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A Day In The Woods
by [?]

“School!” said Richard White, to himself; “School! I don’t want to go to school. Why am I sent to school every day? What good is there in learning grammar, and arithmetic, and geography, and all them things? I don’t like school, and I never did.”

“Dick!” called out a voice; and the lad, who had seated himself on a cellar door, and placed his satchel beside him, looked up, and met the cheerful face of one of his school-fellows.

“What are you sitting there for, Dick? Don’t you hear the school bell?”

“Yes; I hear it, Bill.”

“Then get up and come along, or you will be late.”

“I don’t care if I am. I don’t like to go to school.”

“You don’t?”

“No, indeed. I’d never go to school if I could help it. What’s the use of so much learning? I’m going to a trade as soon as I get old enough; and Pete Elder says that a boy who don’t know A B C, can learn a trade just as well as one who does.”

“I don’t know any thing about that,” replied William Brown; “but father says, the more learning I get when a boy, the more successful in life will I be when a man; that is, if I make a good use of my learning.”

“What good is grammar going to do a mechanic, I wonder?” said Richard, contemptuously. “What use will the double rule of three, or fractions, be to him?”

“They may be of a great deal of use. Father says we cannot learn too much while we are boys. He says he never learned any thing in his life that did not come of use to him at some time or other.”

“Grammar, and geography, and double rule of three, will never be of any use to me.”

“Oh, yes, they will, Dick! So come along. The bell is nearly done ringing. Come, won’t you?”

“No; I’m going out to the woods,”

“Come, Richard, come! That will be playing truant.”

“No; I’ve made my mind up not to go to school to-day.”

“You’ll be sorry for it, Dick, if you do stay away from school.”

“Why will I?” said the boy, quickly. “Are you going to tell?”

“If I should be asked about you, I will not tell a lie; but I don’t suppose any one will inquire of me.”

“Then why will I be sorry?”

“You’ll be sorry when you’re a man.”

Richard White laughed aloud at the idea of his being sorry when he became a man, for having neglected his school when a boy.

“If you are not going, I am,” said William Brown, starting off and running as fast as he could. He arrived at the door of the schoolhouse just as the bell stopped ringing. In stopping to persuade Richard not to play truant, he had come near being too late.

As soon as William left him, Richard White got up from the cellar door where he had been reclining lazily, and throwing his satchel over his shoulder, started for the woods. His books and satchel were in his way, and rather heavy to carry about with him for six or seven hours. But he did not think it prudent to leave them any where, for the person with whom they were left would suspect him of playing truant, and through that means his fault might come to the knowledge of his parents.

After thinking over this, as he went on his way, it occurred to Richard that the satchel was as likely to betray him if carried along as if left at some store to be called for on his return. Finally, he concluded to ask for a newspaper at a shop.

With this he wrapped up his satchel, and taking it under his arm, went on without any more fears of betrayal from this source.

As soon as the foolish boy reached the woods, he hid his satchel, so as to get clear of the trouble it was to him, beside a large stone, and covered it with leaves and long grass. Then he felt free, and, as he thought, happy.