Mr. Lenox was one morning riding by himself. He got off from his horse to look at something on the roadside. The horse broke away from him, and ran off. Mr. Lenox ran after him, but soon found that he could not catch him.

A little boy at work in a field near the road, heard the horse. As soon as he saw him running from his master, the boy ran very quickly to the middle of the road, and, catching the horse by the bridle, stopped him till Mr. Lenox came up.

Mr. Lenox. Thank you, my good boy, you have caught my horse very nicely. What shall I give you for your trouble?

Boy. I want nothing, sir.

Mr. L. You want nothing? So much the better for you. Few men can say as much. But what were you doing in the field?

B. I was rooting up weeds, and tending the sheep that were feeding on turnips.

Mr. L. Do you like to work?

B. Yes, sir, very well, this fine weather.

Mr. L. But would you not rather play?

B. This is not hard work. It is almost as good as play.

Mr. L. Who set you to work?

B. My father, sir.

Mr. L. What is your name?

B. Peter Hurdle, sir.

Mr. L. How old are you?

B. Eight years old, next June.

Mr. L. How long have you been here?

B. Ever since six o'clock this morning.

Mr. L. Are you not hungry?

B. Yes, sir, but I shall go to dinner soon.

Mr. L. If you had a dime now, what would you do with it?

B. I don't know, sir. I never had so much.

Mr. L. Have you no playthings?

B. Playthings? What are they?

Mr. L. Such things as ninepins, marbles, tops, and wooden horses.

B. No, sir. Tom and I play at football in winter, and I have a jumping rope. I had a hoop, but it is broken.

Mr. L. Do you want nothing else?

B. I have hardly time to play with what I have. I have to drive the cows, and to run on errands, and to ride the horses to the fields, and that is as good as play.

Mr. L. You could get apples and cakes, if you had money, you know.

B. I can have apples at home. As for cake, I do not want that. My mother makes me a pie now and then, which is as good.

Mr. L. Would you not like a knife to cut sticks?

B. I have one. Here it is. Brother Tom gave it to me.

Mr. L. Your shoes are full of holes. Don't you want a new pair?

B. I have a better pair for Sundays.

Mr. L. But these let in water.

B. I do not mind that, sir.

Mr. L. Your hat is all torn, too.

B. I have a better one at home.

Mr. L. What do you do when it rains?

B. If it rains very hard when I am in the field, I get under a tree for shelter.

Mr. L. What do you do, if you are hungry before it is time to go home?

B. I sometimes eat a raw turnip.

Mr. L. But if there is none?

B. Then I do as well as I can without. I work on, and never think of it.

Mr. L. Why, my little fellow, I am glad to see that you are so contented. Were you ever at school?

B. No, sir. But father means to send me next winter.

Mr. L. You will want books then.

B. Yes, sir; each boy has a Spelling Book, a Reader, and a Testament.

Mr. L. Then I will give them to you. Tell your father so, and that it is because you are an obliging, contented little boy.

B. I will, sir. Thank you.

Mr. L. Goodbye, Peter.

B. Good morning, sir.

Dr. John Aiken


Rooting: Pulling up by the roots.

Tending: Watching, attending.

Turnip: A vegetable.

Weather: State of the atmosphere.

Errands: Messages.

Raw: Not cooked.

Testament: The last twenty-seven books of the Bible.

Teaching Guide:

Step 1: Study the New Words

  • Listen to the new words.
  • Recite each of the new words aloud.

Step 2: Examine the Lesson Image

Describe the image, its setting, and its characters.

Step 3: Read the Lesson Passage

  • Find each new word in the passage.
  • Practice reading the passage, both silently and aloud.
  • Upon mastering the passage, recite it aloud to your instructor.

Step 4: Complete Lesson Vocabulary, Narration, and Copywork

Complete the associated vocabulary, narration, and copywork for this lesson. Click the icon to access the page.