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- A Hive of Busy Bees - 6/13 -
"A stone struck the puppy on his head, and hurt him very badly; for he began to turn round and round, whining and howling pitifully. Richard laughed, as if he thought it a great joke.
"'Shame on you!' cried James, 'for treating a poor little puppy like that!'
"'You're a sissy,' said Richard, 'or you wouldn't care.'
"'You may call me what you please,' said James, 'but I shall never hurt a poor little dog that can't help himself. Maybe he's lost.'
"With that, he lifted the little creature in his arms and carried him home. The puppy's head was bleeding where Richard had struck him with the stone. James washed the blood away and gave the little dog something to eat, talking to him kindly and petting him all the while.
"When his father came home that evening, he told James that the puppy showed marks of being a very good dog; and that if the owner never came, he might keep him for his own.
"James was delighted. He named the dog Rex, and at once began to teach him to do all sorts of tricks. Rex learned to walk on his hind feet, sit up straight and beg for something to eat, play 'dead dog,' roll over, chase his tail, and run through a hoop.
"In a few months, Rex had grown to be quite a large dog. By this time, James had taught him how to swim; and when the boy would throw a stick into the water and say, 'Go get it, Rex,' the dog would bring it back in his mouth.
"All the boys in the neighborhood liked Rex; and he liked them all-- except Richard. Whenever he came around, the dog would growl and show his teeth.
"Two years later, one warm Saturday afternoon in April, James called Rex and started for the pond. Oftentimes fishing parties visited this pond, so a number of small boats were tied among the willows fringing the shore. On this particular afternoon, Richard and his little brother Harry had also gone to the pond; and Richard untied one of the boats to take a ride. Of course he had no right to use a boat that did not belong to him; but he thought that no one would ever know.
"Just as James came around a clump of willows, he saw the little boat tip over; and Richard and Harry fell in, at the deepest place in the pond. James knew they could not swim; so he began to call for help as loudly as he could. Rex ran back and forth whining, looking first at James, then at the boys in the water. Suddenly a happy thought struck James. Pointing to the two boys, he said, 'Go get them, Rex!' Immediately the dog jumped into the water and began to swim toward the boys. He soon had Harry's collar between his teeth, and was swimming back to shore.
"James helped Harry to his feet; and then, pointing to Richard, he said, 'Go get the other one!'
"Richard had gone down the second time when Rex reached him; but as he came up to the surface of the water, the dog caught him and began to swim back. It was a hard task, as Richard was heavier than Harry; but at last Rex brought him safely to shore.
"All this time James had been calling for help; and now several men came running toward the pond. They began working with Richard, and after some time he came back to consciousness.
"'Who got me out of the water?' he asked, as soon as he could speak.
"'Rex,' answered James.
"Tears rolled down Richard's face as he said brokenly, 'Just think! I almost killed him when he was a little puppy! I know one thing--I'll never do such a thing again.'
"Everybody petted and praised Rex for what he had done. Richard's father bought a beautiful new collar for him. But although the dog had saved Richard's life, he never would have anything to do with him afterward. He could not forget how cruelly the boy had treated him in his puppyhood."
"Daddy promised to get a puppy for me soon," said Don. "I shall name him Rex, after the good dog in the story."
"And I'm quite sure," said Grandma, "that you'll always be as kind to him as James was to Rex. But I know a little man that will be asleep in about five minutes. Hustle him off to bed, Grandpa, or you'll have to carry him upstairs."
Don said a sleepy good-night; and sure enough, five minutes later he was fast a-sleep.
When the children came down to the kitchen in the morning, they found that Grandpa had eaten his breakfast, and had gone out to build a pig-pen behind the barn. Don hurried out to help him; and Joyce went to the spring house to do the churning for Grandma.
The little girl plunged the dasher into the thick cream, lifted it, and plunged it again, until her arms ached. At last the dasher began to look clean, and tiny particles of golden butter clung to it and she knew that the butter had "come." Then she took the butter paddle and the bowl and cooled them in the spring, just as she had seen Grandma do. She lifted the butter from the churn with the paddle and began to work it to get the milk out. She had watched Grandma do this many times, and it had looked very easy; but she found it quite another thing, when she came to doing it herself.
After she had worked for some time, she had a solid roll of butter. She salted it, and worked it some more; and then she called Grandma to come and see it.
"I could not have made better butter myself!" said Grandma. So Joyce had something new to write about, in her next letter to Mother.
After dinner the children went to the orchard to play. They found an ant hill; and it was very interesting to watch the ants as they worked.
One ant was carrying a bread crumb several times larger than herself, and the children were watching eagerly. The old turkey gobbler came strutting toward them; but they did not notice. Joyce was bending over, watching the industrious little ant, when suddenly the gobbler perched upon her back and began to beat her with his wings.
"Grandma!" screamed Joyce.
It was a comical sight that Grandma saw when she came to the door. There was Joyce, running toward the house, with the gobbler after her, and Don coming behind.
The gobbler was right at Joyce's heels, when suddenly the little girl dodged behind a tree and began to go round and round it, keeping the tree between her and the gobbler. At last Don found a stick and chased him away.
When Grandma had comforted Joyce, she explained that it was the little girl's red dress that the gobbler didn't like. Joyce declared that she would never wear that dress again while she was on the farm. She never did; and so the gobbler did not bother her any more.
At bedtime, the children were ready for their usual story. They clambered up on to the arms of the old rocker on the porch, while Grandpa sat down on the step.
"What do we hear about tonight?" asked Grandpa. "I believe I like to hear the stories as well as Don does."
"All boys are just alike--big and little," said Grandma with a smile. "My story this time is about Bee Polite."
"Oh," said Don, "I know a little verse about politeness. I learned it at school:
"'Politeness is to do and say The kindest thing in the kindest way.'"
"Then politeness means kindness, doesn't it, Grandma?" asked Joyce.
"Yes--and more than that," replied Grandma. "A polite person is never rude. The story is about two children who were stung by Bee Polite just once--but they never forgot it.
"Daisy and Dan were twins. When they were babies, their mother took them from their home in the East to live in a far Western state. They could not remember their grandmother, who still lived back in the old home town. All they knew about her was what their mother had told them; and she often wrote long letters, and sent them lovely presents.
"One day they received a letter from Grandma, saying that she was coming to spend a few weeks with them. They could hardly wait for Thursday to come when she was to arrive at the station.
"The train was due at six o'clock in the evening, and Mother promised the twins that they might go to meet Grandma. After school she sent them to the store to buy some things for supper, and she gave them ten cents to buy candy.
"Now there were some children living in the neighborhood who were very rude. For this reason the twins were never allowed to play with them. But today, on their way to the store, they met these children, and all went on together.
"They crossed a vacant lot, where there was a pile of crushed rock. Near the rock pile, they met an elderly woman carrying a small satchel. She spoke kindly to them; but one of the boys answered her very rudely, and then stuck out his tongue at her. The lady turned to him and said, 'My boy, you need someone to teach you how to be a gentleman.'
"'Oh, do I?' said the boy roughly. And picking up a stone from the rock pile, he threw it at her. Another lad did the same, and still another.
"Now the twins had been taught to be polite--especially to old people. Just now little Bee Polite began to buzz about them. But when children are in bad company, it is always hard for them to hear the small voice of conscience. For a moment they stood and watched the boys throw rocks at the old lady; and then they began to throw them too.
"No matter how hard she tried, Daisy could not throw a stone straight. But Dan had a better aim, and he threw a rock which struck the old lady's
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