The design of this volume is to show the young how ''odd moments'' and small opportunities may be used in the acquisition of knowledge. The hero of the tale--Nat--is a living character, whose actual boyhood and youth are here delineated--an unusual example of energy, industry, perseverance, application, and enthusiasm in prosecuting a life purpose.
ointed after all. Perhaps the bugs will destroy half your vines."
"I can kill the bugs," said Nat.
"Perhaps dry weather will wither them all up."
"I can water them every day if they need it."
"That is certainly having good courage, Nat," added his father, "but if you conquer the bugs, and get around the dry weather, it may be too wet and blast your vines, or there may be such a hail storm as I have known several times in my life, and cut them to pieces."
"I don't think there will be such a hail storm this year; there never was one like it since I can remember."
"I hope there won't be," replied his father. "It is well to look on the bright side, and hope for the best for it keeps the courage up. It is also well to look out for disappointment. I know a gentleman who thought he would raise some ducks. So he obtained a dozen eggs, and put them under a hen, and then he hired a man, to make a small artificial pond in his garden, which he could fill from his well, for the young ducks to swim in. The time came for the ducks to