The Teacher and the Tough Logs
A teacher who was engaged in a district school in the country, where the arrangement was for the older boys to saw and split the wood for the fire, on coming one day, at the recess, to see how the work was going on, found that the boys had laid one rather hard-looking log aside. They could not split that log, they said.
“Yes,” said the teacher, looking at the log, “I don’t wonder. I know that log. I saw him before. His name is Old Gnarly. He says he has no idea of coming open for a parcel of boys, even if they have got beetle and wedges. It takes a man, he says, to split him.”
The boys stood looking at the log with a very grave expression of countenance as they heard these words.
“Is that what he says?” asked one of them. “Let’s try him again, Joe.”
“It will do no good,” said the teacher, “for he won’t come open, if he can possibly help it. And there’s another fellow (pointing). His name is Slivertwist. If you get a crack in him, you will find him full of twisted splinters that he holds himself together with. The only way is to cut them through with a sharp axe. But he holds on so tight with them that I don’t believe you can get him open. He says he never gives up to boys.”
So saying, the teacher went away. It is scarcely necessary to say to any one who knows boys that the teacher was called out not long afterwards to see that Old Gnarly and Old Slivertwist were both split up fine—the boys standing around the heaps of well-prepared fire-wood which they had afforded, and regarding them with an air of exultation and triumph.
Muscles reinvigorated through the Action of the Mind.