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Letter to a Country Mouse
From Her City Cousin Dear Moose:—Well, here I am right In the midst of things and feeling exactly like a molecule. Lonesome? Well, I should say so. Why Is it that city crowds make one feel so unnecessary? When you stroll out into the country, surrounded with the chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cows and pigeons and thousands and thousands of tiny folks that go to make up the crowded country life, you feel that man is indeed lord of creation. But when you stroll out in the city and meet these same folk, Just because they have put on human shape, you feel quite small and inferior and abashed. For they are all here, Mouse, dear, every single one—even to Greedy and Grunty, my prize Berkshires. I lunched at the next table to them today. The only marked difference was that there was no pen around them and Greedy wore beautiful diamonds. Grunty made just as much fuss about his food. You would have thought Washington put on the sugar restrictions with no other purpose than to annoy him, and ns he guzzled and grunted and grumbled, bis fat Jowls, red and shaking, as he tried to stuff, and complain to high beaven at the same time about how terrible the food situation really was, I was tempted to yell "Sewey" and drive him and Greedy back to their pen. I don't believe he knows or cares to know that if he and his fat companion had not been exceptions, America could never have shipped 86,000,000 pounds of beef products during the one month of March to our hungry allies over yonder. It means nothing to them that before we entered the war we ex po- ' d to the allies 50,000,000 pounds of pork a month. WhAi we entered the war this had increased to 125,000,000 pounds, and in March of this year the amount of pork exported to the allies amounted to 308,000,000 pounds, which is more than six times the normal and 50 per cent greater than any other month during the last seven years. This is what "porkless days" have done. So it's back to the pen with Greedy and Grunty ! The old Dominecker rooster had two pullets to lunch at the table just next to mine, and he was shaking his red wattles, Happing his wings, scratch ing straw and showing off generally. He was sixty, and a grandfather, if he was a day, and the girls could not have been over twenty-two and pretty as pictures. One was a stenographer and the other a bookkeeper in the same big office building where Daddy Dominecker heads a loan business, and be lieve me, food conservation meant nothing in their young lives, so long as daddy paid the bill. They ate straight through the menu card. I don't see how they do it and keep their shape, for that they were easy to look at goes without saying. They were built along leghorn lines, and in spite of their years had gained much knowledge of barn-yard tactics. I had to admire their system. Two good-looking young aviators were just across from them, mo one of them would engross Dominecker's attention while the other flirted with the soldiers. Then they would change about, and their team work was bo perfect that poor old rooster paid the check, which would have bought two flve-dollar War Savings stamps and gone a long way on the third, and chuckled as he paid it; then strutted off to get his hat and coat, leaving them to smile "good-by" at the soldiers—and make a date to meet them in the moonlight, I hope, for youth should call to youth. Mouse, what is it that blinds a man of sixty and a woman of forty to the fact that when they act kittenish they never fool anybody but themselves, and the world laughs at them and not with them? If the po' ole rooster hadn't crowed so loud He mlght'er passed for young in the barn-yard crowd, But. he drapped his wings and stepped so high Bat the pullets all laugh as he passes by. • And he ain't by hisself in dat. . ■*££&,*; • No, honey, he ain't by hisself in dat. Mouse, I have a nice Juicy bit of scandal that I would write you, but I know how careless you are about leaving your letters about, and this is en tirely too risque to be read by modest brother John or Mollie of the tender years, so I will postpone It. In the meantime, know that In the midst of all the exciting sounds and sights—the heady experience of nibbling this strong city's cheese—I think of you and love you. So, dear, out of the peace and peat spaces in which you are moving, send a quieting homey letter to MEL SAVE PITS AND ... SHELLS Needed in Making Gas Masks —How Boys and Girl* Can Do Important War Work Br the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The war department has requested the boys' and girls' clubs of the coun try to help collect fruit pits and nut shells, the carbon in which is used in making gas masks. Contests have been suggested among the million club mem bers by the United States department of agriculture and the state depart ment colleges, which conduct the club work, to see which member, which dub, which district, and which state can deliver the largest amount of ma terial In the shortest time. Each mem ber should try to furnish at least 200 peach pits, or seven pounds of shells— enough material for one mask. Since more and better carbon Is secured from the pits of peaches, prunes and plums than from other sources, boys and girls should make It their special business to see that every borne In their communities saves the pits of these fruits. They should also •rtoit community and commercial can merles, hotels, restaurants and baker leg. in addition, seeds should be col lected from dates and olives, and shell and whole nuts be saved from hickory ants, butter nuts, English and native walnuts and hazelnuts. The material may be delivered to the local Bed Cross headquarters, which are acting as central stations for collecting and shipping. Words of Wise Men Choose the Just man. The partial man may not always be partial to you, but the just man la always Just. The great man expects every thing of himself ; the small man ' I expects everything of others. A man should never be ashamed to own he has been In the wrong, which is bat saying in other words that he is wiser 1 today than he was yesterday. Denied-a right to serve in the army. 100 Colorado Indians are doing their bit by working on the highways. They are build ing modern roads over the trails blazed by their forefathers. Tlie Largest Cities. The cities with more than 2,000,000 Inhabitants by latest census are New York, 5,737,492; London. 4,522,964; Paris, 2.88S.000; Tokio, 2.186,000; Chi cago, 2,185,000; Berlin, 2,071,000; Vienna, 2,031,000. I American Farmers Should Follow Scotland's Plan to Eliminate Food-Eating Rats The canny Scots of West Perth shire district are living up to their reputation. They have organized in an active campaign to exterminate rats and save the food and property which they waste. They have demon strated that it is cheaper to kill than to feed rats. According to a report from the American consul at Dundee, which has Just been received by the United States department of agricul ture, a campaign to exterminate rats in the district mentioned, for which $1,479.41 was appropriated, resulted last year in the killing of 100,000 rats. The board of agriculture appropriated $486.65 for the campaign. It is said that one rat in the course of 12 months caused damage estimated at $2.43, and as there were approximately two rats to the acre, the amount of damoge done was equivalent to the average amount of rent paid by the tenants of West Perthshire. The campaign has been so successful and the people so pleased with the results that com munity co-operation to exterminate rats is to be continued another year, according to the report. American farmers, who have long suffered losses from these food raid ers, should follow the example set by this district and organize community campaigns to get rid of rats. In many sections of this country where similar campaigns have been conducted re sults always have been gratifying. Three National Forests Recently Added to the List Complying With Weeks Law The president has proclaimed the es tablishment of three new forests, the final step in currying out the purpose of the Weeks law. The first, observes a writer in Out look, is the White Mountain National forest. Its area of nearly 400,000 acres protects the watersheds of the Androscoggin, Saco, Connecticut and Ammonoosuc rivers. This watershed region has also long been famous as an important recreation ground. As its name implies, the Shenandoah National forest is on the watershed of the Shenandoah river, but it also pro tects a portion of the Potomac and James river watersheds. Its area is about 165,000 acres. On this area, and still intact, are the trench systems constructed during the Civil war under Stonewall Jackson's supervision. The White Mountain National forest lies mostly in New Hampshire, but laps over into Maine; the Shenandoah for est lies mostly In Virginia, but laps over into West Virginia. The Natural Bridge National forest, however, is wholly in VIrginin. Its area Is about 100,000 acres. The forest protects a part of the James river watershed. War Has Given Women Chance To Show What They Gan Do in Various Industrial Avenues After many years spent in demand ing access to various employments on the same basis as men, women are now being offered an unprecedented chanc« to show what they can do in Industry, states a writer in New York Journal ol Commerce. Ahmad they are the actu al operating force of muny businesses and it may ke expected that a like con dition will more and more come to prevail in the United States. The women of Great Britain have made u splendid record in the industrial world and there is no doubt they will like wise here if the emergency requires. This state of things is usually present ed as an outgrowth of the war, and not a few women are quite frankly holding their present places as a patri otic duty rather than as the result of a personal desire. Very little study, however, is required to reach the con clusion that in many cases there will be tendency and disposition to broad en the scope of women's employment after the end of the war* and, if de sired by the employers, to accept them as permanent factors in [daces here tofore held exclusively by men. The final outcome with reference to the industrial status of women will, however, depend primarily upon the degree of efficiency they are able to develop. If there are, as often alleged, large and increasing classes of women who desire permanent industrial op portunity on the same basis with men, their time to "make good" is now at hand and will probably not soon come again. That there are many who real ize the situation no one can doubt. It is equally clear. However, that there are many others who thus far are showing traits which not only disquali fy them from competition with men, but will render them unacceptable in any capacity as soon as men are again available as employees. Of these traits the most serious probably are the lack of professional pride in work, the fail ure to regard it as a permanent occu pation, and as such to be studied and perfected, and the tendency to lack of responsibility. Time may correct these traits and develop the women of the country into an efficient, well-disciplined body of industrial workers. It will be neces sary that they train and educate them selves for their tasks and recognize that retention of the new place already assigned them will be dependent en tirely on the merit they are able to show, Platinum Mines of Russia Said to Afford the World's Most Profitable Dredging The most profitable dredging in the world can be done on the platinum placers of Russia, says the San Fran cisco Chronicle. The value of the metal recovered Is often equivalent for considerable periods of operation to $5 a cubic yard. When one remem bers that the gravels of the California gold-dredging fields yielded only aboui 10 cents to 15 cents a cubic yard ou an average, and nevertheless paid well, the possible profits of platinum dredg ing become apparent. Before the war there were about 25 dredges at work in the Urals, operat ing two-thirds of the time of each working season of about 150 days, and averaging 500 cubic yards a dredge a day, thus working a total of about 1,250,000 cubic yards of material a year, and recovering annually 70,000 to 100,000 ounces of platinum. Thera is only one first-class dredge In opera tion in the Urals. They are mostly of antiquated design and of poor con struction. First-class dredges working In ma terial of similar characteristics dig several times as much gravel a day in other countries with similar climate. Working costs in the Ural regions are twice those in Montana, which has a similar climate, but where the aurifer ous gravel is much harder to dredge. FOR POULTRY GROWERS. Don't forget that the hen is undei unnatural conditions during the win ter, and that summer Is ideal weathei for egg production. Try to imitate this condition ns nearly as possible Do everything within your power t< make the bird comfortable. Don'l merely house her ; give her a home anc care for her. One reason why many poultry keep ers fail to get eggs is because thej fail to Interest their birds. By that is meant they fail to give them suffi cient litter on the floor and to feed them their grain in this, so as to keel them working for it all day. Keef their minds as well ns their bodies en gaged, and the hens will be happy contented and will produce more eggs The Ideal method for feeding Is to giv< them a little feed frequently in th< litter, to keep them constantly alerl and active. The feeding of a litth stimulant, snch as onion tops or occa sionally a feed of hot, wet mash, or t change to some sprouted oats, fresh green-cut bone, or in fact anythin} that the bird relishes, acts as an appe tizer, and not only is effective in pro ducing more eggs, but also actuall; develops the interest of the caretakei or feeder to the point that he will givi his birds other care. Know the indl vlduals in your flock and try to satisfy their needs. Remember, they are un der artificial conditions during th> winter. CONCRETE-LINED FARM RESERVOIR Precaution Should Be Taken to Prevent Injury by Frost and Settlement. COBBLESTONES MADE USE OF j - . To Safeguard Structure It Is Recom mended That Completed Earth work Be Thoroughly Soaked Before Lining Is Laid. (From the United States Department of Agriculture.) If durable water reservoirs are de sired, they may be lined with con crete or built of cobblestones. In form, the concrete-lined type may he either rectangular or circular. A cir cular reservoir lined with concrete, having a diameter of 134 feet at the bottom, a depth of 8 feet, and a ca pacity of 2 acre-feet, or 651,658 United States gallons, is somewhat similar in design to one built under the supervision of the office of public roads and rural engineering at Fort Collins, Colo. Precautions are neces sary, in order to prevent damage by settlement and frost. If the reservoir is formed partly in excavation and partly in fill, it is difficult to treat each class of material in such a way that both will be equally stable and Impervious. If the material in the fill, for Instance, settles more than the natural earth, the concrete lining is apt to be ruptured along the division line. Not only uneven settlement in different parts of the earth embank ment, but settlement in any one part lends to rupture or otherwise dam age concrete lining. Concrete for Lining. A concrete suitable for lining shonld contain an ample percentage of good cement in order to make It water tight. A mixture of 1 part by vol ume of cement, 2 parts of sand and 4 parts of gravel or broken rock is recommended. A measured volume of sand Is dumped on the mixing plat form, half as much cement is added to It and both Ingredients are mixed dry until the mixture is of one color. It Is then moistened and worked Into a soft mortar, and the rock or gravel, having been previously moistened, is added. The mortar and rock or gravel then are turned over with shovels at least twice or until the entire mass Is thoroughly mixed. The concrete should be sufficiently moist at this stage so that when shoveled Into a wheelbarrow or other means of con mmm 4 4 À m mm Construction of Cobblestone Masonry Wail. veyance It will assume a water-level on top. At the same time it should not be so wet as to flow readily. The thickness of the lining needed depends upon the severity of the cli mate, the care and skill used in pre piring the foundation, the character of the concrete and other factors. Reservoirs Built of Cobblestones. Many small reservoirs have been built In southern California to store water pumped from wells over night for use in Irrigation the following day. In the Pomona valley, which Includes an area of valley land comprising something like 67 square miles, of which about one-third is irrigated, (here were in 1912 over 50 of these reservoirs owned and operated by Indi vidual orchardIst8 or by small groups of orchardlsts co-operatively. In the preparation of much of the land for clirus orchards on the benches of +hls valley large quantities of cobble stones are removed and dumped into r-» vines or piled up In long rectangu lar walls. Years ago some one con ceived the idea of making use of this tock to give stability to reservoir walls, and out of this conception has been developed a more or less distinct type of farm reservoir. This type consists in the main of a wall of cob blestone masonry laid in cement mor tar in which a small amount of lime Is incorporated, a concrete floor and an earth embankment aTound the ex terior. From an engineering standpoint the crucial tests of a reservoir may ho said to he such features as efficiency, furabiiity, first cost, and maintenance. BIG ADVANTAGE OF PURPLE VETCH CROP Similar to Common and Hairy Varieties, but Less Hardy. Has High Feeding Value, Is Good for Green Manuring and for Seed Pro duction-Makes Good Hay in Pasturage. (Prepared by the United States Depart ment of Agriculture.) In the Southern and Pacific coast states where winters are not severe, purple vetch, a promising new crop, can be grown to advantage. This vetch, which is similar to the common and hairy varieties, but is less hardy, was brought into the United States by the office of foreign seed and plant introduction in 1§99 from Italy. In California, where experimental work has been conducted, it has proved one of the best, if not the host, crop for use ^ ' r r's' i m m 9$ mk » 1 V ft« > I Vetch Growing in Rye. as green manure In orchards, and in commercial plantings it has been thought well of by the farmers who have used It. In western Oregon and western Washington it can be grown successfully as a seed crop, the yields averaging from 12 to 15 bushels an acre. It has not been sufficiently test ed In the Southern states to determine definitely Its value in localities where common vetch is now being grown, but as It requires conditions similar to the common varieties, It seems probable that it may serve an excellent purpose In this region as well as In the western United States. It Is of high feeding value and makes good hay in pas turage. Under average conditions purple vetch will stand a winter temperature of 15 degrees above zero with little or no injury. Where the temperatures are not likely to fall below this mark it should be sown in the fall. With colder winter conditions, spring seed ing is essential. In localities where common vetch has been grown success fully and the necessary bacteria have been established In the soil, it is not necessary to Inoculate for purple vetch. Purple vetch should be drilled In close drills or broadcasted at the rate of 60 to 80 pounds of seed per acre. Harvesting can be done best with a common mower having a swather at tachment. It should be cut for hay during the period from full bloom to the formation of the first pods. The yields average about 2% tons of hay per acre. When harvesting for seed the crop should be cut soon after the lower pods are ripe, at which time the upper pods will be mature and the plant will be carrying a maximum quantity of seed. Purple vetch is less exacting as to the time of cutting than common vetch, as the seed shatters less readily. Thrashing may be done with an ordinary thrashing machine. 1'1' i 'l-f- H -l'I-' M -) GET RID OF STUMPS (Prepared by the United States De partment of Agriculture.) Stumps occupy valuable land ; foster the growth of weeds, for in order to keep the land In their vicinity clean much hard labor Is necessary; mar the appear ance of otherwise smooth fields, and hence reduce the selling price of a farm. They furnish shelter for hnrmful Insects and animals and prevent the efficient use of modern machinery. Farm ers' Bulletin 974, recently pub lished by the United States De partment of Agriculture tells how they may he removed by burning, by explosives, by me chanical means or by the com bination of any or nil of these three methods. There Is no "best method" of ridding land of stumps, the bulletin adds, and tlie selection of a method for their removal should be deter mined only after a consideration of the facts involved. tH 11 ! 1 1-11 W WI ' l'l ' 111 Prevent Weak Fences. . Weak fences make unruly herds ol cattle and other animals. >AD BUILDING ROADS SAVED FRANCE TWICE Had It Not Been for Radiating Systen) Germans Would Have Crossed Marne and Reached Paris. Good roads have twice saved France In the present war, observes Farm and Fireside. Had It not been for the radi ating road system maintained by the French government, the Germans would have won the battle of the Marne and reached Paris. Tlie Ger mans had calculated on only three di visions being sent out from Paris to stop the invasion. Instead, the excel lent system of highways made it pos sible for five divisions to tie sent to Repairing Highway in France. this front. Again, shortly after the battle of Verdun started, the French railroad which was to furnish many of the supplies to the troops was de stroyed. The French government, how ever, had a macadam road 32 feet wide on which four lines of traffic, two in either direction, were maintained. Day and night 14,000 motortrucks carried men and equipment. The traffic never stopped. When a hole was made in the road, a man with a shovelful of rock slipped in between the lines of trucks and threw the rock Into the hole, then Jumped aside to let the truck roll the rock flown. Then an other man would follow his example, and so on until the hole was filled. Trucks that broke down were shoved aside and repaired almost Instantly. Had the French depended on their rail road or on poor highways the Germana would have won the battle. There are few places In which good roads will win great military victories. But there are many places in which they will win great victories In time of pence. Whenever a crisis—military, economic or social—occurs in the lifa of a community, the condition of the road Is a significant factor In deter mining whether the community will go up or down, forward or backward. Thq community with good roads is the com munity that will deliver the goods when the necessity comes. FEDERAL AID FOR HIGHWAYS Under Term« of Act Secretary of Agrh culture May Deal With State Highway Department. Much misunderstanding seems to prevail as to the means by which fed eral aid In road building under the federal aid road act of 1916 may bo obtained, Bays a recent publication of the United States department of agri culture. "Many county officials and private citizens," - says the publication, "sub mit to the department of agriculture Inquiries or applications looking to the obtaining of federal aid for a local high way. To these Inquiries and applica tions the answer Is invariably made that under the terms of the federal act Itself the secretary of agriculture may deal only with the state highway department of roads. Responsibility for repair of roads upon which fed eral aid Is to be expended rests with the state highway department." ARMY TRUCKS INJURE ROADS Enormous Cars Do Almost Irreparably Damage to Highways, Improved or Unimproved. Every state highway department which has had experience with army trucks knows that these enormous cars do almost irreparable damage to all roads, Improved or unimproved. This Is particularly true when the autos move In trains, as Is customary. Annual Cost of Roads. Road construction and maintenance in the United States involve an an nual outlay of over $300,000,(XX), a sum which, If capitalized at 5 per cent, would represent un investment of $6, 000.000,000. Good Roads Essential. Good roads are absolutely essential to progressive farming and satisfying country life. Tlie best farmers can not afford to live where there ore nc roads and no means of marketing what they produce.