Press enter after choosing selection

Boys And Beetles

Boys And Beetles image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

"I dou"t like to pile wood," said Jacky. "I wouldn't inind it ií you'd pile right," said Tom. "I wish Hiram wouldn't split so much," said Jacky. "You're picking up the little sticks and leaving the big ones íor me," said Tom. "Aai you're so slow we'll never be done," said Jacky. "Take down those sticks tiü I put this one across the íront to hold 'em up," ordered Jacky. "I sha'n't." "Papa said that was the way to keep the pile from tumbling down." "Take down eoine of your sticks, theu." "I won't. Mine are all right." Jacky fía ve a jerk at some ol the sticks while Tom tried to stand in his way. Betw'een the two the pile feil to the floor. "There, I told you so," cried Tom, angrily. "lt was you that done it," said Jacky. Oousin Will was passing the shed at that moment. "Trouble here ?" he asked, pleasantly. 'Yes; Toin kno.ked the pile down." , "No; it was Jack. He's always , making trouble." ] Cousin Will helped with the , ing of a new pile, saying as he . ed, "When I was a boy and piled wood - " 1 "Did you have to pile wood when you were a boy, Cousin Will ?" , terrupt-ed Tom. "Yes; most boys in the country have to, I believe." "I wish I lived somewhere else," said Jacky, mournfully. "Didn't you hate to ?" asked Tom. "Well, sometimos I did," said Cousin Will. "Once my iather gave us boys a good rule to help us, and when we went by that, the pile always went up easlly and in good shape." "What was it ?" asked Jacky. "It was, 'Put in a pleasant word with every stick, boys.' " Cousin Will walked away, but these boys did not seem inclined to try his father's rule, and the wood pile was finished with more or lees email quarrelling. "Let's go and finish our dam," said Jacky. "No, let's make a kite," proposed Tom. ■1 won't tiü the dam's done. Iet us take this big paviug stone down there." We don't want paving Btones, we ■want boulders' ■I Bay we don't. You take hold." ■This side's the heaviest." "No, it isn't. Don't you drop it or you'U raash my toes." The paving stone could have easily been carried if the two had agreed. But Jacky pulled one way and Toni another, until Toni let go and it feil. Jacky jumped quickly enough to get his toss out of the way, l)ut the edge of the stone scratched his hands. ■You lift worth a cent," he B61& iiossly. I'I wish you had got efcmtched int-trad oï me." ■Thafs no way to curry it," said Torn. "We ought to have the wluilbarrow." ■Wou, get it." "You get it." Torn brought the wlu-olbarrow and began trying to lift the stone. "You don't know anything. That jsn-t the way. W- e ought to get a stick and pry it on." The boys were very small boys-, and their' were very small qucvrrels. They had often been told that it was wrong to quarrel, but Btül allowed themselves to keep up a wrangllng which took all the pleasure out of their play. They did not stop to think that small quarreis leau to greater ones, that the habit of petty bickering grows wit the grovrth and Ktivngthens with the str.ength until St 'becomes deadly enmity, and the small hands which are liíted in childish anger may become large ones to be raised in cruel rage. The stick was found, and Jack held the barrow sidrways while Tom pried. "Hold it steady," cried Toni. "I do. You don't do it right. Lift that -way. N05 not eo. Put your titick further under. Here, let me." Jacky enatched the stick, and after awhile contrived to get the stone upon the barrow. Til wheel," he eaid, taking tüe handle. Xo; I shall. You said your hands hurt." To-m siezed the handles, and Jacky took hold of the barrow to steady it. "Come over the path 'cause U's smoother," he soid. "No; I'm going by the grass 'cause it's ehorter." "Wheel straight. You're letting It wabble." "I ain't. It's your not holding it " "Look out for that stone ahead of you. Come this side ol it." "You can kick it out of the way." But Jacky did not choose to kiek it out of the way, and Tom did not choose to turn aside for it. Jacky gave the barrow a Jerk to one slde, upon which Tom tried to jerk it away from him. Over went the barrow, and this time Jacky's toes felt the weight of the stone. "Ouch!" he screamed, "that's all your fault." "It wasn't," retorted Tom. ' And you've sat on the edge o! the pansy bed, and what Will mamma Kay '.'" "I shall teil her you made me do ■" "What's Cousin Will dolng ?" said Tom, as Jacky mil sat on the edge ai the pansy bed, rubbing üis foot. 'He's been Btooping down there ever 30 long. jjet's go and see." Cousin wm always spent his vaeations ál the tarm, and the boys were always glad bo have hlm there. Uut thcy had been yery much disgusted when last autunni they had been told that he was going to become a juinister. He'll never be Jolly any more," groaned Jacky, as the two walked together. "Never," sald Torn. "Aud he'll always have his hair bruahed straight and a clean collar." 'And look so." Jacky drew the corners of his mouth down as lar as his plump cheeks would let them go, and looked in what he thought a very solemn way out of his round eyes. "Yes. always," saiil Toni. So when Cousln WU1 had come for his next vacation they had looked very sharply for his prim ways. But when they saw that he walked about the farm with nis old clotlis on and eeemed as fond of lun as ever, tlic.v made up their niinds that he was not yet enougli oí a prracher to be solenin. "What are y au doing, Cousin "Will?" asked Tom. "I'm watehlag these Ixt-tles." The boys came and gazed with him at the two black, shiny insects which were rolling. a little ball of dung. It was much larger than either of them, and they were working with all tlu-ir might. "See that tellow push with his hind legs." said Jacky, greatly aniused. "And the other one's trying to pull it towards hira," erted Torn, "There - It's tumbled over on him. Ho! ho!" "Now they'r epushing it over that little bit of shingle. See 'em tug. Ah- it's rolling back. Xo, the biggest fellow's put himself behind to hold it. Now it's over." "What are they doing it for, Cousin Will ?" 'Their egg is in that ball, and they are getting it to a hiding place, soine little hole in the ground, where their young will be safe until hatchlug time." "How hard tbey are woi-kinii.'' "Yes," said Cousin Will. "Lct's hear what they are saying." He put his ear close to them while the boys smiled, ior they understood Cousin Will's make-belleves. " 'Push harder.' 'I say I won't.' 'Get behind there, quick, and hold it.' 'I held last time, it's your turn now.' 'If you don't, I'll let it roll down hill.' 'You're as lazy as you can be.' 'And you 're always grunting and growling.' 'Pull in front, there.' You're not pushinjr worth a cent.' 'I say I am.' 'Push this side of that stone.' 'I won't; I'm going the other slde.' " The boys looked a little íoolish as Cousin Wlll raised hls head. "Now, that's too bad, Cousin Wlll," said Jacky. "Yon mean us all the time." "Mean you ? You surely don't mean that boys would talk that way '.' Brothers, too! Boys who have briglit faces and active linjlbs fitted for all sorts of jolly times, and ïor bringing good elveer and willing help to each other and to every one else who may be so fortúnate as to be round where they are. Boys who have good sense, too. They would not be so silly as to spoil all their fun by keeping up a snarl at each other. and to know ttoftt (iod is ins down at them and hearing every word thcy say. Why, I thought it bad enough to say of the beetlea, poor little black things that kiiow only enough to rejoice in the sunshine, and to take care of their young." "I tliink, though," waid Tom, '1t'8 rather mean to say thcy're quarrellng I don't believe they are. They look as if they were helping each othcr like good fellows." "Well, noiv, maybe I didn't hear straight," said Cousin WIU. 'Til try it a little closer." He bent down again. " 'That was a good shove. Iet me give a lift now- over she goes.' 'There's a bit of a stick in the way.' 'Hcre now, both together.' 'Don't you work too hard- l'm tne uiggeui.. 'Up, up- we're a pair of jolly lellows.' 'Look out, or it'll roll over you.' 'Come 'round here and give a push with me.' 'That was a tip-top lift.' 'Hurrah, there she goes!' " "That sounds much better," said Tom. "I think so, too," said Jacky. They watchedthe beetles until they finishèd their work by rollinK the ball into lts hole, and then van back to their play. And while both tried to remember that pleasant words sound far better than quarrelling, ncithor peemed to reaUze that Cousin Wlll hart been preaching one of his first sermons. I think it was a pretty good one for a young preacher, rton't you ?- Sidney Dayre, in New York Observer.


Old News
Ann Arbor Courier