A True Story
: Keep-well Stories For Little Folks
In a little city near the great Mississippi River, lived two boys who
were the very best of friends. Every day they played together and had a
fine time. Life was as pleasant as a summer day to the little fellows.
One of the boys was named Oliver. He had a rich father who gave him
everything he wanted. The other little boy was Arthur. His father was
dead, but he had a gentle little mother who was as good as she could be.
Arthur's mother had to work very hard to make enough money to buy food
and clothes for her little boy and herself. Little Arthur knew this, and
he often said when he got big he would make enough money for them both,
so that the dear mother would not have to work so hard.
When the two boys were six years old, they started to school. They were
very happy and proud when the day to go came. Every morning Oliver's
mother would put his fine clothes on him and give him some money to pay
his way on the street car. After he got to the school he would not play
games with the boys for he was afraid he would soil his clothes. He
stood around and watched the other boys romp and play.
Arthur's mother could not give him the ten cents for car-fare to and
from school, so he walked to school every morning. He would eat his
breakfast early and start out for school in the cool morning air. As he
walked along whistling, his cheeks would get rosy and red and he would
run and jump; he was a happy little boy. He felt as if he would never
get tired. And all the time he would be thinking of the time when he
would be a big boy and ready to help to care for the little mother.
When he got to school he would join the other little boys in their play,
for his clothes were good and strong and not too fine to romp and play
For a long time things went on in this way and Arthur was growing
stronger and taller all the time. He was learning very fast. Oliver was
getting pale and thin and he was beginning to be absent from school very
often. The teacher went to see his mother and found that the little boy
was absent because he often had headaches and colds. The two boys were
in the same class, but they were not as good friends as they had been.
Oliver could not keep up with his class, and after awhile he had to drop
into a lower class.
Arthur did not have much time to play after he came home from school
because he had to help his mother.
Their teacher lived just across the street from the two little boys. She
had noticed in school that Arthur could learn faster than Oliver. She
saw that Arthur was stronger and happier, and she soon thought she knew
So one day she told them both to stay after school, that she wanted to
talk to them for a little while.
After all the other children had gone she called them up to her desk and
said, "Oliver, would you like to be like Arthur and have healthy, rosy
cheeks, and be able to run and play as he does?" Of course, Oliver said
yes, for he had long been wishing that he could feel as happy as Arthur
looked. He wanted to be able to come regularly to school, and he did not
want to have colds and headaches--he was tired of them.
"Well," said the teacher, "I want to tell you how you may grow as
strong as Arthur. You must stay out-of-doors, and play with the other
boys more than you do. You look pale because your blood is not red
"Boys and girls have blood in their bodies. You have seen it when you
cut your finger. The more you run and play, the more blood you will have
and the redder it will be. This good red blood is what makes you strong;
you must eat plenty of good food and play out in the open air with the
other boys. Keep your body clean, and get your mother to let you walk to
school each morning with Arthur. Now run along to play, and I am sure
you will soon feel better, and after a few days you will be as strong as
Arthur and the other boys."
1. Compare the two boys--Arthur and Oliver--as to
their pleasures and opportunities.
2. Why did Arthur study hard and love to work?
3. Why did Oliver ride on the street car to
school, and why could he not run and play with the
other boys after he got to school?
4. Oliver was sick a great deal and could not keep
up with his class. Why did his teacher say that he
could not do his work as well as Arthur?