A Wonderful Stream
: Keep-well Stories For Little Folks
I am going to tell you of a wonderful stream that flows through our
bodies. We may call it the stream of life. It is made of tiny rills, and
of great branches, all of which join to form this wonderful stream.
This stream has a great, double force pump, which keeps pumping night
and day. It always pumps the same way, its engine does not make much
noise, but just a little sound that you may hear if you put your ear
close to mother's breast. You can hear this busy little engine pumping
away, forcing the stream on.
Many queer looking little boats float on its bosom. These boats carry
freight to the far-away countries in all parts in the body. They are so
small we cannot see them with the naked eye. They are of various shapes;
some are round.
They have a very important freight to carry. There are more of these
boats than there are of any other kind. They have a little cup-shaped
centre, a kind of deck, and in this centre they carry the freight. They
take on this freight at the Lung Station. They have something on deck
which holds on to the goods they get at the station, to keep it from
being lost on its long journey.
It never overflows its banks. Its color is not bright and blue as the
waters of the Hudson or Potomac Rivers. It is yellow and red, like the
Mississippi, the great "Father of Waters." If you would taste it you
would find it to be salty like the ocean.
As soon as the little boats load up at the Lung Station, off they sail
on this wonderful stream, carrying their freight to the Muscle Country,
the Skin Country or the Gland Country. When the boats reach one of these
countries, they unload and the little men of these countries (or cells)
take the freight and put it just where it is needed. The freight is
called oxygen. The Lung Station is filled with it every time a person
takes a good breath of pure fresh air.
The little boats come to Lung Station and load up with oxygen about
three times every minute, so you see how fast they travel. This freight
is the thing that paints our cheeks a rosy color and gives us good
When each little boat has unloaded its cargo in the far countries, the
little cell men load them with a return cargo, which is made up of waste
matter (carbon dioxide). This cargo is carried back to the Lung Station,
and unloaded there. It is breathed out into the air, through the air
If we breathe impure air, the little boats go back to the far countries
with only a small cargo of oxygen. Then the cell men feel as if they are
cheated and refuse to do good work for us. In fact, they grow weak and
cannot do as good work as they could if the boats brought a full cargo
of fresh air.
There is another boat in the stream; just look at its queer shape, and,
queerer still, this little boat is changing its shape. Is not that
funny? Now the small end is toward us, now the large end, and now it is
round like the little freight boats, only it is larger.
I wonder what kind of a vessel it is. It is larger than the freight
boat. There are not so many of these boats either, not half so many as
there are freight boats. They are flying white flags, and belong to the
White Squadron. I wonder if that means peace.
No, they are war-vessels. Let us see what these white ships are doing.
We will call them Dreadnoughts. Watch them as they move slowly down the
stream; how powerful they look. They have their searchlights on, looking
for any enemy that may appear upon the surface.
Further on some germs or bacteria are coming up the stream; they may be
pneumonia germs, or typhoid germs. These are the Captains of the Death
Armada. The Dreadnoughts pull up along side. War is declared, a battle
royal is on. The victory will go to the strongest. When the smoke clears
away we may see the Dreadnought sailing calmly down stream. Where now
are these mighty Goliaths, the typhoid or pneumonia germs? As the
Dreadnoughts were in good fighting trim, we may find them on the inside
of the engine-room of the Dreadnought. They are being used as fuel in
Sometimes the battle is in favor of the germs, and the Dreadnought is
destroyed by the germs.
This happens when the little round freight boats have not found a full
cargo of fresh air and oxygen waiting for them in the Lung Station.
All this happens in this wonderful stream.
If we look further we would find that the muscle men in the muscle
countries are busy making heat to keep our bodies warm. The little
workmen in the gland country are making fluids to mix with the food we
eat. The fluids change the starch, the sugar, and the meat we eat, so
that the muscle men can use it to build us large and strong. The little
workmen in the skin are pouring water out of it in order that we may
keep clean and cool.
This wonderful stream carries all these things from one country to the
other, exchanges the produce of one country for the produce of
another--so to speak.
The little freight boats on this stream cannot do the work they were
intended to do, the Dreadnoughts cannot overcome and disable the germs
that get on their decks, if they are not kept in the very best
condition. The only way in which we can keep them "fit" is by living
according to the rules of hygiene.
Eat wholesome food.
Take outdoor exercise.
Sleep with the windows open.
Drink pure water.
Bathe the body frequently.
1. What are the little round boats?
2. What do they carry?
3. What are the Dreadnoughts?
4. What are the muscle men?
5. What is the stream, and what is the force pump
that forces the stream on?
6. What are the rules for keeping the little
freight boats, and the great Dreadnoughts on this
wonderful stream in the best working condition?