It was a cold day. Fred was tired of reading, tired of looking

out of the window, and so he poked the fire for a change.

"I suppose there are a good many different sorts of fires," he

said to his mamma, as he laid down the poker.

"Yes, indeed," she answered. "It is very interesting to know how

people keep warm in all parts of the world, especially where fuel

is scarce and dear. In Iceland, for example, fires are often made

of fish-bones! Think of that. In Holland and other countries a

kind of turf called peat is dug up in great quantities and used

for fuel. And in France a coarse yellow and brown sea-weed, which

is found in Finistere, is carefully dried and piled up for winter

use. A false log, resembling wood, but made of some composition

which does not consume, is often used in that country. It absorbs

and throws out the heat, and adds to the looks of the hearth and

to the comfort of the room.

"The French have also a movable stove, which can be wheeled from

room to room, or even carried up or down stairs while full of

burning coke. In Russia the poorer people use a large porcelain

stove, flat on top like a great table, with a small fire inside

which gives out a gentle, summer-like warmth. It often serves

as a bed for the whole family, who sleep on top of it.

"There are, besides gas-stoves, oil-stoves, various methods of

obtaining warmth by heated air and steam, and, doubtless, other

devices that I never heard of.

"In some countries, however, no fires are needed. In looking at

pictures of tropical towns you will at once notice the absence of


Fred looked admiringly at his mamma as she paused.

"There never was such a little mother," he said; "you can think

of something to say about everything."

His mamma was pleased at this pleasant compliment.

"Oh!" she replied, laughing, "I could go on and tell you more

about bonfires, beacon-fires, signals, drift-wood fires, and

gypsy-tea fires; but I have told you enough for to-day."

SOME PSALMS OF DAVID SOMETHING LIKE A WHITE ELEPHANT. facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail