Poor Ben
Poor Ben

Father was not very happy this morning.  He did not even say, “Mary, are you going to plow the field today?” He usually teases me first thing in the day.  But not this morning.  He even had a frown on his face for the entire breakfast.  I kept very quiet.  Mother had some of his favorite bread and jam on the table.  He still was not happy.  I just kept very silent until I was finished.

Later in the day Mother told me that he was very angry at one of the older boys. He had spent  his money foolishly. He had purchased a pair of boots from a friend because he liked them so much. Father had said it was not time for new boots.  But brother really liked them and his friend said that they had new soles on them…so brother bought them with his own money. By the time he walked over the hill one of the soles had come undone. After dinner tonight Father read us a story from a book by a man named Benjamin Franklin.

When Mr. Franklin was a child, he had saved some coppers and went to buy himself a present. On his way to the mercantile he heard another boy blowing on a whistle. Mr. Franklin liked the whistle so much that he paid the boy all of his money. When he returned home, his brothers and sisters laughed at him and told him that he could have had a brand new whistle for far less coppers than he paid. Mr Franklin wrote that now, as a grown man, he sees many people who fall in love and buy things they do not need and he tells them that they “paid too much for their whistle.”

I do not know why so many people want whistles. I would rather have a top or a doll.

by Mary Beekman

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