Or one of the pale green willers that bent over my head as I sot on the low plank foot-bridge, with my bare feet a-swingin’ off into the water as I fished for minnies with a pin-hook—
The summer sky overhead, and summer in my heart.
Oh, happy summer days gone by—gone by, fur back you lay in the past, and the June skies now have lost that old light and freshness.
But poor children that we are, we still keep on a-fishin’ with our bent pin-hooks; we still drop our weak lines down into the depths, a-fishin’ for happiness, for rest, for ambition, for Heaven knows what all—and now, as in the past, our hooks break or our lines float away on the eddies, and we don’t catch what we are after.
Poor children! poor creeters!
But I am eppisodin’, and to resoom.
As I said to Josiah, what a oversight that wuz my not thinkin’ of it!
Sez I, “How the nations would have prized them trees!” And sez I,
“What would Christopher Columbus say if he knew on’t?”
And Josiah sez, “He guessed he would have got along without ’em.”
“Wall,” sez I, “what will America and the World’s Fair think on’t, my makin’ such a oversight?”
And he sez, “He guessed they would worry along somehow without ’em.”
“Wall,” sez I, “I am mortified—as mortified as a dog.”
And I wuz.
There wuzn’t any need of makin’ any mistake about the trees, for there wuz a little metal plate fastened to each tree, with the name marked on it—the common name and the high-learnt botanical name.
But Josiah, who always has a hankerin’ after fashion and show, he talked a sight to me about the “Abusex-celsa,” and the “Genus-salix,” and the “Fycus-sycamorus,” and the “Atractylus-gummifera.”
He boasted in particular about the rarity of them trees. He said they grew in Hindoostan and on the highest peaks of the Uriah Mountains; and he sez, “How strange that he should ever live to see ’em.”
He talked proud and high-learnt about ’em, till I got tired out, and pinted him to the other names of ’em.
[Illustration: He talked proud and high learnt about ’em.]
Then his feathers drooped, and sez he, “A Norway spruce, a willer, a sycamore, and a pine. Dum it all, what do they want to put on such names as them onto trees that grow right in our dooryard?”
“To show off,” sez I, coldly, “and to make other folks show off who have a hankerin’ after fashion and display.”
He did not frame a reply to me—he had no frame.
I told Josiah this mornin’ I wanted to go to the place where they had flowers, and plants, and roses, and things—I felt that duty wuz a-drawin’ me.
For, as I told him, old Miss Mahew wanted me to get her a slip of monthly rose if they had ’em to spare—she said, “If they seemed to have quite a few, I might tackle ’em about it, and if they seemed to be kinder scrimped for varieties, she stood willin’ to swap one of her best kinds for one of theirn—she said she spozed they would have as many as ten or a dozen plants of each kind.”