Our Boys and Girls
A PUSSY-WILLOW VALENTINE.
By Nell E. M. Cove.
I wanted to give my mother
A valentine, for she
Is my best friend and always does
A lot of things for me.
And while I wondered what to get
That she would like, 1 saw
A pussy willow holding out
A little furry paw.
It was so gray and velvety
And beckoned as to say:
"If you a valentine would like
Why don't you take me, pray?"
And when I gave it to mother
To be her valentine,
She held me close to her and said:
"Thanks, little son of mine."
? The Sunbeam.
THE HARMLESS, USEFUL TOAD.
The toad must catch his own meals. He
scorns dead food. He must see it move to be
sure it has not slipped the bonds of life and
begun to spoil. In a day &nd a night he cap
tures enough to stuff his stomach full four
times, although if he had to he could exist
without eating longer than any other creature.
He eats caterpillars, moths, weevils, snails,
bugs, worms, spiders, beetles, grasshoppers,
crickets, many kinds of winged insects, even
wasps, and innumerable other noxious pests,
and in six months he will put twenty thou
sand of them where they can harm no man's
garden. Reckoning on every one of these
working a mill's worth of harm to somebody's
crop; one toad prevents $20.00 worth of in
jury, and we know that one mill is a low value
to set upon such individual damage. In some
countries toads sell to gardeners up to $15.00
a head, and are shielded from prowling scav
engers the same as any domestic stock.
A toad that adopts y?u and your garden
and makes his home in your dooryard has claim
on your protection. His homing instinct is
strong, and you may count on his clinging to
life ? and your premises ? at least for a decade
unless he is stoned to death, and the chances
are he will outlive you, for a generation as we
reckon human life, or even forty years, is not
beyond the possibilities of a contented toad.
And lie asks no favors, not even shelter when
wintry storms sweep the fields bare of the vege
tation that affords him provender. He will
provide himself with a winter burrow just as
easily as he hides under a damp stone or
mouldy log from the glare of summer days.
The old superstition that toads are poisonous
has vanished before scientific research, just like
many another dismal whim possessed by un
enlightened minds. They cannot live under
water, although their five-toed hind feet are
partly webbed. ? From Dumb Animals.
THE USEFUL KEYS.
Mother had lost the key of her trunk, and
was trying to find a new one to fit the lock.
Theodore stood by, watching her as she tried
different keys in turn, until, finally one was
found which opened it like magic.
Soon after, Theodore was trying to button
his coat in a great hurry to go out to play.
But the top button seemed hard to fasten, and
though he tugged, fretted and pulled, he could
not manage it.
"You haven't tried the right key, Theo
dore," aaid mother.
"Why, what key could work thist" ex
claimed the little fellow, stopping in surprise.
"Suppose you try how the 'patience' key
would work there," suggested mother.
And sure enough, with just a little, quiet
patience the button was fastened.
Later in the afternoon, Theodore came run
ning in again, looking quite vexed. He hardly
liked to tell mother the trouble, but at last it
came out that he and some of the other boys
had disagreed over what they should play.
Mother was quiet for a little while, then she
said thoughtfully: "I wonder how the 'un
selfish' key would work there."
Theodore was puzzled for a moment, and
then a bright look of understanding came into
his face, and with a smile he went out to play
Before bedtime Theodore found another
chance to try the magic powers of one of moth
er's "useful keys." It was just about his little
brother Ted's sleepy time, and the wee man
was inclined to be rather cross and unreason
able. But Theodore remembered what a small
boy Ted was, and didn't answer him back. So,
as it always "takes two to make a quarrel,"
of course there could not be one that time.
When nurse came to carry Ted off to bed,
mother said softly to Theodore: "The key of
'silence' was useful that time, wasn't it, dear?
You will soon have quite a bunch of keys
to carry witli you, and you will often find them
useful." ? The Christian Advocate.
Dear Presbyterian: I am sending you inv pas
tor's name in Bible verses. We have had a
deep snow and, of course, the school children
had a good time. I am in the sixth grade,
and my teacher is Miss Harvey, from near
R emember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and
Thy loving kindnesses, for they have been
ever of old. (Ps. 25:6.)
E vil shall slay the wicked, and they that hate
the righteous shall be desolate. (Ps. 34:21.)
V erily, verily I say unto you he that believ
eth on Me the works that I do, shall he do
also, and greater works than these shall he
do because I go unto My Father. (John
F ret not thy self because. of evil doers, neither
be thou envious against the workers of
iniquity. (Ps. 37:1.)
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Why art thou so far from helping me and
from the words of my roaring. (Ps. 22:1.)
R ejoice in the Lord, O ye righeous, for praise
is comely for the upright. (Ps. 33:1.)
Y e have shamed the council of the poor be
cause the Lord is his refuge. (Ps. 14:6.)
B ut if ye will not do so, behold ye have sinned
against the Lord, and be sure your sins will
find you out. (Num. 32:23.)
U nto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Ps.
R emember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
N ow these are the judgments which thou
shall set before them. (Ex. 21:1.)
I hope you will put my letter in the paper.
I want to surprise my daddy.
Daer Elizabeth: I am sure that daddy and
your pastor will both be pleased with your
letter. ? H. A.
LIKES OUR STORIES BETTER THAN
Dear Presbyterian : I am a little girl eleven
years old. I like to read your stories better
than anything else. While I was reading your
paper to-day I thought I would write to you.
This is my second letter to you. I am in the
fifth grade. My teacher's name is Miss Law
son, from near Drakes Branch. I like her very
much. I have one sister and three brothers.
I go to Sunday school every Sunday.
Dear Billie: We are glad that you like our
stories and that you wrote us a letter. Write
again soon. ? H. A.
Dear Presbyterian: 1 am a little girl twelve
years old and enjoy reading the stories and
letters in the paper. I am in the seventh grade
at school, and am very anxious to pass into
high school. I did not have to take any exami
nation this year. I like my teachers, Miss Olive
Shomaker and Miss Janie Wood, very much.
I go to Sunday school every Sunday I can.
I enjoy going very much.
Your little friend,
Henrietta F. Jacob.
Dear Henrietta : I know you were glad to
have no examinations to take. You must have
been studying hard all winter. Write us some
thing about your Sunday school. ? H. A.
ENJOYS THE LETTERS.
Dear Presbyterian : We are two little broth
ers, nine and ten years old. We go to Sunday
school every Sunday. Our pastor is Rev. J. F.
Matheson, and we love him very much. Our
papa is an elder of Mt. Vernon Church. We
have three little sisters that are younger than
we are. We both recited the Child's Cate
chism the same day and have received our
Testaments and Certificate. We are reading
through our Testaments. Our papa has been
taking the Presbyterian of the South for eleven
years. We enjoy reading the letters and stories
in your paper very much.
Your little friends,
Clifford and Clawson Carter.
Union, S. C. Rt. 1.
Dear Little Brothers: We are all very glad
to hear from you and to know that you have
recited the catechism. The next time you
write you must tell us something about thosf
three little sisters. ? H. A.
The Turkish boy, when a baby, is a funny
little mummy, bound up in a many-colored
wrapper and topped with a red silk cap. Prom
the cap are hung a gold coin, with some charms
against the " evil eye," such as a head of gur
lie, a verse of the Koran sewed in a bit of blue
cloth, and some little blue glass beads. He
must never be left quite alonrt with his mother,
less the evil spirit should get him, but if every
one must leave the room, a broom is placed
beside the bod to keep guard. ? Herald and
Sixty seconds in one minute.
Seize it quick if you would win it;
Qrasp it then, ye lads and lames.
While you're Idling, soon it passes,
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