a 

333 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

place where all are members of one family, dependent 
on one another. 

An empty house is gloomy and depressing, because 
this spirit of the family is lacking. Archie, the hero of 
E. F. Benson's recent book, "Across the Stream," says 
of an empty house : 

"I can imagine what a house feels like that has been 
happily lived in for years, when the family goes away 
and leaves it empty. There is a board up, * To-let Un- 
furnished,' and the windows get dirty and the knocker 
and door-handle, which were so well polished, get dull. 
There used to be curtains in the windows, and in the 
evenings passers-by in the street could see chinks of 
light from within and perhaps hear sounds of laughter. 
But now there are no curtains, and the pictures have 
gone from the walls, leaving oblong marks where they 
used to hang. And the spirit of the house stares, mourn- 
fully out, thinking of the days when there was laughter 
and love within its walls. Have n't you seen a house Hke 
that?" 

FURNISHINGS 
The furnishings are a part of the home. They show the 
character and taste of the family. They show what the 
standards of living are. Where we see books and maga- 
zines lying on the table — left there as if they had been 
read and would be again — we know it is a reading 
family. Prim rows of books in a closed case do not al- 
ways show a reading habit. I like to see a book of hero 
tales, or "Peter Rabbit," or "Black Sambo" left on the 
sofa or on the window-seat. It tells me that some one 

334 



THE HOME 

has been reading to the children. It tells me that those 
children will grow up with a love of books. 

Pictures are another essential to a real home. These 
may be few in numbers; but they should be chosen well. 
They are chosen for what they have to tell. Crude and 
coarse pictures are worse than nothing. They corrupt 
the mind and suggest wrong ideas. The boy's room may 
have its posters and banners, and the girl loves to pin 
up photographs of her best friends. This desire to be 
surrounded with the outv/ard tokens of one's interests 
belongs to a certain stage of growth. It will pass, if the 
taste is cultivated to admire v/hat is admirable and to 
love what is best. 

WTien we enter some rooms and some houses, we say 
at once, "How livable! " We mean we would like to stay 
there. And why.? It is because the furniture is chosen 
with the idea of comfort and use and not for show or for 
fashion. Cushions and covers are good in color and ar- 
ranged for use and comfort. Our livable house is one 
where the carpets and rugs are not too good to let the 
sun lie on them. Nor are the chairs and sofas likely to 
fade when curtains are raised. Sunshine for the family is 
more important than unfaded furniture. 

THE MOTHER 

A MOTHER or a mothering spirit is necessary in every 
home. In Mrs. Jellyby, Dickens has given us a type of 
woman who has children, but who is no mother. Mrs. 
Jellyby found her interest in the inhabitants of Borrio- 
boola-Gha; not in her owti home. 

The mother is the first teacher, and the first school is 
335 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

in the home. The first school was started when the sav- 
age mother began to teach her children the ways of life. 
Pestalozzi, the great Swiss educational reformer, makes 
a mother the center of community life and uplift. In 
"Leonard and Gertrude," he gives a picture of a home 
which is a temple of the Hving God. Gertrude is a power 
for good for the whole village. She opens a school in her 
home and instructs the village children. The men who 
are tempted and in trouble go to her for advice and com- 
fort. Her home is a place of refuge. Pestalozzi says: 
"Forget, mother, all other work, if necessary, in order to 
penetrate into the sacredness of your maternal voca- 
tion." 

He -vvTote in his diary, when his own son was born, 
this prayer: "Thou, O God, who hast made me father of 
an immortal soul, send me thy spirit from on high." 

Froebel calls the home the sanctuary of humanity. A 
sanctuary is a holy place. In olden times in England a 
man was safe if he could take sanctuary. If he could 
reach a church and even touch the knocker or some 
emblem on the door, his enemy could not touch him. 
The holy place protected him. Does this suggest to us 
what a home should he? Should the enemies of care and 
worry and business anxiety be banished from the fire- 
side? Pestalozzi calls the home "the school of morals 
and of the state," and Froebel says: 

"Family Hfe! Family life! Who shall fathom thy 
depths? Who shall declare the meaning? Thou art the 
sanctuary of humanity; thou art the temple wherein the 
flame of divinity is kept alive and burning. Thou art 
more than school and church ! Thou art greater than all 

336 



THE HOME 

institutions which necessity has called into being for the 
protection of life and property! . . . And once more, O 
family ! thou art the security of all institutions, offensive 
and defensive, whose object is to maintain law and jus- 
tice. For he who is reared in a family unhallowed by the 
presence of justice and of law tends to become a scoffer 
of the one and a rebel against the other." 

"If the first concern of a nation is its homes," says 
Drummond, "it matters not what is second or third.'* 
The nation is no better than its homes. Every good home 
contributes something to the welfare of the nation. It 
gives to the nation good citizens. It sets an example of 
good living to the community. 

When Roman fathers ceased instructing their boys in 
the tables of the law, and Roman mothers no longer 
told hero tales to their children, the downfall of Rome 
began. Rome fell because Roman women became luxuri- 
ous, pleasure-loving, and careless, and home training 
was neglected. 

The mothers of our country hold the fate of America 
in their hands to-day. Every mother who reads this book 
is helping to decide whether we are to be in the future 
the land of the free and the home of the brave. Is your 
child to be a rebel against law and order or a keeper of 
the law.? Is your home a school for the state .^ 

HOW I MADE MY HOME ATTRACTIVE FOR THE 

YOUNG PEOPLE 

By F. G. B. 

For several years I watched my sons and daughters 
grow up and quietly, and at first unnoticeably, drift 

337 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

away from home. The evenings would usually find them 
at some neighbor's house, where they seemed to enjoy 
something which their own home denied them. At first I 
lapsed into fits of melancholy because I thought we 
were too poor to have the things which make the home 
attractive. Finally I decided to make an eflFort to change 
conditions. 

One day while walking near a pine woods I noticed a 
huge, peculiar-shaped pine root. I realized this would 
make a unique rustic seat, and when placed under a 
large oak tree in my yard with vines partly covering it, 
the desired effect was obtained. One of my sons is very 
handy with the saw and hammer. At my suggestion he 
made a very creditable swing which was also placed un- 
der a tree. A few more seats were placed about, and the 
result was pleasing and inviting. 

Next I turned my efforts to transforming the front 
porch. Fortunately I had a very large one, but no flow- 
ers, hammock, or cozy chairs adorned it. Soon I had sev- 
eral ferns and other plants rooted, and I bought a very 
pretty but inexpensive set of porch furniture. The 
transformation was satisfactory. Our home was prettier 
than ever before. It looked cool, comfortable, and at- 
tractive. 

I looked about me and noticed that my neighbors had 
some kind of music in their homes. There was none in 
mine. We could not afford a piano. I had some money I 
had been saving for unexpected demands, but I decided 
I could not spend it for a better purpose than to buy a 
Victrola and a few good records. 

With very little trouble and expense I feel that I am 
338 



THE HOME 

amply repaid by seeing my children enjoy their home. 
They hke to bring their friends in for the evening, and 
now my house is one of the popular gathering-places of 
the town. 

A child's right to a happy home 
G. W. TuTTLE says in Child-Welfare Magazine: 

'* A child has a right to a happy home. A home where 
love is; whose atmosphere is not spoiled with nagging, 
and fault-finding, and complaining, and sarcastic re- 
marks, and the malaria of ill nature. No use to hang 
'God bless our Home' on the walls unless we engrave 
it upon our hearts. God never gets a shadow of a chance 
to bless some homes; the clouds of ill nature are so 
heavy that even his sunshine cannot get through. 

"Talk about miracles! When a child raised in such 
an atmosphere makes good it is a miracle — a miracle 
of grace. 

" The child has a right to a sunny home, to congenial 
parents, to pleasant surroundings ; to all that will make 
the child happy and useful. Home should be to the child 
a magnet that shall never lose its power: a light that shall 
never grow dim. Alas for children who never know a 
happy home until they go away from what they have 
called *home.' It was only a misnomer; home is where 
love is; home is where woman smiles, and loves, and 
reigns. Earthly treasures alone never make a home. 

Fill the house with choicest treasures, send your vessels o'er the sea. 
Gather treasures from the Indies, and from far-famed Araby; 
Hoard them up within the four walls, vacant still the house will seem 
Till some woman fair adorn it with her smiling face serene.' 

339 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

" Is the pattern of a home that is continually before 
the eyes of our children a good one? Could we say: 
*Now, children, we hope you will have a home just like 
this when you grow up?* Do we wish the best for our 
children? Prove it! Set the best before their eyes now! 
There is no place that resembles heaven so much as a 
happy home." 



XXXV 
HOME FESTIVALS 

"Sing we all merrily, 
Draw round the fire. 
Sister and brother. 
Grandson and sire." 

ONE of the "Mother Play" pictures shows a family 
festival. It is the father's birthday and the entire 
family joins in the celebration. The mother is cutting 
lilies to offer as her gift. The children are filling a basket 
of flowers. They will carry this to father singing a birth- 
day song which they have learned for the occasion. And 
what is father doing? He sits in the summer house draw- 
ing a picture for his children. "He wants to give them a 
pleasure on his birthday. Perhaps he is drawing the hills 
in the early morning light with the beautiful sun rising 
so quietly. The youngest daughter runs to him with a 
little basket she has filled all by herself. She cannot wait 
for the large basket. *Here, dear papa,' she says, *here 
are some flowers for your birthday. Do you like them? 
Mother and sister and brother have some more flowers 
for you, and oh, such pretty ones!'" 

I have given you this little scene and dialogue, be- 
cause it gives us the spirit of a true festival. A poet has 
said that happy days are wise days. Do you see how true 
this is.? Love and joy and good-will blossom in our lives 
in the happy days, just as flowers bloom in the sun- 
shine. To make a child happy helps to make him good. 

841 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

While he is happy he has only good impulses and good 
thoughts. Pleasant thoughts are good company. If they 
are constant thoughts, they make a pleasant disposition 
and a cheerful character. The happiest recollections of 
our childhood cluster around days which gave us special 
pleasure, as Christmas, Thanksgiving, picnic days, and 
birthdays. 

But happiness is not dependent on things. This lesson 
is clearly taught in our "Mother Play." There has been 
no long, bustling, worried preparation for the father's 
birthday. The children have, no doubt, tended and wa- 
tered the plants in the garden with a happy hope that 
the lilies and roses will bloom for the birthday basket. 

The father has given up his business for an hour that 
he may celebrate with the children. 

Everybody joins in the festival. Froebel claims that 
such a home festival strengthens the bonds which bind 
together the members of the family. 

A UNITED FAMILY 

When we unite to do the same things, moved by the 
same impulse, we feel sympathy and love for those 
united with us. 

Home festivals and family reunions promote love of 
home and foster family affection. Is not this proved by 
the old New England Thanksgiving? Uncles and aunts 
and grandchildren ride "over the meadow and through 
the woods" to grandfather's house. They gather there 
for fun and for the Thanksgiving dinner. They sit 
around the same board. They laugh and joke together. 
They sing together, maybe, some of the old songs. 

34^ 



HOME FESTIVALS 

Around the blazing fire they sit to recall tales of old 
times. 

They separate with a stronger feeling of love for the 
old home and for each other. 

The celebration of birthdays helps to make strong 
family feeling. The celebration may be only a special 
birthday cake with its candles or the singing of a song; 
but the feeling of affection is strengthened by the coming 
together to remember the day that makes us glad, be- 
cause Mary or Martha or John came into the w^orld that 
day. 

The church festivals, such as Christmas and Easter, 
or the Jewish festivals which young and old celebrate 
together, help to keep a united family. Possibly they 
help to keep a united church as well. 

A UNITED NATION 

We call ourselves the United States of America. What 
unites us.? Our common traditions, our common ideals, 
our common joys and hopes. That we may preserve 
these traditions, let us celebrate our national holidays 
which commemorate the great events in our history. 
Thanksgiving Day belongs to the whole country and to 
all our citizens. We may all rejoice together that a band 
of Pilgrims had courage and faith to brave cold and hun- 
ger and danger to secure freedom for themselves and for 
all who should follow them. 

Every home should teach the story of the lives of our 
Pilgrim Fathers. The Thanksgiving feast, with all its 
joyful preparations, offers the occasion for these lessons. 
Mary and Martha may stone the raisins for the mince 

343 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

pies, OP cut up the pumpkin for the golden pumpkin 
pies. 

What do they talk about as they work? Do they know 
the story of the first Thanksgiving? Can they tell it to 
the younger children? Does the thought of many fami- 
lies gathering together all over the country for the same 
kind of giving thanks give an idea of a united country? 
May we help to keep our unity by preserving these tra- 
ditions in our many homes? 

We have other national holidays to keep. Washing- 
ton's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Columbus Day, 
Memorial Day. These give us the chance to keep alive 
the memory of the great deeds of our great heroes. The 
only notice of the day may be the hanging of the flag, or 
a special story-hour; but any one new feature in the 
daily routine of life marks the day as a Red Letter Day. 

The Fourth of July is our national birthday. It should 
be celebrated everywhere in a way to foster true Ameri- 
canism. The boy who suggested that every family 
should stand on its doorstep at six o'clock and sing 
"America" was wise beyond his years. 

The thought of that great chorus of voices singing, " My 
country," would bring a splendid sense of togetherness. 

"United we stand, divided we fall." 

There never was a time when this motto was more 
needed. 

For that reason home festivals and community pag- 
eants and festivals take on a new value. How much of the 
love of "Merrie England" was due to the May-Day 
dances on the green? How much of the strength and 
unity of ancient Greece was due to the Greek games? 

344 



HOME FESTIVALS 



GIFTS AND GIVING 

"What can I give Him, 
Poor as I am? 
If I were a shepherd, 
I 'd give Him a lamb; 
If I were a wise man, 
I 'd do my part. 
What can I give Him? 
Give Him my heart." 

The giving of gifts is a part of many festivals. We give 
gifts at Christmas-time for two reasons. We like to re- 
member the gifts the Wise Men made to the Christ 
Child. We express our love for our friends through our 
gifts. Christmas giving may degenerate into a mere 
period of spending money and a forced interchange of 
expensive presents. These are no true gifts. We welcome 
the offering which a child's love may bring. The offering 
may be valueless in itself, but the love makes it price- 
less. 

In the kindergarten children make gifts for father, 
mother, grandmother, and other members of the family. 
Little hands are busy for days before the happy season. 
Little hearts are glad with the happy impulse of giving. 
When mother comes to the kindergarten Christmas tree 
and receives her gift from the laden boughs, the joy is 
complete. 

"The gift without the giver is bare," says Lowell. 

Every child who sews a Christmas star, or makes a 
New Year's calendar, is giving himself with the gift, for 
he has put many hours of loving thought into his work. 

How shall mother receive these gifts.? I know mothers 
345 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

who have put them away in a treasure box. They take 
them out years after when the little hands have grown 
into strong, working hands and the little child has gone 
from the home. 

"WTiat sacred and precious memories they awaken! 
Who would be without them.? 

Sometimes a mother does not welcome the offering. 
She does not see its meaning. Little Rose had struggled 
during a whole morning to paint a picture for her 
mother. It was a crude painting, to be sure; the colors 
were high and the lines uneven, but it was the little girl's 
best effort. When her mother returned at noon, Rose 
ran to her with the painted sheet. 

"It's for you, mother," she said. 

"I don't see anything for me in that trash," said the 
mother, as she threw it into the waste-basket. May that 
mother lose some of the warmth of her child's love? 
What loss does little Rose suffer? 

"Love grows with being spent." The more we give to 
a cause the more precious the cause becomes. The more 
we give to a friend the more we love the friend. So a 
child's love grows. Christmas and birthdays are special 
times for happy giving. 

But we must see that the gift is a real gift. Spending 
money at the store for a bag for mother or a stamp-box 
for father is not making a gift, unless John has earned 
the money and has thought long of what father and 
mother really desire. We may learn much from Emerson 
about gifts. He says: "Next to things of necessity, the 
rule for a gift, which one of my friends prescribed, is 
that we might convey to some person that which prop- 

S46 



HOME FESTIVALS 

erly belonged to his character, and was easily associated 
with him in thought. But our tokens of compliment and 
love are for the most part barbarous. Rings and other 
jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only 
gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. 
Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his 
lamb; the farmer, his corn; the miner, a gem; the sailor, 
coral and shells; the painter, his picture; the girl, a 
handkerchief of her own sewing.'* 

THE HEART OF THE FESTIVAL 

Mr. Chubb says that as a nation we are starved emo- 
tionally. We lose the richness and beauty of life because 
we do not know how to play and how to enjoy it. 

The festival has at its heart some great idea which 
appeals to the emotions and calls for expression in some 
outward form. Every kind of expression feeds the feehng 
which prompts it. Choral singing, rhythmic movement, 
dramatic representation, all these give emotional satis- 
faction. What are some of the ideas which have created 
our great festivals? 

What is the real meaning of Christmas.'^ Is it not the 
desire to spread peace and good-will among our friends 
and kin? Loving and giving are the theme of Christmas. 
Dickens's Scrooge is a well-known example of a man who 
had stifled all friendly feelings for his kind. He was un- 
able to share in the joy of Christmas, because he had 
killed the spirit of Christmas. Through his vision of the 
misery of the world where this spirit fails, he learned to 
say, "A merry Christmas tc everybody." "And after- 
wards, it was always said of him that he knew how to 

347 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed that 
knowledge." 

Easter is the festival which tells us the great truth of 
life from death. A brown bulb is put into the ground to 
die, that a white lily may bloom. The caterpillar spins 
its own shroud and wraps itself within it, that the gay 
butterfly may be born. 

And so at Easter we bring flowers to our churches and 
into our homes, that they may tell this story. We keep 
the day with songs of the lilies, songs of birds, and songs 
of spring. We celebrate the awakening of life. We rejoice 
that the winter is over and gone and the time of singing 
birds is at hand. 

Our patriotic festivals grow out of that deepest of all 
loves, love of home and country. If we would keep the 
feeling, let us keep the holiday. 

I have had great pleasure in reading a set of papers 
written by my students describing their Red Letter 
Days. Some of these may suggest to you happy ways of 
keeping home festivals. 

The following is an account of a Christmas spent in 
the Rockies : 

A RED LETTER DAY IN MY LIFE 

By Rosalie Stearns 

The biggest Red Letter Day in my life and a particu- 
larly shining memory in my childhood was a Christmas 
Day when I was about eight years old. It was spent 
with all of our big family gathered together at our coun- 
try place in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. 

Imagine, if you can, dear people in the East, range 
348 



HOME FESTIVALS 

after range of snow clad mountains with an occasional 
gleaming peak standing out in clear relief against the 
intense blue of a Colorado sky. Imagine a little girl 
bumping merrily down a mountain road perched high 
on the branches of a great silver spruce, which old Agnes 
the mare is dragging down to become my most memo- 
rable Christmas tree. Three big brothers have superin- 
tended the cutting and hauling of the tree, and now we 
are off on another expedition to gather kinnikinnick and 
mistletoe to decorate the living-room of the cottage. 
There is a moment of awful suspense until the tree is 
carefully straightened up in the corner of the room, and 
we discover that it is not too tall after all! 

Then comes the time for a small girl to be banished to 
bed, and she goes with reluctant steps, but cherishing a 
most delicious thrill about to-morrow. The night is not 
so long as she feared it might be, and she awakes to a 
joyous bedlam of ringing bells and " Merry Christ- 
mases!" Is there any other morning in the year when 
every one laughs and talks so much and forgets he is 
fifty or twenty-one or eight years old? 

After breakfast the living-room door is opened and 
we enter a perfect fairyland. The first thing to greet a 
small girl's eyes are of course her precious family of 
dolls, all newly and beautifully garbed by mother's 
clever hands. Only a moment to stop and gaze at the 
glittering beauty of the tree. There are new skates in the 
corner! I am half smothered by a hug from big brother 
who has discovered the little calendar I had spent so 
many days making him ! 

So the happy day goes until at nightfall comes that 
S49 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

most precious time of all — the Christmas dinner, when 
father mulls the cider and we " oh '* and " oh " with 
joy at the sight of the fat brown turkey. After dinner 
there is the tired but thoroughly happy family gather- 
ing around the big open fire, and I lie curled up in moth- 
er's lap, watching the red flames chase the blue smoke, 
and thinking what a happy, lucky little girl I am! 

A CHRISTMAS DAY IN MY CHILDHOOD 

By Charlotte M. Smith 

Ever since I had been a tiny tot, I had played school 
with every conceivable object. Even when I was sick in 
bed the figures on the wall-paper were my pupils. They 
interested me as much as real people. 

As I grew older my scholars were dolls, but it always 
seemed a great task to find enough desks and seats for 
them. 

One Christmas morning my brother and I ran joy- 
fully into the living-room to see our tree and search its 
wondrous branches for the gifts Santa had left. We 
found them all, as I thought, and were happily amus- 
ing ourselves, when mother, who was watching all the 
fun, reminded me that the best of all was yet to be 
found. 

I hunted everywhere, and soon, in the corner of the 
room behind the door, I saw that for which I had longed 
and dreamed. Never as long as I live shall I forget the 
feeling of joy and happiness that went through me as I 
took my real little schoolroom. 

My uncle had made it for me out of cigar-boxes. 
There were chairs, desks, blackboard, and even window- 

350 



HOME FESTIVALS 

boxes with paper flowers in them. The pupils were tiny 
dolls which just fitted the chairs. There were eighteen in 
all, nine boys dressed in little velvet suits and nine girls 
all in dainty silk dresses. And indeed the teacher was 
not lacking, for there she stood in front of the class with 
a pointer in her hand ready to take up her duties at the 
given word. 

Happiness was certainly complete in my home that 
day. And from that dolls' schoolroom I have tried stead- 
ily to progress in order that some day the dreams of my 
childhood may be realized. 

A FOURTH OF JULY 

By Hazel Green 

The two days which stand out most clearly in my mem- 
ory of my youth are July 4th and Thanksgiving. 

We always went to my grandmother's farm, for the 
summer, and so we were there for the Fourth ! The men 
who had families and who lived near brought fireworks 
of all varieties, balloons, Roman candles, and the like. 
The women would prepare cakes, salads, chicken, and 
other picnic food the day before. On the Fourth we 
would get up very early and play in the morning. After 
lunch we would help to set up the hop-picking tables, on 
the lawn, and to put the tables around. After chores the 
families from all around would come and we would have 
supper. There were usually about twelve families. After 
supper, when it was dark, we would have fireworks on 
the bridge over the " old mill pond." This day was al- 
ways looked forward to by us all, and talked of for 
many days. 

351 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

AN APRIL CARNIVAL 

By Novella Pearson 

It was a lovely April day and I was so happy and ex- 
cited. 

Mother had worked for days on my costume and doll- 
carriage. There was to be a costume and doll-carriage 
parade. I was to be a Httle Dutch girl; my skirt was yel- 
low with a red plaid yoke, the apron and waist were 
white, there was a blue velvet bodice laced with black, a 
yellow kerchief and a little white cap — and most won- 
derful of all, a pair of real wooden shoes. My carriage 
was decorated with red poppies. 

At last I was ready and waiting with the other chil- 
dren. A herald in a green velvet suit blew a trumpet as a 
signal for the parade to appear. Each little character 
was announced as he entered. It was such a joyous feel- 
ing to be taking part with the Quaker girl. Boy Blue, 
Red-Riding Hood, Bo-Peep, Tom the Piper's son, the 
little Swiss peasant, and Ahce in Wonderland. We were 
story people from the Land of Make-Believe — we 
were just being happy together and the big people were 
happy, too, so it seemed. 

After the parade poppy ladies in red and green danced 
gayly until they were tired; they then drooped sleepily 
down. Softly the sunbeam fairies came and skipped 
among the poppies and awakened them. The sunbeams 
and the poppies danced away together. 

A wee girl in a dainty pink costume danced on the tips 
of her toes. Then we all ate ice-cream and cake at long 
tables, and played games which we loved. 

352 



HOME FESTIVALS 

At last it was over. I had to step out of my wooden 
shoes and become just myself again. But I shall always 
remember happily the little lady from Holland and the 
carnival of an April day. 

A MAY-DAY FESTIVAL 

By Elizabeth Fitch 

It seems so many years ago, yet the sight is vivid to 
me, as if it were only a short time ago. May Day came 
quickly and quietly as it always does. But this one May 
Day I '11 never forget. 

The day was as balmy as a May Day should be. The 
open field was a picture. Costumes of every color. In the 
center was a huge May Pole with streamers of ribbon 
and flowers. 

I was in a dream, in fairyland. Suddenly, the music 
started and many children rushed forward in costumes 
of every color to the May Pole. Round and round they 
danced. I was one of the fairies, seemingly dancing to a 
land of beautifulness. 

After the ribbons were wound around the pole we 
danced off the field as gayly as we came on. 

Then a little playlet was given in rhythmic ways. 
Children representing "flowers" crowded on the 
ground. Then the wind danced in, little boys in costumes 
of white, flowing in the breeze. Then in danced httle 
girls dressed in yellow representing the sun. Little boys 
then came in gray, representing the rain. Finally, the 
"flowers" rose up and danced merrily away from the 
field. Children represented violets, snowdrops, May- 
flowers, etc. It certainly was a sight to behold. Well I 

353 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

remember it, for I was a little snowdrop. This was a day 
in which I played a part in one of my most beloved 
story-books. 

MOTHER DAYS 

By Elizabeth Fitch 

I SHALL never forget some of the happj^ hours we spent 
on rainy days. Those were the days when mother gave 
up her unnecessary work or pleasure and played ivith us. 
The stories she used to tell, the paper dolls she so often 
made, the little tea-parties she used to give for our "ba- 
bies" as we used to call them! For, indeed, in those 
days, dolls seemed like real live people. I can still feel 
the thrill which came from my first soap-bubble. It was 
a thing I had never dreamed of before then. There is 
nothing more beautiful than pretty bubbles floating in 
the air, landing on the floor and breaking, or perhaps 
breaking while still in the air. 

Every once in a while mother used to take us to a 
farm, which was a mile or so away, to see the ducks. 
Those were certainly Red Letter Days for us. There was 
a dear little pond with a tiny island in the center on 
which a little house was built. This was where the ducks 
made their home. We used to watch them waddle out of 
the door into the water. How they could swim with 
their funny feet, and what funny things they used to do, 
such as turning somersaults and disappearing beneath 
the water! It was all mother could do to drag us away 
from that spot. I can almost see them now and hear 
their "quack, quack." 



XXXVI 
THE MOTHER AND THE TEACHER 

"God made man men, that they might live together." 

Montaigne 

"United we stand, divided we fall." 

COOPERATION means operating or working to- 
gether. When all the men are at work a mill is in 
full operation. When men refuse to work or capital fails 
the mill cannot operate. 

The people who work are operatives. The man who 
controls the mill, furnishes the money, and directs the 
operations of manufacture is also an operative, for his 
work is necessary to the filling of the orders and the de- 
livery of products. 

The farthest reaches of the world are bound together 
by an endless chain and every worker makes one link of 
this chain. Railways bind together the East and the 
West, so that the grapes of California come to the sea- 
ports of New England and the herring from the coast of 
Maine feed the dwellers of Seattle. The wheat of Minne- 
sota makes bread for New York and Boston and the 
coal of Pennsylvania warms all our houses. Lines of 
steamships bring to us, for our breakfast, tea from Japan 
or coffee from Arabia, a dish of cereal from the golden 
West and milk and cream from a farmer in a distant hill 
town. 

355 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

**For want of a nail, a shoe was lost; 
For want of a shoe, a horse was lost; 
For want of a horse, a rider was lost; 
For want of a rider, a battle was lost; 
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail." 

So runs the old rhyme. More than ever before we are 
seeing that the fate of nations depends, not on great 
generals or on numbers of soldiers, but on the efficiency 
and cooperation which produces supplies and the means 
of warfare. The operative or the worker is no less neces- 
sary than the soldier. 

Every community is made up of a group of co-workers. 
The carpenter must build us a house, the baker must 
bake us our bread, the cobbler makes us a shoe, and the 
weaver weaves the web of cloth we need for clothing. 

The fields are golden with the heads of corn and the 
meadows wave with a sea of wheat. Grass clothes the 
hillsides to feed the creatures that they may give food to 
man. The farmer ploughs the soil and plants the seed 
and reaps the grain. He is a co-worker with Nature and 
with the great Giver of all good. Without him the baby 
would sicken and die for want of the fresh milk; the chil- 
dren would suffer for lack of the bowl of bread and milk. 
Every "hand" upon the farm, every "hand'* in a mill, 
every "hand" in shop or on train or steamship is coop- 
erating to feed the world. 

The chain which binds together the citizens of a town 
or city is a chain of service. The first link of this chain is 
in the home. "No man liveth unto himself" and no 
home is sufficient unto itself. A woman may say, "My 
home is my world. I don't worry about what goes on 

356 



THE MOTHER AND THE TEACHER 

outside." Her world would soon collapse if every one 
took her view. To be a good mother and a good home- 
maker is indeed a right ideal for every woman. Let us 
see what it involves. Can she act alone for the good of 
her own home.^^ In the first place, she must have food for 
her family. The milk supply may come from a careless 
farmer. The milk bottles are not clean and the milk is 
full of germs. The baby has a bad throat trouble or 
fever. Maybe it dies. What can the mother do? Alone 
she is helpless. But the Board of Health may act or the 
Women's Municipal League may secure legislation to 
purify the milk supply. Can any mother remain silent 
or inactive when she may help in the movement to regu- 
late the bringing of pure milk to her owti home.^ Every 
mother knows that flies are carriers of disease and that 
they pollute food. Her butcher exposes his meat un- 
screened in the market. She may protest, but one voice 
will not be heard. If she joins with others, she makes the 
public sentiment which regulates the markets. Mosqui- 
toes are also carriers of poison and disease. That little 
pool of water and those empty cans in your back yard 
may mean discomfort and danger, not only to your own 
home, but to your neighbors. Tin cans thrown out are 
prime places for breeding these pests. In the summer of 
1915 the mosquito was nearly eliminated in one section 
of Long Island by a concerted campaign against tin 
cans and stagnant pools of water. 

Clean streets and good sewerage are necessary to the 
health of your own family. Alone you are helpless to se- 
cure them. But your club or your league has influence to 
secure anything it demands. 

357 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

There is something else a home needs to make it a real 
home and a good place for growing boys and girls. It 
needs pleasant surroundings and a cheerful outlook. A 
back yard may be made to blossom like a rose and an 
ugly house may be transformed by the planting of vines 
and shrubs. WTierever neighbors work together for such 
transformation, the village becomes a good place to live 
and the value of property rises. 

The old Greeks were wise when they built in their 
cities the most beautiful temples and public buildings 
that the best architects could plan, and at every cor- 
ner of the city placed fine statues. The school-children 
saw beauty everywhere. The statues, monuments, and 
fine streets of Athens were worth more to the youth of 
that city than all the lessons of the schools. The young 
Athenian grew up a lover of beauty and art, and art- 
loving citizens made Athens the noblest and finest city 
of ancient times and of all times. 

Any town may have what it chooses. No one is con- 
demned to endure ugly buildings and unsightly streets 
and yards. When women unite to insist on best condi- 
tions in the city or town for themselves and their chil- 
dren, the result is assured. Each woman helps to make 
pubKc sentiment and public sentiment controls public 
action. 

The school is the chief concern of every mother. 
WTiat shall my child be taught? How shall it be taught? 
Who shall teach it? These are questions every mother 
should answer for herself. Nothing less than the health, 
the ability, the morals and manners of the children are 
at stake in this matter. Poor, unsanitary conditions in 

358 



THE MOTHER AND THE TEACHER 

the schoolroom menace the health of children. An un- 
cultivated, careless teacher will influence more by her 
example than by her teachings. The lessons given, the 
methods used, have a direct bearing on the intelligence 
and eflSciency of the pupils. The choice of teacher is not 
left to an individual mother, neither the selection and 
arrangement of the schoolroom; but through the com- 
bined influence of the neighborhood of parents, banded 
together in a Parent-Teachers' Association, anything 
may be secured. 

Mrs. Easy may complain daily about the poor schools 
in her district. Her Peter does not like his books, nor 
does he clamor to go to school. He plays truant when 
there is a chance. He has not too profound an acquaint- 
ance with the multiplication table, nor does he write a 
good hand. He is idle and has not learned to apply him- 
self. Mrs. Easy knows that hand- work would be desira- 
ble to form habits of application and to give a love of 
work. She knows that nature work would interest Peter, 
and that he would love to play store, and to learn in 
that way to make change, to add, subtract, and multi- 
ply. But the teacher does not dare to introduce fads nor 
foolish play methods and the dreary routine goes on. 
The boy crawls like a snail unwillingly to school and 
runs away on any fine day. 

Mrs. Dolittle does not like the school either. Her 
Annie does not read well. She does not care for books 
and cannot read aloud so that any one cares to hear her. 
Annie's voice is harsh and shrill, due to the school prac- 
tice of "speaking up."'Mrs. Dolittle does not like it, 
but what can she do? She is n't the School Board 

359 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

and has nothing to do with it. She wishes she lived in a 
town where there were modern schools and up-to-date 
teachers. 

Mrs. Doit moves into town. Her children lose interest 
in school. They beg to stay at home. They get colds 
when they go and dawdle at their work. Mrs. Doit visits 
the school and talks with the teacher. She finds a ready 
listener. The teacher knows better and is eager to try 
better ways; but she is afraid of the Trustees and fearful 
that the people won't stand for any new notions. Mrs. 
Doit calls on all her neighbors and invites them to come 
to a neighborhood meeting to discuss school matters. 
The Committee grants the use of the school building, 
when so large a number of citizens join in the request. 
Some one comes to talk of better ways of teaching, or of 
the selection of studies of real practical worth. A Parent- 
Teachers' Association is formed. The teacher is encour- 
aged and inspired to do her best. The parents are all 
supporting her. Pleasant books for supplementary read- 
ing are placed in the schoolroom. The boy who has fin- 
ished his lessons has time to read a story, and he applies 
himself to his task that it may soon be over. Cardboard 
and wood for making boxes and furniture for a doll 
house are placed on benches and shelves around the 
room, and the boys and girls who have mastered their 
arithmetic and spelling lessons have the chance to do 
what their hearts desire. While the fingers are trained in 
handling and making, calculation is necessary, the judg- 
ment is exercised, and a habit of industry is bred. Per- 
haps school credits for home work are allowed, and so 
the children become more helpful and useful at home, 

360 



THE MOTHER AND THE TEACHER 

The school is transformed and the children are trans- 
formed. If the teacher herself loves reading and knows 
the best of literature, many a boy or girl may acquire a 
friendship for books which is a lifelong joy, if not the 
means of a career. School gardens may follow, and school 
shops, and, possibly, a school library. The school be- 
comes the center of the neighborhood, a gathering-place 
for the parents as well as for the boys and girls. 

What Mrs. Doit does, any one may accomplish who 
will secure the cooperation and help of her neighbors 
and who really desires to secure the best advantages for 
her own children. 

For the little children every mother should demand a 
kindergarten. The early period of childhood is the most 
important for education. All that follows depends on 
what is first done or left undone. A young child is not "a 
little savage" to be left to a sand-heap in the back yard 
or to the influences of the street. He is a human being in 
the making. What he gains in the first five years of his 
life, or what he fails to gain, is a permanent gain or loss. 
Dispositions are shaped at this time, habits are formed, 
and tendencies developed. A sullen, unloved childhood 
means a crabbed manhood or womanhood. A listless 
child means an idle, inefficient man or woman. 

The best home cannot supply the companionship 
requisite for social development, nor the direction of 
the play activities which foster the intelligence of the 
growing child. 

The community child garden or kindergarten is a 
necessity. Where the town or city cannot supply it, a 
woman's club or group of families may support it. 

361 



TALKS TO MOTHERS 

When Froebel first put forth his scheme for the edu- 
cation of little children, he issued a call to the women 
of Germany — matrons and maidens — to cooperate 
with him in the high and noble oflfice of training chil- 
dren. He declared the right training of the little ones to 
be the foundation of all that is good and desirable in 
citizenship and in life. 

Such cooperation is called for to-day among the 
women of America. Again a voice cries in the wilder- 
ness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make his way 
straight." 

To you, mothers of little children, to you, teachers of 
little children, the call comes. Work together to make a 
straight highway for the coming of the Lord of right- 
eousness. This straight way is none other than the way 
of education. 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX 

METHODS AND MEANS OF STUDYING CHILDREN 

By Lucy Wheelock 

Froebel was the great prophet of the modem child 
study movement. His method of making acquaintance 
with the Hfe of childhood was neither by the keeping of 
a life-book, nor an album, nor yet by the compilation of 
records of observation of particular activities and tend- 
encies in children. His was the more intimate method 
of companionship. 

**A foolish old man" he was denominated by the 
practical people of the village, as they saw him walking 
through the streets followed by a troop of children, 
clinging to him wherever a tiny hand could get hold. 
Utter foolishness to them were the plays organized and 
directed by the friendly old man when he had conducted 
his flock to the green slope of a protecting hill. With 
the affection of a father bestowed upon the children 
of others and with the almost motherly intuition of 
a heart loving childhood for its own sake, the great 
teacher proclaimed his gospel of salvation for humanity 
through right means of child nurture and the elevation 
of the ideal of family life. 

His mission was to give to mothers and teachers 
practical guidance in ways and means of employing and 
directing to their proper ends the activities of children. 
His secret, he said, was caught from mothers and is to 

365 



APPENDIX 

be learned by the divining heart. His method was to 
live with the children whom he would know, joining as 
a friendly companion in the sports and plays which are 
the true revealers of child life. 

Froebel's mother takes care of her own children. She 
shares in the joy of their first discovery of the kinship of 
"friends in feathers and fur.'* With them she visits 
garden and stream to watch the green, growing things, 
and to enjoy the darting, shimmering play of the fish 
and to make friends with chickens and pigeons. She 
does not disturb with paltry explanations the childish 
wonder over the silvery moon, sailing on high, and the 
stars which light the dark, for out of this wonder 
reverence is born. She may not always accompany her 
children on their excursions; but she is ready to weave 
together the incidents of the day into the bedtime story 
and thereby stamp impressions and give continuity to 
experience. 

She sings the song or suggests the play to fit the 
occasion and strengthen the lesson it teaches. She 
opens the gates into the mysterious post-roads over 
which the rolling wagons seem to go out to the end of 
the world, and rejoices in the flight of the bird into the 
infinite. She paints the human world as one of blessing 
and goodness where every one may play a happy part. 
The carpenter builds the friendly house that shelters 
you and me; the farmer gives us daily bread; the coal- 
man on his cart may have black hands but his heart is 
kind and his work noble because necessary. 

" For where should we get a knife, spoon or fork. 
If the honest coal-digger were not at his work? " 



APPENDIX 

It is her privilege to foster the spirit of true worship, 
as did the mother of Carlyle, by setting up in that 
holy of holies — a child's heart — the altar of loving 
trust and reverence. Her little ones see the loftiest whom 
they know on earth bowed down before the loftier in 
Heaven, and for them the busy day closes in peace. This 
is FroebeFs picture of a mother living with her children. 

*'I live for my children," says the anxious hard- 
working mother, busy with elaborate gowns and coats, 
suitable for the season, and no worse than her neighbor's. 
She has little time to make herself the friend and con- 
fidante of her boys and girls, and later, with a constant 
heartache, knows that she has lost them. *'It is all /or 
my children" is the excuse of the father, too much oc- 
cupied with business to make even the acquaintance of 
his family. One could almost envy Harry Richmond the 
possession of a father, impossible, to be sure, in worldly 
ways, but able to make himself into a menagerie of 
noble and spirited animals, and so to vivify the history 
of kings and queens as to make them inspiring friends, 
and to introduce the wild, courageous Will Shakespeare 
as a boon companion — not an altogether admirable 
parent; but who would not choose such a father rather 
than a Feveril with a system warranted perfect in itself; 
but not warranted to fit.^ 

We may study groups of children to discover certain 
universal qualities. We may study the child, that ab- 
stract nonenity to whom all ready-made systems owe 
their origin. Then there is a child, shy, variable, incom- 
prehensible, eluding all our systems, our notebook and 
our records. Who is wise enough to know this "wild 

367 



APPENDIX 

child-heart," to lure it from the dark of its own individ- 
ual consciousness? Without knowledge who is able to 
guide it into fullness of life? 

"Warm it by your own heart" is FroebeFs advice to 
those who would use his book of child and mother lore. 
But this is not all. 

Community of interest must always lead to cooper- 
ation. One may understand one's own child better by 
knowing how another has been trained. A true mother 
sees her own child in every child. "To communicate, 
forget not" is a good scriptural injunction. The woman's 
club has been an important influence in widening the 
interests and enlarging the life of woman; but more 
important than the literary club or the travelers' circle 
or the science class is the mothers' round table or, better 
still, the parents' association, where the problems of 
child nurture are earnestly discussed. Such associations 
should constitute a part of the social life of every com- 
munity, and should make available to all the constantly 
increasing literature of child study. Mr. Will Monroe 
has compiled a bibliography of the subject, showing 
already a long list of books, pamphlets and periodicals. 
The list may be indefinitely extended by the books, 
good for us all, which give true pictures of child life and 
so help revive childish memories and make one a child 
again, even for one night. 

"He is best able to guide childhood who can most 
easily follow back the thread of life to childhood," says 
Froebel. To remember what made us laugh and what 
made us cry, to recall the message whispered long ago 
by birds and flowers, to feel again the thrill of the half- 

368 



APPENDIX 

sad ecstasy of the sighing wind among the trees, or the 
joy of dancing rain drops on the sidewalk is to enter on 
the borders of the land of childhood. There are a few 
fathers and mothers and rare grandfathers who, like 
Gladstone, are able to retain the love of sports and the 
feeling of play which make a happy companion anywhere. 

To those hardened by the cares of the world and the 
deceitf ulness of riches, no better boon can be given than 
the child whose demand for love and sympathy is like 
the warming sun of spring to the ice-bound earth. It 
is well for a busy man or woman to read occasionally 
such books as "Silas Marner," Mrs. Burnett's "One I 
Knew the Best of All," or Pierre Loti's "Romance of 
a Child," of which an English translation has recently 
appeared. Such reading will change the weights of the 
balance for a little while and sometimes readjust one's 
view of the world. 

A teacher who is only a part of a system bound to the 
uniform standard of promotion by which all pupils alike 
must be measured, whether quick or dull of wit, weak 
or robust in body, needs especially the baptism of spirit 
that comes from forgetting that the children are her 
pupils and trying to know them as living things. She 
needs to live with children by playing their games and 
thinking their thoughts. She needs to get the poet's 
view of childhood that holds the ideal above the drudg- 
ery of the real. 

No doubt she should be more scientific. Let her learn 
what experts are doing in psychological laboratories, if 
she is able. Let her study to know the physical defects 
and mental limitations of her pupils. Let her be quick 

369 



APPENDIX 

to detect signs of fatigue and to avoid the cause. Let her 
provide for bodily comfort, as far as she is responsible, 
by attention to seating and matters of hygiene. Let her 
watch for nascent periods of development of func- 
tion that she may always know what to do and when 
to do it. Let her — oh, wonderful woman — be as wise 
as Minerva and far wiser; but let her not neglect the 
weightier matters of the law which commands love as 
its own fulfilling. 

For both mothers and teachers the question of moral 
and religious training is an all-important one. In the 
Puritan household, children were taught morals and 
religion by the Westminster Catechism, Scripture texts, 
and Sunday school lessons. *'Poor Richard's Alma- 
nac" was as good as any other textbook of morals. 
A few excellent proverbs were current, such as "Ex- 
ample is better than precept,'* and *' As the twig is bent 
the tree is inclined," but it is reserved for the modern 
study of imitation, suggestion and habit to estimate the 
force of unconscious influence in building character and 
awakening ideals. Here again we are indebted to the 
psychologists, notably Professors Royce, Baldwin, and 
James, for blazing a path along which the ordinary 
wayfarer may travel. 

"My mother says so," is usually a child's conclusive 
argument, but after all what really determines a child's 
view of any situation is what he divines mother to be 
in spite of what she says. The family standards of life 
will ordinarily fall as a heritage to the children. These 
are learned, not by the precepts or texts taught, but 
by the ordinary conversation heard by wide-awake 

370 



APPENDIX 

listeners and the business transactions witnessed by eyes 
eager to learn what the world is like. 

A valuable contribution to child-study literature is 
*'The Study of the Religious Life of California Chil- 
dren," by Earl Barnes. This gives the account of a 
somewhat extended examination of school children in 
California to ascertain their religious concepts and be- 
liefs. It suggests the ineffectiveness of current methods 
to convey appropriate religious ideas and the great gap 
between instruction and religion. 

One of the most sympathetic observations of the 
unfolding of the spiritual is found in Miss Peabody's 
** Lectures to Kindergartners," a record of the child 
entrusted to her care to receive his first ideas of religion. 
*'What a child cannot understand of religion," says 
Ruskin, *'no man need try to," and yet unseeing souls 
would force open the beautiful gate of the temple, not 
knowing that it is always open to children. By wise 
guidance the implicit faith of childhood may be trans- 
formed gradually into genuine religious feeling. 

A certain delightful book is dedicated "to children 
and those who love them." Very few people would 
choose to be left out of the latter class; but it would be 
greatly decreased if limited to those who love wisely. 
To know what to do is little easier than to do, but the 
means of knowledge are increasing every day with the 
growing literature on the subject of child culture and 
the ever- widening interest it creates. The child's world 
is not a little one, but a wide, goodly land. Happy are 
those able to enter in! 



THINKING AND ANSWERING 

By Dr. Woods Hutchinson 

Suppose, as you are walking home from school todayj 
you are about to cross the street when you see an auto- 
mobile coming very fast. What do you do? You stop, 
of course; wait for it to go by, and then start on again. 
Why do you stop? " Why," you say, "if I did n't, the 
automobile might run over me." Something of that 
sort would just flash through your mind, would n't it, in 
the very same second that you first saw the automo- 
bile coming. Now, as you know, you think with your 
brain. But what was it this time that set your brain to 
thinking? " Nothing," you say, " I just saw the auto- 
mobile coming." And that is true in a way: you did n*t 
need anything more than your eyes to tell you. 

But how did your eyes get the message to your 
brain, and how did your brain tell your legs to stop 
walking? We must have in our bodies a kind of tele- 
phone system. And that is, in fact, just what we have. 
Our brain is our "central oflSce "; and our nerves are the 
wires, running from all parts of our body to the brain, 
carrying messages back and forth. 

An old man and an old woman lived out on the very 
edge of a little town. One day their house caught 
fire and was blazing away before they noticed it. They 
rushed to their neighbor's telephone and rang up " Cen- 
tral " to tell her to " 'phone " for the firemen and hose 
cart. Kling a-ling-a-lingl went their bell, but no " Cen- 

372 



APPENDIX 

tral " answered; and while a man was running to town 
to get the firemen, the fire got such a good start that 
the house burned down. 

You can see from this why we need a central oflice in 
good working order, when we use the " 'phone." All the 
wires run into the one building, and there must be some 
one there to receive calls and see that they are sent out 
to their proper places. In this case, you see, " Central " 
should have been at her post to see that the message 
went on to the engine house, and then the fire would 
have been put out "double-quick." 

The " central oflSce " of our Body Telephone System 
is just as important and just as necessary to keep in 
good working order. It would be very little use to have 
even the keenest of eyes and the sharpest of ears, with 
the readiest of nerve wires to carry their messages into 
the center of the body, unless we had some orgariy or 
headquarters, there for switching the messages over 
to the nerves running to the right muscles to tell them 
what to do. If the brain " Central " should fail in its 
duty or get out of order, then the body would be in 
serious trouble at once. 

Every day we read in the papers of accidents be- 
cause somebody didn't think, as well as see or hear. 
People see cars and automobiles coming, but don't 
give them a thought and so are run down and hurt. 
They hear the whistle of the engine at the crossing, but 
drive on just the same, without seeming to have heard it 
at all. They are absent-minded ; the operator in the " cen- 
tral ofl5ce " seems to be off duty, or busy about some- 
thing else. But if we are going to get on in this world 

373 



APPENDIX 

of cars and automobiles and all sorts of unexpected 
things, we must always "have our wits about us," as 
the saying goes, ready to send the messages out to the 
muscles in our legs and arms and fingers just as soon as 
any one of our Five Senses " rings up " the *' Central " 
in our brain. 

Our body wires do not look at all Hke telephone 
wires; and the brain, if you could see it, would never 
suggest to you a central office. 

The nerves are fine |white cords, the smallest ones 
finer than a hair, and the largest so big and strong that 
you could lift the body by it; and their branches run all 
over the body, to the muscles and the blood tubes and 
the skin and all the other parts. You have already read 
how the skin can tell you when you feel warm and when 
you feel cold and when something hurts you. 

The brain is a soft wrinkled mass, partly gray and 
partly white. It is in the head, and because it is very 
soft and easily hurt. Mother Nature has put around it 
a strong wall, or shell, of bone — the skull, or brain 
box. Feel your head and see how verj^ hard this bone is. 
Solomon, the Hebrew poet-king, called it the " golden 
bowl." I suppose he called it a "bowl" because it is 
round like one, and " golden " because it is so precious. 
People do not often grow well again if the "golden 
bowl " is broken or even cracked. 

The big nerve cable, called the spinal cordy that con- 
nects the brain with the rest of the body, and carries 
all the messages backward and forward, runs down the 
back and is protected by the backbone, or spine, which 
is hollow, so that the cord can run down through it. 

374 



APPENDIX 

This backbone is joined together so beautifully, too. 
that you can bend your back about and stoop over, and 
carry heavy weights on your back, and yet the bony 
tube still protects the cord inside. Solomon calls this 
the " silver cord," because it is so white and shiny that it 
looks like silver. You see, our bodies are full of beauti- 
ful as well as wonderful things. 

Probably sometime when your teacher has asked you 
to recite a poem you have all learned, some one in 
the class has answered, "I don't remember it," or has 
stood up and recited the first few lines and then stopped, 
and thought, and finally had to say, " I can't go on." 

Now what is the matter with this boy, or girl.? He 
looks bright enough, and you will probably remember 
that he was in the class .when you learned the poem. 
" Oh," you say, *' the poem did n't stay in his head." No, 
it did n't " stick " in his memory; but why did n't it.^* 

Some of the messages that the Five Senses carry 
to the brain are answered at once, as when we move 
away from danger, or reach out our hands and help 
ourselves to butter, or take off a shoe to shake out a 
pebble. But there are other messages that do not call 
for an immediate reply and are just stored away for 
future use in the big " central office " of our Body Tele- 
phone, in what we call our memory. And later, when the 
proper message is sent in by our eyes or ears, or other 
sense organs, which reminds us of this message which 
they sent before, perhaps several weeks, months, or 
even years ago, it wakes up the old message stored 
away in the memory, and we say we " remember" what 
happened to us, or what we learned at that time. 

375 



APPENDIX 

So, when your teacher asks you to recite a certain 
poem, and your ears hear the title or the first line, you 
recall the rest of the verses and the lesson about it. How 
many things does the word " Christmas " wake up out of 
your memory? or the sight of soldiers marching? or the 
first taste of strawberries in May? 

You think about a great many things that you 
never do. Really you are thinking almost all the time you 
are awake. And besides the messages that " Central " 
just stores away for future use, there are a great many, 
messages being carried back and forth along the "tele- 
phone systfem " all the time, that you don't keep track of 
at all — the messages that keep the stomach and the 
heart and the lungs and everything in your body work- 
ing together properly. 

How are we to take care of the telephone lines and 
" Central " of our nervous system? Whatever you do to 
build up and help the other parts of the body will help 
your brain to feel and think and remember; and will help 
your muscles and nerves to answer promptly and truly 
whatever the message may be. Plenty of good food, 
plenty of sleep and fresh air, plenty of play, will keep 
your nerves and brain healthy and growing. 



THE CITY BEAUTIFUL 

By Dr. Woods Hutchinson 

One morning I stopped a moment on the street to speak 
to a friend. Her little nephew had just finished eating 
some candy, and down went his candy-bag on the pave- 
ment. His aunt happened to see it. "Oh, no, Claude," 
she said, "don't you see the big green can there? Better 
put it into that." But Claude was only three years old; 
and the can was so tall that he could not tell what it was, 
till we led him up to it. 

Do you have cans like these in your town, too? It is 
good to think that every one of us, even such little fel- 
lows as Claude, can help to keep the city beautiful. But 
it is not simply to make things look nice that we have so 
many cans — cans for ashes, cans for papers, cans for 
food scraps. No indeed, it is to keep the city clean and 
make it fit for people to live in; for if dirty papers and 
scraps were left to blow about the streets, they would 
fill the air with germs and filth. 

Any dust that blows about the streets is likely to be 
carrying disease germs with it. That is why we have 
sprinklers driven through the streets to wet them and to 
keep down the dust; and why, in large cities, the streets 
are thoroughly flooded at night. If the streets are kept 
damp and clean, then the air above them is cool and 
fresh and pure. 

How does the city get rid of all the dirt and waste? 
From every house there are two kinds of waste. Some is 

377 



APPENDIX 

taken away in pipes from the sink and bathroom out 
into pipes that run under the street, and these carry it 
away from the city to some stream or deep water that 
takes it entirely away from the town. 

The waste stuffs that are not watery, but solid — 
cabbage leaves, apple cores, potato parings, and other 
scraps from the kitchen are carted away and burned or 
fed to pigs. The ashes and tin cans are carted away, also, 
and used in making new land or filling up hollow places. 

Besides taking away the dirt, cities are careful to get 
clear, pure drinking water. They are very, very careful 
about this; and they usually have the water tested often, 
because, as you have learned, even water that looks per- 
fectly pure may give people typhoid fever. That is why, 
when you are out in the country, on a picnic perhaps, 
you must not drink from the streams. They may receive 
the drainage from a farmer's barnyard, or the sewage 
from some house. 

The more we all learn about these things, the more 
careful will the city be to protect her people. To be sure, 
most cities now have Boards of Health who employ men 
and women to go about and see that the food in the 
stores is clean — no flies, no dust, and no tobacco smoke 
on it. They have laws, too, about keeping milk clean; 
and in New York alone these laws have saved the lives 
of thousands of babies. And they have laws about the 
care of streets and buildings and cars and parks and a 
great many other things. 

In all these things we have been talking about, I want 
you to be thinking how you can help. For a city is made 
up of people — boys and girls and men and women. The 

378 



APPENDIX 

city is what its people make it; and every one must help, 
even the smallest children, no older than little Claude. 

The first and most important thing for you to do is to 
keep yourself clean and tidy. And the next thing is for 
you to keep your back yard as well as your front yard 
and the school yard and the street free from papers and 
sticks and cans and old playthings. You can put away 
your things when you are through playing; or, if you are 
making a railroad or a town or a playhouse, you can 
leave it looking nice and tidy. You can help chiefly by 
putting away your own things. You know the old say- 
ing, "A workman is known by his chips"; and a good 
workman always works in an orderly way. 

When you eat apples or bananas or oranges, don't 
throw the skins or peelings about, but put them in a 
garbage can or swill bucket or cover them with soft dirt 
in the garden or stable yard; and don't throw peanut 
shells, or scraps of paper and the like, about the streets 
or parks. You should begin to notice all these things and 
talk about them, and that will make other people begin 
to think about them, too. 

Then you can make gardens instead of leaving bare, 
untidy back yards. I think that nicely kept vegetable 
gardens are almost as pretty as flower gardens. If you 
cannot mow the lawn, you can at least cut the long grass 
on the edges; and that makes such a difference! It is 
wonderful how much boys and girls can do in making 
and keeping a city really beautiful. 

I hope that you have plenty of room to play in now. 
Of course, when you grow up, you will see that there are 
plenty of playgrounds and parks for the children. We 

379 



APPENDIX 

are beginning to find out that the richest and the most 
beautiful city is the one whose streets are Hned with 
families of happy, rosy-cheeked children. So, you see 
the "City Beautiful" is the one that takes best care of 
her children, and she can do this only by keeping her 
streets and houses perfectly clean and seeing that the 
food her people get is fresh and good, and their drinking 
water pure. If the city or town you live in is not like this, 
be sure you do your very best to make it better. 

There is one great evil that for hundreds and hun- 
dreds of years has been known wherever people are 
crowded together, and even in the open country, too; 
and which has been the cause of more untidiness and 
uncleanliness and unhappiness and disease than any 
other evil ever known. And that is the drinking of alco- 
hol. People don't drink clear alcohol, but they can get 
a great deal of it — enough to poison them badly — 
in the fermented drinks you learned about some time 
ago. 

In the days when your grandfather was a little boy, 
every man thought that ale and wine and whiskey were 
good foods for him when he was well; and good medicine 
when he was sick. He believed that they gave him an 
appetite, and increased his strength. But now we have 
found, by carefully studying the effects of alcohol, in 
laboratories and in hospitals, that these beHefs were al- 
most entirely mistaken. We know that all that wine, 
beer, and whiskey do is to make people feel better for a 
little while, without making them actually stronger or 
better in any way. In fact, in most respects these drinks 
make them weaker and worse instead. 

380 



APPENDIX 

Perhaps you will ask, "How do whiskey and wine and 
beer do us harm?" And here is only part of the answer: 
(1) They tire the heart and, by enlarging the blood pipes 
in the skin, make the heart pump too much of the blood 
out to the skin. In this way they make a person feel 
warmer when he really is not any warmer. (2) They 
make the liver work too hard. (3) They dull the brain, 
so that it cannot think so clearly or so well. (4) If one 
drinks them frequently, it is harder for him to get well 
when he is sick; more people die out of those who drink 
alcohol than out of those who do not. 

Alcohol is a narcotic; that is, it deadens our nerves, 
for the time being, to any sensations of pain or discom- 
fort, much in the same way that a very small dose of 
morphine or opium would. We may imagine it does us 
good because, for a little while after drinking it, we may 
cease to feel pain or fatigue or cold ; but, instead of mak- 
ing us really better and able to do more work, it is dull- 
ing our nerves so that we work more slowly and more 
clumsily. Men who have carefully measured the amount 
of work that they do have found that they do less work 
on days when they take one or two glasses of beer or 
wine than they do on days when they drink only water. 

The great insurance companies have found that those 
of their policy holders who drink no alcohol at all live 
nearly one fourth longer and have nearly one third 
fewer sicknesses than those who drink alcohol even in 
moderate amounts. 

Indeed, so strong is the evidence as to the bad effects 
of alcohol, and so steadily is it increasing, that it will 
probably not be very many years more before the drink- 



APPENDIX 

ing of wine or beer by intelligent, thoughtful people will 
have become less than half as common as it is now. 

Strong, healthy men may be able for a long time to 
drink small amounts of liquor without noticing any 
harmful eflFects; but all the time the alcohol may be do- 
ing serious harm to their nerves and brain and kidneys 
and liver and blood vessels, which they will not find out 
until it is too late to stop the trouble. 

Useless and bad as alcohol is for full-grown men and 
women, it is even worse for young and growing children; 
and no child, and no boy or girl under the age of twenty- 
onCi should ever touch a drop of it, except in those rare 
instances where it may be prescribed as a medicine by a 
doctor, just as many other drugs are, which in larger 
doses would be poisons. 

Fortunately, it will be no trouble for you children to 
let it alone entirely; for not one of you would like the 
taste of it the first time — or, indeed, for the matter of 
that, for the first ten or twelve times — that you tried 
to drink it, if you should be so fooHsh. This is one strik- 
ing difference between alcohol and all other foods and 
drinks. Children have absolutely no natural liking or 
taste, for the drinks that contain it, as they have for 
meat, milk, sugar, apples, and the other real foods. This 
is Nature's way of telling them that it is not a real food, 
and not needed in any way for their growth and health. 
Let it alone absolutely, until you are at least twenty- 
one years old; and by that time you will probably have 
become so convinced of the harm that it is doing that 
you will never begin using it at all. 

What we have been saying so far applies, of course, 
382 



APPENDIX 

only to the moderate use of alcohol. How terrible the 
effects of the long or excessive use of alcohol are, you 
don't need to learn from a book. All you have to do is to 
keep your eyes open on the streets, and see the drunken 
men reeling along the sidewalk, and the wrecks of men 
that hang around the saloons. The poorhouses and the 
jails and the insane asylums are filled with them. The 
most terrible thing that can happen to any one is to be- 
come a drunkard. The best and safest and only sensible 
thing to do is to keep away from the only stuff that 
makes drunkards. It may do you the most terrible 
harm, and it cannot do you the slightest good. 

Your city can never become the "City Beautiful" so 
long as this evil mars it; and, as you grow up, I hope 
you will do all you can toward making the right kind of 
city and home. 



REFERENCE LISTS 

VI. CHILD PLAY 

Education through Recreation, by George E. Johnson. Cleve- 
land Survey Foundation. 

Education through Plays and Games, by George E. Johnson. 

Play in Education, by Joseph Lee. 

The Kindergarten Children s Hour. 
Vol. 5, Songs, vnth Music. 
Vol. 2, Children's Occwpations. 

Songs and Music ofFroebeVs Mother Play, edited by Susan Blow. 

Children's Rights, by Kate Douglas Wiggin. 

Vn. PLAYTfflNGS 

Levana, by Jean Paul Richter. 
Joan and Peter, by H. G. Wells. Chapter iv. 
Jeremy. The Birthday, by Hugh Walpole. Chapter I. 
The Kindergarten Children's Hour. 

Vol. 2, Children's Occupations. 
Children's Rights, by Kate Douglas Wiggm. 
Kindergarten Theory and Practice, by Nora Atwood. 

Vni. THE LITTLE WORKMAN 

Student's Froebel. Translated by William H. Herford. 
The Kindergarten Children's Hour. 

Vol. 3, Talks to Children. 
Fundamentals of Child Study, by Edwin A. Kirkpatrick. 

X. THE HELPFUL CHILD 

The Place of Industries in Elementary Education, by Katherine 

E. Dopp. 
When Mother Lets Us Cook, When Mother Lets Us Keep Pets, 

by Constance Johnson. 

385 



REFERENCE LISTS 

Elementary Wood Work (Carpentry for Boys, by George B. 

KUbon). 
Manual Training Toys, by Harris W. Moore. 
The Child Housekeeper, by Colson and Chittenden. 
Wings and the Child, The Would-Be-Goods, by E. Nesbit. 

Stories 

"How the Home Was Built"; "The Little Home"; "The 
Journey"; in Mother Stories, by Maud Lindsay. 

"The Pig Brother"; "The Wheat Field"; "The Coming of 
the King"; "The Sailor Man"; in Golden Windows, by 
Laura Richards. 

Poems 

"Employment," by Jane Taylor, in Pinafore Palace. 
"System," in A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis 

Stevenson. 
"Good-Night and Good-Morning"; "What May Happen to a 

Thimble," in The Posy Ring. 

XI. HOW CHILDREN LEARN 

Studenfs Froebel. Translated by William H. Herford. 

The Kingdom of the Child, by Alice M. H. Heniger. 

The Imitative Functions, by Josiah Royce. 

The Mind of the Child, by Mark Baldwin. Chapter, "Plastic 

Imitation." 
The Great Stone Face, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 
The Children's Hour. 

Vol. 4, Legendary Heroes. 
Mottoes and Commentaries of FroebeVs Mother Play, 

Trade Plays. 
Emerson's Essay on Manners. 

Xn. THE LISTENING CHILD 

The Art of Story -Telling, by Marie L. Shedlock. 
How to Tell Stories to Children, by Sara Cone Bryant. 

386 



REFERENCE LISTS 

The Kindergarten Children's Hour. 

Vol. 1, Stories for Little Children. 
The Child's World, by Emilie Poulsson. 

XV. THE CHILD AND HIS BOOK 

Children's Rights, by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Chapter, "What 

Shall ChUdren Read." 
Sons and Daughters, by Sidonie M. Gruenberg. Pages 192-198. 
What Literature Can Do for Me, by Alfonso Smith. 
Books and Culture, by Hamilton Mabie. 

XVI. THE LITTLE ACTOR 

The Kingdom of the Child, by Alice M. H. Heniger. 
Social Education, by Colin A. Scott. 

XVII. THE LITTLE ARTIST 

French Ways and Their Meaning, by Edith \Miarton. Chap- 
ter V, "Continuity." 

Student's Froebel. Translated by William H. Herford. Pages 
41-43. 

XVni. THE SINGING CHILD 

Songs, Games, and Rhymes, by E. L. Hailmann. 

The Baby's Bouquet, by Walter Crane. 

Songs for Little People, by Frances Weld Danielson and Grace 

Wilbur Conant. 
Old Songs for Young Americans, by C. Forsythe. 
Home Songs My Children Love. 
Hymns That Every Child Should Knoiv, edited by Dolores 

Bacon. 

XX. THE QUESTIONING CHILD 

"The Elephant's Child," in Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kip« 

ling. 
The Truth About Santa Claus, by Charlotte M. Vaile. 

387 



REFERENCE LISTS 

Lesson V, "Child Nature and ChUd Nurture," by Edward 

Porter St. John. 
The Moral Problem of Children. The Mary Wood-Allen Fund, 

601 West 156th Street, New York. 
The Art of Questioning, by H. H. Home. 
Kindergarten Theory and Practice, by Nora A. Atwood. 
Student's Froebel, pp. 73-83. Translated by William H. Her- 

ford. 
A Child's Day, by Dr. Woods Hutchinson. 

XXII. THE SOCIAL CHILD 

Psychology of Childhood, by Norsworthj^ and Whitley. Chapter 

IV. 

A Study of Child Nature, by Elizabeth Harrison. 

Fundamentals of Child Study, by Edwin A. Kirkpatrick. 

Play in Education, by Joseph Lee. 

Festivals and Plays, by Percival Chubb. 

Education and Living, by Randolph Bourne. 

Kindergarten Tlieory and Practice, by Nora Atwood. 

Two Children of the Foothills, by Elizabeth Harrison. 

Finger Plays, by Emilie Poulsson. 

The One I Knew the Best of All, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 

Una Mary, by Una Hunt. 

Things My Children Love to Eat, by Elizabeth Colson 

(Contains suggestions for picnics and parties.) 
Ice-Breakers, by Edna Geister. 

XXIV. THE OBEDIENT CHILD 

Jeremy, by Hugh Walpole. Chapter xi, "The Merry-Go- 

Round." 
How to Know Your Child, by Miriam Finn Scott. Chapter vi. 
How to Teach Children Through Stories, by Elizabeth Mc- 

Cracken. Chapter vin. 
Children's Rights, by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Chapter, "How 

Shall we Govern our Children?" 
388 



REFERENCE LISTS 

XXV. THE HONEST CHILD 

The Use of Money, by Edwin A. Kirkpatrick. 
My Boy, by Carl Ewald. 

XXVI. THE ANGRY CHILD 

Jeremy, by Hugh Walpole. Chapter vi, "Family Pride." 
Sons and Daughters, by Sidonie M. Gruenberg. "The Child's 

Pugnacity." 
Crow Child, Land of Puck, by Mary Mapes Dodge. 
"King and His Hawk," by Baldwin. From Fifty Famous 

Stories. 
How to Teach Children Through Stories, by Elizabeth Mc- 

Cracken. Chapter ix, "Self-Control." 

XXVn. THE CARELESS CHILD 

**A11 Gone, Mottoes and Commentaries of FroeheVs Mother 

Play. Translated by Susan E. Blow. 
"Blunder," in Child Life in Prose. 
Careless Jane, by Howard Pyle. 

XXVni. THE TRUTHFUL CHILD 

Jeremy, by Hugh Walpole. Chapter iii, "The Christmas 
Pantomime." 

The Caxtons, by Bulwer Lytton. 

"Stolen Corn," in For the Children's Hour, by Bailey and 
Lewis. 

Psychology of Childhood, by Norsworthy and Whitley. Chap- 
ter IX. 

How to Teach Children Through Stories, by Elizabeth Mc- 
Cracken. Chapter vn, "Truthfulness." 

XXX. THE BAD CHILD 

Thff Wayward Child, by Hannah Kent Schoff. 
Study of Child Nature, by Elizabeth Harrison. 
How to Live, by Dr. Edward Everett Hale. 

389 



REFERENCE LISTS 

XXXI. THE EVENING PRAYER 

I Samuel, 3 : 1-10. 

My Prayers. Copies may be obtained by addressing Noonday 

Meditation, 100 Central Park South, New York. (Free.) 
A Study of Child Nature, by Elizabeth Harrison, pp. 181, 182. 
As the Twig Is Bent, by Susan Chenery, pp. 147, 148. 
Children's Ways, by James Sully, p. 82. 
Lessons for the Cradle Roll, by Frances W. Danielson. 

Stories 

"The Story of Harriet Ann"; in Story-Telling in School and 

Ho7ne, by Partridge. 
"The Stars"; "The Stranger"; in Golden Windows, by Laura 

Richards. 

Poems 

"The Character of the Happy Warrior," by William Words- 
worth. 

"In the Firelight"; in A Little Book of Western Verse, by Eu- 
gene Field. 

"Prayer for a Little Boy"; in Rhymes for Little Boys, by 
Burges Johnson. 

"Night and Day"; in Rhymes and Jingles, by Mary Mapes 
Dodge. 

"The God of My Childhood"; "The Shadow"; m Child Life, 
by Whittier. 

XXXn. THE LITTLE CITIZEN 

The Teaching of Civics, by Mabel Hill. 
Education and Living, by Randolph Bourne. 
Real Business of Living, by James H. Tufts. 

Citizen. Chapter xxx, " What the City does for its Citizens." 

Brothers, pp. 13, 14, 19, 20, 21. 

Work. Chapter xxn, " Business and Industry as Public 
Service." 







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