WILLIE and his little sister Fannie wished very much to go to the woods for some persimmons.

When they asked their mother if they might she said, "Yes, if you can get Cousin Robert to go with you and take care you."

Cousin Robert was quite willing to go with them; and as he was several years older than they, he made the walk very pleasant by telling them about the different trees, flowers, and animals they came across as they searched the woods for a persimmon on tree.

At last Cousin Robert called the attention of Willie and Fannie to a tree having a very rough bark on three sides, and entirely stripped of bark on the fourth side.

"This," said he, "is a good persimmon tree, cause, you see, the squirrels have scraped all bark off from one side running up and down it."

The children were very glad to see this tree, and stationed themselves beneath it, so that they might be all ready to pick up the persimmons when Cousin Robert shook the tree. Pretty soon the persimmons began rattling about their ears, and the excited children began to pick up, as fast as they could, the soft pink balls,

"Take care, youngsters; wait until I come down.

Be sure not to eat any except those that are very soft and juicy!"

But the warning came too late; for just then Fannie could not help laughing to see Willie jump up and down, snapping his fingers.

Those of my readers who have never visited the South, and have never seen persimmons, will not understand Willie's discomfort unless I explain the reason. Persimmons are something like plums, only they are pink; and they contain five seeds the shape and size of pumpkin seeds.

When fully ripe, and fit to eat, they are so soft that the slightest touch will crush them to a jelly, but if eaten  before, they have reached this state—which children call "mushy"— they pucker the lips, tongue, and throat so badly that the unfortunate person does not care to taste persimmons again, for that day at least, Poor little Willie!

His fun was spoiled for a while, because he was in too great a hurry.  Cousin Robert gave him a piece of candy, which consoled him a little, but he did not take much interest in the persimmons that afternoon.

When they returned home, and Fannie had related the incidents of their pleasure trip, their mother told the children that a good lesson had been taught them that afternoon.

"You will find all through life, my dear children, that it is not wise to be in too great a hurry to taste its pleasures.

Many seeming joys prove as disagreeable as the unripe persimmon was to Willie's mouth."

"I don't quite understand," said Fannie. "I will try to explain more fully then.

When Willie saw that large plump persimmon lying at his feet, he thought, Oh, how nice that will taste!  And put it in his mouth, only to find out that it tasted very bad, and puckered his mouth sadly.

So when a boy sees a glass of wine or whisky, and thinks it will taste so good, he finds out before a great while that such drinks leave a dreadful taste in the mouth and a terrible mark upon the soul. "There are many vices which at first sight seem quite harmless, many sinful pleasures which appear very attractive.

Be careful, pray constantly to God, asking him to watch over you and keep you from falling into sin.

Never have anything to do with pleasures that are doubtful, that you are not quite sure are right.

Let all such alone; there are plenty about which there can be no question.

Never do anything that you are not quite sure is right, no matter how pleasant it may seem to you.

Sooner or later the disagreeable part will come, making you so unhappy that you will wish you had let the questionable thing alone.

Be sure your persimmon is fully ripe."




Ruth Argyle.