Life In The Country





As ours is a country in which the people rule, every boy and every girl

ought to be trained to take a wide-awake interest in public affairs.

This training cannot begin too early in life. A wise old man once said,

"In a republic you ought to begin to train a child for good citizenship

on the day of its birth."







NORTH CAROLINA]



Happy would it be for our nation if all the young people who live in the

country could begin their training in good citizenship by becoming

workers for these four things:



First, attractive country homes.



Second, attractive country schoolhouses and school grounds.



Third, good country schools.



Fourth, good roads.



If the thousands on thousands of pupils in our schools would become

active workers for these things and continue their work through life,

then, in less than half a century, life in the country would be an

unending delight.



One of the problems of our day is how to keep bright, thoughtful,

sociable, ambitious boys and girls contented on the farm. Every step

taken to make the country home more attractive, to make the school and

its grounds more enjoyable, to make the way easy to the homes of

neighbors, to school, to post-office, and to church, is a step taken

toward keeping on the farm the very boys and girls who are most apt to

succeed there.



Not every man who lives in the country can have a showy or costly home,

but as long as grass and flowers and vines and trees grow, any man who

wishes can have an attractive house. Not every woman who is to spend a

lifetime at the head of a rural home can have a luxuriously furnished

home, but any woman who is willing to take a little trouble can have a

cozy, tastefully furnished home--a home fitted with the conveniences

that diminish household drudgery. Even in this day of cheap literature,

all parents cannot fill their children's home with papers, magazines,

and books, but by means of school and Sunday-school libraries, by means

of circulating book clubs, and by a little self-denial, earnest parents

can feed hungry minds just as they feed hungry bodies.









Agricultural papers that arouse the interest and quicken the thought of

farm boys by discussing the best, easiest, and cheapest ways of farming;

journals full of dainty suggestions for household adornment and comfort;

illustrated papers and magazines that amuse and cheer every member of

the family; books that rest tired bodies and open and strengthen growing

minds--all of these are so cheap that the money reserved from the sale

of one hog will keep a family fairly supplied for a year.












If the parents, teachers, and pupils of a school join hands, an

unsightly, ill-furnished, ill-lighted, and ill-ventilated school-house

can at small cost be changed into one of comfort and beauty. In many

places pupils have persuaded their parents to form clubs to beautify the

school grounds. Each father sends a man or a man with a plow once or

twice a year to work a day on the grounds. Stumps are removed, trees

trimmed, drains put in, grass sowed, flowers, shrubbery, vines, and

trees planted, and the grounds tastefully laid off. Thus at scarcely

noticeable money cost a rough and unsightly school ground gives place to

a charming school yard. Cannot the pupils in every school in which this

book is studied get their parents to form such a club, and make their

school ground a silent teacher of neatness and beauty?






Life in the country will never be as attractive as it ought to be until

all the roads are improved. Winter-washed roads, penning young people

in their own homes for many months each year and destroying so many of

the innocent pleasures of youth, build towns and cities out of the wreck

of country homes. Can young people who love their country and their

country homes engage in a nobler crusade than a crusade for improved

highways?





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