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Our Boys Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors   By:

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OUR BOYS

Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors

by

GEORGE CARY EGGLESTON, MARY E. WILKINS, FRANCES A. HUMPHREY, MARGARET EYTINGE, MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY, MARY D. BRINE, ETC., ETC., ETC.

Profusely Illustrated

The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio

1904

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

THE CAT TAIL ARROW

BY CLARA DOTY BATES

Little Sammie made a bow, Well indeed he loved to whittle, Shaped it like the half of O How he could I scarcely know, For his fingers were so little. As he whittled came a sigh: "If I only had an arrow; Something light enough to fly To the tree tops or the sky! Then I'd have such fun tomorrow."

Then he thought of all the slim Things that grow the hazel bushes, Willow branches, poplars trim And yet nothing suited him Till he chanced to think of rushes. He knew well a quiet pool Where he always paused a minute On his way to district school, Just to see the waters cool And his own bright face within it.

There the cat tails thickly grew, With their heads so brown and furry; They were straight and slender too, Plenty strong enough he knew, And he sought them in a hurry. Such an arrow as he wrought Almost passed a boy's believing. When he drew the bow string taut, Out of sight and quick as thought Up it went, the blue air cleaving.

Who was Sammie, would you know? It was grandpa he was little Nearly eighty years ago; But 'tis no doubt as fine a bow As the best he still could whittle.

[Illustration: A YOUNG SALT]

HE COULDN'T SAY NO.

[[I]]t was sad and it was strange! He just was full of knowledge, His studies swept the whole broad range Of High School and of College; He read in Greek and Latin too, Loud Sanscrit he could utter, But one small thing he couldn't do That comes as pat to me and you As eating bread and butter: He couldn't say "No!" He couldn't say "No!" I'm sorry to say it was really so! He'd diddle, and dawdle, and stutter, but oh! When it came to the point he could never say "No!"

Geometry he knew by rote, Like any Harvard Proctor; He'd sing a fugue out, note by note; Knew Physics like a Doctor; He spoke in German and in French; Knew each Botanic table; But one small word that you'll agree Comes pat enough to you and me, To speak he was not able: For he couldn't say "No!" He couldn't say "No!" 'Tis dreadful, of course, but 'twas really so. He'd diddle, and dawdle, and stutter, but oh! When it came to the point he could never say "No!"

And he could fence, and swim, and float, And use the gloves with ease too, Could play base ball, and row a boat, And hang on a trapeze too; His temper was beyond rebuke, And nothing made him lose it; His strength was something quite superb, But what's the use of having nerve If one can never use it? He couldn't say "No!" He couldn't say "No!" If one asked him to come, if one asked him to go, He'd diddle, and dawdle, and stutter, but oh! When it came to the point he could never say "No!"

When he was but a little lad, In life's small ways progressing, He fell into this habit bad Of always acquiescing; 'Twas such an amiable trait, To friend as well as stranger, That half unconsciously at last The custom held him hard and fast Before he knew the danger, And he couldn't say "No!" He couldn't say "No!" To his prospects you see 'twas a terrible blow. He'd diddle, and dawdle, and stutter, but oh! When it came to the point he could never say "No!"

And so for all his weary days The best of chances failed him; He lived in strange and troublous ways And never knew what ailed him; He'd go to skate when ice was thin; He'd join in deeds unlawful, He'd lend his name to worthless notes, He'd speculate in stocks and oats; 'Twas positively awful, For he couldn't say "No!" He couldn't say "No!" He would veer like a weather cock turning so slow; He'd diddle, and dawdle, and stutter, but oh! When it came to the point he could never say "No!"

Then boys and girls who hear my song, Pray heed its theme alarming: Be good, be wise, be kind, be strong These traits are always charming, But all your learning, all your skill With well trained brain and muscle, Might just as well be left alone, If you can't cultivate backbone To help you in life's tussle, And learn to say "No!" Yes, learn to say "No!" Or you'll fall from the heights to the rapids below! You may waver, and falter, and tremble, but oh! When your conscience requires it, be sure and shout "No!"

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