Joyous Times Day 9 – Can Kites Be Made of Use and Four Years Old

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The following story has a little history in it. I find it quite interesting that the illustration was used. It also makes a good example on how inquisitive children are! They will ask so many questions that they are so far from the original subject by the end!

Can Kites Be Made of Use?

George and Albert had been flying their kites in the field, when Uncle Charles came up; and George asked him why kites could not be made of use in pulling boats.

“So they can be,” said Uncle Charles. “I have been pulled across the stream in a light boat by a good large kite many a time when I was a boy.”

“Did you ever fly a kite when you were skating on the ice?” asked Albert.

“That used to be a common sport when I was a boy,” said Uncle Charles. “With a high wind, a good kite would pull me over the ice almost as fast as I could skate.”

“It is no fun skating when the wind is high,” said Albert.

“Why not?” said Uncle Charles. “I have seen good sport on the river, when the ice was so smooth that we could sit on our sleds, and be pulled at the rate of ten miles an hour.”

“Would not a sail be better than a kite for a sled when the wind is high and the ice is smooth?”

“Yes: on the St. Lawrence River they often use sleds with sails. You have heard of the vessels that were sent out to the Arctic Seas to search for Sir John Franklin?”

“Yes: poor Sir John went from England to search for a passage round the North Pole; and it is thought he and his men must have been lost in the ice.”

“Well, in the year 1849, some ships were sent out from England to the Arctic Seas. While there, the crews would go on sledg’ing-parties over the snow and ice to make a search. They used both sails and kites.”

“How far did these parties go?”

“Some of them went seven hundred miles in this way. When the wind was high, the sails and kites would propel the sledges so fast, that the men could all ride; but, when the wind fell, they had to pull the sledges over the ice and snow.”

“Did they meet any bears?”

“Yes: they met a few; but the bears kept out of their way. I should not like a hug from an Arctic bear. He is a terrible fellow, as you may guess from the picture of him.”

Alfred Selwyn

This one is really cute for a 4 year old birthday card. Our maybe to make a little book for a four year old on his birthday, and maybe change the words a little for a girl. What do you think?

Four Years Old

O sun! so far up in the blue sky;

O clovers! so white and so sweet;

O little brook! shining like silver,

And running so fast past my feet, —


You don’t know what strange thing has happened

Since sunset and star-shine last night;

Since the four-o’clocks closed their red petals

To wake up so early and bright.


Say! what will you think when I tell you

What my dear mamma whispered to me

When she kissed me on each cheek twice over?

You don’t know what a man you may see!


Oh, yes! I am big and I’m heavy;

I have grown, since last night, very old;

And I’m stretched out as tall as a ladder:

Mamma says I’m too large to hold.


Sweet-clover, stand still; do not blow so:

I shall whisper way down in your ear,

I was four years old this morning!

Would you think so, to see me, my dear?


Do you notice my pants and two pockets?

I’m so old, I must dress like a man;

I must learn to read books and write letters,

And I’ll write one to you when I can.


My pretty gold butterflies flying,

Little birds, and my busy brown bee,

I shall never be too old to love you;

And I hope that you’ll always love me!

Fannie (unintelligible last name, looks like it was re-typed over or smeared in printing)

Would you like to share with us your memories of being four?  Tell us in the comments!

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