(Some portions of this book are out of order - source file at Project Gutenberg displays the same problem.)
pushed a wad of cotton into my mouth after soaking it in some brown astringent stuff, and told me to be sure to keep my mouth shut and all would soon be well. Mother put me to bed, calmed my fears, and told me to lie still and sleep like a gude bairn. But just as I was dropping off to sleep I swallowed the bulky wad of medicated cotton and with it, as I imagined, my tongue also. My screams over so great a loss brought mother, and when she anxiously took me in her arms and inquired what was the matter, I told her that I had swallowed my tongue. She only laughed at me, much to my astonishment, when I expected that she would bewail the awful loss her boy had sustained. My sisters, who were older than I, oftentimes said when I happened to be talking too much, "It's a pity you hadn't swallowed at least half of that long tongue of yours when you were little."
It appears natural for children to be fond of water, although the Scotch method of making every duty dismal contrived to make necessary bathing for he
This is a great book on many levels. First of all it's a very entertaining and enjoyable read. Second, it's a window into what life was like on a U.S. farm in the 1800's in "the sticks" as well as in Scotland, where the author spent his first years. Third, the book shows the brilliant mind of John Muir through his remarkable inventions. I have to admit that I thought Muir had stretched the truth about his inventions - it seemed too difficult to believe that a boy could come up with the clocks, fire-starting machines, barometers, etc described in the book. But I found real pictures of some of them on the web.
I highly recommend this book. Some of the descriptions are a little long, but still a great book and read.